Add to that the complication of my family. My parents were very traditional; they'd had an arranged marriage, and expected me to do the same. They definitely didn't expect me to do anything other than study in college -- even holding hands with a boy was off limits. So when I started dating, and dating white boys, and then sometimes girls, and by twenty-one, being pretty firmly poly and dating multiple people at the same time -- well, it caused an awful lot of strain within the family. Lots of conflict. All of that fueled a strong interest in writing fiction about it, which lasted for a decade. That was when I wrote Torn Shapes of Desire, founded Clean Sheets Magazine, edited Aqua Erotica and Wet (the two waterproof erotica books), and wrote Kathryn in the City and The Classics Professor (the two choose-your-own-adventure erotica books).
Then I turned thirty, and around then I started my Ph.D. program in creative writing. I had also by then started to get more interested in Sri Lankan politics and immigrant stories, which led to several years working on mainstream lit. That led to Bodies in Motion, which has only a few sexy bits. And then -- then I had babies. Two of them, and for the next four years, I would describe my sexual orientation as 'tired.' I had almost no energy for sex, which is kind of ironic, considering where babies come from.
I worked on other books during that time -- a nonfiction memoir that's still in progress, and a YA fantasy that my agent is currently shopping around. But when I started thinking about what I'd like to write for a Kickstarter project, it was erotica that came back to mind, after a decade away from it. Maybe it's because the children are now two and four, and I actually get to sleep through the night most nights; that leaves a little more energy free for extracurricular activities.
There isn't the same urgency to writing erotica now as there was when I was twenty, when sex was a battleground in my life. These days, there's no one telling me I can't have sex, even if I want to sleep with women or multiple partners. (I wouldn't be allowed to marry them, but that's a different battle.) But I think I have some new and interesting perspectives on sex now; the angle of view is different from forty than it was from twenty. Among other things, the stories I wrote back then tended to be very individual, personal stories. Now, I'm at least as interested in how people's lives are affected by the world they live in, and the political events happening around them. Can I connect that in an interesting and arousing way to their sex lives? I think so; it'd be a lot of fun to try.
Demimonde is up to $665, two days in, hooray! If it continues to average $300/day in pledges, it'll actually reach the $8000 goal by the end of the 30 days. A few people have asked why I set it for 30 days, instead of longer, considering I'm not a big star like Neil Gaiman -- and the answer is just that that's what Kickstarter recommended. In the absence of other information, I figured at least this first time around, it was worth going with their guidelines. We'll see what happens.
Next entry -- okay, I've explained why erotica, but why science fiction? Stay tuned for the answer -- and a bonus story. :-)