The Education of K D: Erotica’s Steep Learning Curve

I just spent a good chunk of last evening on line trying to find a decent definition of kink. Never did find one I thought was satisfactory. But what I did find was a very good online BDSM dictionary to save to my stash of smutting tools. When I was writing The Initiation of Ms Holly, I made multiple trips into London to question the wonderful chicks at Sh! Women’s Store about strap-ons and spanking and blindfolding.  I spent an afternoon online learning amazing things about chastity belts. And that’s just the physical stuff. I find myself learning why semen is good for women, why porn is healthy, and what happens in the human brain during sex.  And the list goes on.

One of the best things about writing erotica, one of the things I would have never thought about before I penned my first smut, was the steep learning curve. I’ll be the first to admit, I usually try sneaking in the back door first, no pun intended. One of the best ways of educating myself to what is out there is to read what other erotica writers have written. I guess in some ways it’s voyeurism for smutters.

Writing is learning; I’ve always known that. There are stories that can be written without much effort or research, but the act of choosing the right words and getting just the right nuances, or analyzing why what some other writer has done works so well, is a learning process in itself. So I learn as I write.

But writing erotica is different in its learning curve because of the average person’s shocking lack of sexual education  – myself included. And because sadly sex is one of those things people don’t talk about in ‘proper company.’ Though it may be true that there are no stupid questions, people are still embarrassed to ask and embarrassed to seek out answers where sex is concerned. M niece has taught university classes on women’s sexuality, and she says what shocked her most was how little women actually know about their own sexuality.  I have no trouble believing that. Though I’ve always considered myself fairly well informed about sex and extremely aware of my own sexuality, as I began to write erotica I was surprised by my own ignorance.

The frightening thing about ignorance is that it can breed resistance to things that aren’t in our own sexual context. I’ve tried very hard not to be prejudiced about facets of human sexuality of which I don’t know enough to judge. But the battle against resistance is on-going. And interestingly enough, I find that my resistance is directly proportionate to my ignorance.  Not too surprising, really. That’s usually the case with ignorance. We tend to fear and villainize what we don’t understand.

Which leads me back to the high learning curve for erotica writers. True, we write about what we imagine, but our imaginations work better with a basic understanding of as many facets of human sexuality as possible. Not only do our imaginations work better, but our hearts work better as well. Our minds are more open and accepting. The old saying  ‘knowledge is power’ is never more true than where human sexuality is concerned. And one of the fringe benefits to writing erotica is that all that scrambling to do research, to understand why people find certain things arousing, to understand what actually happens on a physiological level when we have sex, to understand the sociology and psychology and science and history of human sexuality, is empowerment.

Empowerment means I can better understand aspects of sexuality in their proper context. It means less reason for resistance; that means less fear. It means more compassion, more asking enlightened questions and more desire to share what I know.

If knowledge is power, then the real power we erotic writers have is the power to share all aspects of human sexuality, the power to portray its many facets openly and honestly and approachably through story. True enough — we don’t set out to educate. We’re mostly all about entertainment, all about fun, but inadvertently we do educate. Inadvertently we open up the windows and doors and let light shine into the part of our humanity that has been kept in the dark far too long.

Yes, I know, I’ve just made all smutters sound like campaigners for the cause, dressed in corsets of righteousness. But the education, the empowerment, the coming to grips with all the many facets of human sexuality, well all that’s a long-winded way of saying —  I write erotica because it’s fun, and the education of K D is just a lovely fringe benefit, one more reason to feel really good about what I do.

 

Lakeland Heatwave Coming February 2012

Yup! You read it right. Lakeland Heatwave is coming in February 2012! If you live in the Lake District, that doesn’t mean you’ll need your swimwear next Valentine’s Day.  What it does mean is that you’ll be able to buy my new — and my first – erotic paranormal romance, Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising. Even if you don’t live in the Lake District, you’ll be able to buy this sizzling novel, published by Xcite Books next February.  And you guessed it — all the super-heated action takes place in the Lake District. 

