I have a sobering tale that should serve as a warning for all erotic writers and sex bloggers.
I had, until this week, a position of civic responsibility. I won’t name my role or the organisation, for obvious reasons, but it is a position that has rights and responsibilities enshrined in law and under employment legislation I had the right to “reasonable time off.” You can make your own guess.
It is a role that I have voluntarily occupied for almost two years, and brought my experience of co-managing seven-figure budgets, leadership through change, professional IT skills and more, until I was told to tender my resignation.
I anonymously write erotic fiction and I write about my experiences in the bedroom. There are naked pictures of me (I’m a naturist so I don’t deem nudity to be a problem or unusual) and occasionally pen a naughty poem or two. I try out sex toys and encourage their use.
But none of this affects how I did my role. Or the help I can offer, the time I can give. My personal life is private, insofar as the relevance it has to my work life, my volunteer life or my family life. But I was deemed to have brought the organisation into disrepute and had violated the code of conduct. I had to go. End of story.
The chairperson was apologetic but wanted my resignation that day. The group I was part of can only function if there is unity and once that demand had been made, there was no other option for me. I had no wish to be a distraction, to hamper the good work that is done. I was there to help, not hinder and submitted it ninety minutes later.
I am sure in twenty years time, this situation would never happen. Indeed, one erotic author is an ex-school inspector, another is a nurse; there was a project that shows erotic penmanship comes from all walks of life. But as Kay Jaybee succinctly said, “many people can’t separate the art from the subject matter.”
Just for the record: I do not spend my day wandering around concocting storylines or imagining trysts. Neither do I sit in meetings fantasising or constructing dialogue in my head. This is what I do in my spare time: after I’ve finished being a employee, manager, parent, husband, volunteer and student. This is what I do in my time.
The story behind my unmasking is almost Python-esque. My services were volunteered by one person who did know about the site because an erotica and wine evening was mooted, and someone in that small group heard and escalated it. A trust afforded was broken; although I doubt it was done maliciously.
I know my politics are liberal; the area I live in is conservative. But the disconnect between finding it acceptable to consume adult material but condemning those that produce it is just shocking.
My erotic fiction, however, is not shocking. I don’t write edgy or controversial material. I don’t have erotic scenes with characters under the age of consent, and I don’t write non-consensual or especially violent pieces. I write as a hobby. I write to unwind to escape from stresses of work, serious familial health problems and the pressures of being a parent. I write to keep me sane. Other people watch television or play golf; me, I write.
And I am an amateur, I deliberately make no money from my site. There is no advertising here and when I put books on Amazon I set them for the lowest price I can. The royalties I get fund giveaways or go to charity. I can trace every penny I have received, the most recent tranche of cash going to Rape Crisis but Spanner Trust, UNICEF and hospital appeals have all benefited. If I make it into the final cut of an anthology that money will be going to a good cause too. I don’t want to profit from my hobby because that’s all it is; a hobby comes with little pressure, if I treat it as an income stream then it ceases to become escapism.
But whether I make money from this or not, by writing erotica I was deemed to have brought the organisation into disrepute. This in a country where around two-thirds of adults watch pornography every month. In Britain more than a quarter of web traffic is adult content and where last year one in twenty books sold was Fifty Shades of Grey.
Indeed, I have seen that wretched book in a car outside the organisation, but whereas that book has been slated for creating an abusive view of BDSM, my BDSM fiction is born out of emphasising the SSC and RACK elements to kinky play.
But I can’t blame the chairperson or the organisation. They have reacted to a situation they didn’t expect in a way they think is best for the organisation and this isn’t a situation any of us would have any experience in. Indeed, I have preserved my anonymity for well over a decade: no-one who I don’t want to know that I unwind by writing smut or talking about sex and kink, will know that I do. No-one. Likewise I doubt anyone in my position at the organisation had been involved in blogging or writing about sex, and unfortunately YKINMK is not an attitude prevalent in the outside world.
However, at the end of the day, we are all adults. We are not faceless, inhuman robots but real people with real desires, urges, fantasies and hobbies. These will vary. I like walking, I adore writing, I enjoy football, I have a flair for IT and I enjoy sex with a twist of BDSM. That’s me.
Alas, because of the world we live in, the last of those five was hidden from sight. I have never been brave like Molly and Harper who dedicated two whole episodes of their excellent podcast about being out of the closet. I wanted anonymity, because I didn’t know what would happen if people found out.
I now do know. And it’s not pretty.
If anyone reading this knows “me,” sees this and has concerns or questions, then I am happy to discuss. Just ask; I’m not bitter, angry or scary and you won’t find any barriers from me! 😉
Likewise I would interested to hear from any sex-bloggers, erotic authors, adult toy manufacturers, etc if they have experienced anything like the above.
The featured image comes from here.