I like happy porn.
Before you throw rocks at me, I will quickly state that of course deep, dark stories possess merit. This is a personal preference. For the most part, I like my smut smiley. While the concept of being punished makes me wet—one of my biggest pet peeves is the genre of sex stories in which characters must be punished for what they like or what they need. 9 ½ Weeks is a perfect example. I adore the novella right up until the end. To me, 9 ½ Weeks is sexy sexy sexy sexy sexy sexy sexy oh, she’s off her rocker, let’s lock her up. Why does Elizabeth have to be institutionalized? Why can’t she and John make it work? (There’s a new ending I’d love to pen.)
Now, when I say I like happy porn some people get the wrong idea. I’m no vanilla cupcake. I take my coffee with quite a bit of kink. Tie me up. Spank me. Make me call you Ma’am. Use a crop or a fraternity paddle or those nasty alligator clamps. Leave me marks I can admire in my bathroom mirror—just don’t leave me without a silver ray of hope at the end. Especially if the hope is that I’m going to get another spanking!
The stories that thrill me most are the ones that make me care without tossing in a suicide pact or a dying spouse or a wound that will not heal. To this end, I offered a challenge (http://alisontyler.blogspot.com/2010/12/get-happy.html) about a month ago, asking smutters to post snippets of upbeat erotica on their blogs or websites. Check out this line-up:
Most of the writers I adore are ACDC. Well, at least they’re AT/DL. They can write they way I like for me, but they can do the dark literary work for other editors. What can I say? That makes everybody happy.
Why am I drawn to happy stories? Don’t I know that the world is an unhappy place? That sad things happen? That all we are is dust in the wind? Sure, but I never liked Kansas that much anyway. I’ve always been more of a Chili Pepper girl.
Am I happy all the time? (to steal a title from an author I worship, Laurie Colwin). Not on your life. When my man was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago, I found myself starring in one of the very plots I would never publish in an anthology. How’s that for a kick in the ass? Did living day-to-day in a soap opera story make me long for sad tales? Hell, no. I reached for the dirtiest upbeat stories I could clutch in my hot little hands.
Avid readers could easily point out that I’ve written sad tales myself. But I’ve penned so many stories (about 1000 at this point) that some are bound to end with a whimper rather than a bang. Call 2% of my stories sad. My batting average is still grinning ear to fucking ear.
Jean Roberta once said about me: Her male characters sometimes mislead her female characters, or vice versa, but Tyler describes disappointment in a light and witty way. No one seems to get seriously hurt. If any of her characters have dark nights of the soul, these happen off the page.
That is me to an Alison T.
And Ashley Lister gave me my one of my very favorite quotes: “It’s part of the PTP trademark that the content of their books portray sex as fun and wholesome. Alison Tyler’s stories are invariably sex-positive and her commitment to this ethos shows in every title that comes out of her Pretty Things Press.”
I do my best to live up to this in everything I write.
Why? Ah, repeat my mantra with me, won’t you: It makes me happy.
P.S. Where I am not at all dismayed by death, doom, and dying is in memoirs. I can’t explain this either. You’d think I’d rather read about faux sadness than real despair, but you’d think wrong.
Alison Tyler is the author of 25 naughty novels and the editor of 50+ erotic anthologies. She’s been called “the mistress of literary erotica” by Violet Blue and a “trollop with a laptop” by East Bay Express. Her favorite color is scarlet, her (current) favorite perfume is RUSH, and she likes to wear an armful of retro ID bracelets and bowling shirts with other people’s names embroidered on the pockets. Visit her often at http://alisontyler.blogspot.