It’s Not About The Boa

May 18, 06:07 AM

“Bloody hell! She writes erotica!” That’s what I heard from the first person I told I was going to be published. Before then, no one knew about my writing. My secret life, and my inner world, were about to be exposed. 

When I met my soon-to-be editor at a restaurant in midtown Manhattan, I wore a purple feather boa. I bought the boa to wear when I sat at my computer to write. Somehow, it helped me unlock the inner room where I stored all of my erotic treasures. Wearing that boa in public for the first time externalized my sense of coming out of the closet.

Now, only a short year later, erotic romance is a national phenomenon. The surge in the genre has been widely reported by the media, and has captured the eyes and the imaginations of many romance readers who are ready for more.

My emerging from the shadows as an erotic romance author is not that different from what is happening to romance readers. Women are sexual beings, we always have been. The romance novel is a place where women find a safe haven for their secret desires. The gratification that happens by living vicariously though another’s story helps many women cope with the more mundane aspects of their lives.

The escape factor of a romance novel seems to grow proportionally with the heat in the book. As the novels became edgier, women became bolder. They wanted to ride the wave of a more titillating story. The tingles were more intense, and the climax quite satisfying.

Women looked for romance novels with more of a bite, because they wanted the stories they were reading to carry them farther than traditional romance had. When erotic romance sales began to climb, publishers noticed, Kensington Publishing being one of them. They launched their Aphrodisia erotic romance line and I became an Aphrodisia author.
I write sexually explicit stories for myself. My imagination conjures fantasies, which come alive in my mind. The fantasy grows into a story, with plot, characters and lots of sex. The pleasure of writing the story, and living through the characters, gives me the same rush as reading it. Readers of erotic romance want to explore their long hidden sensual feelings just as I want to explore mine.

As with all things that push the envelope of traditional standards, not everyone is ready for this new explicitness in romance. Some of the detractors say it has gone too far, others have even called it smut. But no one can deny that erotic romance has hit mainstream society.
When women find out what I do, they are eager to buy the books. From my personal experience, the enthusiasm about my writing continues to surprise me. From college age to middle age, from a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, from my doctor’s office to bookstore cashiers, from my friends and family, everyone I know wants to read these erotic books. It is as if mainstream acceptance has legitimized the genre and women have been given permission to read erotica openly.

So, ladies, if you are feeling like you want to add some panache to your life, buy yourself a feather boa and an erotic romance. Just remember, it’s not about the boa. 

P.F. Kozak