"Write what you know," writers are told. Honestly, I've never understood this advice. "Write what you research" would work for me. "Write what you like" would be fine, too. Or even: "Write what you fucking want to write."
One of my very first short stories was a time-travel piece from the point of view of a male saxophone player. I'm not male. I don't play sax. I've never been to the 1920s.
Now, it's true that a few years ago, I penned a piece for RT Magazine about mining your life for your words—but I was talking more about recognizing emotions and truths in your world and transforming them into your work.
That said, there is a question erotica writers have always been asked:
Do you do what you write about?
This query is specific—in my opinion—to smutters. Nobody would expect a murder mystery writer to kill people or a western writer to, say, be a cowboy. But if an erotica writer pens a story about fucking a cowboy—well, people want to know. Did his spurs jingle jangle jingle?
I have gotten my panties in a twist in the past over assumptions aimed at erotica writers. (That one in particular irked me.) But things have changed since 2008. Erotica has had a renaissance. We're not in the shadows. We're not in the dark.
Maybe the real question people have is: Does your work turn you on? Are you writing your truth or your fantasies?
And here is my latest musing:
Yes, I do what I write about. Have I done everything? No. Will I tell you what I haven't done? No. Why? Because maybe I'll do it in the future. (Ha.) But I'm a very meta writer. I draw from my life and my fantasies, my experiences and my dreams.
Of course, not all of my stories are true. They're stories. I make up the characters. Or, really, I listen to the characters in my head and write down what they tell me. And how could they all be true? I write paranormal. I write time travel. I write body swap. I write from a bisexual male point of view.
But in a way, all of the stories *are* true. (I know. I know. I just said that they weren't. Bear with me.) What I mean is this: the core—the filament within—those kinky desires, those are genuine. I write smut for a reason. I write it because I love the heat, the yearnings, the fetishes, the power, the raw hungry emotion.
Truth or fantasy? Fact or fiction? Yes. Or better yet:
...yes I said yes I will Yes.