Although most of the stories were good, few had made my naughty bits tingle. If they could be considered erotic, wouldn't my pirate story also qualify?
I decided to turn to the experts to help answer the tough questions.
I asked Cross about the role of humor in erotica. It seemed to work for Queen and some of the others, but wouldn't everyone laugh at some poor dude with a pirate fetish? Cross told me not to worry. "Some folks might think a story is stupid or not sexy or boring," she said. "But there will be those who breathe a sigh of relief because someone finally wrote about their fantasy."
She also reminded me that erotic fiction like all writing isn't easy. I turned to another expert, Violet Blue sex blogger, author-editor of several erotic fiction anthologies, and well-known erotic podcaster for more advice.
"The key is authenticity. Strive to create real, complex characters flawed, not perfect in realistic relationships with an honest, rip-each-other's-clothes-off need to fuck burning beneath the surface at all times," said Blue (yes, that's her real name), whose Web site, www.tinynibbles.com, features samples of the genre's best writers; links to Web publishers, online communities, and safe porn sites; and photo albums of erotic art.
"And please," Blue added, "don't go overboard with genital-sexual euphemisms."
For publishing options, Blue guided me to www.erotica-readers.com, which has an extensive list of soliciting publishers. It took a while to comb through the endless calls for submissions, and although I didn't find any for pirate stories, I did locate Black Lace Anthologies, which offers $800 for stories with werewolves, vampires, and other oddities, and Penthouse Variations, which pays $400 for stories about anything sexual. Cross also assured me editors are open to new writers as well as experimental stories.
It seems all I need now is a pseudonym. *
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To read Justin Juul's pirate story, visit www.sfbg.com/blogs/pixel_vision.