First it was Big Foot. Then the Loch Ness Monster. Dinosaur CEOs came along shortly after. There was even a book featuring a dominating HDMI cable. And now, even basic office supplies are getting in on the sexy fun. What is it about authors writing erotica featuring mythical creatures, prehistoric has-beens, and random household objects?
Yes, this is the world of self-published erotica, and in the race to garner readers’ attention (and their money), authors are writing more and more fantastical tales starring some of the most bizarre main characters ever written. But the strange thing isn’t even the cast of characters and the paper clips who love them… it’s the fact that many of the stories appear to be written by people with actual writing talent.
As one reviewer (user name Molly Hodgdon) stated of “Conquered by Clippy: An Erotic Short Story”: “I feel like this is probably written by a legitimate author who was frustrated with what sells and said, ‘I could write some Clippy erotica and I bet people would eat it up.’ It’s very funny (and erotic, obviously). I laughed out loud many times. Don’t be a tightwad, just buy it and satisfy your curiosity.”
Is there some truth to that? Much like the often-spouted criticisms of modern art that claim “my two-year-old could paint that on the bedroom wall with the contents of his diaper,” are authors writing this for laughs, or because they are genuinely fed up with what is considered award-winning and best-selling content? Are the authors of “Taken by the Haunted HDMI Cable” (which has since been removed from Amazon) or “The Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay” laughing all the way to the bank, paying their bills with pen-named published erotica weirdness in order to fund their legitimate but lesser known writing efforts?
Unfortunately, there’s also the quick-buck approach to this stuff. Within days of the now-famous scientific “is it blue or is it gold” dress debate, an erotica short story entitled, “Pounded by the Gay Color Changing Dress,” whose own Amazon description reads, “This erotic tale is 4,400 words of sizzling human on gay dress action,” appeared on the site. This leads us to wonder whether this is a real subset of literature, or if many of these titles aren’t simply spit out for the sake of SEO rankings. However, as of the writing of this post the dress erotica title was sitting in the top 100 on Amazon for erotica-horror.
However we feel about both the rise of indie publishing and the downfall of humanity through the internet, one thing’s for sure: there’s a market for this type of content. It’s not clear whether the audience is made up of genuinely interested and avid readers who are making these books popular–or it could simply be for the much-needed laugh–but it is clear that authors who otherwise would have lacked a forum for their content and a way to monetize on their harmless fun are now gifted with the opportunity to publish and sell.