The 80/20 Solution

Why I Chose To Write Erotica
C.K. Ralston

My reason for exploring erotic situations and sexual relationships is simple: I like sex and so does almost everyone else on this planet, whether they will admit it or not. You have to look no further than the recent mega-sales phenomenon of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James to realize this is true.

The three novels by James were actually, in my opinion, not very well written, fantastic and unbelievable as far a basic plot points went, and containing but a shred of what the old Supreme Court decision defined as “redeeming social value”; that tenuous link between out-and-out porn and “erotic romance”.

Be that as it may, the books sold and sold. The three volumes produced sales of over a hundred and twenty five million copies worldwide, were translated into fifty two languages, and set the record for the fastest-selling paperback of all time in Great Britain.

Not bad for three books literary critics widely panned as sheer dreck and BDS&M aficionados openly laughed at and ridiculed as inaccurate portrayals of the lifestyle they were involved with.

The sales figures don’t lie. Somebody bought them, and by the baleful!


Because millions of people were curious about the sexual lifestyle they purported to represent. They wanted to know why it was that some humans are turned on, rather than repelled by, being restrained, being exposed to pain, being subjected to humiliation during sexual encounters.

What made these people tick, others wanted to know? What was so erotic about getting spanked or blindfolded, or both, before someone had sex with you?

Everyone is, on some level, curious about sex. Even sensualists, sexual libertines, the so-called “swappers” and “swingers” of our society want to learn more about one of their favorite pastimes in life. They may have devoted a huge portion of their adult lives to exploring sexual boundaries and immersing themselves in new and “exotic” experiences.

But they suspect, many of them secretly pray, that there is even more to be uncovered; more to be enjoyed. Even these hedonists—perhaps especially this group of pleasure-seekers—want to know more about sex.

By the same token, we see that everyone is slightly insecure in some way when it comes to this topic. What is normal? Am I getting enough sex…are my wife/husband, boyfriend/girlfriend or significant other lacking in sex drive? Or, much more frighteningly, am…I?

Given these drives, these sometimes hidden “urges”, it is no surprise that people are keen to read more about erotic relationships. Sometimes these impulses come under the heading of “guilty pleasures”, and some people are more open about their desire to expand their knowledge when it comes to sex.

The rise of the “e-book” has made this basic human craving for more explicit descriptions of exotic sexual encounters far easier and simpler to satisfy than it was before. No longer is it necessary to stand in line at Barnes & Noble or Wal-Mart with a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey tucked under your arm, for all your fellow shoppers to see and secretly titter over and point out to their friends.

Today, it is possible to simply buy erotic material over the web, in the privacy of your own home. You can store it on your home computer, tablet, or even on your smart phone, and you can even keep it hidden from prying eyes, if you so desire. No one has to know you even have it, and you are free to read it in complete privacy.

Vivid, straightforward, no-holds-barred descriptions of the “raunchiest” sexual unions, the most “deviant” behaviors known to man can be reviewed by everyone who has a Kindle or a Nook. And no one needs to be aware of this interest in exploring the “kinks” of sex, if you don’t wish them to be.

And so the question isn’t really why to write erotica; the question is really why not?

There is seemingly endless fascination with the subject inherent within the human race. Bad erotica is not much fun to read; good erotica is both stimulating and thought provoking, and great erotica tends to become classic literature, to be passed down from one generation to the next.

Happy reading! 

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