Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Jumping Through The Hoops

Cover of my latest Amazon publication. Click here to get it for free on Kindle Unlimited.

This is the cover of my latest fictional offering "Sucked Into It" which is paranormal erotica of the vampirish variety. It was originally published on my now-defunct Jolly Roper website. I updated it for book publication and edited it, adding about 1000 words. And I'd like to tell you about it to give you some idea of all the hoop-jumping I had to do to get the story suitable for Amazon.

The story is basically about a young college student named Rick who meets a hot young college cutie named Daria who wants nothing more than to suck his cock. She's fun, bright, very much taken with him but not needy about it, and just in general seems perfect.

But of course she's a vampire. Only in my story, vampires can drain the life force of a person through the exchange of sperm as well as blood. And of course, that's why Daria is such a cock sucking hose beast of a girl. She's just hungry!

In the story I had a scene where there are mother-daughter vampires, and the daughter is upset and tells her mom to go away while she feeds on a fellow's cock. I played it for laughs with the daughter going “Mooo-om, get out of here!” and mom's all “Well, all right ...”

But it occurred to me that this might trigger Amazon's censors. I have good reason to be wary of Amazon's censor's: six of my stories were recently blocked (or “banned” as the rest of us call it) by Amazon, probably after some censorious type read them and complained. Too many such complaints can get your account shut down, which means no more publishing on Amazon, which is at present by far the most profitable venue for indie publishers. So I took a hard look at my other books and unpublished about six more books, just to be safe.

I mean, if Amazon doesn't wanna publish a specific story of mine, fuck 'em, I'll publish on Barnes & Noble or Smashwords or some other venue, less profitable or not.

So I made an enquiry on a message board for erotica writers, and the response was very nearly universal: Amazon would block the book with a mother-daughter ANYTHING to do with sex, even if they were not having sex with one another.

There are a lot of writers who have written incest-themed stories on Amazon, and they've been required to jump through increasingly difficult hoops. They use code words to prevent Amazon from putting the ban hammer on them. The genre is called PI (for Pseudo-Incest) by erotica writers, and they might use “man of the house” to describe a father or son, but NEVER the words father or son because THAT would be INCEST.

So I decided to dump the mother-daughter theme, because it wasn't important to the story, it was basically just the pretext for some humor.

But then I remembered that I had mentioned that one of the witches was 300 years old, and had first become a vampire at age 14. THAT was to set up the idea that she needs a chaperone to travel with her whenever she leaves home, because she appears to be 14.

At no point do I mention that she had sex at 14, but it's clearly implied by the story. Three hundred years ago, 14 was marriageable age. (Hell, I remember an elderly maiden aunt from the Georgia mountains side of my family joking that a 16 year old girl who was unmarried was considered an old maid in her day).

Well even though there's no sex scenes involved here (the character is just mentioned in passing) the mere implication of teen sex 300 years ago might get Amazon's censors cranked big time, as teen sex equals child porn and is the third rail at Amazon, unless your name is Vladimir Nabakov. And the 14 year old vampire was not at all essential to the story, so out she went.

THEN I got to thinking about the Big Sex Scene in the story (there are smaller sex scenes as well, but it's the denouement of the story). Those familiar with my ouevre will not be amazed to discover that the female character in it is shackled, cuffed hands behind and ring gagged throughout the scene. The guy is also tied spreadeagled. The catch here is that it's done for their own safety. Won't explain why, because spoilers. But in the original story, the two are just tied up with no explanation by the vampires. And that made the scene appear to be … NON-CONSENSUAL.

Most of the erotica writers at Amazon who write stories that involve rape use the word “dubcon” to describe the genre, for “dubious consent” because, you know, no rape. They can't even use the words "nonconsensual." In their blurbs and covers for the stories, they use the term “reluctant” to imply all the non-consensual rape they and their readers are enjoying fantasizing about. Writing dubcon is considered very dangerous stuff among Amazon erotica writers – many won't even write the watered-down stuff, though there is clearly an avid market for it among the female readers who make up the vast majority of Amazon's erotica purchasers.

Well, I couldn't get rid of the scene, it was essential to the story. I suppose I could have made it a vanilla sex scene, but what fun is that? I wasn't all that interested in the rape aspects, as it really was not a rape scene, both characters were into the scene for different reasons. But I wanted to keep the bondage, dammit. Amazon DOES currently tolerate bondage, though in my humble opinion they would prefer vanilla sex and not much of it, except for all the lovely money the erotica brings in (it's the hottest market on Amazon).

So I figured out a way to make the scene's consensual nature evident, while retaining the bondage, and not only that, cranking up the emotional intensity of the sex in the process. Can't reveal how I did it without spoilering the story, but I will say this:

Damn, I'm good.