We writers of smut often get a very bad rap. First of all, we scribble sex stories. Secondly, it’s often assumed we jerk or Jill-off while scribbling those stories (tough to do with one hand, I assure you). Thirdly, we are often criticized for exercising the stuff we write about on our unsuspecting dates and partners. And lastly, I hear the prevailing wisdom uttered all the time that since we write naughty words, we can’t write anything else.
None of the above is true in my case, and I’m sure it is not for you either.
But professionally as well as personally, writers of erotica often face stigma. The question then becomes, should a sex writer engage a nom de plume to hide his or her identity?
As with everything else, there are arguments to be made pro and con on this score.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
Lots of writers chose pseudonyms when they genre hop. Ann Rice is famous for writing her spank free-for-all “Beauty” series as A. N. Roquelaure, her mainstream erotica as Anne Rambling, and her supernatural stuff under Anne Rice, although she outed herself years ago about these identities in her book Belinda, a story about a children’s book writer/illustrator coming to terms with his work taking on a more erotic bent (her best book in my opinion and worth the read).
I’ve never used anything but my real name on every piece of writing I create, having penned reviews for sex torture toys (see here) managed a couple pieces for Cesar Milan (see one here) and write children’s books, to name some of the stuff I am into. Then again, I’m not in the league where I’ve yet encountered even a smidgen of Ann Rice-ian type popularity; the landscape changes when things get to that level for sure.
I understand that some people might balk at hiring you to write children’s Halloween costume descriptions (something I did for my first job writing for a client remotely where I had to punch a clock; remind me, I’ll tell you that story someday and how I doubled my pay) if you write smut.
Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay
My answer to the people who run skittish around any of us who write porn scenes, scribble adult toy product descriptions, worry over hiring us for something ‘normal,’ is that as adults, we all have adult thoughts, concerns, and indulgences we indulge in, real or fantasized.
And as the responsible adult I am (really, I am, I help old ladies across the street; I say please and thank and wipe my mouth on things other than my sleeve; I am law-abiding and have never incited a riot in a third world country…at least, none that I’ll admit to) I know that there is lots of stuff out there (some of which I create) that is not suitable for children.
This is all very much like when you are getting down and dangerous with a lover, and you utter a “No mommy,” or a “Yes, daddy, I need a spanking.” (Yeah yeah, I know, not you, you’d never go in for anything like this).
The point is, you are a reasoned and reasonable adult person, you fully well understand when you or your lover dresses-up as a schoolgirl to bare a bottom in a short plaid skirt, that the activity/pose/patter has nothing to do with a desire for underage girls (just as a hetero man enjoying a ripe and randy pegging from his girlfriend from time to time doesn’t mean he has homosexual tendencies…and really, what if he does?)
As adults, we understand that there can be a grand difference between our fantasies, our writings if even these are writings that might make us money, and reality.
I just wish everyone would realize that.
Image by Pera Detlic from Pixabay
I once met a woman in one of my writing smut classes who told me she penned sexy Christian fiction. Who knew there was such a thing? But then again, where else do other Christians come from if at least some of them aren’t having sex, right? Although one may assume one might want to cloak one’s identity Romulan-like when penning that kind of stuff, on the contrary, this lady said that since the niche was recognized and enjoyed, albeit by a small section of the faithful population she ran with, she let it be known who she was and how she could be found.
So, like I have been advising all along here, you need to go forth the way you best see fit when considering, or not, using a pseudonym, as you do when approaching any other aspect of your writing life.
Read more of my Sex Writing articles!
Featured Image by Ulrike Mai from Pixabay