Well an interesting thing happened during my New Year’s celebration this year. (Yes, it’s true I had a birthday and no, I’m not going to tell you how many candles were on the cake. πŸ˜‰ ) There were lots of munchies and a glass of champagne or two or three or a bottle, and more than a few games of cards, but I’m not talking about any of that. I was surprised when somewhere around 4 am (yep, I was still up then) one of my extended family members started talking about my books.

Now, I’ll admit, it gets a little foggy as to how the conversation actually began. I remember feeling pretty smug that the attention was on me and my writing. But pride quickly turned to surprise. I can tell you, I had no idea the whole discussion would wind down a very precarious path. Well, not for me or Mr. Nina, but for a couple of people still hanging around the cribbage board.

You see, I was asked how I managed to reconcile what I write with the Big Guy Upstairs. Whoa. What??? (Hear the needle scrape across the record.) I’ve been asked a lot of things about writing erotica, but this was the first time someone wondered how I could write porn and exploit women and not feel like I’d thrown all my morals out the window.

Now, I LOVE a good debate. (Mr. NIna calls them arguments, but I prefer the term “heated discussion”. And I’m very good at them.) You see, I grew up in a family where not only were we encouraged to express an opposing opinion we were expected to debate our feelings on it. So I mentally rubbed my hands together and jumped into the fray with both feet. Both my writing and my faith are part of me. I don’t feel a need to defend either one. But educating? Ah, that’s where I went with this. It was the whole EROTIC ROMANCE vs. PORN discussion we smut peddlers seem to fall into every now and again. (Like every time my mother-in-law visits, but this isn’t about her … really.)

So I patiently explained why I write romance with the door open and not Hustler Forum letters. But then it got into the multiple partner situation and how wrong it is to encourage infidelity. Well no, it just so happens every one of my stories ends with a “Happy Ever After” and a commitment from all parties. Relationships are consensual regardless of the number of partners. And it’s about the fantasy of the story. Even Mr. Nina jumped into the discussion at this point. (I think mostly because he reaps the rewards of a long day of me writing erotic romance stories … if you follow me. πŸ˜‰ ) Interestingly this person (who is my age) could not see any of it. He held fast to the notion that it was all porn and fantasies only lead to affairs. Huh. Not my experience, but okay.

After an hour or so we weren’t circling anything but the same points … so of course there was no resolution. I wasn’t going to feel guilty and he wasn’t going to change his mind. Though I am hoping he has a better understanding of how I feel about my writing and my stories. I figure a little education never hurt anyone even if it happens close to sunrise after more than a few beers. Nothing like a little alcohol to help someone truly express how embarassed they are by what I write. LOL!

So now I throw it out to you. Have you ever had to defend your reading/writing habits? Is there a moral disconnect between erotic romance and your faith? Cuz you know me … I’m dying of curiousity here.

0 Responses to Can We Talk?

  • I always argue that recognizing and integrating sexuality and a fantasy life is part of healthy and responsible behavior. We all need to learn where to set the boundaries and real life is not the best place to experiment with some of this stuff.
    As for the Big Guy upstairs… The creator made us highly sexual, highly imaginative and gave us the intelligence and good judgment to buffer ourselves if we chose to. I think erotic fiction is one of a sacred solutions to this “dilemma”.
    XXOO Kat

    • Kat – It surprised me that he couldn’t understand the fantasy of it all. But I think most people have a very active fantasy life and I’m happy to contribute to that. πŸ˜‰ I agree that erotic romance is a nice way for couples to explore. Writing it doesn’t bump up against my religious beliefs at all. Like you said we were created as very sexual beings.

    • I’m not surprised that this discussion took off… lots of interesting comments here. I was thinking – and forgive me if I missed someone saying the same thing. If you want a good comeback, ask the person what he/she reads. If you know your stuff as an author, when the answer is “Best sellers,” your answer can be “such as The Godfather? Didn’t that one make you want to slaughter a horse?” (yeah, I’m dating myself just a bit here). If the answer is anything else, something you know, try to think of things that would be objectionable. If its a genre with which you are unfamiliar, you can ask the person to tell you about it. Of course, if it’s Inspirational, or in the case of one of my friends “I never read fiction,” you might have to eat a Twix to buy some time to think…or chew on your own foot.

