I’m participating in the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop 24-26 August, and for it participants are to write a post along the lines of ‘What Writing GLBTQ Literature Means to Me.’ Personally, I always add “P” to that configuration, as in “GLBTQP,”because I feel that the polyamorous lifestyle isn’t regarded, still marginalized in both mainstream and queer populations, despite that for many it is indeed an orientation. It’s a pride thing.
House rules aside, to me writing shades of queer literature isn’t just about what label you choose to go with, or how you differentiate yourself. It’s the ultimate embracing of All Things. It’s the closest expression, at a purely people level, of an animistic worldview, which for this erotica writer can only mean–soulsexual.
Animism is the awareness that all things have a soul, that all souls are equal and interconnected, thus they can communicate with each other. Does sexual orientation imply a certain spirituality? No, I’m sure for many it doesn’t, although for me it does. I’ve often referred to myself as soulsexual, attraction to a soul rather than a person. In terms of writing, this orientation is the ultimate open and unbridled exploration of relationships. There are absolutely no limits.
Sometimes this degree of openness is too much for the mainstream fiction reader, because the tropes many romance writers hang their hats on no longer hold up under this orientation. With soulsexuality there doesn’t have to be a jealous love triangle. Affairs don’t have to happen. There doesn’t have to be a possessive mate. Erotica writers don’t tend to fall into those relationship traps, employing unbridled sexual expression to suspend the necessary coddling of feelings or taking of moral high ground.
Generally speaking, though, we’ve been conditioned not just artistically, but socially and culturally to believe that these dramas must be components of relationships. As a result, we expect them to be part of our literary entertainment. In fact, most readers enjoy these tropes becauseof the drama they inflict.
Does that have to mean all characters are hunky-dory, perfectly well-adjusted, and on Stepford Prozac? Not at all. There’s still plenty of drama to be had in relationships based on attraction beyond the form. What if drama was moved by the plot, not the interpersonal dynamics? What if relationships could still be smoking ,and tested in the mettle of day-to-day theatrics based on characters’ lives, skills, circumstances, rather than who they’re banging?
For me, taking away the classic relationship tropes is part of GLBTQ writing, opening an entirely new horizon for creative freedom. We don’t have to write the same old power struggles and gender roles. We don’t have to create cultures wherein certain groups are marginalized. And we can still write characters across the range of perfection and flaws, as wide as we can imagine. We can invent characters and dynamics completely based on our own rules, not the ones we’ve accepted.
If you are 18 or older, comment here to be entered into a random drawing for a copy of my newly released Traveler Through Darkness, part of Decadent Publishing’s The Edge series. Check out the free Reader’s Guide, as you enjoy the story. The drawing will be 27 August, and I will contact the winner via email–so don’t forget to include how to contact you in your comment.
About Traveler Through Darkness
A lifetime of want collides with fate the night of Tarik’s bachelor party, fulfilling his deepest secret desire—only it’s not with the strippers his Arab friends hired to cater to his every whim. Uncomfortable with the debauched festivities, Tarik ducks out of the soirée, stumbling into Wo, a kind Navajo artist, who forces him to say what he really wants, then gives it to him, all night.
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