We have multiple giveaways for physical copies of various Inkubus titles. Go check them out, and good luck!
By Winter Saebeorn
I’m going to be honest, straight-to-the-sex erotica bores me. While the main characters are lubed up and fucking, I’m distracted by the author’s unintentional use of post modern art as a metaphor. What I want is twelve chapters of lead up, to build an emotional connection to the characters, before things steam up.
I want my slow burn.
What I don’t want is the will-they-won’t-they trope. It sounds similar to slow burn, yes, but the difference lies in the motivations. Not the character’s motivation, the writer’s. The will-they-won’t-they method of writing is the disaster movie of relationships. This happens when the powers that be have determined that two characters can’t hook up yet. Maybe they’re worried about ratings? Maybe they decided a particular pairing would cause too many complications? Whatever the motive, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong to keep the characters apart, again and again. A little bit of this can be fun but often turns frustrating.
In a slow burn, unlike the hot mess above, the motivations for not hooking up lay with the characters. They decide when it is time for them to take that step. And they go through an emotional arc to get themselves there. The classic story has one character learning to open themselves up to loving another, and being loved in return. Sometimes it’s a literal, physical journey where characters have to find themselves together at the same place at the right time. The end game is always the same-the reader gets to know the characters as well as they know each other.
When the deed is finally done, it’s not just about the act of sex. It’s about the emotional connection the characters have with each other and the reader has with the characters.
This is a demisexual view of erotica. A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection first. The thought of just sex with no context is about as sexually stimulating as jogging. The characters are participating in mutual physical stimulation, and if that sounded clinical and boring, then you understand the demisexual’s problem with erotica. Regardless of the quality of the writing, it might as well be insert tab A into slot B. It’s not that we don’t want the hardcore descriptions, we simply want them wrapped up in an emotional candy shell.
And let’s be fair, sex is a rather subjective thing. So is its place in literature. You can’t really say that slow burn is better than erotica, in general. Readers tend to bring their own preferences, prejudices, and peculiarities to what they read. When they pick up a book, they may be looking for something that echoes their own experiences. They could be searching for secret desires sweet or dark. Whatever it is, no two individuals will be looking for the exact same thing.
The industry however, tends to only take two paths: 1) hard on the sex but soft on plot; or 2) here is your emotional buildup, now fade to black. This frustration has led a lot of readers into the world of fan fiction.
Fan fiction is rife with erotica known as Porn Without Plot, or PWP as it’s tagged. Favorite couples are thrown together, have hardcore sex, and… that’s pretty much it. This is often in response to the PG-13 nature of the foundation work, or born from the frustration of a will-they-won’t-they plot arc. The unintentional consequence of this is the creation of a demisexual’s playground.
The original literature is the slow burn and the emotional connection has already been made. A demisexual can go into a PWP and have all the background they need to find the hardcore sex as titillating as it was meant to be. If they stumble onto a slow burn that also has hardcore sex in it, it’s demisexual Christmas.
But demisexuals don’t have a monopoly on the slow burn. There are plenty of reasons why someone may prefer to see an emotional connection built between characters before sex is brought into the mix. Perhaps they need to have clear pictures in their head of the characters and their personalities before they can imagine them together. Or perhaps they do or do not want their literature to mimic their real life. Regardless of the reasoning, the reader knows what they like and what they look for in literature.
Whether we’re talking about a story, or sex, the goal is the same: satisfaction. To that end, it’s all about having a good grasp on the situation and finding the right tools for the job.
As you know--at least, we hope you know--we have open submission calls for various themed anthologies that we publish at least twice per year. As the title of this post suggests, though, we're current looking for different submissions.
Beginning today, we will publish articles or blogs by you, our readers, and other authors. You won't get rich writing for us, but if you've got an idea or opinion burning a hole in your brain or hard drive, we'd be willing to give it a look. If we accept your submission, you'll be paid $10.
If you go here, you'll find all of the information you need to get started. At least, we hope you will. If not, contact us.
That's it. Now start writing!
We're getting closer to the official release (April 15, 2017) of our next anthology. Featuring twelve stories from authors around the world, Fairy Tail provides erotic takes on fairy stories in both the traditional style as well as modern re-imaginings. Check out the table of contents below for a sneak peek at the authors and titles featured.
