Orlando. Brexit. The now-undeniable resurgence of fascism. Does it make you feel both helpless and as though the relatively little world of erotica writers and readers is suddenly a lot less important? This isn’t going to be a detailed political analysis of what the fuck just happened and is happening in the wake of that – not only is this writer not equipped to deliver any such thing, but practically everything that could be said has been better said elsewhere. This is more about being an erotica writer in a world that seems to be slipping so far out of control.
OK, we can’t all be Chuck Tingle.
But doesn’t the existence of this superlative erotic satirist give you just a little bit of hope and comfort? It isn’t just that black humour is a coping mechanism for many people in hard circumstances. Fiction of any kind can inspire people, provoke them, make them think. Don’t forget that old fart De Sade was writing a lot of his stuff in prison, during the French Revolution – if you haven’t ever read any of his work, it’s worth knowing that it was really a lot more political/philosophical than purely for getting juicy over.
This isn’t advice to turn your next and future works into polemics – fiction as pure propaganda is often unreadable – though if you already have a talent for dark comedy or distilled rage, go right ahead. If you prefer happy escapism then remember that cheering people up is nothing to be dismissive of. Your work is your work, a book is a book: if you’d rather keep the campaigning, the anger, the solidarity and the grief in your real life then that’s just as valid.
In the meantime, whoever you are and whatever you do (apart from if you actually are a fascist scumbag, in which case do sod off and don’t come back) you could consider #safetypin. There’s a lot to be said for something so simple.
Any further examples or suggestions of positive action are more than welcome in the comments.