It’s a good time to write about sex.
The fall of censorship, the rise of gay liberation, and the explosion in public conversations about sex make writing porn a challenge and a pleasure. Writing erotica these days is similar, I imagine, to writing mystery stories in the early part of the 20th century, when Christie and Hammett were paving the way for all that came after and the mystery’s formulas and conventions weren’t already set in stone, when an author wasn’t writing like Raymond Chandler, but was Raymond Chandler.
Not that I’d put myself in that league, far from it, but this is the queer moment, and there’s still so much to explore. The more I’ve written about sex, the more I’ve learned about myself and, I hope, the world, our queer world in all its gorgeousness, squalor, fabulous hard-ons, beautiful need.
I sometimes, in my pretentious way, think of myself as part of the first generation of Modern Erotic Writers. I’m grateful that a hardy band of pioneers...John Preston, Pat Califia, Scott O’Hara, Susie Bright, and others...have cleared a territory where erotica can be as wide-ranging, as well-crafted, and as meaningful as any other kind of writing, and I hope that the best of my work proves worthy of that potential. But hey, there’s something about an erect dick that just seems to shatter solemnity, pretension, and sobriety, and for that I’m also supremely thankful. Porn can do many things: it can dissect desire; it can open new horizons of erotic potential; it can be an aesthetic pleasure, a political rant, an act of defiant liberation. But it should also...always...be good, dirty fun.
So rather than my dredging up some abstruse theoretical point about the writer’s project and the reader’s gaze, let me simply say this: I love writing porn because sex...and its even weirder sibling, desire...are just so fucking important to me. And though I’ve written a few pieces not focused on queer men, I always return to writing about gay sex because that’s where my heart (not to mention my crotch) is. Men fucking each other, men fucking each other over, noble sex, raunchy sex, dysfunctional fucking, and dicks in love. It’s just all so...so...so fascinating and so very endlessly cool.
Any aware, or at least non-comatose, reader of this book will discover that I tend to write repeatedly about certain themes that interest me, revisiting them again and again. It’s not like I planned it that way. The polite way of approaching this circumstance is Every author’s work reflects what’s truly important to that writer. The ruder, perhaps more realistic, way of looking at things is Again? Can’t he think of anything else to write about?
This is made all the more acute because I’m basically an erotic writer, a pornographer, a smuthound, whatever. Unapologetically so. And no matter what sorts of erotica I try to write, I inevitably end up dealing with certain expectations of the genre, i.e., naughty bits. There will be naughty bits in these stories, fear not, and if you, dear reader, and I are both lucky, they may result in your titillation, your erection, maybe even your masturbation. Rest assured: I do not find this displeasing in the least. There are many things just fine about jacking off and I’m glad if I can help. But if I simply wrote about dick, dick, dick (with an asshole or two thrown in), it would bore me to tears. So please, bear with me if I try to tell actual stories amidst the flood of spooge.
As you, valued and patient reader, can probably tell, I feel excited about writing this stuff, and even more pleased to see a whole book of it reaching your sweaty hands. May it do, on a small scale, what all good sex should do: may it excite, entertain, disturb, comfort, and bring you joy.
ęcopyright 2001 by Simon Sheppard