Who Are You Responsible To?

Over the past few months, I’ve been corresponding to an old friend of mine who has a ton of erotic musings that she wants me to help her get out there on the market. She doesn’t care too much to blog, Twitter, or Facebook. All she wants to do is get them off her computer and notebooks, have me edit them, and see if anybody has any interest in them.

As I was looking over the first load of her short erotic stories, I remembered how filthy her mind is and since she writes for fun, there is a sick twisted freedom in the ideas she has and the direct way she attacks them.

However, in these discussions of helping her get her work out there, we came across a pivotal issue that I thought was interesting and eye opening. That issue was how should we deal with her ethnicity when it comes to promoting her work?

She’s East Indian. Her parents are both from India but she was born in New York. She’s lived all over the world but spent most of her childhood between Trinidad and Queens. Her family was pretty much conservative but once she started college and started living on her own, her wild streak came out. Even though she had a full scholarship, she took a job as a stripper just for the experience. That’s when I met her and we became instant friends. (There’s a whole other side to our friendship that I’ll talk about at another time because I just read a bunch of stories that she wrote about us and I think those stories might speak for themselves.) We stayed close until she got married and it wasn’t until her got divorced last year that she started seeking me out again.

IndianFeetAnyhow, in this discussion of how did she want me to promote her, the issue of her ethnicity came up. I’ve done my research and this isn’t a lot of erotica out there with South Asian and or Middle Eastern female protagonists, at least not in the style that she’s writing in, so I brought it up to see how she felt about it. Her answer was telling.

“I really don’t give a fuck. What difference does it make anyhow?”

To her, this writing is her expression and she doesn’t want the burden of being the voice of Indian women when it comes to erotica. The fact that she is Indian as well as most of her characters is just that, a fact. If people read it and get turned on about it fine. If they don’t, that’s fine too but all she cares about is that people are reading her stuff and getting off on it.

That’s a freedom that I wish I had to some point but then we are two completely different writers. The fact that she only cares about the story and the level of smut on the page is something I thought I was doing but after reading her shorts, I realized that I wasn’t doing that nearly enough.

Honestly, I see her point. I should only be responsible to my work and if people are going to judge me by thinking my characters of color seem unbelievable, that’s on them.

It takes me back to the first time I saw her in dancing on stage at the strip club she worked in back at college. Most of the people watching her were trying to figure out what she was but I didn’t give a shit. The way she moved turned me on. The softness of her voice got me hard and when she whispered in my ear while giving me a lap dance I thought I was in heaven.

I knew from the get go but that’s not why we became friends, it was her sick twisted mind that got to me but I do admit, her body drew me towards her. Now, I have a pile of her writing to go through, breaking things down into groups so we can start working out the details of how we’re going to attack this. Even the stories she wrote about us back in the day seem shocking and I was there when it happened and yet, I have no problem following her wishes. I love her writing, it turns me on, and I have to honor that.

We did come to a consensus of her pen name which says all you really need to know about her ethnicity. Now it’s time to get to work and allow her writing to speak for itself as the wonderful filthy smut that it is from the beautiful mind of a woman who isn’t scared to tell it how she feels and doesn’t give a damn what anybody else thinks as about it.

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