Let’s Talk About Sex Some More – Is It Time For A Career Makeover?

I’m slowly but surely wrapping up work on the dreaded novel synopsis. I plan to have the completed submission package out the door by next week. Thus knowing that that particular project is almost complete, I find myself looking around for what I want to work on next.

This is the part of my work that I hate – figuring out what to do next. I’ve got a ton of ideas for stories and projects, and I’m thinking I may just spend a week or so writing them all down, fleshing out story lines and seeing where each one heads. If something strikes me as particularly interesting, then I’ll have my next project. If not, I’ll have to brain storm (i.e. bang my head against the desk) for a while until I find something that really lights my fire.

So what does any of this have to do with sex, you ask? Everything. All the writing I do, all the project ideas I currently have, revolve around sex. Which leads me to a question that’s been plaguing me for a while now. What do I really want to do with my work?

Remember James Tiptree, Jr.? The brilliant woman who couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do? She could have been so much more, but she never reached her full potential because she just couldn’t focus on any one thing. I’ve been dealing with that same problem for years now. What do I want to do, who do I want to be? What do I want to focus on?

I think it’s pretty clear what I should be doing. I just haven’t taken the steps to do it. Two years ago, I found my niche in erotica. I discovered I enjoy writing it and reading it, and I think that eventually (when I get good enough) I’m going to be drawing it as well. The story ideas come easily to me, and they’re not just stroke stories, but tales with plot and setting and characterization and (gasp!) moral and all that other serious writerly stuff. Stories that I’m damned proud of, as a matter of fact. But as of this writing, I have yet to put together a writer’s webpage promoting what I do. It’s like I haven’t decided yet to be a professional erotica writer, in spite of the fact that I’m getting ready to send out my 82,000 word novel to a publisher again.

The same thing seems to be happening with the artwork too. I dabbled a bit in erotic graphics. I really wanted to do a series of sexually explicit images, but never quite got around to it. It’s like I was dabbling with erotica, but never taking myself seriously. I kept trying to focus on “real” work instead, graphics that dealt with non-erotic subjects that ought to have been artistically stunning, but never got done because I had no interest in doing them.

Why the hell does this happen, I wonder. Why do I waste my time on projects that leave me cold and ignore what I crave to do? Why have I not committed myself to being a full on erotica writer and artist?

Maybe it’s because I find myself caught between wanting to be the Good Mommy and wanting to be the Queen of Porn, a dichotomy that has really screwed up my ideas of who I am. I rant about how much I hate wearing the boring Standard Mommy Uniform when what I really want to do is go back to my freaky days as a goth-artist-vamp chick. Yet somehow I still find myself mulling over what’s appropriate to wear to Cassie’s next play date (a concern my best friend notes is rather ridiculous, since the play dates are almost always with people who know me and know what I do). It’s becoming a real identity crisis, and I’m reaching the point where I really need to decide who I truly am. The freaky goth chick would not hesitate to follow her true calling, I know. But every time I get ready to do just that, to cast aside all inhibitions and jump down the rabbit hole into the world of erotica, I hesitate. I can’t do it, I tell myself. I’m a mom, and with that role come certain expectations about who I must be and what I must do. I must be clean and wholesome, bake cookies and drive a mini-van. I must dress conservatively to blend in with my hum-drum surroundings. I must chat politely with the other mommies at the playground and not scare them by releasing my inner wild child into their mundane midst. I must fit in and become one with the herd.

You know what this is, of course. It’s stereotyping, and I’m expected to conform. Not by others, though, but by myself. Why the hell am I doing this to me? I hate stereotyping. I hate conforming. My inner goth pirate freak is just screaming at me because I’ve been suffocating her for the last three years beneath the whole Mom and Apple Pie crap. “Cut that shit out!” I hear her rage, “And let me finally come out to play!”

Should I do it? Do I dare? What would happen if I devoted myself whole-heartedly to erotica? What would be the result if I let all my creative efforts be driven by wild sexual impulse? Would it be a bad way to spend my life, or would I finally fulfill some of those lifelong dreams I’ve had of becoming a successful writer and artist? Picasso did it. Salvador Dali did it. Susie Bright does it to this day. She became an icon in the world of erotic writing, and so have many others that I’ve come across in the past three years. Am I really going to settle for doing anything less than what these others have done? Am I really going to spend the rest of my life as a self-censoring wuss who never followed her wildest, most erotic dreams?

No. Not this chick. Hide your sons and daughters, folks. The queen of porn is on her way.


Here’s one of the hobgoblins living under my bed. I’ll bet he lives an interesting life…

Hobgoblin, digital painting, 14 September 2006

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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