In Service of the King by V. Hummingbird
Grim Reality by Gio Lassater
Leannán Sí by Sita Bethel
The Tell Tale Tails by Jaap Boekestein
As You Wish by Gio Lassater
Selkie by K. Lawrence
The Lumberjack and the Fairy by Max Header
Siúil A Rún by Sita Bethel
The Master of Baerbright Hold by Gio Lassater
Big and Bad by J.C. Quinn
La Douleur Exquise by Stephanie Loss
Falling Leaf by Gio Lassater
Also be sure to check out our store page where you can pre-order copies of Fairy Tail for only $9.99 until from now through April 14, 2017. The ebook pre-order will be available on Amazon very soon. We'll post details on our Facebook page as soon as they're available.
Author Gio Lassater has been hard at work over the past few months crafting a spyrotica trilogy of novellas focusing on a diabolical plot to take over the world.
Agent Rhett Dane is tasked with uncovering the mastermind of a plot to destroy all of the desalination plants around the world. Along the way, Dane encounters sexy villains and hot operatives all too willing to lend a hand--or other body parts--to hinder or help his cause. Dane peals away layers of a conspiracy that lead him to something named Adickted. What is it, and how will it affect the men of the world?
Rhett Dane: Top Secret Bottom: The Adickted Trilogy is a sex-filled romp set against a backdrop of intrigue and espionage. Each novella will be available to purchase in either ebook or print format. Part one will be available on November 1, 2017. Be sure to check back for more information, including a cover reveal and the link for the pre-order.
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We're happy to announce that we have several publications that will be released over the next few months. Coming first will be our Rocket Ride anthology which features sci-fi stories that'll send you into orbit. Pre-order and release date information will be available soon!
Also slated for release is the first novella in a spyrotica trilogy by author Gio Lassater. Agent Rhett Dane is the self-proclaimed great spy in the world. When he uncovers a plot that targets every man on earth, he has to fight against the sexy henchmen of an unknown megalomaniac. Rhett Dane: Top Secret Bottom is the overarching title for the series. Set in locations around the world, follow Dane, henchmen, villains, and spy allies in the campy adventure that pokes sexy fun at the spy genre.
We've also just begun accepting submissions for our next anthology, Fairy Tail. If you want to give an adult re-telling of a timeless fairy tale, or if you want to submit an original piece featuring the fae, we'll take whatever you have. Head over to the Submissions tab for more information.
We're happy to announce that The Supornatural Collection, Volume One will be released on April 15, 2016. Just in time to for a pick-me-up after the dreaded tax season.
We are beyond happy to reveal the cover for our inaugural anthology focused on supernatural erotica. The cover was created by the incredibly talented folks at TatteredWolf Studios, who also created the cover for Gio Lassater's novella Going for Bronze. Stay tuned for an exact release date for the anthology, as well as information on how you can make a copy of it your own.
We've been slowly waking up from our turkey coma brought on by a delicious Thanksgiving meal. Hopefully everyone had a happy holiday with their loved ones, whether family or friends or both. Now we're on the downhill slide toward Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, Festivus, or the holiday of your choosing.
With that in mind, beginning December 1, 2015, and going through December 8, 2015, you can get Gio Lassater's debut novella, Going for Bronze, at a discounted price for the Kindle. The countdown deal begins at $0.99 and runs for 80 hours before jumping to $1.99 for another 80 hours.
Also a reminder that our first anthology submission call for The Supornatural Collection, Vol. 1 ends on December 4, 2015. If you would like more information on submission guidelines, you can check that out here.
Everyone enjoy your holidays!
Erotica, generally speaking, is something that is enjoyed in private and not shared with those around you. Even the most popular mainstream pieces of erotica don't usually inspire people to sit around and discuss their favorite bits. At least, not as far as we've seen. But, what happens when an author is presenting works in progress to her critique group? What are the results of that?
We talked last week about how writing erotica can be an experience where you're sharing some of your own interests and turn-ons. It can present an embarrassing situation to be face-to-face with people who you absolutely know are reading your work. What can be just as interesting is the reaction those readers can have, and the fact that in order to present critique, they have to open themselves up to divulging personal information.
The same thing happens for readers. Let's face it, there are just some scenes that speak to us. We have our likes, those things that just push our buttons, and unless we're with someone who shares similar likes, it can be daunting to admit what we like. We're sharing a part of ourselves that generally is kept within the safe confines of our own minds, or in the bedrooms with our partners. When we are faced with the prospect of admitting we like something, it opens us up to whatever thoughts or responses others may have.
We don't know if other authors routinely present their erotica to critique groups for feedback. We do know, though, that if you're going to do it, find a group with open-minded people who aren't ashamed to admit what it is that they like. It's also important to remember that you're not going to please all of the people all of the time, but if you can find that one button for that one person, that can make the entire effort worthwhile.
