Community and Perception

My husband has referred to something repeatedly over the last week or so that I just feel driven to talk about.

After a phonecall with a  friend, advice and support from others, and opportunities offered, he has found himself commenting repeatedly that the openness just is suprising.  There’s no cattiness, no selfish tendancies, just an open, welcoming, and supporting community.  And that kind of community does not fit the stereotype he had, apparently.

I’m not sure if he means the erotica community, or the writer community at large.  It certainly doesn’t fit the at large community, in my eyes.  I have been deliberately been steered wrong in the past, but not by an erotica writer.  But that’s neither here nor there.

Are we all just falling, unintentionally, into this group because we ARE the open welcoming sort and therefore we are finding each other through the internet? 

I’m curious.  What do you think?  Why is this nice tight group forming?  Is it because of our Queen Trollop herself, who has created something of a playground for both experienced and amateur writers, and shows that there’s room for all of us in the world? 

So what do you think?  Do we just attract each other?  Or is it just the nature of writers of erotica to shed stereotypes in their pursuit of the illumination of our sheer humanity through our intimate encounters?

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8 Comments

  1. Wow. My husband says something very similar. He is in the publishing business and has said he’s jealous of the support we offer each other as writers. I’ve been impressed with it too. I’m new at this, and I honestly was afraid that more experienced (read published) writers would lift their noses around me and either be condescending or even worse maybe – totally ignore me (I’d always chose flight over invisibility in that game).

    I am in awe of Alison Tyler – who comes up with the most inventive, fun ways to encourage writers to take a chance. Like today’s purple extravaganza. And also, having met a few of these folks in real life, I can say they’re just as nice in person. I’m looking forward to meeting more. And though I’m cynical enough to know that I’m sure there is all sorts of stuff that goes on in “Erotica” circles that maybe I’m just not privy to, still, it seems to me to be the least fucked-up group of people I’ve come across.

    I do think we attract each other – we probably have similar basic ethics we live by and also a love of words. I just think of all the fun wordplay in comments (Jeremy being a master) – often I read something that makes me smile on a otherwise lousy day. But I also think that writing about sex, specifically, is a big part of it. Sex scares A LOT of people. But we head right into it, in an honest and examining way – while not losing sight of the truth that it’s sex and should be fun. All I know, is that being in “this world” has made a huge difference in my life already – in all areas of my life. I’m betting that’s the case with a lot of these writers.

    Well, I could ramble on here too, but it’s late. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Ah, I feel so outrageously sleepy right now I probably shouldn’t even be posting here (lol), but it does seem such an interesting question doesn’t it? Perhaps when I feel more coherent I may offer something more than quite sleepy ramblings. 🙂

    Quick question though: Is it time for me to change my blogroll to this link?

    Okay, good night! 😉

  3. I was wondering the same thing (blogroll) – right now I have both up.

  4. Yes please do(re: the blogroll) 🙂

    I think you have a very valid point, Robin. We do all stare this big scary thing in the face, and maybe that just makes us let tolerant, or likely, to indulge in the BS. It was definitely something that got me thinking 🙂 But then, I’ve been doing that alot lately! 😉

  5. Time for me to put Scarlett on the blogroll, too!

    Having been peripherally involved in the “literary” writing community, I have to say this erotica crowd does have a special quality I’ve not seen elsewhere. And Alison is key in her openness and generosity to us all.

    I was pretty much a loner until I started reaching out to other writers when my novel was published. Everyone was so kind to me at the same time I was discovering that the literary world was dishing me plenty of contempt for writing a dirty book. Seriously, I faced a lot of humiliation (I’m more used to it now and it’s not quite as hurtful, but still). I try to learn from unpleasant experiences and what I decided to learn from this was to do what I could to support other erotica writers. It’s not much but a positive attitude sometimes, but even little things can make a difference! I believe we can change the world by thinking and writing intelligently and honestly about sexuality. It’s a revolutionary act. Maybe it’s the comrades in arms mentality?

    Thanks for posting this, Scarlett!

  6. Lol that this is posted in “Rambling.” I wasn’t as involved in the literary community as Donna (have not been published there), but I also have found the connection I have observed among erotica writers in my experience unusual, perhaps even unique. I did attend an MFA program, and I did not experience it the way I have experienced this community online. There did seem to be more of an “aloofness” if not pretentiousness (though sometimes I felt that as well), and I do wonder if it is/was simply a result of the sexuality component. It seems like in present society if one is talking about sex openly, there is already a degree of perhaps vulnerability in that we are talking about something in many circles/much company would not seem welcomed or even “acceptable.” So perhaps somehow some kind of guard is already down…you know? And perhaps that just makes us more open simply by virtue of some layer being peeled back already, so to speak.

    Again, an interesting question, and I don’t feel sure of an answer. 🙂 I have vastly enjoyed and appreciated the online erotica community (to which I have been exposed) though!

  7. Thanks for the thoughts, Emerald. I read your comment to my husband, and he said that it made sense. The fact that we’re writing about things that are quite intimate already would definitely make us more open in our interactions.

    Hmm…true, perhaps I should tag this a touch differently? But then, I really was rambling 😉 I think I’ll have to work on polishing my tagging skills *grin*

  8. I don’t know what the secret is with the erotica community, but there is definitely an “if you’re one of us, you’re welcome here” kind of thing going on. I can certainly appreciate that. It’s not easy navigating the great big publishing ocean alone.


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