There is something about a work of erotica that engenders a curiosity that isn’t found in all genres of fiction. That curiousness comes down to one question- how much sex is in this book, and how far does that sex go?
For most, that first dip into a recognisably erotic book will always be accompanied by that little nerved bunch of anticipation in the pit of the stomach, as the eyes and fingers stray over passages of written sexual fantasy. For many, as it was for me at the tender age of 15 when I snuck my parent’s copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus (1979) off the bookshelf, it is the first time they’ve seen words they were almost too embarrassed to even think, written down.
As an incredibly shy introverted teenager, with few friends, and a frighteningly candy floss style hair-do, I found an escape in the words of Nin that I had never expected to find, and that I didn’t fully understand until I was a great deal older. Not that I didn’t comprehend what I was reading- of course I did. I was shy, but far from naive. But I was in my thirty’s before I saw how important her writing was, and how the way it moved people wasn’t just nice in a solo pleasure kind of a way, but also empowering.
Her words came wrapped in emotion. There was an undercurrent of mental connections between her characters; and it was those personal echoes of inter-connecting cerebral desire that came back to me many years later when I began to pen erotica for myself.
In this day and age I am delighted to report that, for most readers at least, the storyline has become as important as the levels of kink to be found within its plot, and although there are notable exceptions, erotica is better written now that it has been for a very long time.
Since writing my first story, I’ve read a great deal of erotica- some purely for pleasure, and some for the purposes of review. Novels, short stories, novellas, and flash fiction collections, have all come my way. I have to confess though; I am a tough audience, especially now I know just how difficult it is to get out there into book world. A story that is badly edited, or doesn’t grab me in the first three paragraphs, is never going to cut it.
Of all the erotica works I’ve read however, one stands out head and shoulders above the rest. That book would be Transported: Erotic Travel Tales by Sharazade. Everything about it hits the spot for me. A short story collection which manages to relate to the reader on so many levels you just want it all to be true, and have trouble believing that it’s fiction. Romantic (but not in any way sopping or cloying), kinky, and imaginative- it’s perfect.
The jewel in this anthologies crown is a story called Flaws- and I defy any female to read it and not 100% relate to what’s written there. I won’t say what the story involves- I don’t want to spoil it. I will just say I can’t recommend it enough.
Every time I read anything, I learn more- sometimes what could be done to improve my own work- sometimes what to avoid like the plague! I do wonder however, what my work would be like now if I’d never crept into my parents study in my formative adolescent years and peeped into a copy of Delta of Venus – Ms Nin- I owe you one!
Many thanks for inviting me over today Elizabeth!
Kay Jaybee wrote the novels Making Him Wait, (Sweetmeats Press, 2012), The Voyeur (Xcite, 2012), The Perfect Submissive (Xcite 2012), as well as the novellas, Digging Deep (Xcite, 2013), A Sticky Situation, (Xcite, 2012), and The Circus (Sweetmeats Press). She has also written the anthologies The Collector (Austin & Macauley, 2012 & 2008), The Best of Kay Jaybee (Xcite, 2012), Tied to the Kitchen Sink, Equipment, (All Romance, 2012), Yes Ma’am (Xcite e-books, 2011), Quick Kink One and Quick Kink Two (Xcite e-books, 2010). Kay has had over 60 short stories published by Cleis Press (inc. Best of Best Women’s Erotica 2, Best Women’s Erotica 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012; Best Bondage 2012 and 2013, Sweet Love, Smooth, Gotta Have It, Sweet Confessions), Black Lace (Sexy Little Numbers), Mammoth (The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica), Xcite (inc.Ultimate Sin, Boy Fun, Power Play, Threesomes, Finger Music, Tricks For Kicks), Penguin (Oysters and Chocolate; Erotic Stories of Every Flavor), Seal (Oysters and Chocolate; Nice Girls, Naughty Sex),and Sweetmeats Press (Immoral Views)
Details of Kay’s work, past, present and future can be found at www.kayjaybee.me.uk
You can also follow her on Twitter - @kay_jaybee