I know you’re not embarrassed to read spicy books or you wouldn’t be here at our site.
But are you embarrassed to buy them? Do you order online? Do you slink around the bookstore? Here in Canada, Aphrodisias are shelved under Erotica, not Romance, so you have to go into a whole different section and basically proclaim, “Hello, my name is Susan and I read erotica.” (Which, actually, I rarely do. Especially not literary erotica. I much prefer erotic/spicy romance. But here it’s shelved as erotica.) I admit, in the beginning I was nervous about browsing the erotica section – and partly it was because there were so few books and the covers were, uh, kind of freaky sometimes. But that was before we Aphrodisiacs, and our colleagues at Heat, Red, Spice and so on began to dominate the shelves with our pretty, shiny, sexy covers.
Do you pick up your erotic romance and hide it under another book, then linger near the cashiers until you see a friendly looking female who might – gasp! – even read this stuff herself?
How about reading spicy books in public? Do you read your erotic romances at home, as a private pleasure? Or do you proudly carry them around in public, cover visible, and read them on the bus? (And if you do, do you ever get comments?) Personally, I’m not big on reading sexy stuff in public. It’s not so much that I’m embarrassed to be seen with it, as that it’s hard to really get deeply into the story and enjoy it fully (if you get what I mean ).
As for you writers, are you embarrassed by what you write? I bet most of us will say no. If we were embarrassed about it, we wouldn’t do it. But what do you say when, after you’ve told someone you’re a writer, they ask you what you write? My answer is usually, “Spicy contemporary romance.” It’s not because I’m embarrassed but because I think the general public doesn’t really understand what “erotic romance” means. They think “porn”, and that’s definitely not what I or my fellow Aphrodisiacs write. I figure, “spicy contemporary romance” gives the normal reader a much more accurate picture. If they ask, “How spicy?”, I’ll grin and say, “Pretty darned spicy,” and they get the picture.
So, now it’s your turn to fess up. Are you embarrassed? Or proud and bold?