I'd like to start in Tangier. I'm in a Moroccan bar patio near the central plaza, ancient walls and hotels stacked atop each other like mountainside caverns, a view of the pale blue ocean at the horizon where it meets the blue-gray haze of the afternoon, waiting for a dangerous man to step off a cruise ship.
He will eventually make his way inland, through the maze of shop-lined streets, circling inward into the old city, until he finds me. After our meeting, I'm probably just going to kill him. A serrated butter knife waits within reach.
I would say I'm passing the time by writing, as I don't want to smoke through all my cigarettes. I can get more, and they're cheap here, but they're potent, and I don't really smoke. I don't want to be up all night coughing.
But I can't start here, because all of this is in the future.
We have to start at the beginning, and my story actually starts in Portland, Oregon, at a suburban coffee shop. This is where I meet the Wednesday Afternoon Smut Club
All three members were there at the table. The blonde with green-rimmed glasses, smartly dressed as a librarian who knew she gave off a sexy nerd vibe, was the prolithic Toni Lacquer. She described herself in her blog as an ambivert (squarely between introvert and extrovert), being shy and awkward around strangers, yet having no problem with book signings, public speaking, or playing dress-up for conventions. A bisexual, she had a boyfriend named Rob.
The woman to her left was Daena Redfeather Jackson, a poet and author, as well as an inspirational business coach. A reddish brunette with expertly-applied makeup, she was married to a seller of imported car parts. She was also a Burning Man enthusiast and part-time astrologist.
The third woman at the table, rounding out their impromptu club, was the remarkably beautiful Debris Robusto. She was the youngest of them, dark coco skin and black features with silver lipstick and a ring through her nose, and she dressed in gothic attire, as if to give form to the lesbian vampire protaganists within her erotic stories.
Toni Lacquer caught me looking over, and although I didn't want to disturb their meeting, I didn't want them to think I was some creepy stalker. So I casually walked by their table on my way to the counter and told them I was a fan. And I had just published my first novel. This much was true.
After chatting a few minutes, it dawned on me that there really weren't any male writers of erotica. Not any good ones, anyway. This is simply because of the natural difference between how men and women psychologically process information. Women are hard-wired to prefer a list of components, whereas men naturally prefer processing information through spatial awareness. A woman asking for directions will want a list of directions, like a recipe, but a man will want information to fill the map he carries in his head. Sexual attraction is the same thing, as women want to be verbally led into romance, as opposed to mere physical or visual stimulation.
Erotica is simply a category of romance with explicit sex scenes. And all romances, including erotic stories, are written for women. A very small percentage of erotica stories are marketed at men, but they are largely written by women and read by women. There is gay erotica, including stories written by men for men, but even these stories are crafted according to the parameters of female erotica. Because all erotica is female erotica. It's only male erotica if there are pictures.
It was then, after meeting the Wednesday Afternoon Smut Club in person, that I had the idea of writing erotica, myself. All I had to do was mix the two writing styles, using the parameters of female erotica while adding in my own male insight. This would be good writing, but sexy. As a man, I knew what women wanted, so I didn't even have to guess what my reader would be looking for. It was all too simple.
I started writing that evening, an erotic short story in the tradition of international espionage titled The Porne Identity.
This was going to be easy.