Friday, June 15, 2007

Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica - The Blog Tour

Five Questions from Jolie du Pre, editor of Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica, for Sofia Quintero, author of On Her Terms.

1. Why do you write erotica?
Essentially, writing erotica is a liberating act for me on many levels. It so happens that I write in many genres, and yet I feel erotica is the one that I truly write for myself. The overwhelmingly majority of what I write I intend to publish in some format, and if for some reason I cannot publish something I've written, I feel terribly disappointed especially if the piece is fiction. The exception to this self-imposed pressure to publish, however, happens to be my own journal entries and my erotic short stories. I journal because it's healthy to have something that is all yours and that is not to be shared with anyone else.

I write erotica, however, because it's liberating to share things that we're socialized to keep to oneself or only intimates, especially sex since it's paradoxically ubiquitous and taboo. Creative writing allows me to explore places I haven't been and may not ever go in real life, and so writing erotic fiction is the ultimate freedom in creative expression. Finally, I'm an unapologetic feminist, and writing erotica satisfies my activist impulses to use storytelling to raise significant issues with respect to gender liberation.

2. What do you like best about lesbian erotica?
This is the first lesbian erotic story I've written although I do read lesbian erotica from time to time. There seems to be a unique sensuality that comes from two women giving each other pleasure that borders on revolutionary. That may seem like a romantic overstatement, but the argument can be made when we look at cases like the murder of Sakia Gunn. Two women who openly love each other in every way are a serious threat to the patriarchal status quo that seeks to oppress anyone who is not white, straight and male. That daring, that authenticity, that passion of lesbian sex is immensely beautiful and a powerful inspiration to anyone regardless of sexual orientation who has ever had their sexuality repressed or policed.

3. What is the theme of your story On Her Terms. in Iridescence:Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica?
The theme of my story is authenticity. Using ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Hollywood as the backdrop, it explores the risks and rewards of being true to oneself. I work in the entertainment industry, and the paradox that persists with regards to lesbianism boggles my mind. On the one hand, what I call "thesbians" abound in the industry – fundamentally straight women who will have sexual interactions with other women for the entertainment of straight men. They know they're straight, they ultimately want men, and they know rare is the straight guy that is not turned on by watching two women getting it on.

On the other hand, in the same industry that rewards "thesbians," you have gay women who are afraid to come out. My colleagues and I often discuss the "open secret" phenomenon, where the men and women whom everyone in the industry knows are gay won't come out to the public at large out of fear that the revelation will bring their careers to an abrupt halt.

When writing On Her Terms. I imagined what would happen if an established yet closeted actress once known for her fearlessness but now sliding back into obscurity were to fall for a rising starlet who reminds her of how authentic she used to be. It's a romantic story with a bittersweet ending. It also speaks to the "isms" that abound in an industry that is perceived to be so liberal.

4. Name some other books where we can find your work.
Under the pen name Black Artemis, I wrote the hip hop novels Explicit Content, Picture Me Rollin' and Burn. For more short erotica, check out the anthology Juicy Mangos. Fans of chick lit should pick up my novel Divas Don't Yield and the anthologies Friday Night Chicas and Names I Call My Sister.

5. Just for fun! Gym Shoes or Stilettos?
Why choose when I can rock these:

This blog is part of the Iridescence Blog Tour. For the entire month of June, you can read the answer to these questions from other contributing authors of this amazing collection of erotic short stories including Jolie du Pre, Fionna Zedde and Rachel Kramer Bussel. To read an excerpt of my short story, click On Her Terms.

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