Even today, my parents don’t know exactly what I do. They know that I “support indie authors,” but they don’t know exactly what that means.
This is because, well, they’re conservative and tetchy about sex, and if they found out that I am an adult fiction and sexual expression advocate, it would open up a bewildering tangle of conversation. They’d end up thinking, “She’s so smart. So normal. What is wrong with her that she prefers to support indie EROTICA? Why, if she just used her skills in the corporate world, she’d be making boatloads of money. Why does she read ‘that trash?’ Why does she want to help people sell it?!”
They’re not unusual. As we’re seen from B&N, Twitter, and Amazon, a lot of people are weird about even fiction that contains sex, such that they make it un-sellable. So, why do I continue to support it? Why do I throw my lot in with the low-margin, hard-to-advertise, blacklisted books that people want to write, instead of going back to my old job at an ad agency?
A lot of reasons.
1) I want to read it. Since I was a young teen, sexual expression through fiction has been important to me — just as it is for any teen! As an adult, I want to read stories in a world that includes adult matters, which includes sex. This is the world I want to live in, so I must help create it.
2) The corporate “content police” are everywhere, and it’s worrying. Today, it may be “deviant” sex. Tomorrow, it may be the most innocent of romance novels. Without every advocate spreading the word about this, anyone who writes adult content is in danger of being unjustly shut down. I want to help people stop depending solely on Amazon and B&N, etc, so that this doesn’t happen.
3) But most of all, I want to help sell something that I think is worth buying. That doesn’t take advantage of people and make them shell out money they don’t have because they want to believe in a fantasy future that doesn’t exist. That I buy, myself.
When I discovered Anais Nin’s work, it not only entertained me, but made me aware that all humans are sexual creatures, and gave me insight into the complex subject of adult sexuality. It actually helped me think about and get comfortable with my own sexual nature long before I was ready to actually have sex with another person.
I am interested in supporting entertainment that enhances people’s lives and make life more worth living. This means art, and it especially means indie entertainment. No one is holding people’s emotions hostage when they buy a book, nor are they spending their children’s college fund in the wild hopes that they will be creating a better life for themselves.
So no, though I’ve thought of jumping ship for the corporate world out of social (and material) comfort, it’s probably never going to happen. I’m one of those annoying “activist” type people… who just happens to have some hefty skills in advertising, copywriting, marketing, and branding.