      • Kate – I was talking with Mr. Nina about the comments here and the wonderful points people have made about other genres. When I mentioned the great ideas, Mr. Nina assured me I did mention all of them. (I guess he had less champagne than me. πŸ˜‰ ) But yes, it doesn’t matter what genre people read, it seems someone can criticize their choices.

  • I know that I go to church and yet write erotic paranormal romance. They’re only books and not hurting anyone. I don’t go out after finishing a book and cheat on my husband. I have no urge to do so. Shoot, my charcters mainly aren’t real, and not based off anyone!

    But like anything else (even those who wouldn’t read our stuff with a ten foot pole), not every one will like us or agree with us. You have your faith and really aren
    ‘t hurting anyone (heck, there are thos e who go out and murder someone or take drugs, etc.. .and all you’re doing is writing a fantasy).

    • Sapphire – I don’t think most people who enjoy erotic romance would think about going out on their partner. I found that an interesting leap.

      • If someone’s going to go out on their partner, they’re going to do it regardless of what they read — or don’t.

        • And there it is. Erotic romance doesn’t cause infidelity any more than violence creates a criminal. (I really wish I’d thought of that point on New Year’s Eve.)

  • I haven’t had to defend myself, but my mother loves to brag about her daughter the author. She went on and on to my 83 yr old grandfather, even going as far as giving him my pen name. Needless to say his wife googled me when they returned home.
    My grandfather immediately called my mother and told her I needed to rediscover the Bible! LOL
    I haven’t lost my faith. πŸ™‚

  • well! That’s a new one! First I have to say that even though you didn’t explicitly state your age, the comment about the needle scraping across the record gave it away! πŸ˜‰ (only someone of a similar era, where the notion of a ‘record store’ is long gone and unrecognizeable to her nephew and niece would see it!)

    I have been asked to justify why I ‘feel the need’ to read so many of them, one right after the other … To which I mumbled something about, not being married, I wanted to see how that couple thing was supposed to work …

    I also have to admit that returning to reading romance, after decades of not reading anything (but journal articles), I was shocked at how soft-porn they are now. (shocked, then pleased, I should add). I felt like the guys who would read Playboy, but say it was for the ‘literature.’

    I think everyone must find their own comfort level with it. Men, typically, are not great readers, while women are, so that’s one explanation for why women read a lot more stuff, of any kind, then men do. But when you’re reading fiction, you’re reading for the ‘fantasy’ aspect of it – taking you away, to another place in time or your experience. I personally don’t think reading is immoral or encourages infidelity anymore than I believe that watching TV encourages violence. That’s my personal opinion. I believe rational human beings are capable of separating fantasy from reality. And that persons dedicated to their relationships are not going to be tempted toward experimentation.

    • Claudia – I figured someone would put the whole record thing together with my age. *g*

      Wow! You hit the proverbial nail on the head! I wish I’d thought of the violence on television thing making people go out and murder. Cheaters are cheaters regardless of what they’re reading and criminals are criminals regardless of what they watch on television or play for video games. Thanks for stopping over.

  • Nina,
    An issue becomes a moral issue when something is forced upon someone without their consent. All questions of ‘moral’ behavior are created by man. Early “Church Fathers” created many rules about behavior as instruments of control. When a promise is given if one does something in return, that is control. Good article.

    • Norman – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. And it was interesting that his argument was based on my religious beliefs. Definitely going back to the old ways of controlling one’s congregation IMHO.

  • BTW – did you ever consider that this shocked reader might have been battling his own demons about temptation and blaming it on ‘authors’?

