Mommy porn. Erotica for women. Discreet, digital or printed, distraction. No matter what you call it, women seem to have taken a liking to naughty stories. Frankly, this isn’t anything new. Romance novels are as old as time, or popular printed literature, anyway. What’s changed is how far the people (mostly women) who write it are willing to let us peek into their collective boudoirs.
Fan or not, E.L. James’ ‘Fifty Shades’ series was her story, told the way she wanted to tell it, dealing with what she wanted to tackle. It became a best seller, available online and in any bookshop. Time was, it would only have been found in ‘special’ bookstores, near the top shelf, if she could have got it published at all.
Which brings me to my mother. My mother, like millions of other well-meaning mothers, always told me, “Whatever you’re going to do, be good at it. Be the best if you can.” What she didn’t say, but she most certainly meant, was ‘Whatever you do that I’d approve of, which is a list that precludes anything I’d be uncomfortable talking to my friends from church about.” That list, I’m more than reasonably sure, didn’t include writing dirty stories. Not even if I was as rich as E.L. James. She’d have whispered that part. Things she whispered had less chance of actually existing.
My mother passed away quite a few years ago. Not a day goes by I don’t think of her. That’s part of the problem. Like any really good mother, her influence is permanent. It survives her in many, many ways. Most of them are good. This one, not so much.
My mother’s generation may have espoused a few open-minded ideas about sex, but what they wanted for and from their daughters told a very different story. Sure there has been an easing of standards and expectations. These days, you won’t be pilloried for losing your virginity. Still, most mothers hold on the hope their girls will remain above the fray. At least until it’s time for them to marry and make the mothers grandmothers. Sons are pretty much consigned to free agency, with the age old ‘Boys will be boys’ nonsense. Double standard much? We won’t even discuss what my father would have to say about all this. Fortunately for me, I was a disobedient child. If my mother was here, she’d agree. Wholeheartedly.
So, I read. Books, stories, pamphlets, cereal boxes, whatever. I read a lot. I read things I didn’t understand, and things I did. I read about things I did do and things I didn’t do. One of those things was sex. Eventually, I could make those claims about doing and not doing things in that realm, as well. A lot more didn’ts than dids. (Not when I was as young as you feared either, Momma. You’re welcome.)
Now I’m here, writing about things I’ve done, things I’d like to do, and things likely best left to my imagination. It’s not easy some days, because I know what my mother would think. While I’m free of her direct disapproval, all that direction she gave me still hovers over my shoulder. I still duck when I swear. I still help older people. I still give up my seat when someone less able needs it. I also write erotica. Sometimes, it borders on porn. I hope I do it well. I’d want my momma to be proud of me.