A walk on the fells turns into a voyeuristic wank session when American transplant to the Lake District, Marie Warren, stumbles onto a couple having loud, raunchy sex. As body heat rises and the mist descends, she doesn’t realize her insatiable lust is exactly what they’d hoped for. Tara Stone and the 150-year-old ruggedly charming ghost, Anderson, are a part of The Elementals, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allows needy ghosts much-coveted access to the pleasures of the flesh. Marie doesn’t know it, but she is the long awaited fulfillment of a prophecy steeped in lust and fear. And murder.

Just a Little Taste of Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising

Marie woke to the awareness of a man sitting on the bed next to her, a man who, from the looks of his clothing, must have been at the same costume party as Anderson. His fly was open and he was stroking a substantial hard-on. Instead of being frightened, as would have been the normal response to a stranger rubbing one off on her bed, she simply admired his pale hair and the way his large hand moved over heavy equipment. She liked it when she conjured sexy men to visit her in her dream world. Better yet she had conjured one obviously ready to play.       

 It was back, that strange thrumming warmth between her hips, almost painful but not quite. Had it been there when she fell asleep? She couldn’t remember.

 ‘They told me about you. They told me you had come.’ The man said. ‘They didn’t tell me how strong you are. Even if they had, I would not have believed them.’ His voice was a harsh whisper. ‘I long to know what you look like beneath the duvet, beneath the nightdress. Please let me look at you.           

So far this dream was shaping up well. She was happy to play I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours. Strangely Dream Guy sounded like he’d studied the same romantics Anderson had. Who’d have thought antiquated poet-speak could be so damned hot? She eased herself into a sitting position against the head board and pushed back the bedding.

 

Back To Our Animal Nature

In my last blog post of 6 February, I ruminated on whether internet porn, chat rooms and all of the technology that makes the inconsequential voyeuristic experience possible have made sex too safe, too bloodless. Writing about the bloodlessness of virtual sex and the closed, once-removed, environment in which it takes place made me wonder if the popularity of fang bangers in erotica, and in books, films and television is, in a very literal sense, an unconscious offensive against that safe, bloodless sex.

The cleaning up of sex, the dressing it up for proper company by keeping the physicality of it once-removed isn’t just something that happens online. It’s something with which we’re bombarded every day by the media and by social pressure. We are informed on a regular basis that the sanitizing, deodorizing, decorating waxing and reshaping of the equipment is a must if we want good sex.

Fang bangers return our animal nature to the bedroom. What could be a better counter for bloodless, sanitized sex than sex with a vampire? And how better to get back in touch with the animal in us than sex with a werewolf? I wonder if on some unconscious level we miss our animal nature, we miss dirty, nasty sex that doesn’t involve a computer, or expensive lingerie, or waxing off all body hair and making sure all of our bits smell springtime fresh.

When I first conceived the idea of The Pet Shop, back when it was a short story for Black Lace, and later when it became the Zoo in one of my favourite chapters in The Initiation of Ms Holly, it was that same desire to reconnect with the natural, unashamed, naughtiness of which our animal counterparts seemingly partake, to reconnect with a spontaneity driven by desire and not marketing. It seems to me that fang bangers are at the forefront of that return to a more earthy connection with sex.

A quick glance back through mythology – all types of mythology — reveals the common archetype of creatures that are half animal, half human, often gods or demigods. There has never been a time when the part of us that is most closely related to our animal cousins hasn’t frightened us. The Creationist battle against evolution is the most timely example. How can we be both like gods and like animals? If anything, having a big brain only strengthens the drive of our ‘lower’ brain. We can run but we can’t hide.

Our archetypal connection to the beast and the blood may be temporarily sublimated or denied, even dressed up and taught to dance, but it will never go away. The loss of control we fear is ultimately the very thing we crave, the thing we find so alluring in tales of vampires and werewolves.

True enough, biology cares nothing for control, nor does it care who it hurts in furthering its cause. Our big brain can balance our lower brain, can come to some sort of agreement with that lower brain, but it can’t deny it, at least not in any way enduring or healthy or satisfying.

