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The irony of writing in the erotica genre is that I’m very much a pragmatist, not a romantic at all. Sure, I love roses and I love chocolate, but I like them even without the romantic associations. Maybe it’s a side effect of never experiencing romance firsthand, but I’ve become rather cynical about the whole subject, which has led to being guarded as a rule.

When I see other people in romantic or sexual relationships, I notice one of two settings: 1) Giving all of yourself to the other person to the point of your world revolving around that person. In this process, you lose some of your self-perspective and instead become a part of the relationship rather than an individual. I see a lot of people getting burned when they do this. Or 2) staying an individual, hanging out with the other person and enjoying your time together and apart. This latter one is more practical and long-lasting, but it’s also lacks the drama that can give relationships so much passion. It’s a slow burn instead of a fierce fire. The fierce fire may feel better, but it tends to consume everything until it has no more fuel left and dies. This is not a hard and fast rule. It’s simply what I’ve noticed about other people’s relationships, at least when they go well.

However, I find that when I write, I write in an Alternate Universe in which passion is worth its fire. I also write about Fate, which is another thing that I tend to not believe in in real life. I think I write things I wish were true. Since they are acceptable in certain genres of literature, there’s some freedom to lose myself in the fantasy universe in which you have some solace or fear in knowing that you are being guided, in which some indeterminate spirit inside you recognizes a fellow spirit in someone else and binds them together in a love that doesn’t exist.

Maybe True Love does exist, but like Fate, it’s not something they’ve had the courtesy to share with me, so I do remain skeptical, if a bit sad. However, I am permitted the brief endorphin rush through literary means, and I indulge in those fantasies whenever I can. Even in the midst of bloodshed and mayhem and despair, there can still be True Love and Fate. Perhaps I don’t use these things to lift others out of that bloodshed and mayhem and despair (out of a persistent need to be at least a little realistic and less cliched). Given that I also write horror and erotic horror, I think it’s clear that even in literature I refuse to see these things as a solution, per se. But they may alleviate some pain and uncertainty. Given the general belief in this society for both of these abstracts, I do not think they are unwelcome. Perhaps I will one day be proven wrong about both.

As spoken by the proud and pragmatic Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Act 3, Scene 1):

What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemn’d for pride and scorn so much?
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu!
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on; I will requite thee,
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand:
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band;
For others say thou dost deserve, and I
Believe it better than reportingly.