Erotica is no longer confined to the pages of Mills and Boon, read in private typically by housewives and elderly ladies who live alone. With the arrival of the internet this once hidden past time has now found a way to reach the wider community with readers being able to pen their own fantasises anonymously on sites such as Fanfiction.net. This access has lead to books such as Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey storming the literacy world and while academics are puzzled to why such poorly written novels are popular the answer itself is very simple.
The purpose of erotica is provide its reader with a pleasurable fantasy in which for a few hours they can escape reality. Readers can switch off, and be turned on, by these sensual stories in the same way that many do by watching porn. The only reason why this “Mummy Porn” is so controversial is because people are no longer ashamed to read such things in public.
We as a species are embarrassed by the human necessity of sex, religion portrays it as sinful, culture dictates that it should not be spoken of and on a whole we are intimidated by the power of pleasure. Now that some people are comfortable with the fact that desire for sexual stimulation is a healthy part of human nature the rest of us are running round scared. Remarks about the written quality of such books are just desperate attempts to shame erotica back into hiding. Fans of the genre don’t chose these books for their depth or intellectual insight rather they chose them for their ability to satisfy their desires. Just because one enjoys the guilty thrill of erotica every now and again does not mean they are incapable of appreciating classics as well.
Twilight for many young girls, including myself, opened the doors to sexual fantasy. Though the story itself was poorly constructed with a somewhat abusive relationship it provided the opportunity to get to grips with the confusing desires that accompany puberty. For many teenagers this a is a difficult time period because they simply have no one to talk comfortably about the strange new feelings they are experiencing which increases the appeal to hide among the safety of books.
If as society we more honest and accepting about sex these stories wouldn’t be such a big deal as we would be confident in ourselves and our desires. Even if that includes fantasizing about a 104 year old virgin vampire.
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