– Anais Nin, Erotica –


“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”- Anais Nin

My friend R told me about her experiences on reading Anais Nin’s “Delta of Venus”, she didn’t seem to be enjoying much of it, as the stories seemed brutal. I smiled to the comment, thought of Anais Nin ever since.

Anais Nin was known to me as someone who was famous for writing erotica, with a famous name call “Delta of Venus”. Until then for me I always felt very divided in feelings for erotica, either too ashamed to be in touch with it, or despise it because great literature seemed involved little to nothing on sex, or just not classy enough. Even when I was reading “Fifty Shades of Grey”, I found it impossibly hard to speak out loud about it.

A while later one night when working in a bookshop, a customer got in and bought some books that seemed would raise eyebrows in people, we talked about whether “Fifty Shades of Grey” indeed liberated women to read erotica legitimately, or if possibly able to explore sex freely as men. It might happened I said, but people would be too afraid to actually read it in public. As Erving Goffman would put it, people n a way already internalized the sense of shame (in stigma) – in order not to be stigmatized, they would try to self-regulate…

For me reading about sex often annoyed me – in erotica, the actions seemed to be constantly focus on the actions, the actual scenes. When sex was very easily done with tension, something that built up from the beginning of attractions. For example The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, shared a sense of sexual tension – even just by taking off the gloves or kissing the shoes! I would be grateful if EJ James ever got upto that kind of level, or should I try write one out myself?


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