    • Claudia – This person is definitely NOT a reader of my books, but someone in my family whom I love dearly. (Even if he does have warped opinions. *vbg*)

  • With that kind of reasoning on the part of the person in heated discussion with you, how does anyone justify reading/writing murder stories? or other crime stories/mysteries? i subscribe to the if you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it thing.

    • Kate – Where were you guys that night? It never occurred to me to bring up the criminal stories involving murder. I do wonder where he would have gone with that. It’s a valid point.

  • Wow, really interesting post, Nina. I’ve never had this discussion, but I can 100% say I face no moral dilemmas whatsoever writing or reading romance. It’s all about the fantasy. I think any rational person knows there is a huge difference between one’s fantasies and reality. I tend to view people who see romance novels as negative in a sympathetic light; how stifling it must be to have to squash one’s inner expression based on a belief that it’s morally wrong.

    • Rosalie – Though many of my family members won’t read my books because they don’t want to know I know “that stuff”, this is the first time anyone expressed disapproval due to a morality issue. Interestingly, he is an avid reader. I’m just not sure what types of books he reads. I can tell you it definitely isn’t romance. LOL!

  • This is a great post, and odds are, it wouldn’t have mattered what you said to him, you would not have changed his mind. I have had to defend my writing and reading habits, but more from jokers than anything. I let them know that when they call what I write porn, it is actually quite offensive. My stuff is hot, but it’s nowhere near erotica. Doesn’t matter. Porn is a different beast entirely.

    I took a workshop at RWA in 09. Can’t remember the fabulous speaker, she was in PR. And she had the perfect comeback, so I memorized it. “Porn is about the objectification of women (and men). Romance is about healthy relationships and commitment.” I’ve had to use that twice so far.

    • Darynda – I actually tell people I write romantic smut. It doens’t bother me. I figure if I say it … they can’t argue with me. But you’re right, it wouldn’t have matter what I said to him, he had his mind made up long before we started the conversation.

  • Wow Nina…welcome to my world…I’m just a reader but recently (in the last 45 days) got into it with my father over my choice of reading material. First I would say that both my religious or spiritual situation is just like my relationship with any person…between me and that person so my spiritual situation is between me and God alone and no one else should try to judge that. I don’t consider erotic romance to be porn- it’s not written to degrade women, it’s not about socially enslaving women or any of the other negative aspects that are associated with porn. It should really be about the romance – are there authors that go too far in the wrong direction and forget about the romance and focus on the physical…sure …it also happens in other writing fields. I find that most people that have these judgement issues are actually the ones that have a problem and that they are projecting their problems onto someone else to feel better about themselves. I go to church every week and have no problems with what I read- just like I don’t have a problem watching a movie at the theatre- I understand that it’s fiction and someone’s fantasy. I hope my post makes sense.

    • JuneGirl – You absolutely make sense. You’ve made all the points I shared with him. The fact is, he judged something he has no experience with and isn’t that where people run into problems in general? Judging without knowledge.

      No, erotic romance doesn’t degrade woman or women wouldn’t read it. But you and I (and a whole bunch of empowered readers and writers) know this, but someone who won’t read it will never understand that point.

      Faith is as personal as a fantasy life and I don’t see a disconnect between the two.

      • I heard about this discussion elsewhere and came looking for it, because I’ve had a boatload of this kind of argument. You captured the entire argument right here: “Faith is as personal as a fantasy life and I don’t see a disconnect between the two.”

        Thank you. I write gay romance as well as traditional het romance, and it’s erotic. I won’t go into detail about my faith because it *is* personal. I’m just glad to find so many others who feel like I do. It’s encouraging. We all tend to avoid politics and religion, and sometimes, that’s to our detriment. Thank you for speaking up about this issue.

  • People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. If anything, reading erotica can spice up someone love life. I don’t have a problem reading it and going to church on Sunday. God gives people talents and what they choose to use is up to them. Do I agree with porn? No but you and I have the option of watching or not. Same with reading erotica. Again, people shouldn’t throw around their morality issues unless they have their issues ironed out.

