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.