Writing LGBTQ+ erotic literature is a niche that has been gaining popularity in recent years. The demand for diverse representation in erotica has paved the way for authors to write stories that explore a wider range of sexuality and gender expression than what has traditionally been depicted. However, writing authentic and representative stories can be challenging, especially if you do not identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. In this blog post, we will explore some tips on how to write LGBTQ+ erotic literature that is authentic and representative.
Do you have to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to write about LGBTQ+ issues?
In my opinion, no one needs to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to write about LGBTQ+ issues. Anyone can explore and write about issues as long as he or she has enough information, sensitivity, and respect. In the background of the question is the currently much-discussed problem of cultural appropriation. And the usual reaction of creative people is: you don’t have to be a murderer to write crime or thrillers either. However, openness and impartiality should be the basic principle in writing and not an attempt to jump on a fashion trend. Members of the LGBTQ+ community in particular are often very sensitive to stereotypes, so as writers, you should ask yourself what your motivation is when writing.
On the other hand, if you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to encourage you to put your experiences on paper as well. The world is just beginning to realize that the old division of men and women doesn’t work in that way anymore. Non-binary role models are still the absolute exception in literature. And if you take erotic literature seriously and don’t just understand and use it as pornography, you can sensitize others to your way of life in a unique way. We all need courageous authors like you!
Do Your Research
It is imperative that you research before writing. This will help you avoid common pitfalls such as stereotyping or fetishizing. In addition, it will allow you to understand the nuances of different sexual orientations and gender identities, and how they intersect with other areas of identity such as race and class. Read books, watch documentaries or interviews, and attend talks related to the topic. Doing so will not only inform your writing but will also help build empathy and understanding.
One of the biggest mistakes writers make when writing about people of different sexual orientations and gender identities is relying on stereotypes. Stereotyping not only reduces complex individuals to caricatures, but it also perpetuates harmful myths and tropes that have historically been used to oppress marginalized communities. Instead, strive to create characters who are multidimensional and avoid reducing them to their sexualities or identities. Remember, people are more than their labels.
Intersectionality is the idea that different forms of oppression and discrimination – such as racism, sexism, homophobia, or ableism – cannot be understood in isolation, but rather intersect and shape the way individuals experience the world. As such, it is important to consider the intersectionality of your characters’ identities. No one community is homogenous, and LGBTQ+ individuals also face different discrimination based on other aspects of their identity. Portraying characters in this way will create a more authentic and well-rounded story.
Consent, Respect and Authenticity
As in all other areas of life, sexuality is always dependent on the people who practice it. It is an expression of different lifestyles, preferences, and expectations. In the best case, the people involved talk in advance about what they like or dislike. However, this is often the exception, so that disappointments are pre-programmed, especially in the first sexual encounters. Our job as authors cannot be to paint an ideal world here. Literature lives from tensions and obstacles on the way to the goal. Thus, the topic of sexually transmitted diseases can also contribute to authenticity – just like the problem of risky sexual behavior.
Remain True to Yourself
Finally, remember that regardless of who you are writing about, your writing should always reflect your own voice and experiences. Writing about LGBTQ+ experiences does not mean you have to enforce specific views or write in a certain way. Authenticity is the key to good writing, so focus on portraying experiences that feel true to you and your characters.
Writing LGBTQ+ erotic literature involves a unique set of considerations and challenges. By doing research, avoiding stereotypes, considering intersectionality, promoting consent, respect, and safety, and remaining true to yourself, you can create an authentic and representative story. Remember, fiction has the power to educate and create empathy, and by writing well-rounded LGBTQ+ characters, you can help contribute to a more diverse and inclusive literary landscape.