My latest idea, the creation of the genre “De-rotica,” was less an epiphany and more a desperate act to save my marriage. It began last year, when the accursed “Fifty Shades of Grey” found its way into our cozy little home.
Somehow, in someway, the guardians of things-socially-acceptable gave the thumbs-up to “Fifty Shades.” I watched, amused, as erotica suddenly became a hot read in the cul de sacs of my little burb.
My wife, being a social butterfly and an avid reader, naturally had to see what all the buzz was about. The book found itself on her bedside table, and long after I’d dozed off the sleep, she read on.
Her nightly read soon found its way into the daytime. She would go out “for coffee,” taking the book with her. Four hours later, she would return.
These excursions became more frequent. Soon charges for hotels appeared on the credit card statement. It culminated when she booked a romantic weekend getaway for her and the book. “We’ll celebrate our twentieth anniversary next year,” she assured me as she and Fifty Shades drove away in the car.
I was losing her. But the only way I could get her back was to fight fire with fire. I’m a writer. I would write my own erotica, and win back m’lady.
Literary Training = De-rotica Derailment
I started writing, remembering my creative writing training from college. “Draw upon your own experience,” was the number one lesson.
I wrote my first chapter. A suburban couple had purchased a new hot tub, and it was time for the initial plunge. They had a celebratory glass of champagne, upon which the man doffed his robe and descended into the hot tub with only his swimming trunks and flute (champagne.)
His wife, on the other hand, dropped her robe, clad in nothing at all. “Now let’s really break this in,” she said, sliding across the bubbly waters.
Suddenly, I found myself writing that the woman’s cell phone rang. It was a call from their daughter. Apparently she had a headache and wanted to come home from dance lesson. The husband sighed, dried himself off, and headed out.
I’m sad to say, De-erotica was born. I continued to write, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to write past these damn de-erotica interruptions.
My next scene, for example, had the couple visiting a divorced temptress with a passion for multi-partner experimentation. Just when things started getting interesting, the couple’s cell phone rang. The kids again, this time calling to inform them the dog has had a bout of violent diarrhea throughout the house.
Scene after scene, chapter after chapter, de-erotica confounded me. I grew more and more frustrated. This sad new genre was getting nowhere, and neither was my career as an erotica writer.
That night, I slid into bed next to my wife, who was nearly finished with Fifty Shades of Grey. I reached over to my bedside table, and pulled out the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker. Hey, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Photo by Wayne Wilkinson