Sessha Batto Guest Post

(photo credit: John Coulthart)

When you’re a writer there’s a natural urge to tell people about your books. You want all of your friends to rush out, buy a copy and, hopefully, tell you how much they loved it. Lately, though, I’ve had a string of people asking when I was going to settle down and write a ‘real’ book. Others are overly concerned with my family’s reaction to my writing. I’ve had my morals, my sexuality and my fitness to raise children questioned by those who seem unable to separate fiction from the real world. 

I should come clean – I write erotica, explicit gay erotica. This does not mean I’m obsessed with sex, any more than a thriller writer commits murder on a regular basis. It doesn’t make me lazy or unintelligent or morally bereft. Most importantly, it doesn’t make me any less of a real writer. It’s merely the way I choose to communicate my stories to the world.

Before I go any further, let me clarify. I’m talking about sex in all its permutations, from barely consensual sexual torture to tender lovemaking and the entire gamut in between. My only real boundaries are no children and no women. I write about men exclusively because of the wonderful shifts of power and control possible in a same sex relationship . . . and because I love men. No offense to the ladies, but I don’t think I could explore the same boundaries of pleasure and pain without seeming overly abusive, and that is at the core of everything I write. Beyond that, there is something wonderfully vulnerable and revealing about the decision to relinquish power, and the potent eroticism of two strong, powerful men being tender with each other.

Now, before you start screaming about ‘the children, the children’ – nothing I write is intended for anyone under eighteen, although, frankly, I don’t have any problem with children reading about sex. I live in a city full of pregnant teenagers and, believe me, they did not have sex because of something they read. That honor goes to the media that bombards them daily – television, music, advertising, video games, those are the most powerful influences on today’s youth.  

Remember the old ads in the back of comic books for x-ray specs? For me, sex is my x-ray specs. It strips a character down to his core truth and spotlights who they are with far more accuracy than pages of exposition ever could. Sex is the ultimate act of trust. Who we trust, why, and to what extent reveals much of our psyche that we would normally keep hidden. Sex is the catalyst for revealing hidden baggage, all the events and experiences we think are safely buried but which bubble to the surface under pressure. Our kinks highlight our transgressive natures, throwing into clear definition the whys and hows of our alienation from society in general. In short, it’s the knife I wield to cut to the truth. What knife do you use?

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About violetwilliamserotica

I'm an erotica writer that spends my days camped out at coffee shops, weaving naughty tales that aren't for the faint of heart.
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8 Responses to Sessha Batto Guest Post

  1. Jesse says:

    “For me, sex is my x-ray specs. It strips a character down to his core truth and spotlights who they are with far more accuracy than pages of exposition ever could.”
    That was really poignant, Sessha. Great post.

  2. Poppet says:

    so well said. There is nothing wrong with a writer exploring all forms of psychology through their writing, the problem with *misrepresentation* does not lie with the author, even though people like to lay that blame at our door. The problem is with the reader if they somehow think fiction is real.

    Fiction is just that, fiction. And if it cuts too close to the bone, the author is attacked for it. How can people be so afraid of a few words on a page, when they spend their lives using words, using those words to grow and work. They use their words to gossip and judge, they use those words to cut down, and sometimes to lift up and soothe.

    It is not the author who should carry the blame of using creativity to explore worlds in the safest environment there is. Books do now wound, they do not harm, no one is forcing them to be opened and read, they do not shout. They are not aggressive, demanding, domineering, or wounding. They do not pretend, deceive, lie, cheat, steal, take drugs, drive. No, books are passive. It is what humans *do* with them, how they are interpreted which is the danger. That’s like blaming a gun for a murder. A person who can commit murder will find a weapon and will resort to using their hands if they are intent are committing murder.

    The problem is not with the product, it is with the person who uses that product to assign blame, attack, misuse, abuse. A book is passive. A book will not make you gay, make you smoke, or suddenly make you an addict to pain and the power-play roles of seduction and bondage. A book can be put down at any time, the person gets to walk away. A book is private. Who reads it is anonymous. When they read it, just as impossible to know. It can be read to the end, or not read at all. A book represents complete freedom of choice. The reader chooses to read it. A reader chooses to react to it. A reader chooses to use it to attack and judge. None of their reactions are provoked. None of their actions are compulsory or mandatory. Humans will all react a different way (no two humans are the same).

    Yet – humans attack you, and your work – when they have complete freedom to ignore it and walk away at any time. And there’s a saying, *a reader seldom reads the same book the author wrote*. You don’t control their perception of your work. Their reaction says a whole lot more about them, than you. They took something passive, and used it as an excuse for aggression, and to attack.

    Good on you Sessha. I love this post!

  3. Incredible post!!! WOW!! Very well said!! Poppet, you also put it right to the point. This has to be one of the most incisive posts I have read in quite a while!

    Thank you for that!

    mnjcarter@charter.net

  4. People also wonder how I can be a very spiritual person when I write erotica. Any kind of artful expression comes from a divine place. Why can’t my expression be in that form and I can still spiritual?

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