Perhaps we should begin with: “What is erotica?” According to Wikipedia:
Erotica(from theGreekἔρως,eros"desire") can describe any collectible object that deals substantively with erotically stimulating or sexually arousing subject matter. The object may be a painting, sculpture, photograph, dramatic arts, film, music or literature.
The important part of that definition is the variable “sexually arousing.” Nobody can tell us as individuals what is arousing. To adjust a well-known phrase: One man's pain is another man's pleasure.
For some, vanilla or “plain” sex is satisfying – they're happy and don't require any more than the sweet, creamy treat. They always know exactly how it's going to taste and just how much will fill them up but not go overboard.
But some of us want to go overboard.
For those people, they like to pile on the toppings and mix them up: voyeurism, exhibitionism, toys, multiple partners, spanking, same-sex partners, bondage, submission – the list goes on and on. Every adult should be free to partake in whatever they enjoy as long as it doesn't forcibly take away another person's rights away.
Safe. Sane. Consensual – remember it, and live by it.
One thing is certain: people, as a rule, get aroused; what's uncertain is whether it'll be a story that heats them up or maybe the sight of leather that quickens their pulse. Could even be a smell or a sound – you never know.
Because the way of thinking and talking about sex has become more forward and acceptable than in the past, less things are seen as taboo. Therefore, more people are willing to admit what they like and what turns them on.
A little true story for you . . .
In honor of the release of the first book in my trilogy, I started having a tattoo done which incorporates my story themes. Orchids and black pearls are the focal point of the tattoo.
It starts on my upper back, comes up and over my collarbone, and then down my chest. Due to the location, my tattoo artist hand drew the design onto me. While he was working, we were discussing what the ink meant to me: my books. Another guy came up to watch. He glanced down at the assorted orchid pictures the artist was working from and made the comment: “Those are very vaginal flowers. What kind of book are you writing?”
I smirked at him, and replied: “BDSM erotica,” and immediately had the attention of everyone within hearing distance.
Flower guy started laughing and preened while claiming he'd called it on the orchid description.
It was almost comical to watch their faces while I explained why I really had chosen orchids. Not for the obvious sexuality of the flower's appearance (though that was a bonus), but because of what it takes to keep them alive. They are so delicate that you have to be meticulous with their care or they'll shrivel up and die – much like a Dominant must care for their submissive in order to earn their trust and submission completely.
Later, as I was paying and we were out of ear-shot from other people in the shop, the artist leaned in and asked if he could get an autographed copy of the book for his wife.
So, “Why erotica?”
Why not? People enjoy it and there's no shame in seeking pleasure – whatever form you find it in.
*Guest post originally shared January 23, 2013 as part of the To Serve is Divine (Edition 1) blog tour. http://bit.ly/1dJAimA