A warning for erotic writers and bloggers

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.

Why? BawdyBloke.com

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

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  1. Sorry this happened to you john! I actually think it happens much more often than we think. I turned down a position I was offered on a school board a couple of years ago. Not because I couldn’t of served and been good at it but because I know if an enemy gets a hold of my blog etc they have a powerful thing to hit me with. It sucks, it’s annoying and I might be bold enough to say it’s wrong that my chosen love of writing naughty stories can stop me serving the community….
    cliticalJenne recently posted…Adult Contests, Reviews, and Giveaways Roundup: 6/17/2014My Profile

  2. You said something that just blew my mind – I had never thought of it before, “acceptable to consume adult material but condemning those that produce it is just shocking.” It is shocking.

  3. I am so sorry this happened to you! Things like this should not happen in this life and times. I just have no words for this…

    Please take care of you!

    Rebel xox
    Marie Rebelle recently posted…The Last PushMy Profile

  4. I am so very sorry that this has happened to you. It is such a shame that in this world, with the amount of pornography in many forms so readily available that you are penalised for a site that is so completely sex positive.

    As you say maybe in 20 years time it will be different but for now I wish you well in whichever direction things now take for you.

    ~Mia~ xx
    Mia Sinclair recently posted…Naked Summer StreamMy Profile

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  6. Oh, my. John, I really feel for you. As Cammies on the Floor says above, the double standard of consumption versus production is incredibly unfair. The inability to understand (or perhaps accept?) the separation of personal and professional, too, makes me want to yell very loudly on your behalf. Jane xxx
    Jane recently posted…Two: Best Sinful Sundays … and a little bit of spankingMy Profile

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  17. John,
    I am so sorry for you and sickened by your situation. I don’t know the specifics of your work but there are rulings on this by the European court, and certain things including photos on the net, where you don’t identify yourself may be still classified as your private life.
    There was a recent case, unfortunately it was lost, because of the highly sensitive nature of the man’s job, but the ruling still stated that certain things were private. If your job incorporated different circumstances you could still have a case

    With best wishes and as much support as I can offer.

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  29. I’m so sorry to hear that this happened. And shocked and saddened that it should happen at all. However, I know it does, and am wrestling with dealing with the knowledge that it could in my own professional life as well, since I have accepted a new position. I have also had some close calls in my own past with my blogs coming to the attention of workmates. I wish you the best.
    Jade recently posted…Viewing Myself Through Others’ EyesMy Profile

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