I took a trip to Europe’s biggest bookstore today. And while loitering in the erotica section, I saw a broad cross section of London’s reading public pass through and check out the books – from the girl with the edgy haircut to the old guy with a walking stick.
It got me thinking. I’ve written before about how I came to write erotica. It required quite a mental shift from me. So today, I found myself thinking about why people read erotica.
Titillation, sure. And entertainment, first and foremost. But in the same way we read romances to imagine falling in love, to peek into other people’s relationships, erotica offers us the chance to peer in through other people’s bedroom windows, thrown open just for us.
The stories and acts we read about may not always be things we’d want to try in real life, but it’s always fascinating to imagine. Never mind celebrity sex scandals, erotica is where we learn exactly what the cool kids are up to. Characters we’d perhaps pass in the street, we now learn have this inner life, this extravagent, decadent, sensual sexual life.
And we get to watch.
Maybe all erotica is an act of voyeurism, to one extent or another. All I know is that I’ll keep looking in through every open window. Won’t you?Photo credit: la cuarta ventana by bachmont