    • Marika – See, I’m in the camp that erotic romance is good for a relationship. It may just open the door for a couple to share fantasies they thought might not appeal to their partner. That warms my heart that my stories may do that.

      Reading erotic romance is a choice and I’m okay if someone chooses not to buy my books.

      • Exactly my point, too. Its hard though when people can be so close minded about things. Again, its a choice to read it or not to read it. Personally, I read it and love it. But then again, I can read straight romance, too.

        • It was just a little frustrating that he wouldn’t even listen to the difference between erotic romance and porn. I can only hope he heard some of it.

  • I was afraid of having to justify myself to my mother when I got my first contract. She’s 83, Catholic and won’t watch Dancing with the Stars because there’s too much skin. But she was so proud! When I showed her my print anthology last month she asked, “Is it blue?” (For you youngsters, blue means vulgar/indecent) She still had to brag to her friends about the release. One of my daughters is embarrassed by what I write, but happy for me that I’m published. I really look at it as not my problem, but one on the other person’s end. Sex is a part of a healthy relationship and my writing celebrates those relationships!

    • Ari – I’m lucky to have a mother who buys all of my books, but chooses not to read them. She’s very proud of me. And my kids think it’s cool I’m published and brag to their friends, but do the whole plug their ears, sing la-la-la-la if someone tries to tell them about one of my books. It’s kind of funny.

      And I totally agree. I think my books endorse a healthy sex life and strong relationships. Write on friend!

  • Don’t stop writing what you want to write. None of us are to be judges and to be honest GOD gave you the mind to be doing what you are doing. I read murder mysteries and I don’t go out killing people. Too bad you didn’t think to ask if this certain person read mysteries or murder mysteries. I read what is called smutt books but I do not go and act the actions out..well not all of them ha ha Your books are not intended to be self help books..they are stories to read and enjoy. As long as you are not forcing the person at gun point to read your books..then he or she should bug off and accept it that you are just a wonderful author. susan Leech

  • My side of the family supports me, though a little birdie told me my mother called my work smut. They all still buy my books and actually read them. My hubby’s side of the family openly smirks about my writing. The brother-in-law always has this loud voice when he says, “So, Linda. You still writing that porn.” Then his girlfriend giggles (yeah, she giggles).

    It’s sad. It beats down your ego, all that hard work, long hours, sleepless nights thinking plot and character, and it makes you feel totally worthless. And I just write straight romance. No way am I telling them I just sold my first erotic romance and plan to sell it under a pseudonym. I’d never hear the end of it.

    • Linda – Well boo on them. No one should ever make another person feel small because they don’t agree with someone’s choices.

      I’m in the camp where I call my own work smut with a big smile on my face. Hard to make fun of it when I do it myself. And yes, I believe in my stories, the characterization and plot give them lots of depth. They’re not sex scenes linked by poor dialogue. But I’m not going to convince some people of that and that’s okay with me. Romance isn’t for everyone (but they have no idea what they’re missing IMO)!

  • What a great topic.
    I myself was born with more than the average Catholic guilt and I find that this is something I have always worried about. I jokingly tell all friends and family that I write “porn” the blunt tone I use usually stops people in their tracks. The important people in my life know what the difference between porn and erotic romance is and that includes my God πŸ˜‰

  • OMG…I’ve been prayed over at signings, b/c of the sewer language in my books, and my own mother would prefer I write Christian Inspy. But soon after I ‘fessed up about my e-book material, she said ‘Sex sells…and while I may not be proud of WHAT you write, I’ll always be proud of your WRITING ABILITY.”

    God gave me this imagination, and I’m to the opinion as long as I’m not ashamed of what is coming out of my fingers, neither is He. I tell people my writing does not necessarily reflect my faith, but that doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned it.

    • Kenzie – LOL! Prayed over at signings? Lord help us all. Sometimes people amaze me. The judging that goes on. Don’t they realize only God can … oh never mind, they don’t get it no matter what you say to them.

