I should state up front that "explicit" and "too explicit" is very subjective. One reader may see an erotic read very differently than another reader would. That being said, an erotica writer should write what she enjoys writing and not think too much about if it’s too explicit or not, and a reader should read a piece before judging it.
I have a poll on my TAC website asking readers what they think TAC needs more of.
The choices to choose from are:
A. Creative sex.
B. New relationships.
C. Character background.
D. Surprises & twists.
E. Romance & love.
Now, in my opinion, TAC has a good balance of all the above. But what readers voted was:
1 vote for new relationships.
1 vote for character background.
5 votes for surprises & twists.
6 votes for creative sex.
0 wanted more romance and love.
Now how do you interpret that info?
I take it as more readers want more explicit sex. In my opinion, TAC is very descriptive and very explicit as it is. In other words, there is no closed-door sex, no purple prose (meaning no bosom pillows or solid manhood to describe sexual organs, etc.) The sex is detailed and in-your-face. So what more do readers want?
Do they want creative as in different sexual positions, settings, and acts? That, I can write. What I refuse to write, in terms of sexually gratification material, is what many erotic publishers, (like my publisher Blade Publishing) refuses to publish which includes: Pedophilia, bestiality, necrophilia, rape, incest, snuff, mommy/daddy/child fantasies, asphyxiation, felching, any type of play that involves bodily fluids (which includes solid form).
An aspiring writer once asked me to read a sexual father/daughter story he wrote. His intention was to sexually gratify the reader. He wanted me to read it and give him advice. I refused to read it and I explained I do NOT write or read about incest or taboo situations. He responded with, "You wrote The Sky Is Falling. That’s about incest." I assumed he never read the book because if he had, he would have known that the abuse in the book was simply that -- abuse toward an innocent girl.
It was not written to sexually stimulate the reader but rather disturb them, for lack of a better word. The Sky Is Falling is not erotica by any means.
TAC, on the other hand, was/is written to turn up the heat in a fun and positive way. When a reader says they want to read more creative sex in TAC, I assume they mean more sex that they haven’t read before in the previous parts, not sex with a Chia Pet.
There are still certain things Marc, Brian and Janice won’t do in the bedroom. I think that makes them human. They’re not into everything. They expect each other to be faithful, they respect each other’s body and wishes, and they never force themselves on each other. I don’t find rape sexy at all. And they don’t participate in BDSM.
BDSM is a popular category among erotica. I’m not too thrilled about it but that’s just me. I respect readers and writers of BDSM. Dominance, bondage and S&M doesn’t do it for me. In fact, there is a character in TAC that is into extreme BDSM and no one likes him. He is considered one of the antagonist and also a sadist in the Crowd’s eyes for what he does to their friend. That same character is now a suspect in the disappearance of a female student.
Light bondage and spanking can be fun for the Crowd, but extreme dominance and pain never is.
So, what is too explicit in erotica. I think it’s all subjective. I think my erotica is pretty tame compared to some very popular pieces I’ve read. I’m sure the conservative would look at it as too explicit. There are some who view anything concerning gays as too explicit. A Childrens' book has been band from libraries because it tells of two BOY hamsters raising a baby hamster together. (Very true) So, yes, when it come to sex (or gays) everyone will have their own opinion of what’s right and what’s wrong. But instead of stressing over it, I prefer to just write what I enjoy writing and let you be the judge.
Leslie Lee Sanders