I find myself inevitably walking into an independent bookstore, pushing usually a bell to let them know someone is entering and asking after a brief twirl around,”Do you have an erotica section?”
This question gets three responses usually, first, being an indignant “no.” Second, is a smile (accompanied with the unsaid you naughty girl) “no.” The third, is a you naughty girl look followed by “yes.” I love that answer, but when I get to the section it is just all sex books. If I am lucky there are either copies of Anaïs Nin’s Little Birds or Delta of Venus, Pauline Reage’s Story of O (all of which I own) or some erotica novel I have read before (and probably did not like).
What made me irate the last time I asked aside from being told no, was that I had to ask. Although I was indignant when told there was no copy of Fifty Shades of Gray, I just wondered why do I have to ask? As the genre has become more in demand, why is it still optional to have an erotica section? It’s not like there are a lack of readers, it really offends me at this point to have to ask. Of course I have a particular talent for finding the naughtier, seamier books…I know what I desire in books, the same way I know what I desire in a man. That insatiable have to have that now feeling strikes me quickly. If I have to search harder for the type of book I want it is kind of fun as well, but why should I have to tap into my inner sleuth to find a book to read?
I understand that the double standard remains. People are completely fine with graphic violence, but graphic sex is a no-no. To see two (or more) people engaging in sexual activity is galling. Last time I checked, I would rather engage in sexual activity, than be beaten but maybe that is just me. Why are we so afraid of something people like to do, and need to do to maintain the species?! I cannot understand it, yet I remain humbled whispering to a bookstore employee: “Psst–do you have an erotica section?”
photo by f dot leonora