      And writing is a gift most definitely. I’m not ashamed of how I express my talent and I’m sure there are angels in heaven snickering even now over some of the stuff that flew off my fingers today. Love in all its forms should be celebrated.

  • Oh God! Wait, that’s what you’re talking about! Great minds think alike – I’m discussing something similar on my site. Why romance. There are so many great sins committed in this world, sex isn’t one of them and love is the greatest gift of all.

    • Julia – Why does it not surprise me we have similiar posts? LOL! We seem to do that often. And you’re absolutely right. Sex and love should be celebrated. Why not do it on the pages of a steamy romance novel?

  • Hi Nina,

    I find it interesting but not absurd that this topic has surfaced. Erotica is one of genres that seem easy for me to do and even friends I have exposed to my writings have been embarrassed, flushed, shocked and extremely intimidated by what they have read. Although, I find it incredibly intriguing that these same naysayers have/had their own shortcomings on innocence and/or modesty within their lives. So my question is: “Are you really questioning your faith rather than mine?” “Why does this make YOU feel so uncomfortable?” and “When you read Dr. Seuss, did you go out and buy green eggs and ham?” Perception on what we read (in my opinion) will always be from a perspective in which our personal lives have influenced each of us mentally through our own experiences good and bad, training and development as we mature and last but certainly not least, our personal feed back of intricacies that we all have as individuals. For this gentleman to be so concerned and bothered by what you chose to write about makes me feel that he has some buried issues that perhaps he should be more concerned with whether than inquiring how you reconcile your faith with your “smut”. Besides, is this perspective after reading 1 page, 1 chapter, or the whole book?
    God Bless and keep the fantasy alive.

    • Leslie – In this case, this man has been a friend and family member for 30+ years. He really wasn’t reflecting his own insecurities, but knows how much my faith is a part of me. I really think it was curiousity and not judgement. I think I should have made that clear. He hasn’t read one page of my stories and never will. But I love him just the same. It’s just the first time he’s said ANYTHING about my writing and it took me completely by surprise that he approached it from the morality issue.

      • I can understand the curiosity vs. judgment point. Perhaps it is my devils advocate speaking, but even friends and family often have a secret side to them. I think that morality is a topic that we all struggle with from time to time especially when it conflicts with “the norm” or “conventional” perspective. I do find it interesting that he felt open enough to propose the question but does not appear open enough to listen/hear the answer. With good friends, it is sometimes good to agree to disagree. Had you thought of the comparison yourself before he asked the question? I could see getting the response easily with strangers, but I don’t think I would have expected it from people who know me. I would love to read one of your books, as I have not had the privilege. Take care for now.

        • Leslie – As I was commenting yesterday it occurred to me that perhaps he’s had one too many friends go through a divorce due to infidelity. I think he was just wondering if books like mine could be a contributing factor to a woman becoming dissatisfied and going out to “test the waters”. Which of course I don’t believe. Anymore than reading mystery stories makes a person go out and commit a crime.

          It appeared he wasn’t listening as he kept disagreeing, but really, I think some of it got through. And yeah, we have definitely agreed to disagree on this one.

          All of my books (save for one) are available from Ellora’s Cave. They are on the sidebar. Click on any picture and it will take you to the buy page. I have only one in print at this time “Healer’s Garden”. Again, click on the “print” button above the book and it will take you to the Ellora’s Cave page.

          Have a wonderful day.

  • Do unto others
    Turn the other cheek
    Let He who is without sin cast the first stone

    I have to work hard to not judge people who judge me. They’re breaking their own rules.

    • Dalton – Sometimes that’s the hardest thing. Not to judge and let it all roll off our backs. I think it’s because writing is so very intimate for the author and to have someone judge it unfairly really cuts to the very core of who we are.

  • I’ve written one erotic story and one PG rated, paranormal romance. I hesitated before using my real name on the erotic story, only because I didn’t want the people at my work to know my ‘fantasy life’ and I didn’t want to embarrass my grown children. However, my kids are very proud of me (although my son had chosen not to read the erotic story). Odd, no matter how old they get, they don’t want to think of Mom ‘in that way’. I’m divorced, but when I was married I read many erotic novels. They did enhance my love life with my husband. I had no desire to go out and be with another man, even if the story was about cheating. Now, I’m single and haven’t dated for a few years. Reading an erotic story brings back wonderful, warm memories for me, which I don’t want to forget.

