Sunday, May 25, 2014
Why don't more men write erotic romance?
I'm very new to writing fiction. I'm also an old guy. I just turned 64. I was 16 when Paul McCartney immortalized that age. At 16 I though 64 was much older and decrepit than it has turned out to be. Nevertheless I am past the peak of my sexual prime and clearly headed into the sunset.
One immediate benefit of writing erotica is that I can make love to any woman I want. In fact, she craves my sexual attention and my wife could care less. How good is that? As my awareness of the field of writing has expanded I have wondered why more men don't write erotica, or more specifically M/F vanilla erotic romance. It's a blast.
It's fair to say, since I'm saying it about myself, that I have been subject to female allure since the first time I felt that stirring in my pants when I saw pictures of naked women. Yes, I am pussy whipped. I love women. I love female sexuality. I have been easily led by the nose (actually by my cock) anywhere any woman has wanted me to go. I have made disastrous choices because of it.
Luckily, I found a woman who has been my wife and soul mate for 25 years, but she too, can get me to do anything she wants. She's so goddamn smart. She knows that the secret to moving men is that we crave to have two things stroked, our egos and our cocks. If she wants anything, all she has to do is make me think its my idea, praise me for it and then reward me. It's like leading a lamb to the slaughter.
Guys, does your wife brag about you? Mine brags about me—not for the tremendous screaming orgasm I bring her (right)— it's the handyman work I do around the house. When my wife is bragging about me to friends, in guy code she is saying, 'my husband's dick is bigger than yours'.
So by now I'm sure your asking, 'what does all this nonsense have to do with men writing M/F erotica'. The answer is: EVERYTHING.
To answer my own question about men writing M/F erotica, my thesis is: It's not that men don't have sexual fantasies or that men aren't good writers, it's that the standard, acceptable expression of erotica is passed thought the lens of the female experience. So yes, guys, we are subject to a kind of deeply rooted discrimination. INCOMING!
When I say deeply rooted, I am talking about all the way back to the dawn of mankind. It was sex that brought us out of the trees. Something happened back when we were two feet tall that caused an explosion in our species almost like a virus. I believe that explosion was triggered by several changes that happened relatively quickly but proved very successful. One of the most important changes was the shift from seasonal estrus to monthly fertility—females became fertile and sexually available on a year round basis. The other was the anterior migration of the vagina—males and females could face each other during copulation.
Prior to the change in the fertility cycle, a female signaled availability by broadcasting pheromones. It drove all the males crazy, we wailed and beat on each other, bringing gifts, building stuff and generally making fools of ourselves for the chance of a little nookie. The big alpha male swept us all away and banged everyone. The pheromones died down and we all went back to living separate lives, eating grapes and picking ticks off each other. That strategy is still working successfully for the other primates we left behind.
Somewhere along the way females got the idea that if they were sexually available all year long, males would be constantly seeking their favor, bringing them stuff, building shit and so on. Then to break the alpha male thing, they realized that if they could face their partner, visual cues could replace pheromones and allow them to have more choice in the selection of mates. The great migration of the vagina began.
The strategy was ingenious. Guys had to keep bringing more and better stuff in order to get laid, but we all had a chance if we could just bring the right stuff. The phenomenon we call civilization was born. It's why I am pussy whipped. I keep bringing stuff and building stuff in order to get laid. (You didn't think I was going to get back to that, did you?)
The only place females fucked up was in selecting big hunky guys (think Romance) as mates, which promoted sexual dimorphism—males much larger and stronger than females. They should have selected more of us regular guys. The slaves they bred became their physical masters.
When the language thing came around, women proved much more facile with this tool. Guys stuck to expressing themselves with clubs and spears. Moreover since females harbored life, they had to develop much more internal sensory awareness than men who merely needed to sense when to eat, shit and fuck.
Then there was writing. At first we wouldn't let females learn this communication tool. When they did, they focused on internal sensory experience. Eventually, completely frustrated by the lack of emotional bonds with their mates, they invented Romance Novels as a means of escape from their dreary enslaved lives. They specified that the standard story trope must be one that focuses on internal sensory and emotional experiences and hold the more physical, visual male fantasy to be an invalid expression.
And that's why we don't have more men writing erotic romance.
About Spencer Dryden