I love reading erotica. I was in eighth grade when I first read a book with sex. It was Forever by the legendary Judy Blume. My friends and I passed around that book all year.
The next book I read was the summer after my freshman year of high school. I picked up a copy of Master of Pleasure by Jessica Trapp at the local Wal-mart for under $5. I was hooked. I sneakily read as much erotica as I could get my hands on. Some was great. Some was…problematic.
But in my later adult years, I started noticing a trend. The vast majority of erotica romance is full of bad tropes. There is the emotionally constipated, arrogant, millionaire (at least) hot man who can’t be tied down. Sometimes he’s royal or famous. The female protagonist is a classic Mary Sue. She’s innocent–but not too innocent, kind, and is ready to tame the beast of the man who stole her heart.
It’s 2019. In the world of #metoo and intersectional feminism, we need new romance stories. We don’t need toxic masculinity. We don’t need to romanticize problematic relationships with dubious consent and borderline emotional abuse.
I’ve slept with more than a few people, and none of them have been billionaire playboys. And sure, we read erotic romance for the escapism. But fighting toxic masculinity and teaching a man to have emotions is not my idea of a good time. And in my relationships, the one with the commitment issues is me.
They say to write the stories you need to read. That’s what I’m doing. I hope you find an erotic romance that feels like it could happen to you.