    • Lisa – I’m not sure I ever would have made the leap from fantasy to reality. I did find it interesting that that was one of his arguments. I think probably because he’s seen a lot of infidelity among his friends and I can guarantee they werern’t reading erotic romance before they went out and cheated. LOL!

      And I read/write romance for the same reason you mentioned. It brings out all the warm feelings of falling and being in love.

  • It is interesting that a moral conversation only comes up when talking about erotic romance. No one thinks that people who read or write crime novels have moral issues and some of that stuff is actually frightening. Most erotica romances all deal with HEA in committed relationships. But there are a lot of people who don’t consider romance a legitimate genre, they look at you funny when you explain what you right. I haven’t come across any problems so far. I am not published yet and write under a pen name. I don’t think that parents want to see their child’s teacher in that “light”.

    Love your books!

    • Amen! True for the other side of the spectrum, too. People assume erotic authors are easy, or that we all live the lifestyle. They can’t seem to grasp that it’s fantasy. Why is it any different than people who write thrillers and/or paranormals? I’m pretty sure that authors of vampire novels aren’t going around biting people on the neck to live the lifestyle before they write about it!

    • Marie – You know, I never thought about it until several people mentioned it today. You’re right no one seems to think there’s a moral dilemma when someone writes crime novels, but then again I don’t think murder mysteries translate to mafia connections the way erotica equates with porn (which of course has a terrible connotation).

      Fortunately for me I was out of teaching when I began writing fulltime. But the parents of my former students are very surprised when I explain to them “no, they’re not children’s books, but yes, there’s biology involved”. *vbg*

      (And I’m so glad you enjoy my books. That comment made me really smiley.)

  • I have to laugh at people and their uninformed opinions. I attend a singles Sunday school class and one of the ladies asked me, sincerely, why I wrote about fantasy love. She wanted to know if I felt unloved. Only that one lady asked such a question, all of the others who know what I write just wanted to read the story. My family supports me in what I write and both of my sons want copies of my book, when I’m published.

    • Janet – It’s the fact that an opinion is stated without true knowledge of the subject that drives me bonkers. *shrugs* But it is what it is. The fact is we won’t get people “who hate romance” to try it because they’ve already formed an opinion.

  • Nina,

    I have to say that the very religous in-law side of my family only knows about me writing psychological thrillers. They do not know about my alter ego who loves writing erotica, which usually involes menages and M/M romance. This is for the very reason in your article.

    They would make the exact same leap. They would never make the leap though that because I write about psychotic villians who murder multiple people, that I might go out kills someone.

    Strange isn’t it, that educated people can understand fiction in one genere, but not in another. Is it possibly because they enjoy the fantasy, too and they are afraid to admit it. I find when people protest. too much, it is because the subject hits too close to home or is something they simply can’t wrap their mind around.

    Because I find brick walls incredibly painful to bang my head against, I have decided to simply not let them know about my alter ego and if they do discover it, it will be their problem to handle.

    I wonder how said gentleman felt about the subject and having such a debate after the alcohol wore off later in the day?

    Happy New Year and Happy Birthday

    • Donna – Kinda funny about the murder aspect. Though I really think if this person had a friend who read crime novels and then did something really horrendous he would have the same opinion of that genre as well. As I mentioned before, I think he’s seen too many of his friends’ marriages collapse because of infidelity that he even equated the two.

      And no, there was no mention of the conversation by him the next day. Though I did have a long discussion with daughter’s boyfriend who actually left the room the night before because he thought the “argument” wasn’t going to be resolved. But when I explained I was simply trying to educate, he felt much better about what had transpired.

      Happy New Year to you, friend!