A few months ago I started doing something that I never thought I would do. I began submitting my erotica pieces to my critique group. It was a big step that, quite frankly, left me kind of nauseated. Now, the members of the group are not prudes by any stretch of the imagination. We're all pretty open-minded and will tackle any writing-related task. (Well, except for me when it comes to Splatterpunk. shudder)
At first, I submitted pieces that had the sexy bits redacted. I literally put the word redacted in place of things that I was a little too embarrassed to have people know I wrote. This eventually led to a great play on that word, which in turn led to an idea for a current in-progress project. Now, though, it's all there for the world to see. Every glorious description of genitalia, sex acts, you name it. People can choose to read it or not.
And everything was great with that arrangement until last night. Three new people joined the group. They were fresh eyes. Fresh voices. Fresh reasons to be embarrassed all over again. But why? For me, I think the reason goes back to what I said to another writer in the group. She writes romance, and she wants to make it more erotic. She just can't get over that initial hump (pun intended) of knowing other people are going to be reading it and discussing it with her. Face to face. Without the safety of distance and anonymity of a pseudonym.
When she asked for advice on writing erotica, this is what I told her: The best advice I can give, based on the assumption that you truly want to write erotica, is to write it as if no one is going to read it for critique. Write it to be enjoyed. Write it to arouse you. Not to get into icky territory, but my erotica turns me on. Write about things that stimulate you because they'll stimulate others. If you're into it, others will be too. Just breathe. Imagine the scene. Let the characters do what they want. Have fun. And don't worry that someone else is going to read it because that is ultimately why we write.
There is part of the author in everything he/she writes. It can be embarrassing for people to know that we sat and thought about these acts. That we probably enjoy these acts. Sex and sexuality for so long have been equated with privacy and intimacy. To discuss them openly, or to write about them with the intent of titillating an audience, can still be considered debaucherous or crude. But, if the success of Fifty Shades of Grey has taught us anything, it's that there is always a market for everything. Oh, and sex sells.
So, I would invite you, if you don't already, to let someone you know read your work before you put it out there. Let yourself be embarrassed. You never know what might come of it.
What brings me to the title of this post--Heroes vs. Stigma? In all honesty, it's a thought that I had while writing, and it simultaneously made me stop to examine my own thoughts and feelings while wondering about the thoughts and feelings of readers.
So what was the thought I had while writing? Is my hero--a dashing, handsome international spy--bottoming too much? Some of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering why that question deserves a blog post. Others are probably already well ahead of that. In the gay community there are tops, bottoms, and versatiles. Feel free to Google those terms if you don't know what they mean. In case you don't know, there is a stigma--including in the gay community--against being a bottom.
The primary reason there's a stigma against bottoms is how society has viewed relationships between two men. That age-old question, "Who's the man in the relationship?" has set a precedent that equates gay male relationships with heterosexual relationships. There's the assumption that one must be a man and one must be a woman. Obviously, the bottom falls into the category of being the woman. Why? Because women are the ones who are penetrated.
The logical answer to the question "Who's the man in the relationship?" is "Both of us are." Unless it's a lesbian relationship, but that's a different blog post. Society, for as far as it has come, still needs to place people into roles that it understands. Therefore, if you're not the one doing the penetrating, you're the woman. And if you're the woman, then you're automatically less in the eyes of society. Less what? Pretty much less everything.
Bottom is a term that is used as a derogatory term. As a bottom myself, I've had that term used to demean me. It's used to make people feel bad for the form of enjoyment they derive from the act of sex. It fails to take into consideration that all people are different, or that it's no one's business but mine and my partner's how I find sexual pleasure.
And that is the most distressing part of the question that I--a bottom--had for myself and my writing. Is my character bottoming too much? It honestly made me stop and ask myself why I thought that, with the obvious answer being the concern that the reader wouldn't find a bottom identifiable or worth reading about. The hero is supposed to be manly, masculine, take charge. So, how is it possible to do that if you're being penetrated? How messed up is it that I even thought these things?
This is the true evil of prejudice and homophobia. It makes those who have been victimized rethink their motives and motivations and what it is they derive pleasure from. While there is absolutely no shame in being a bottom, society makes us feel shame by its skewed perceptions and fears of what we, as bottoms, are. Society equates us with women, and if society has taught us anything it's that women shouldn't have any sexual desires or control over fulfilling those desires. (In case you're wondering, yes, that was sarcasm.) Therefore, we are less than men, and how we derive pleasure makes us women. Therefore, we are worthy of ridicule and shame.
