I’m always confused by the tropes I see in popular erotica. Apparently the whole ‘billionaire meets middle class woman, sweeps her off her feet’ thing is still (a) a thing and (b) still so goddamn silly that it makes me want to facepalm my way back into the Stone Age.
I had a conversation with my esteemed friend about this exact thing. “It’s so tacky,” I said. “I thought that it would end once Fifty Shades burnt itself out, along with bad BDSM porn.”
“Honestly, Shay,” she replied, “It’s very simple. It’s all about escapism.”
“Well yes, I understand that. But escapism should have some element of realism in it, and these books are clearly so far beyond the horizon of silly that they might as well be in Narnia.”
She laughed at me. “But that’s why they’re so popular! Women read these because they’re completely unrealistic. A good escapist fantasy does have elements of realism in it, but when you’ve already got a job and a husband and too many children, you don’t want any reminder of what is real. Bad escapism is better than good escapism that holds elements of a life that dissatisfies you.”
I had to give that to her. It does make a lot of sense, when you think about it. Go to Amazon.com, search for ‘billionaire’ in Kindle Books, and you’ll get thousands of hits, many of which are best sellers published this year. It’s rather depressing when you think about it.
I mean, I understand, really I do, why they’re so popular. But I can’t write those books, and not only because I just don’t know anything about the billionaire lifestyle. I want to write about normal people doing fun things in real relationships, not aloof assholes being brought down to earth (or something) by generic girl next door, with added sex. And this means I will probably never write a bestseller.
I guess all I can do is hope that comedy porn becomes popular. That or start publishing some really kinky shit and hoping I get sales off the shock factor.
Authors! If you have an opinion on this, talk to me in the comments. I want to know if you’ve tried this and what’s worked for you.