Thanks to the multiple Bitchery readers who forwarded this over. Erotica author and editor Zane emailed a DC-area email loop the following account of how her latest book is facing an uphill battle in terms of finding places in which to advertise. Why? Because it’s Black erotica? Nope. Because it’s gay. Specifically, according to Zane’s email, lesbian erotica. Read on
Zane’s Apology for the Status of Today’s World
At first, I was going to hold my tongue about this issue; I really was. When one of the biggest National chain bookstores informed my publicist that my latest book was “too racy” for me to do signings there, I discussed it with a few people and let it go. When a book club service that has carried every last one of my other titles decided “to pass” on this one because they did not feel it fit their demographics, I let it go. But, there is always that proverbial last straw and that straw broke the camel’s back last night. I received an “Apology” email from a person who runs an online magazine. It was an apology to her subscribers because someone was offended by her promotion of my latest title. She vowed to not promote any more erotica or books that were not PG-13 rated. I emailed her back to ask if that includes street fiction or roughly 85% of the novels on the market that have some form of violence, profanity, or sexual content.
The book that I am referring to is “Purple Panties: The Eroticanoir.com Anthology.” Now there have been many Eroticanoir.com Anthologies, including “Succulent: Chocolate Flava 2” that just celebrated six weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List earlier this year. No one had a problem with that anthology or any of the ones before it. They sold them like candy, threw them in the front windows of bookstores and had huge displays, and made them the automatic shipments for book club members. From day one, with “The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth,” I have never toned down my content. It has always been what is has been. All of a sudden, there is “an issue.”
The only difference between “Purple Panties” and the nearly two dozen other titles that I have written or edited is that it is a collection of LESBIAN EROTICA. To that, I say shame on it all. It saddens me that we still live in a world that is so sexually oppressed. Now I am not saying that people need to rush out and read the book, or any of my books. I am saying, point blank, that people have a ton of sexual hang-ups that they need to get over. Everything is not for everybody but to “be offended,” to claim that a book is “too racy” for book signings but “Succulent” was not too racy a couple of months ago, nor “Dear G Spot” before that, or the book before that and so on, makes the real rationale behind it obvious. Will they feel that same way when “Honey Flava” comes out two weeks from now or “Another Time, Another Place” in early June? “Zane’s Sex Chronicles” in August? “Sensualidad: Caramel Flava 2” in August? Will they feel that same way when my next full-length novel “Total Eclipse of the Heart” comes out in November? “Head Bangers 2: An APF Sexcapade” in March? Will those books be “too racy” for book signings or to be featured?
Do not mistake this as some sort of plea to sell books. “Purple Panties” is currently #442 on Amazon.com, just as high, or higher, in rank than any book that I have ever put out. It will sell like crazy because it is a book that was long overdue. There are millions of people in this world in same gender loving (SGL) relationships. Who has the right to judge them, or tell them what they should or should not do with their lives?
This saddens me because I have now gotten a glimpse, just a tiny, miniscule glimpse of the discrimination that homosexual and bisexual people face in this world; especially in American society. Eleven years ago I set out on a quest to liberate and empower women”both sexually and overall. To know that we still have such a very long way to go is disappointing. I am not a lesbian but not because I have anything against it. I am just attracted to men. However, I now consider myself an “honorary lesbian” because I am pissed off at the injustices directed towards them and their gay male counterparts.
I am not going to go on and on about this but I had to speak on it. Life goes on.
P.S. Do not think that, for one second, this will deter me from my path. “Missionary No More: Purple Panties 2” is complete and will be released on schedule next January. “Flesh to Flesh” edited by Lee A. Hayes, a collection of GAY EROTICA, will be released later this month. I am proud of that book as well. People love as they love; not as directed.
I’m curious – is there a bias against lesbian erotica? Has anyone encountered this bias in their own work in the past? I know that a few erotica publishers have mentioned in passing that f/f erotica is not among their biggest sellers – is there a lack of interest in reading female-centered sexual content, or is there a blockage getting it to the marketplace altogether? I know there are different types of discrimination faced more by lesbians than by gay men, but are booksellers reacting to a perceived lack of demand for f/f erotica and protecting their bottom line, or is there a decided aversion to anything lesbian? Your thoughts?