The other thing about this that makes me feel badly about the thought is knowing that my critique group, which is made up of gay, bi, and straight men and women, never once asked me why the character bottoms more than he tops. It has been a topic of conversation exactly zero times! (This makes me so proud to be a part of a group of people who don't think these thoughts.) I simply brought my own fears and experiences into the equation. I made it an issue when it wasn't one.
At Inkubus Publishing, we're interested in reading and sharing the scintillating sexual exploits of all gay characters--whether they're top, bottom, or versatile. So, with that in mind, write the character the way you see fit. Let him find pleasure in being true to himself, and in the process be true to yourself. It doesn't matter if you're a male or female author/reader. We all deserve to find pleasure in our own way. Society will just have to accept that.
Fair warning, this is going to delve into some territory that some might find weird, icky, or slightly offensive. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
A few weeks ago I was discussing the words "come" and "cum" with some fellow editors. Now, while we focus on male-male erotica, we don't just sit around constantly discussing the finer points or minutiae of male orgasm byproducts. No, this came up because Gio Lassater had a piece accepted for an up-coming anthology, and that editor asked her to change all instances of "cum" to "come." So, what's the difference?
As we all know, especially with writing, there are rules and then there are rules (insert the sound of an ancient tome slamming shut here). In the most basic view of each spelling, there is no difference. They can both mean the same thing. However, "cum" has taken on a connotation that denotes baser sexual acts and/or pieces. Think a journalistic piece in The New Yorker as opposed to letters to Penthouse. Cum is considered to be more crude or to describe the actual orgasm byproduct itself, while come is considered to be the most acceptable and more seemly way of writing both the act and the byproduct.
In reality and honesty, which spelling you use is going to depend on two things. First, what does the publisher prefer? It's been my experience that more publishers are preferring come. Not knowing their reasons why, exactly, it would be my best guess that they fall into the line of thinking that, even though we're publishing material that primarily titillates as opposed to stimulates the mind, come raises the piece to a level that cum just can't or won't. Second, I think it also comes down to the author's choice. Authors tend to pick one over the other, and then stick with it. I say go for it, but just realize that your publisher may make you change it.
What are your thoughts on this? Leave us a comment about which spelling you prefer, and why.
Over the past few weeks we've been reading submissions for our current open submission call (which you can check out here). It's interesting to see what various authors consider erotic, and with that in mind, we thought we would discuss some different classifications of erotica.
Porn: This is the category favored by author Gio Lassater, with whom we have been working closely while she finishes the first draft of the first novella in an upcoming trilogy. Porn is what you think it is. It exists solely for the titillation of the reader. It depicts graphic descriptions of sex, and it may also contain adult language. There is almost no character development, and characters exist solely for the acts they engage in. This category will most likely offend the more mainstream reader.
Erotica: The characters are on a journey of exploration and development, but there is not necessarily a romantic relationship involved. There are most likely depictions of graphic sex scenes, but the characters don't necessarily exist for the sole purpose of having sex. There can be character development and adult language. This category might offend the mainstream reader.
Erotic Romance: This focuses on the development of a romantic relationship, and the sex scenes are inherently necessary for the story. However, the sex scenes are going to be more tame than in the two categories above, and the usage of adult language is not as prevalent in this category. Most mainstream readers will not be offended by erotic romance.
Romance: Sex isn't an inherent part of the story or the character development, and if the sex scenes are removed, the story doesn't suffer from it. There is almost no adult language, and the sex scenes may be more metaphorical or implied than in the above categories. This is what mainstream readers indulge in most often, and they'll find it inoffensive for the most part.
So, there you have it. Each of us have different tastes when it comes to erotica, and we read different categories at different times and for different reasons. We hope this will help anyone interested in submitting to our open call or to our general submissions. As always, if you have questions, we'll gladly answer any you may have.
The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. The ground work was laid to get Inkubus off of the ground; we've established Twitter and Facebook pages; and our Submittable page is already generating interest. (You kind find links to all of these in the toolbar.)
What is Inkubus, you may ask? Well, we want Inkubus to be a voice for independent authors who enjoy writing erotica and telling a story at the same time. A friend said usually when she reads erotica, she skips ahead to the "good parts." Well, we want readers to go on a journey and experience the "good parts" as part of the climax of the story. (And, yes, we very much intended that pun.) Why should other genres get all of the good storytelling just because the authors don't want to titillate their reader?
With all of that in mind, we are looking for like-minded authors who want their readers to enjoy every bit of the erotic storytelling experience. If that's you or someone you know, we invite you to check out our current submission call for our supernatural-themed anthology planned for release in early 2016. Sometime before the end of the month we'll reveal the cover to inspire you even more.