I’m reading Candy’s copy of Emma Holly’s Strange Attractions on the subway. In light of the debate about sexual language, terminology and propriety, I have to say, reading erotica in public gives me the frequent impulse to make sure I put my clothes on this morning.
Normally I have no embarrassment to read whatever romantic literature I want on the train. I mean, I sat down next to a woman who was, much to the shock and amusement of the women across from her, putting on her makeup and curling her eyelashes while on the train. And the train was moving. It was both fascinating and gross. I mean, no one wants to see eyelash torture devices in use in public, and no one wants to see the covers of some of the books I read, particularly the open-mouthed-clinch covers with the big phallic pillars in the background. I get some raised eyebrows if the cover is egregious, but hey, I don’t care. Anything’s better than curling your eyelashes.
But today, reading erotic literature, with bum humping and S&M and bondage and sex and humpity hump hump humpity hump hump look at Frosty go, I had to hold the book inches from my face. I look at what people are reading all the time. What books, what magazines, what genres – I’m always checking out other people’s reading material, and if someone glanced over my shoulder to the goings-on of the pages I read on the train… oh my.
I wouldn’t have been embarrassed per se, but I would have felt a little naked. I would hope if someone did glance over my shoulder they went to work with as nice a flush to their face as I did. Surely, their poor manners shouldn’t and won’t change what I read.
But I do have to say, reading the naughty naughty in venues where the literary equivalent of eavesdropping is possible and frequent does make a difference in how easily I lose myself in the prose.