  • Okay. True confessions. I have to confess that I struggle with my religion when I write erotica. When I read scripture, I find myself squirming in my seat. I have not yet been able to solve the guilt thing – that I shouldn’t be writing erotic stories.

    • Pam – But it really isn’t a contradiction IMHO. You aren’t exploiting/hurting anyone. You don’t force people to read your sexy stuff. You just write an amazing story and include the sexy details. If that brings a couple enjoyment because it stimulates … I just don’t see how that can be considered a bad thing. (But we each have to reconcile it on our own. One of these days we’ll have a philosophical talk about it.) In the meantime keep writing. The world needs more Pam Champagne suspense novels!

    • I’m pretty certain that the Song of Songs in the Bible is erotic fiction. OK, it’s not explicit by our standards, but it’s a song in praise of sexual love. So if it’s OK for the Bible, it must be OK for us too, right?

  • Nina-

    What a great topic. I’m an Episcopalian and go to church every Sunday, but I love a good sexy, spicy book that makes me need a cold shower. I know people that think it’s wrong to have sex in a book and ruff languege, but what I say is read what you like and who cares what other people think.

    Emily Allen

    • Emily – I don’t think a romance with some heat does anything to pull us from God. Some day you’ll have your own book out there! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • Short discussion I had with co-worker:
    Co-worker: Romance novels are nothing but smut.
    Me: Why do you say that?
    Co-worker: because it’s full of sex.
    Me: Don’t you like sex? You have three children, or did you just have sex to pro-create and not because it was fun?
    Co-worker: I need to get back to work.

    For some strange reason people are uncomfortable with the subject of sex. Especially when it’s laid out on the table. The notion that fantasies lead to infidelity is ridiculous. I’ve been married 22 years and have had numerous fantasies. Still have them. Not once have they seduced me into cheating. Matter of fact, hubby has benefitted greatly from quite a few of them.

    • Shawn – ROFLMBO at the conversation. I’m glad I was’t drinking anything when I read that. That conversation about sex always seems to stop them cold. LOL!

      And I’m with you on the whole fantasy issue. I think an imagination is a healthy thing.

  • I’ve lost track of how many people have said you are going to hell for what you write..or shame on you…If I’m going to hell I will save a lot of people a seat..LOL…Being religious and the fact that I write erotica does not make me loose sleep. There are worse things out there. Plus just because we write about it does not mean we are telling the world to do this stuff…People do what they want.. We write what a lot of people think about and don’t want to admit..I don;t force people to read my work…You read what you want to read and I will write what I write…

    • Savannah – I’m still not sure how people think because we write about sex that we’re condemned to hell. LOL! I thought that was truly reserved for rotten people who do rotten things. I don’t think writing about female fantasies qualifies as leading people down the wrong path and away from their faith. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your insights.

  • Someone once told me I’d sold my soul to the devil because I write erotic, including MM and menage, romance.

    The person who told me that meant it as the obvious insult it was, but he isn’t a saint hinmself.

    It’s funny how often people who judge live in glass houses.

    • Ashley – I’m still not sure why people who enjoy reading/writing stories with hot sex scenes are ridiculed and insulted when there are so many behaviors that are truly hurtful to others. Like insulting/belittling/bullying people. I’m hoping my stories only bring joy and a chance to get away from reality for a little while.

      It really is funny how some people can’t see their own behaviors as hurtful, but are quick to judge others.

  • Hi Nina,
    I’ve found myself having to defend my “porn” stories because I write erotic romance. I find that it all comes down to ignorance on the other person’s part because they don’t realize that there’s actually a story that goes with all that awesome sex! So now I challenge any porn accusers to read my books and if they still believe it’s porn then who am I to talk to a wall lol

    • Christina – Thaet seems to be the challenge…actually getting someone to read the story before they criticize. I think many first time readers of (erotic) romance would be surprised at the depth of the story if they’re coming at it from the nay-sayer angle.

