Lockdown writing and a disclosure

I have been writing like a maniac. This is good, right?

I resurrected an erotic romance story (novel? novella?) I started about a year and a half ago with many chapters, and supplemented/edited it in the past few days. I think out of the 50k+ words, probably half are ready for an editor to go through with a fine-tooth comb. But I’ll get the rest completed first before sending it out to have it proofread. I plan on publishing on kindle.

So that’s on the romance side of things.

On the memoir, I took a break this week. I spent a lot of time reminiscing about my childhood last weekend, some of which was new (to me) as told by my mom. Other things were shifting around in my memory. It’s exhausting reliving the events from that time, especially because of the trauma that happened, so distance is probably not just a good thing for my emotional state, but also a necessity to maintain clarity.

In addition, I also wrote some other things.. I’m a little perplexed with the readership though…

Let me give you some back story:

About two years ago, I embarked on an experiment by writing erotic flash fiction, steamy multi-part romance stories and some pure erotica. I picked that niche and played around with it mainly to gauge if I was able to push beyond my comfort zone and maybe drop some inhibitions. Open my mind to some possibilities, just to shake things up a bit. 😉

I felt like my writing had hit a plateau and figured a change was due. Some of you know about my mantra:

If not now, when?

So, I came up with some stories and experimented with them. I asked myself:

Can I write this type of content using embellished imagination, really dig deep into the creative outlet?

So I did that, and in recent months, published a few ‘less descriptive’ pieces here on this blog, as well.

As far as my two year experiment is concerned: I was surprised at the results. Not only did I enjoy writing this type of content, I gained a slow but steady readership.

But here’s what perplexed me the most:

The bulk of my followers (about 200) who make themselves known by liking and/or commenting my stories are male. 🤔

?

I always thought men preferred visual stimulation over written erotica.

My style of erotic writing is not vulgar (far from it). I don’t use porn-y lingo (mostly – it depends if the scene warrants it or not). 🙃

I do write descriptive, steamy scenes but often stop short before the ‘act’ itself is consummated, leaving much to the reader’s imagination. Most erotic fiction I’ve come across online focuses on the act itself. Not me. I work on the slow build leading up to the act.

Like I said, I began this adventure as an experiment, one I’m surprised I’m still playing around with two years later. I’ve dabbled in this niche mainly because I wanted feedback on my writing style; soft, not crude or coarse, focusing on desire, arousal and fulfillment, not obscene or profane sex.

Here’s the interesting thing though:

My initial target audience expectation was midlife women, like me. I geared the style of writing toward the women in my demographic. I thought for sure the GenXers would read this stuff.

Um…nope.

I mean, there are some, and of those women there’s a small portion who live in or practice alternative relationship styles, such as power exchanges or kink. I know this because they write about their lifestyles and I read them too.

I checked my last few posts earlier and noticed at minimum, at least half (usually more) of the likes came from men. It’s kind of eye-opening.

Now, perhaps this has something to do with the character(s) I’m developing that has their radar up, that makes them coming back to read more. Or, perhaps they’re just searching randomly for tags that touch on some of the topics that interests them. I do use tags in all of my writing, and it’s also a method I use when searching content for research purposes.

Either way, I’m intrigued by this development. I had no idea that men liked the softer version of written erotic romance when I first began writing this way.

Which makes me wonder, if more women in my age group knew about soft core erotica, would they read it as non-lurkers?

My experimentation continues, at least for the remainder of this year.

So, on that note, I’m off to continue my writing. Lockdown weekend is upon us, again, and frankly, there’s not much else to do. May as well focus and get it done.

Hope everyone is doing well out there. See you in the comments.

10 Replies to “Lockdown writing and a disclosure”

  1. I use Twitter to ‘broadcast’ my stuff. Which is not anywhere near as focused or purposeful as yours. I would say that most of my Twitter followers are male but they are there for images, the writing is a bit of a side bonus. It surprises me sometimes the ones that do read and connect with me about what they have read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Men do like the visuals I know. I’m not there although I appreciate well posed erotic pictures (never vulgar) mostly to inspire creativity. But I’m not posting those myself, I stick to the words. Which is why I was surprised to see an actual following – they (men and women) like the stories. That makes me happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m more into the long view of character development. Even soft-porn, definitionally is usually short. It’s the appetizer, and the reader is in for the meal. I’m not surprised that the readership is male–but not because it’s erotic. I am surprised that my readership is nearly half male. Like you, I thought I’d be appealing to mid-life women. Who knew that many men, in the same range, are just as interested in character development, watching the reactions of fully fleshed individuals react to the challenges you’ve dished up. Could be they just like a well-crafted story.
    Back in Two Rock I had a friend, and elderly woman, who found herself in financial straights. After I published my first book, she confided that, she too was a writer. She’d been writing and selling porn for a year or two, and it got her through some rough times. She was shy about it with me, and would never let me read her stuff, or divulge her pen name. I had to laugh, wondering what her readership would think if they knew their porn was written by a crusty old broad, all of about five foot tall and 200 pounds.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re the second person who has said that some of the men do like the well-crafted stories. That is definitely true even for the non-blogger. Some poets follow me who stick to erotic/sensual poetry and compliment my style. So yes, that seems to be the case, And, on occasion, some of them email me privately and tell me exactly that so I will take that at face value, and keep going. 🙂

      Porn of all sorts is a money maker if it’s marketed properly. Yes, the short, overweight women may have a knack at telling steamy stories, so what? I think it’s great, she’s supporting herself, and like you said, it comes back to the story telling.

      I don’t post pictures or identifying markers on my stories at all, which is often considered a selling point. Which is why I’m even more surprised. I’m attracting people/readers by my words alone.

      Just the other day I saw a millennial complaining that she has so many followers on twitter but her blog posts aren’t as popular. The reason (in my unsolicited opinion) is that her twitter feed is full of semi- or full nudity. She posts them to supplement her writing. Now, I’ve read her writing, it’s pretty good and for me personally the words would be enough. But for her twitter peeps, they wanna see the boobs and all that…I don’t know if even half of them stop to read her rather creatively outlined fiction. That’s the reality these days…instant gratification, move on, next! (sigh)

      Like I said, it’s been an extremely eye-opening experience so far.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can you tell the age range of the men? Are they GenXers too or younger?
    I’m a little surprised but not a LOT. If it was all college age guys, that would surprise me. I’d expect them to be more into the porn-y stuff. Stereotypes 🤷🏼‍♀️

    A well written story is entertaining?, enjoyable?, good to read, whatever the genre. I’m not a big fan of romance or erotica. I’m not a prude, it’s just not my thing, but I’ll read a well written book and skim over the play-by-play. Maybe these dudes are just digging your writing?💕

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The age range appears to be diverse with the majority my age or older, it seems. But I’m not completely sure, as if I don’t know the blogger who likes the stories I have to assume that what he represents as is true. If the picture shows a middle aged guy, is it really a middle aged guy? Anyway, some of them, as well as some of the women, email me privately so I do know the general demographic. Not too many millenials. 🙂

      In terms of the ‘well written’ stories that includes sex (and the slow build, foreplay) I think these men enjoy that aspect, so I’ll take it as a boost and flattery.

      Liked by 2 people

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