I write stories about masochistic women who seek painful or degrading experiences. In my typical story, a woman, for some reason, arranges to have herself bound, beaten, and humiliated, specifying the details of her ordeal in written instructions to a man.
In all my stories, the woman consents to her ordeal at the outset and strives to ensure that she will not suffer more than she wishes to tolerate. With only a couple of exceptions, this consent is on-going; that is, the woman is certain that she can be released from her ordeal simply by telling her partner that she wishes to be released.
My stories differ from the typical BDSM fare in a number of ways.
First, the men who assist my heroines are not sadists. They do not get off on hurting women and do not strive to dominate them. For the most part, they are living props who are used by women to orchestrate the action. They tend to be rather two-dimensional in many of my stories. And that is the most frequent criticism that I receive.
Second, the scenarios almost never go wrong. My heroines never get blackmailed into a life of involuntary slavery; never get killed or injured; never accidentally get raped by strangers.
Third, my heroines are always mature adults; more often than not, married; and are always faithful to their husbands.
Fourth, I strive to create plots and situations that are different from the standard fare found in BDSM stories. Sadly, most BDSM stories fit into one of a half-dozen scenarios: student is bullied by teachers and peers; professional woman is surreptitiously photographed and blackmailed into slavery; woman taken to S&M club; woman is involved with on-line master; or, the old standby, woman is simply kidnapped, raped, and killed; etc. Like old jokes, these may be interesting once but become tedious when they are told over and over again.
So, the question is: Are my stories pornography?
I say, “Yes!” And I don’t apologize for it because I think that pornography is not inherently bad. I like sex. Always have and always will. I like stories, whether presented as books, movies, or stage plays. So why would I not like stories about sex? It simply gives me the best of both worlds.
The problem with pornography is not that it is intrinsically bad, it’s that it is so often badly done. The absence of an interesting plot, or any plot at all; cartoonish stereotyped characters cavorting around with even fewer genuine emotions than clothes; pages of trite, cliched descriptions of slick body parts colliding and spurting. The more a person likes stories, they more difficulty they have finding anything to like in most pornography.
Yet I am disturbed by the term, “erotica”, because it strikes me as a mealy-mouthed attempt to keep some stories from being thrown on the pornography trashheap. People look at a story about sex and, if they find some kind of plot, some depth to the characters, or simply good writing style, conclude that the story should be classed as erotica rather than pornography.
I say, “Balderdash!” Let’s call it what it is: good pornography. I’d rather try to improve the quality of pornography overall than to pretend that my stories are too good for the label and should be called something else.