Friday, October 05, 2007

Let's talk about sex, ba-by....

To say that the market for erotica has exploded in the last ten years would be an understatement. If you factor in erotica published on the web, it's more like a volcanic eruption of lust and desire. Further, if you browse the relationships section of your bookstore, you'll find far less on how to communicate with your spouse or partner than you will on how to fornicate with your spouse or partner.

HBO's new show, Tell Me You Love Me, has been described as "envelope pushing." My sister said it was practically porn. In the one episode I watched, I understood why she said that, but there's a huge difference: porn is about the sex and the climax. Some of it may manage to be erotic; most of it is really just athletic. Tell Me You Love Me is about the role sex plays in relationships. Actually depicting the sex—good, bad, or lack thereof—isn't really needed, other than that it certainly makes it all seem more realistic and it helps HBO get better ratings because it's HBO and not "Skinamax" or the Spice Channel. If it's on HBO, it must be okay to watch and not just about gratuitous sex. Right?

Yet over on Showtime, they have The L Word and David Duchovney's new show, Californication. I laughed when I heard the name of that show. Do you remember that Duchovney was the "narrator" of Red Shoe Diaries, a show where the plots were nominal and there just to connect the soft-core sex scenes, and that Muldur, on The X-Files, was frequently shown watching porn? Hmm. Is that typecasting? I don't know. But apparently a show about fornicating in California appeals to viewers, because what I read in Variety is that it's doing well.

Which brings me back to the volcano. Given the growth of this industry, I'm looking for...
  • Erotica
But keep in mind I mean Erotica and not porn. There is a huge difference and if you don't know it, you probably aren't writing erotica. But do some reading. There are many free sites online. Or browse the local bookstore. There's no shame in checking it out. It's not in back behind the curtain or anything. Heck, it may be a good section to find a date for this weekend.

If you know that you are writing erotica, and you know what the market for your work actually is (don't say "people who like erotica," as there as many flavors of it as there are at Baskin Robbins), I would like to hear from you.


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