How Writing Erotica affects my state of mind
For as long as I can remember I’ve always lived daily life within a relatively thin bubble of restraint.
Thoughts that pass through my head almost always fall out of my mouth with only the thinnest net to catch some of the choicest expletives.
But in my everyday life and especially while at work, I’ve always said exactly what I’ve felt and at a super loud volume and felt little to no kickback for it.
Luckily for me, I was a stage actor. So this kind of behaviour was basically expected, even encouraged.
My offensive ranting was passed off as light hearted and half baked stand-up material that was met with encouraging laughter and polite applause.
This however has changed since moving to China.
During my first week at my first job in Shanghai I made reference to a coworker about some of the … how can I say… negative moments of Chairman Mao’s life and choices he made while he was the figurehead of Chinese leadership. I was swiftly reprimanded for my remarks.
(You can read more about that here)..
Saying the “Wrong Thing” in China
Times when the envelope can be pushed, and times when it’s best to leave things alone.
In case you didn’t know,
China’s sketchy history is basically off-limits for discussion for those of us who live in China.
At the beginning of the year, when the semester had just started, we workers had a company meeting to discuss new rules before heading back into class.
At this meeting we were given a cautionary tale of a foreign teacher who was fired for talking about Hong Kong and China being seperate countries to her students.
Whether that story was true or an exaggerated warning; political, social and historical conversations are to be kept behind closed doors here, and things of a dirty or gross nature are kept quiet. (Which hasn’t stopped me from one or two sex related rants in the office, but they were toned rather down).
So what’s an overflowing vessel of emotions and opinions to do? I can either debate with my cat like an insane zoo keeper, or I can pour all this angst into my writing.
My solution? I opened a Word document, whipped up a pen name and wrote the most horrifying and deeply disgusting erotic story I could imagine.
This story, I later discovered, was as soft core as muppet porn.
A friend of mine generously read my story and provided me feedback with reference to her many years as a fan of the genre.
If I were to write for those who were truly versed in the fine nuances of the dirty text, I was told that my mind had a long way yet to dive to truly reach the levels of filth being imagined by others.
But I truly didn’t care whether my erotic writing was good or bad, extreme or soft; I just cared about whether it served its purpose.
This content wasn’t written just to service the kinks of the everyday basement wanker, they were written to help alleviate a legitimate complex I was developing purely because I was now living with a filter during my everyday life.
Try to truly imagine living life with a small nagging thought that lives ever-present in your mind, guarding your words.
A tiny check that lives inside your brain and scans your words for anything political, historical or social that will challenge the Chinese Government’s agenda and risk your job.
I teach teenagers and often open YouTube during classes to source backing tracks for songs.
It means nothing to me to whip open the YouTube app and start searching, but any students that see my phone either directly or in the reflection off the white board grow quiet.
A student will begin,
“YouTube is forbidden to use in China”
In that moment I’ll remember that I’m only even able to open the app because I have a VPN running in the background.
For those who don’t know, a VPN is used to re-route an internet thing so that an app thinks I’m somewhere else in the world.. or something.
Professor Google can tell you more..
I’m sitting there. The kid is looking at me.
He’s scrunched up his face and is looking at me with an expression of confusion and judgement.
He seems to both want an explanation, and for the rule-breaking to stop. So with a sigh I lock the phone screen, get up, and go change the topic to end the awkward moment.
Sure, the kid isn’t going to report me and even if he did, whoever he reports me to is very unlikely to care.
Your word against mine, bitch.
Hell, that person is probably running their own VPN and is hanging out for work to end so that they can get home and catch some Netflix.
Most of us are breaking the rules in China, and most of us are talking dissent behind closed doors (or on Medium).
But we pretend to follow the rules and we keep quiet because we must.
My Chinese friends who are unhappy with the norms within China aren’t going to have a spirited conversation with me about it, they‘re going to lash out because they can’t change it anymore than I can.
And who really wants to be told that everything they’ve ever built a foundation on was controlled and guarded within a prison of rules and propaganda?
I understand the feeling, I don’t know how I would handle it either.
There’s nothing I can do to voice my displeasure.
But I can write smut.
I can unleash all my thoughts and feelings into a story about two men who go into space and find ways to get nasty on an asteroid.
A story like that unleashes all my frustration and all the emotions I can’t explain or justify all over the page in a neat, albeit grammatically incorrect work of fiction.
The therapy I feel after having written a story like that washes over me like a torrent of wind. I can physically feel the release of stress and anxiety.
The more unspeakable the acts committed in the fiction, the better I sleep at night.
It takes practice, but really getting to a place where you can write anything onto a page is both difficult, and the ultimate act of freedom.
When I really get into the zone I can write enough material for an ebook in about a week.
So once the week ends and the sexual adventure has also come to the end, I can either throw it out or throw it onto Amazon through the KDP service.
Which do I do? I’ll never tell…
This is the therapy that works for me, for the moment. Whether I delete it or publish it, it doesn’t really matter. The act of therapy was in the writing itself.
I’m not saying its a fix that’ll last forever, but it’s helping me and its not hurting anyone so why not?
Obviously I sell them on Amazon are you nuts? Free money baby.
My name is Jordan and I’m a traveller living in Shanghai, China. You can catch more of my stories by clicking right here!
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