I often joke about my erotic work, calling it "dirty", but that's because I lack the faith that others will be open to my serious intent. Yes, I pen what are often termed "dirty stories," but that often keeps people stuck in stereotypes and guilt. See, I want readers to be turned on by my work. Please world, have more orgasms and less sexual shame! If we were all sexually happy, I know there'd be less war, oppression and malaise.
A very successful erotic writer once told me, "I always tell people I write smut because I like taking ownership of the term. I say 'I write smut and I'm laughing all the way to the bank.'" This was her way of saying, I don't care what you think of me and I certainly don't need anyone's approval. She was a brassy lady. Wonderful stuff!
As for me, here's what I say: I try to write stories that remind us it's great to enjoy sex, be that alone or with others. Sex can open us up, even change us. Most of all, it's wonderful for our health and sense of pleasure. Being turned on is healthy! Having orgasms is good for us! That's why I love erotica.
And yet, we can still get stuck on the word "dirty".
So as of today, it's out with the term "dirty story." I know it's often used tongue-in-cheek, and I'm all for a bit of irony. But in truth, I don't think it sums up what we do. I'm a great believer in sexual expression, and sex writing is meaningful -- as long as everyone's consenting, let's follow the desire. Plus many of the richest acts in life can feel dirty and spiritual all at once. Naming a piece as a "dirty story" fails to speak to the purity it may also hold in its folds.
I'm Lana Fox and I write erotica.
There. That covers it all.