I think writers of all genres get asked this from time to time and, if one writes erotica, the question sometimes comes with an implied ‘What sort of weird/depraved/ plain odd/ person reads these?’
I have two utterly and totally true stories I love to tell in reply.
First one was shortly after my very first erotic short story was published in Best Women’s Erotic 2000. (Yes, we are going back a bit.) I was at some corporate function or other – before the dh retired I went to quite a few as I am a really nice wife. Anyway I was talking to a group of similarly really nice wives, when a young woman, I’d only just met said, ‘I understand you write erotica.’ Now, all I knew about her (other than that she was also a company wife) was she’d once been a Baptist missionary. So, bracing myself for some sort of lecture or snide look, I replied in the affirmative, and waited. She asked the title of the anthology. I told her, keeping my voice as neutral as I could but biding my time to pick up the cudgels, if necessary. Then, to my astonishment, she went on the tell me how, by the time they got their three small children to bed, she and her dh were exhausted and to liven things, they used to read each other erotica to ignite the spark.
After I closed my mouth, I couldn’t help myself smiling and almost hugged her. I think I offered to send her a signed copy.
Second story was some years on. I was at a group book signing organized by my publisher in a Borders in Akron. (The fact it was a Borders rather dates this too.) This lovely, old lady came up to the table and picked up a copy of Power Exchange. Now, when I say ‘old’ lady I don’t mean someone in her 60s. Her hair was totally white, she was slender but had the no waist no hips, body shape some really old women have and in addition, her skin had that translucent quality I associate with extreme old age. At a guess, she was in her mid-eighties if not older. And there she was with a copy of Power Exchange in her hand and all I could think was ‘Dear Heaven! If she reads that, the poor old soul will have heart failure.’
As tactfully as I could, I said, “That’s BDSM erotica.” She gave me the most gloriously, wicked smile and said. “I know dear, it’s it best, isn’t it? I love your books and my online friends have been saying I must get this one. “ She went on to tell me she’d been a widow for 20 years and never had been one to troll the bars looking for men but, with a nice, sexy read and her vibrator, she was a very contented and satisfied woman.
She went down the table, bought an armload of books and went off. I decided I wanted to be like her when I grew up.
So, for whom do I write? I write for twenty-something Baptist missionaries who are worn out after running after preschoolers all day but still love and desire their husbands, and I write for eighty or ninety something widows who still feel the need.
And everyone in between.
And for a taste of my naughty short stories, I invite you to try Three Short Stories or one of my companion volumes of shorts. Links to buy at:
And meanwhile, here’s a sample story:
A String of Pearls
©2014 Madeleine Oh
When Robert speaks, in his slow, deep, ‘I’ve got a surprise for you,’ voice, he gets my undivided attention. Chicken with Holy Basil can’t compete.
This was our wedding anniversary and I expected a surprise. But what? A bright, red butt plug with a green ribbon round the base? A pale-as-the-inside-of-an-oystershell, vibrating egg? Quilted, purple silk restraints? That had covered Christmas and Easter and my birthday.
Our first wedding anniversary could be anything.
He set a black, velvet jewelers box on the table. Had Robert turned conventional? Buying me a string of pearls or perhaps an add a bead necklace. Possible but highly improbable.
He nudged the box closer to my wine glass. “Open it.”
I had it opened just enough to glimpse the white satin lining in the lid, when our waiter reappeared. All he wanted was reassurance our meal was perfect but I almost slammed the lid on my finger. Maybe it was matinee length pearls but you can’t be too cautious in public. Not when you’re married to Robert Kelly.
Checking to make sure no solicitous waiter or maitre d’ loitered, I snapped open the velvet lid. It was pearls alright but I’d never wear these to the opera – I hoped.
Nestling against the velvet padding and almost reflected in the gleaming satin lining of the lid, were six, large pearls: strung on a fine twisted cord, one end sporting a polished metal ring, plenty big enough for hooking and tugging with a strong middle finger. Read the rest of this entry »