I Will Not Make You Drool

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008 • 5 Comments on I Will Not Make You Drool

Google Alerts is a wonderful tool.  Usually.  One of my Google Alert searches is Kristina Wright and erotica.  You see, in case you haven’t been here long, I write erotica.  A lot of erotica.  It’s not all I write, of course.  There are even those who are surprised to learn that I do, in fact, write erotica because I “seem so normal.”  (Yes, someone once said that to me.)  But make no mistake, I write erotica. 

There are many different definitions of erotica, according to dictionary.com.  My favorite one is:

Literary or artistic works having an erotic theme or quality.

There is another definition, one that sort of makes me wince:

Creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.

It doesn’t make me wince because of the last part (stimulating sexual desire is not a bad thing), but because of the first part.  I like to believe my writing has literary value, regardless of what I’m writing about.  I’m sure there are those who would disagree, but that’s my goal.

So, back to my point.  Google Alerts, um… alerted… me to an article that included both my name and the word erotica.  I popped on over and discovered it was a collection of book reviews.  How exciting!  I love reviews!  Given that there may be 12 to 20 authors in any given anthology, it’s always exciting when my story gets singled out.  Usually

In this case, the reviewer took issue with my story, “The Mistress Meets Her Match.”  Before I say anything, let me add that the title of the article is: “Attention erotica writers everywhere: Spare us the banal details and get on with the fucking!”  (Because the review is less-than-positive, I won’t mention the anthology title, the other authors who were mentioned or the editor, but if you want to read the entire review, it’s here.) 

This is what the reviewer had to say about my story:

By contrast, Kristina Wright’s “The Mistress Meets her Match” begins with an unapologetic, fast-paced rant by a “benevolent bitch goddess” who was born to dominate men for money. Drooling yet? Wait — she’s about to leave her professional practice and settle down, and this careening story starts to read more like a romance novel that happens to be slightly kinky rather than the hardcore romp of domination and submission that she teases about in the first few pages. The implication that the domme who narrates this story of her life is also deeply unfulfilled is, quite simply, offensive. By the story’s end, we’re left with a fallen heroine — the Bitch with a capital “B” who gives up her power for the faint promise of a hetero-monogamous relationship.

Clearly, the reviewer subscribes to the second of the above two definitions of erotica.  Okay, so be it.  That’s the great thing about erotica—there’s something for everyone.  Clearly, my story doesn’t fit the definition of “erotica” for this reviewer.  I don’t have a problem with that.  Nor do I have a problem with certain things that are, I guess, supposed to be criticisms of my story.  “Fast-paced” is good and, sorry, I don’t take “read[s] more like a romance novel that happens to be slightly kinky…” as an insult.  I’m not sure what’s offensive about my protagonist being unfulfilled—it’s called conflict in fiction writing—but to each his own.  And while I don’t have a problem with the phrase “the faint promise of a hetero-monogamous relationship,” it’s not as if I discriminate in my writing—I’ve written every relationship combination under the sun and this one just happened to be a bit more traditional (if “slightly kinky”).

I’m past letting one bad review irk me (feel free to smack me if I succumb at a later date), so I’m not nursing a wounded ego or anything.  I love this story—it was so much fun to write.  I am also far more interested in my editors’ and readers’ opinions rather than one reviewer with a limited opinion of what erotica should be, but this review did make me laugh.  See, I have friends who will not read my erotica.  No, no, no.  No sex, no “slightly kinky,” no “hetero-monogamous,” much less more interesting combinations, none of it.  Maybe this review will make them change their minds, eh?  Probably not.

On another note, I will say my story “Beautiful Creature” in the forthcoming scorching hot Dirty Girls anthology is probably more to this reviewer’s taste.  It’s about as edgy and kinky as anything I’ve ever written.  Hopefully, it still has some literary value, too.  wink


Posted by Kristina in Writing
  • Jennifer says:

    OOOOH! I for one am LOVING any/all combinations under the sun and cannot WAIT for your next story. Bring it!


  • Deborah says:

    I haven’t actually published anything long enough to be reviewed—yet. I hope that when something “reviewable” is published that I will handle the reviews with as much finesse as you have!

  • Eden says:

    I read a review of an erotica anthology I was in that complained there were no same-sex stories. Mine was about two women and a guy (long story). So I thought, “All the reviewer would have to do would be to skim through & see that there is at least one combination of two women. Apparently the extension of the complaint was that there were no “romantic” same sex stories. *sigh* All I cared about was “Is this story going to turn someone on?” It did and I was pleased. wink

  • Alana says:

    K, I’d like to read an erotic story by the above mentioned reviewer. Perhaps you intended to examine the politics involved in a professional Dominatrix leaving the business for a committed relationship. Anyway, this is far from a black-and-white issue, no wrong or right, just a lot ambiguity and possibility for you, the writer, to explore. Thank you.

  • Kristina says:

    Aw, you’re all so sweet!  Thanks. wink

    Eden—Having been a reviewer, I try not to take anything too personally.  To each his own, you know?  But there is something rewarding about having a bunch of other people say they like a story (including your editor!) to offset a bad review!  And if you feel like you accomplished what you intended, then that’s all that really matters, right?

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