  • I have never been asked that question, but if I were, my answer would be that nobody seems to think enhancing sexual pleasure with filmy lingerie, romantic music, and candlelight is sinful. Why should reading explicit literature be different?

    I’m an Episcopalian. What I HAVE been asked (by my sister who has a Ph.D. in church music) was how I reconciled loving vampires with being a Christian. Two possible answers: (1) Classic vampire horror fiction is strongly and often explicitly Christian — the vampire is a minion of Satan, and he’s scared away by crosses, so being a horror fan, even of vampire stories, is in no way anti-Christian. (2) Vampires in my fiction and the kind I like to read aren’t that kind; they have the ability to choose between right and wrong just like everybody else, and the ones who qualify to be considered heroes resist the temptations of the dark side of their nature.

    • Margaret – I like your point about the lingerie and romantic music … gosh where were you last Saturday night.

      And I have to say, the vampire question is a new one for me. It never occurred to me that reading/writing vampire stories would go against Christian teachings, but in the bigger picture of things I guess it does. I guess most anything when viewed through a certain lens could look immoral.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      • I was surprised by this too. A Christian friend told me she didn’t have anything to do with vampire stories or movies because of its concept of the blood having an intrinsic power. It’s used to represent rebirth, life, and strength, which she says should only be accorded to to Christ. I didn’t know quite how to answer that. I happen to love vampire stories. I suppose, as you said, anything could be immoral or sinful to a person who thought of the thing as wrong.

        • Wow! That’s an interesting take on the whole blood and vampire thing. There are a lot of blood analogies with Christianity … I just never would have thought to make the connection with vampires. Really, I guess it’s all how you spin it.

  • Hi, Nina,

    Obviously you don’t need my two cents (69 comments and counting!) but I’ll chime in anyway.

    My first novel was BDSM. My brother, an ardent feminist, berated me for “encouraging violence toward women”. The D/s interactions in the book are completely consensual and not even that extreme, but he couldn’t see through his prejudices (though he’s a very liberal guy in general).

    I never shared my writing with my parents. I think it would make them uncomfortable. My sister thinks it’s cool, though.


    • Lisabet – I really don’t understand how people can find something wrong with the way other people live. I mean we write fantasies. We all do research to make sure our stories are accurate especially if it’s something we haven’t experienced personally. We couldn’t do the research if it wasn’t out there and happening between consensual adults. *sigh*

      All we can do is continue to try to educate…and continue to write really hot stories for those who enjoy them. πŸ˜‰

  • I really wanted to comment on this, but I’m afraid I’ll say something I’ll regret. This is the Internet, and comments are forever. *Sigh*


  • Because I write m/m romance, I go into most conversations prepared to explain how that is an expression of my faith rather than a betrayal of it. I didn’t start writing it until I had asked God what he thought of it, and there was a very horrible six months or so of my life where I wrestled with the church’s teaching on homosexuality and how I could reconcile that with my own internal life.

    It wasn’t until I’d read books like Daniel Helminiak’s “What the Bible really says about Homosexuality” and understood that the church was wrong to condemn people for being homosexual that I felt it was fine to write m/m romance. In fact at that point I felt I *had to* write it, because I wanted to share the good news that you could be gay and Christian at the same time.

    So yes, I’ve been through all the arguments with myself first and am up for this discussion whenever it happens.

    • Alex – Wow, you really wrestled with this issue. I admire you for taking time before stepping into the m/m romance genre. The homosexual component adds an additional angle to an already sensitive subject especially when it comes to talking about the church. I LOVE how you say it’s an EXPERIENCE of faith and not a BETRAYAL. Because in the end it all comes down to what’s in our heart … and that’s between each of us and our God.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      • Thanks for raising the subject πŸ™‚ I sometimes think that those of us who are of the slightly more liberal end of the Christian spectrum ought to speak up more. We end up giving the impression that the judgmental response is the only Christian response – and that’s not at all the witness we were asked to give!

        • I agree. It seems sometimes we hear only the voices of those preaching the loudest and that isn’t usually those of us with the more liberal views in our churches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *