I Don’t Want to Sympathize With Stupid

As should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog, I like reading erotic and I like reading power play stories. Stories where one person is emotionally or physically abusing someone else? Sign me up. I don’t mind happily-ever-after, I guess I just like to see a little bit of screaming and suffering along the way.

That being said, it’s a big disappointment when I am reading along and discover that I want to strangle one of the characters, and not in the fun, sexy way.

I’ve run into far too many stories that have a great premise, good writing, good characterization, which then fall flat the moment the submissive partner opens their mouth. Maybe its because the submissive character’s the one I usually end up wanting to identify with, but bad writing on submissive characters pisses me off.

Being submissive does not immediately make someone weak, pathetic, incompetent, or stupid. They may have Stockholm syndrome, they may be making lots of dumb mistakes, or they may be damaged people who are reaching for the wrong solution entirely,* but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are idiots.

I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to get a story going was to find out what the character wants and then to take it away. I guess my issue is that there are too many submissive characters who don’t want anything, and that makes for a pretty dull story.

Things a Submissive Character Can Want
For that to stop, please?
For that to stop, NOW!
To be dominant

I figure that just about anything can go into that list, depending on the tone of the story and what the story is trying to convey, but there needs to be something there. If the submissive partner is just wandering through the story with a big question mark above their head, well, first, I want to know why there’s a big question mark suspended above their head, and second, it makes for a bad story.
Coming Soon:
BDSM For Characters On a Budget
The Most Inappropriate Slash Pairings I Have Ever Come Up With
Naked Pictures of Joan Blondell or Why I Need to Write More Vintage Erotica
*Or in the case of my characters, all three.


Four Erotica Cliches I Never Want to See Again

I like erotica. I started reading it when I was fourteen, which was when I realized that no one ever noticed if you sandwiched a copy of Delta of Venus between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Saint Goes West.*

It’s safe to say that I’ve read plenty of erotica. Some of it was fun, some of it was confusing, and some of it actually made my vagina invert with fear and displeasure.

I write the kind of erotica that I want to read, and a few years ago, I started coming up with a list of things that I was never going to do. It turned into a fairly handy list of things that I never want to read in erotica again.

Bang, You’re Pregnant

In erotica like this, there’s usually loving descriptions of the man laying his seed across her cervix, and then nine months later, she pops out a baby. Pregnancy is a punishment, or maybe it’s flag-planting, or something, but unless the piece is about erotic pregnancy (which I’ve seen and seen done well), we don’t need an epilogue baby.

Sex From the Sky
I don’t mean random sexy parachuters coming in and leaving the protagonist with several orgasms and possibly a head injury. This is sex that seems to come out of no where. Two people who are reasonably attractive and who happen to be in the same room do not automatically fuck. Unless there’s a reason for sex beyond “we’re in a porn story,” I’m going to go read my favorite issue of Hellblazer and call it a good night.

It Doesn’t Go There… I Think?

If I’m reading erotica, I’m not reading for soft-focus synonyms. If I wanted that, I would go borrow a stack of romance novels from the library. Erotica, to me, usually means work that’s graphic and detailed. If I can’t tell whether you are having sex or smothering a unicorn in cotton candy, there is something wrong. Though, I guess, if you are actually smothering a unicorn in cotton candy, you’re much kinkier than I am, and I am too young to be reading the story anyway.

Lack of Lubricant = Love
If you really love them, you don’t need lubricant, and if you really believe that, you don’t need that credit card, so give it to me. Using lubricant can be fun and sexy, and I have no idea why this trope has held on as long as it has. It’s one thing to read a scene where dry-fucking someone is a punishment, or a dominance display, or something like that. On the other hand, one character magically opening to someone because they are their one true love makes my head ache. Though… I suppose I might forgive it if the person on top actually said “Open Sesame.” Now we’re somewhere strange, and I’m going to stop.

Coming Soon:
Oh My God, There Are Other People on the Internet
Fanfiction: The Best Porn I Hide on My Hard Drive
The Best Things About Being an Erotica Writer

*Later, I would work at a library myself and learn the truth: no one actually CARES what you check out.