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The Naked Reader Book Club: That is So NOT Sexy!

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There is good erotica, and there is bad erotica. When it's good, it's very, very good. When it's's almost always usually good for a laugh. But why is it so hard to write the good stuff? Here's one man's theory.

  When It's Bad...

So here are the two main reasons why I think there is so much bad-funny porn writing: Males between the ages of 18 and 34 like bad-funny erotic writing, and they are the biggest market for it.

Guys may like beer pong and big boobs more, and they may laugh hysterically at the idea that hawt porn star chicks order pizza with a side of “fuck my brains out, big boy,” but in the movie that runs in our heads, almost non-stop, from puberty until whenever, hot women are always wanting us at surprising and entirely inappropriate moments. Nuance is … well, underappreciated.

And we never entirely grow out of it. Even today—right now, in fact—I can manufacture a perfectly serviceable fantasy, in my head, out of little more than a libidinous librarian and an overdue book. But if I tried to WRITE that story it might come out a little like this passage from something I just lifted and paraphrased from (where else?)

“… ‘This is just —‘ he pulled off his tee-shirt, revealing bulging bronzed muscles — ‘what I need.’ He pulled off his shorts and his cock was so beautiful, a big vibrating fire hose. I gave a hoot of pleasure. ‘I need me a nice little librarian!’ he said, swooping down on me. His sex pushed my legs apart and went into me like a bull goes into a doe. He was rutting, fucking …”

Obviously, this was imagined as part of a woman’s fantasy, and it is only one paragraph out of a 3,000-word story that a lot of readers, overall, grade as pretty damned steamy. But I count, in those five sentences, five phrases that completely crack me up, and I’m not stoned at all.
And I bet you, dear reader, can pick them out as well.

Which brings us to another important point about why there is so much bad-funny erotic writing: It really is pretty hard to write good erotica.

  Whose Bad is it, Anyway?

Some of the best writers in the whole world pull a complete FAIL when it comes to the sex scenes in otherwise critically acclaimed literary works. The Literary Review even gives out an annual “Bad Sex in Fiction Writing” award, presented most recently in November to Jonathan Littell for The Kindly Ones, a novel that sold over a million copies in Europe, though probably not because of this particular part:

“… Now I was the one looking inside, searching the depths of this body with my radiant third eye, as her own single eye irradiated me and we blinded each other mutually: without moving, I came in an immense splash of white light, as she cried out: ‘What are you doing, what are you doing?’ and I laughed out loud, sperm still gushing in huge spurts from my penis, jubilant, I bit deep into her vulva to swallow it whole, and my eyes finally opened, cleared, and saw everything.”

And the only way that is sexy, at least to me, is if it is being read aloud by a half-naked librarian who is giving hoots of pleasure as she gazes upon my big, vibrating fire hose. What is most noteworthy to me about the Literary Review’s ten finalists for the award, however, was not so much the unremitting lack of sexiness in the prose. It was that there was only one woman represented … almost as a token, as far as I’m concerned, because what Sanjida O’Connell wrote in “The Naked Name of Love” actually strikes me as hot:

“She smiled, wide-eyed, lithe as a cat, she twisted her body, took his hand and showed him what to do; he felt her breath hot against his throat, her pulse quicken, limbs grow taut.
“He was hanging in deep green water, waves breaking against him, the clean sweep of the shore attainable in a few slow strokes.

“Why,” she said afterwards, as he held her trembling gently in his arms, “why does your God deny you this?”

Am I wrong? Of course not, because there is no absolute right and wrong when it comes to erotic writing. What rocks my world doesn’t necessarily do it for the next guy or girl. What makes me laugh might make you reach between your legs; my taboo might be your fetish. If I’d known as a 20-something what I know now, I’d have been trying to date the English-major chicks who were intimately familiar with Delta of Venus, Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Fanny Hill, hoping to find just one who would read them aloud to me late at night, until she could no longer contain her desire. Because THAT’S a fantasy of mine, dammit, but it didn’t evolve as such until I imagined it at 40 or so. In my 20s, I confess, most of the women I dated were not what you’d call big readers.

This is the part where I request a volunteer from the audience, but please—you have to be genuinely turned on by Anaïs Nin. I can spot a fake in a heartbeat.

To purchase the Naked Reader Book Club selections, visit the Naked Reader Book Club Store.


Contributor: Jeff Schult

p.s. -- One volunteer, so far ... l-o-l

Contributor: The Beautiful Kind

I like how Anais Nin writes about some serious taboo like bestiality, pedophilia, and necrophilia. That woman was hardcore! You want me to read you the one about the guy who pulls the hot drowned chick out of the river and has his way with her on the bank?

Contributor: hippiechick0819

"I have the right to love many people at once and to change my prince often."

Make that TWO volunteers, Cowboy. *wink*

Contributor: Jeff Schult

This is really working out rather well, isn't it ...

Contributor: deltalima

Funny, my boyfriend and I love reading Anais Nin to each other and discussing it.



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