Sunday, May 19, 2019

Exploring taboo worlds through erotic fiction by Ashe Barker


Oh no! I'm late again. I should have posted yesterday. Apologies, but here I am, better late than never. and ready to share with you my thoughts, such as they are, on writing erotic fiction and taboo subjects. Here goes...

Write what you know.

Sound advice. Most of the time. I tend to choose settings and situations for my stories where I have at least a passing acquaintance – it saves on research – but I do occasionally venture into the unknown when my imagination runs riot.

I have a somewhat similar attitude towards the genres I write in. I tend to write what I like to read. If it doesn’t turn me on, I probably can’t get excited enough to craft a story. Much of what I regularly write about would be considered taboo by some. BDSM and the veneer of violence is one example, domestic discipline and spanking another. I get plenty of reviews along the lines of I was loving this until the hero started beating her… Still, there are plenty of readers who do get it, and who love kinky erotic stories, so I don’t get too wound up these days by the odd mainstream reader who inadvertently wanders into my world.

But the world of BDSM is wide, varied and infinitely complex. There is much within it that remains something of a mystery to me. I subscribe fully to the safe, sane, consensual mantra, and your kink is not my kink, but even so, water sports and breath play leave me somewhat bewildered. They are unlikely to feature in any of my stories.

The same goes for the Daddy Dom/little girl genre which has been incredibly popular in recent years. I’ve read a few, and by and large enjoyed them, but I’m always left wondering why. I can’t quite get my head around the power dynamic or imagine myself in it. I understand the words but can’t connect to the emotional or erotic pull. I am an observer, an outsider looking in.

But I’m glad those stories are out there. Daddy Doms may not float my boat, but I rather enjoy my occasional voyeuristic excursions into that world, and I value the opportunity to go there. Fiction is a place where forbidden or dangerous desires can be aired. As writers we can take our readers on a conducted tour of the weird, the wonderful and the plain wicked, point out all the sights, then herd them safely back onto the bus and and be home in time for tea.

Another genre I do enjoy, though haven’t (yet) written myself, is dark romance. This is a world of coercion,  non-consent, rape, abduction, dominance and submission taken to the extreme. Dangerous and rightly illegal activities, but in my world of fantasy incredibly erotic even so. I am at once repulsed and fascinated by the complexity of human desire which in the right hands can render the unthinkable sexy. Perhaps it is the innate sense of the wicked or the forbidden, but activities usually considered taboo can be exquisitely sensual

The fictional worlds we create offer a safe environment, a place to explore, to try out the unfamiliar or the plain bizarre., experience the vicarious thrill of the taboo, but without the consequences that might otherwise ensue. Our curiosity can be satisfied, or at least fed.

And no one need ever know.

3 comments:

  1. "Another genre I do enjoy, though haven’t (yet) written myself, is dark romance. This is a world of coercion, non-consent, rape, abduction, dominance and submission taken to the extreme. Dangerous and rightly illegal activities, but in my world of fantasy incredibly erotic even so."

    It is unfortunate that we are not allowed to publish stuff that a big chunk of our readers enjoy but for some reason erotica is treated differently than reading Stephen King as he tortures and kills people.

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  2. I'd like to see what you could do with non-con, Ashe. It's not usually my cup of tea, but I think you might be able to write a dark, non-con story in a way that would grab me. (No pun intended!)

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  3. I agree. I also think that because the world of "kink" (BDSM plus fetish) is so varied, we all need to allow room for kinks we don't share. Otherwise erotica as a broad genre could be completely forbidden -- which might make it more exciting to write and to find (?).

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