A Clean Place for Dirty Words
Finding your voice as a writer is hard. Finding your voice as an erotic writer is all but impossible. In one direction is "awkward and clinical." In another is "Anne Rice." And there's literally hundreds of others that result in the rough equivalent of "I have a headache." Further complicating matters, many people, even if they like Anne Rice (especially if they like Anne Rice) get weird talking about sex and sexuality. So solid feedback on what's hot — or what makes someone reach for the ibuprofen — is precious indeed. That's to say nothing of the potential embarrassment you'd risk by turning over your first attempt at dirty talk to someone else. What you need is the Erotic Reading Circle. Group leaders Jen Cross and Carol Queen are not only well-traveled smut writers and editors, but they're also accustomed to frank talk about sex. In this group a writer can read anything he or she believes could benefit from feedback. All levels of experience are welcome, as are all sexual orientations. Adds Queen, "It's great practice if you've been thinking about doing any public readings." It also might be a way to get published. An anthology called Sex Spoken Here came out of a previous iteration of the Erotic Reading Circle, and Cross and Queen are working on another.