It has taken me a while to realise that my writing usually involves elements of what could be described as Dark Erotica, and certainly such elements are evident in my two published novellas to date: Season of the Wasp and Evening Breeze (though not so prevalent throughout the entire story in the second of these). This is despite having previously added Evening Breeze to a Dark Erotica bookshelf because of certain scenes in it! I still never made the connection in my mind that my writing could actually be termed Dark Erotica.
Now, obviously, there are many different things that can come under the umbrella of the sub-genre label of Dark Erotica. A helpful definition on the homepage of the Goodreads group Dark Erotica (of which group I’m a member) describes Dark Erotica as follows:
‘the more aggressive form of Erotica... This would include storylines with rough sex, forced seduction, rape, kidnapping, BDSM, and those who enjoy alternative lifestyles to the extreme, multiple partners that may or may not involve same sex interaction.’I must admit the subjects kidnap or rape are, for me personally, territories too far. I’m not for one moment implying there is anything wrong in tackling such topics in erotic fiction; for indeed, fiction generally explores any and all areas of life and experience, in many different ways; but it’s just that I don’t want to negotiate those areas and deal with those issues in my fiction, certainly at present.
But many aspects of what is called Dark Erotica do indeed appeal to my imagination. Of very real interest are things like rough sex, physical restraint, vicious, spiteful or resentful attitudes, reluctant seduction, dubious consent, manipulativeness, sensual bullying, and sexual domination or submission, alongside a whole raft of other themes, of course, such as infatuation, obsession, longing, love, lust, identity, etc. And, as I say, such topics are clearly in evidence in both of the books I’ve written so far.
I think it took me a while to recognise my work as qualifying as Dark Erotica because my stories are very strongly rooted in character and I simply viewed the darker elements mentioned above as arising naturally from the characters’ passions, and I’m not sure I ever recognised a distinction between exploring ‘sex’ and exploring ‘dark sex’.