Before I started writing about sex, I would have run across a dual carriageway to avoid erotica.
But then, I am an odd sort of a sex writer anyway. I started my blog because, after ten years of marriage, I wasn’t having much sex, and I wasn’t sure if this was such a bad thing.
Even though I did end up embracing my inner goddess (oh my, EL James, I couldn’t resist that one), I did it through embracing sex in its flawed, fumbling glory.
Nowadays, I find it hard to take off my writerly hat when I read erotica. Too often, it’s just not real enough for me – too perfect, too smooth, too serious. I always did have a problem with suspension of disbelief.
Therefore, I like to find my erotica buried amongst stories, rather than leaping out from every page. I’m a huge fan of Anaïs Nin and A N Roquelaure, but my favourite wouldn’t see herself as an erotic writer at all.
Like many straight women, I turn to Sarah Waters again and again for my thrills. I think it’s because I am absorbed so completely by the stories – my favourite is Fingersmith – and so the sex packs an extra punch.
I also like the way her books leave me space to fantasise. And who isn’t partial to the odd corset now and then?
Betty Herbert is the author of The 52 Seductions (http://52seductions.com) and blogs at BettyHerbert.com (http://bettyherbert.com).
She launches a new erotic lit cabaret, Mucky Book Club, at London’s Hoxton Hall on 15th November (http://muckybookclub.com).