Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why Am I Embarassed?

"OH, guess what she does NOW... she writes Erotic Romance!" Yup, my cousin let the cat out of the bag with that drunken pronouncement.

Recently, while out on the town with my cousin and some college friends visiting Vegas I was faced with this dilemma: Do I own up to what I do when it might change the way someone looks at me? Can I live with myself if I lie about it, because I love what I write?

"No, way!" One of the guys with us was boggle-eyed and obviously not a believer. "YOU? The girl who doesn't drink alcohol? Who only drinks soda all night long? No WAY!" Then he tilted his head, "Nevermind, I can totally see it." I guess he was remembering the fact that I don't need alcohol to dance on the bar/tabletop with the other goyles... or maybe he was remembering thirty minutes before when I switched out my super-heavy sweater for my cousin's much lighter one all while sitting at our table in the club (in my defense it was sweltering and she wasn't using hers... and no skin showed.. okay my arm and shoulder did). Nevertheless he demanded proof of my "OTHER" job.

Unfortunately... or fortunately depending on your outlook... my cousin pulled out her iPhone and punched in the Long And Short website where my three short stories currently reside. If it was possible (and believe me it was) his eyes bugged out even more, "I'll have to read this later... when you're not around. HERE, program it into MY iPhone!"

Now, while I DID program it for him, I didn't call him later to ask if he had indeed read them after I was no longer around. A very large part of me was glad he showed an interest (along with all the other people in our group)... but I wasn't all that surprised. He is after all a guy and if it has sex in it they're all for it. The other part of me was a bit embarassed though, and that made me a bit angry. WHY was I embarassed about something I love doing, I enjoy reading, and that has quite a large number of fans?

Honestly? Because, I didn't really want to change that Status Quo we had come to rely on. I didn't want to have to explain why I chose this genre... or if I'd actually done the things I write about. Because, while I adore them... there are just some things that they don't need to know about me. If my hubby had been with us I know that he would have smiled and said he loved the research aspect of it (like someone else has said HER hubby likes to say... ahem... Nina), but looking my friends in the face I smiled and changed the subject. Don't worry, they brought it back up again later, and I had made my peace with them knowing, so it was all good.

But the question still remains... WHY am I embarassed when the subject comes up (except with certain members of my family, my cousin to name one)? Am I the only one who struggles with telling someone I've known "before" the writing? Believe me, it's not something I'm going to be telling my Mother-In-Law that I do, and other more judgemental members of my family don't need to know either as they already make some family gatherings... interesting, but I LOVE what I do and I'm not ashamed, but I am embarassed to explain. So... anyone else have these issues? I'm just wondering.


Helen Hardt said...

I think we all share some of these feelings. I'm not ashamed at all. And not really embarassed, either. More worried that people will hold it against my husband or sons. For example, my sons are teenagers, and I don't really want their friends' parents knowing what I do, LOL.

Marianne Arkins said...

MY in-laws would be horrified to read what I write, and it's not erotica!! lol... it's also not Christian inspirational, which is the only thing they tolerate (and some of that, just barely).


I'm not embarrassed as much as I am trying to keep the peace.

So... DO you and your DH research? DO you do the stuff you write about?

*G* You know I had to...

Kayelle Allen said...

Imagine my family's surprise when they discovered that not only was their mom (and they are all adults, btw) writing erotic romance, she was also writing gay erotic romance!

They more or less believe it's my right to do as I please (ya think?) but they aren't happy about it and we don't discuss it. My husband's first question was two-part: "Is this a new genre? How well will it sell?" You would not believe how supportive he is of my writing. We had a financial windfall last year, and he set aside enough money for us to get along without my salary so I could quit and write full time for at least six months. I have a really big novel out in three days, so I'm hoping this helps make a difference for us both.

But I am no longer embarrassed to say "I write erotic romance." I'm still struggling with my "writing closet" though. I'm pushing myself to be more open. I want to say "I write both straight and gay erotic romance," just as easily.

I'm attending Gay Days in Orlando this June, and I'm hoping that will help (pardon the pun) drag me out of that closet for good. ^_^

Great topic, btw! I like your blog.

Kealie Shay said...

These are all excellent points, and I thank you for your input. Helen, I feel the same way, and my kids are much younger, but I don't really think their playgroup parents would be all that thrilled... but ya never know.

Marianne, somehow, I KNEW you would ask... and you already know my answers! :-D

Thanks so much Kayelle. I always enjoy seeing you when you drop by. I'm glad you enjoy our little home here.

I think all in all I'll just have to take it one day at a time and hope I can get over my "issues". LOL

Devon Gray said...

My in-laws know what I have written, but refuse to read it (suits me just fine!). My MIL has read some of my very tame writing (which she found racy), but that's about as far as she's willing to go. As for the "personal experience" question: I was told to neither confirm nor deny. That seems to work out great ;-) Of course, I'm sure my husband would love all the credit (and I'm sure he's taken it with his friends that have read my work) for my creativity, however!