Occasionally, I feel incredibly out of the loop.
I suppose that’s nothing unique. But it’s problematic, in this writing world, to try to find your way into a circle and then feel uncomfortable there. And that’s something that’s happened to me a bit more often than I like, and I’m unsure how to deal with it.
I have a Twitter account (@ellen_holiday, for you slackers who aren’t following me yet), and I am following a whole bunch of other M/M authors. And while it’s no surprise to anybody, there are an awful lot of links to porn sites, retweets by porn stars, talk about hanging out with strippers and general camaraderie with the adult entertainment industry there. I don’t have anything against that industry — in fact, I sort of wish I’d had more exposure to it earlier in life. But I don’t have any friends like that. And if you were to ask me if I wanted to watch some porn with you, or visit a sex club, or even watch some male strippers, I would probably blush and demur.
Which is funny, because I write porn. And not just Harlequin romance, either. I’ve written everything from D/s to watersports to bloodplay and back again, hate sex and casual sex and yes, even porn industry sex. I love writing it. I do it every day. My brain is a veritable wonderland of sexual deviance.
But I still don’t love seeing it. And I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any room in this industry for a writer who writes dirty, hot fantasies, but still considers sex and fantasy to be a private thing.
I’m not comfortable hearing the details of real people’s sex lives. It’s not something I like to share, and it’s not something I particularly want to know. Which isn’t to say I think it’s shameful, because duh, I don’t. But I have some lines of privacy and modesty that maybe don’t fit with others in this business.
Am I less credible as a writer because I don’t want to do a lot of porn-watching? Is it OK for me to write men going at it in all kinds of dirty ways, but still demur when a friend tries to tell me his kinky experience at college? Is this a sign of some deep issues I haven’t worked out?
(Well, clearly yes, and there’s more there that I won’t go into in this post. Because it’s private. Shocker.)
I’d like to think that there’s a place for me at this table without having to change where I draw my lines. Once upon a time it was all right to be a reclusive writer, but in this age of interaction it’s important to connect with your readers and your fellow writers. I hope I can make those connections and still be me. Because I’m really not interested in watching porn with you, or hearing about that threesome you had back in your twenties. But I’m totally interested in writing about it.