 

Early Valentine Heat Wave hits Sh! Hoxton During Erotica Reading

 
Fearless Sh! leaders, Jo and Renee, with Kay Jaybee and me
The heat wave was at Sh! Hoxton Friday night with an early Valentine Reading. Sh! Women’s Stores are THE place to go, not only for yummy sex toys and hot erotica of all types, but they are also fabulous promoters of great erotic literature. When one of the Sh! Women’s Stores holds an erotic reading event, it is THE place to be to hear the good stuff.  And last night, the Sh! Chix didn’t disappoint.

The event was hosted by Maxim Jakubowski, in celebration of his long-running Mammoth series, ‘The Mammoth Books of Best New Erotica.’ Volume 10 (which he informed us is really volume 15, but the first five weren’t numbered) will be out in April. In addition to Maxim, readers included the lovely Kristina Lloyd, bonk buster diva, Rebecca Chance, and sci fi legend, Ian Watson. The evening was a wonderful reminder that erotica comes in all genres.
Maxim deep in thought
Sh! not only presented another fabulous evening of aural titillation, but the event was a true who’s who among smutters. In addition to the readers, who rocked, I got to rub shoulders with the wickedly brilliant Kay Jaybee, the exquisite Rebecca Bond, and to totally mysterious Remittance Girl.

After being read to, drinking copious amounts of fizz,chomping cupcakes, and fondling all of the lovely goodies Sh! has to offer, the party spilled out into the streets and ended up at having noms at Bogayo Moroccan Restaurant. There was much eating and  drinking, and Ian even joined the resident belly dancer in a demonstration of just one more of his many talents. And, of course, we talked about writing. We talked about writing until some of us had to scramble in order to catch trains. In fact, it was such a fun time, I have it on good authority that SOME trains were missed! 
KristinKay Jaybee and I, who were in the same hotel, carried on the discussion of writing over chocolate from the vending machine until the wee hours, and reluctantly tabled the subject until breakfast. Not that I need a reminder, but Friday night was one anyway – a reminder of why I can’t imagine life without writing.

I know for a fact Sh! is planning another erotica extravaganza April 9th. It will include delicious offerings from Lucy Felthouse’s naughty anthology, Uniform Behaviour, and Kay Jaybee will be titillating with excerpts from her hot new novel, ‘The Perfect Submissive.’ I’m also told there will be an art exhibition extraordinaire. Don’t wait too long to RSVP for this one. A hot offering like this is bound to fill up fast.

Kristina and Kevin

 

What’s Happening

*It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve given a proper news update, and lots of great things have been happening, not the least of which is that the fabulous Lucy Felthouse is now taken me under her wing for some serious guidance through the confusing wilderness that is promotion. Lucy rocks. But I suspect most of you already know that.

*Today The Initiation of Ms Holly is featured on Books and Blurbs, a fabulous site for a browse through. And while you’re there enjoy the tasty little teaser from Holly.

*You can now visit me on my Facebook  page at facebook.com/kdgraceauthor. Stop in and say hi and fill me in on your latest.

*Lots of new publications out for your reading pleasure. Xcite’s Kinky Girls is now out and piping hot, containing my sinfully yummy story, ‘Confessions.’

*Xcite have also released a hot little ebook anthology of spanking stories called, A Caning for the Goddess, which includes my naughty story, ‘Hard Times At Nympho Rahab.’

*In the meantime I’m working hard on the final touch-ups on The Pet Shop, which will be out in print in October, though the eBook will be out earlier.

*Just for the fun of it, I’m off to Sh! Women’s Store in Hoxton Friday night for the early Valentines Reading featuring Maxim Jakubowski’s fabulous anthology, The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica. I’ll drink pink fizz, eat cupcakes and be entertained while Kristina Lloyd, Rebecca Chance, and Ian Watson all join Maxim in reading excerpts from their hot contributions.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. I now have a new blackberry, a bright, shiny, girlie lilac one. A Curve. Rather appropriate, I thought. My data is once again safe and secure and I am once again well armed for any of the techo battles a writer must face.

That’s the latest for now I wish everyone a very happy, very hot Valentine’s Day.

 
© 2017 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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