Confessions of a Smut Peddler # 2: 14 Year Olds Can’t Write Erotica

Or at least, this one couldn’t.

Welcome to my second installation of Confessions of a Smut Peddler. This one deals with me, way back when.

I started writing erotica when I was 14. I was a really awkward child that turned into an awkward teenager. I was proud to have a good circle of female friends but 14 year old guys were kind of a hit and miss for me. So I guess I started my exploration into what would eventually develop into erotic literature from fanfiction. Yeah, that’s cringe-worthy. I didn’t have a steady internet connection, mostly using the family computer when I was allowed to (which wasn’t often).

I deleted all of my earliest erotica, except for one: Eva. Yes, that is the same Eva featured in The Resort. She originally had her own story (listed in my Upcoming page actually), and her story is totally cringe-worthy. A 14 year old’s mindset of sex was not only inaccurate (I hadn’t even kissed a boy yet at that point), but also very much slut-shamed. Eva was supposed to be the product of abuse, and she doesn’t understand what “real” love is. So she ends up having a relationship simultaneously with six other boys – and I say boys, because everyone was underage. At the time, I didn’t know how to write adults convincingly. I was fourteen. So Eva was aged up to 16, as were her peers, and I thought that was edgy. Looking back, it’s just really creepy, as a twentysomething author.

And dear lord, baby Jesus in the manger, that story is just insane. I wrote over 200 pages of Times New Roman, font size 10 scribbles in Word Pad of all things, because I had a hand me down computer running Windows 95 in 2004. I didn’t get XP until I was like maybe 16, or when most people were on Vista. Eva was saved on a floppy disk for crying out loud – and because of that I also lost huge chunks of her story when the floppy corrupted.

Eva’s story is a love/hate relationship now. Love, because the nostalgia is so strong. Eva was a way to explore all of the fun adolescent hormones, but also as a way that got me into writing romance in earnest, erotic or otherwise. Hate, because my technical skill was just terrible.¬†Word Pad didn’t have a built in spell checker, so there were random misspelled words from either honest misspelling (I used to think “hesantly” was the correct form of “hesitantly,” for instance), or because I didn’t realize I was making typos on something that didn’t have spell check.

Oh, and then there was the sex.

The¬†inexperienced fourteen year old that I was had no concept of what sex really was then. I was too timid to look up porn and most of my working knowledge of sex was either from what I saw in the movies or the “abstinence only” method of sex ed taught in public schools. That right there is a recipe for disaster – gruesome disaster.

I still have the corrupted .rtf file on my computer, and because of the redundant file back ups I do now, it’s survived moving from one computer to the other, motherboard failures and computer crashes. And for some reason, while I was waiting on CreateSpace to upload my file for The Lady in the Velvet Collar, I found myself back in my old Eva files.

I’ve tried so hard to revamp Eva over the years. In general I have a good idea of where I want to go, but she’s still a problematic storyline in general. In The Resort, she briefly touches on her previous brush with sex addiction. That was a plot point in her original story form, but I didn’t understand what addiction really was then, like the struggle of realizing the need is a part of the addiction, how it can tear families apart. Instead of acknowledging that her addiction had a deeper component to it, she was just mostly slut-shamed for sleeping around and cheating on partners who knew she was with other people, but forgave her as soon as she had sex with them. She was impulsive to the point that kissing someone meant she was on board for sex. She was friends with someone who raped her, to the point of taking him as a sexual partner later. Looking back, I had no idea of how Eva was meant to be portrayed – The Resort helped define her.

So yes, 14 year olds can’t write erotica – or at least, this one couldn’t from things like a basic definite concept of how sex works. But it was a necessary building block for me. At 25, I am incredibly confident in my abilities to write erotica, and that’s building off of the back of cringe-worthy stories like Eva’s.

I just hope I can do her story justice one day, the way it should be.