Every writer, whether they write fiction, non-fiction, romance, poetry or erotica has a point of view substantially influenced by the world around them. I write GLBT erotic romance. Because of what I write, politics influences my work. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," gay marriage rights, fundamentalist parents reactions to gay children, prostitution, job discrimination-- all of these factors play a part in my novels, whether the novel is a contemporary novel about rock and roll bands like Shattered Glass, or a SciFi novel like The Sarran Plague.
However, there are situations that I don't get to write about going on in this country. In this blog I will discuss these issues both large and small. Last week I heard a news item on both radio and television that struck me as incredulous. They made an action figure out of Dexter, the character from the Showtime show of the same name. If you are not familiar with the character, he is a serial killer who murders other serial killers and then proceeds to butcher them in his basement. Personally, I'm not fond of the show. It is too bloody and nasty for me. However, it is a popular series.
I don't object to the doll, however bizarre I think it is to sell an action figure of a serial killer as a hero. What I do object to is the hypocrisy of the retail outlets that have it for sale. Most of the time, if you wish to read a gay erotic romance, you have to download the item from the publisher on line. If it is presented in paperback, you still have to order it and have it shipped to your home. Erotic novels contain sex and romance. GLBT erotic novels describe sex between men, between women or between males plus a woman or females plus a man. In the general context of erotic romance, the sex leads to love and what writers call HEA (Happily Ever After). The market for these books is not limited to to gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered persons. Ordinary American men and women buy, read and enjoy these books. The problem is, they are not available at most retail outlets.
Can someone please explain to me why a romance book that contains sexual acts leading to commitment and, if they live in the right state, marriage, is so bad it can't find a place on a retail shelf or even on the shelf in a mainstream bookstore? Yet some of these same stores put dolls exploiting the TV notoriety of a serial killer in the toy aisle, complete with fake blood, saw and plastic bag of sawed off body parts. Does this mean that a loving relationship between two people of the same gender is, in fact, worse than idealizing a serial killer? This country is more comfortable with horrific violence than it is with sex. Very strange...