Normally, I write fiction. This, however, falls under the category of personal essay. I write erotica. I read erotica. I also, sadly, feel the need to hide my true identity because I do these things. Yes, I write under a pen name for a variety of reasons. 1. My “day job” would SERIOUSLY (in fact, they tried to fire me once!) frown upon my writing. 2. I’m not really sure.
Seriously, I’m not really sure why I feel the need to hide what I write and read. I blame the Puritan Influence which is ingrained into our American culture. We like to think we are all liberated and free, but really, we aren’t. We are and always have been quite judgmental, subscribing to the idea that we are progressive as long as your ideas for “progressive” are exactly the same as mine.
Recently I was in a creative writing class. At first, the instructor and fellow students, almost all were millennials, seemed to like my writing and made several complimentary and constructive comments. When they found out, though, that I had published over a dozen BDSM stories, their opinions changed quite rapidly. One twenty something even asked why I didn’t publish “real” stories instead of just porn. Now I’m not one to be easily offended, but that did it. I’m not sure what offended me the most – the adjective or the noun. Personally, I have no problem with porn. It has it’s place. However, because I open up the bedroom door to my readers does not mean I write porn (not that I’m opposed to it!! Many of the stories here would qualify!). Also, writing GOOD porn takes skill, research, and commitment.
So even though I’m rather proud of what I write, I still find it necessary to hide behind a name. Maybe someday I won’t have to do this. Maybe someday Romance writers will be given respect. Maybe someday we won’t be chained to our Puritanical history.