There is a lot of sex in this book I’m writing, but it’s not smut.
Ok, actually, it’s sorta just smut, but my goal is to see what would’ve happened if 50 Shades of Grey were written by someone with a brain or if Story of O were written by a feminist. In other words, what happens when a protagonist owns her desires?
So, I’m trying to write a story about women and desire in a way that is neither shameful nor coy, and it’s forcing me to explore my own assumptions, hangups and fears, which is hard.
So yes, it’s largely smut, but I believe deep down that it is essentially a work of feminism. I believe that a woman’s desire is powerful, but in a world where women’s role models are either passively sexy or violently pure, the simple power of desire is scary. As I write this project, I am telling the world something about myself that has always been true and never been said, and I’m feeling terribly vulnerable about it all.
Maybe the thing to do now is just put it all out there and see what happens.
Can I tell you about the scariest time I ever had sex? The time when I wasn’t sure if it was ok? Can I tell you what it’s like to know what you want and get it? Can I tell you how it feels to be hated for it? Can I tell you how it feels to rise above other people’s projections of fear and accept yourself? Can I show you what it’s like to be in control of your own desire? Could I maybe even convince you to take a risk, too? What if women stopped being the object at the other end of the lens? What if we were more than the colorful distraction or the guilty pleasure? What if we were agents in our own right, seeking the amazingness of life for our own enjoyment?
I am still protecting myself here because this is fiction. I think fiction is mostly an artful arrangement of elements from reality, and knowing the original place of each piece is a privilege of the artist. I’m not ready to lay myself out quite that plainly, and there’s an awful lot that I can’t share yet. I have been thinking of writing this story under a pseudonym so no one would know it was me, but that would be hiding, and it goes against everything I believe.
Granted, it’s not even finished yet, and I don’t know when it will be, although I’m pretty sure it will be eventually. I don’t know how the story will end or if I will be brave enough to publish it then, but this is what I’m writing, and that’s why I’ve been so quiet lately.