Six things that happen when you open up about being a budding erotic fiction writer.
1. Everyone turns into a schoolboy. You don't quite anticipate the reaction, after all we're all over 30 now. And you feel awkwardly like you've done something wrong when almost everyone who gets your honest answer to the question "what are you planning to write next?" almost literally can't handle what you've just told them, and blushes and giggles and feet-shuffles abound.
2. People ask where you get your ideas from. As if you're the only one who has sexual fantasies. Like, really? I get my inspiration when I'm about to ovulate or when a sex thought comes into my mind. Not a complicated process, I'm ashamed to say.
3. You start to wonder if you're the only one who has sexual fantasies. And you feel like maybe you're just really dirty and should never be allowed to think freely when alone.
4. You go from embracing the catharsis of indulging your secret inner world on paper to suddenly realising someone might read it and know the innermost workings of your filthy imagination.
5. You absolutely and completely reject the idea of writing under a pseudonym because you're free and comfortable with your sexuality and you don't care who knows it.
6. You write under a pseudonym because you remember that although you don't mind strangers reading your hot and lustful musings, your close friends can also read and will read it even though they know it'll make any future engagements with you a little uncomfortable.
You realise there's still a lot of stigma about women who exercise their right to their own sexual autonomy, and the world still has a bit of a problem with sex in popular culture being represented by women - especially mothers. You decide that although you're a feminist and breastfeeding advocate and topless equality supporter, you just don't have the energy to attempt to subvert another inexplicable patriarchal cultural norm.
You briefly consider how freeing it would feel to take a male pseudonym.
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