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Ok, well, I think the overall response to my story was pretty positive. If there's anyone who was actually offended by it, or would have preferred that I hadn't written it, they kept quiet about it. I may make another attempt some time in the near future; if you'd rather I didn't, you should say so, because otherwise I won't know. Ok, anyway.
So, as I was saying, feedback was basically positive. Sarika said she didn't think it was "filth", and that I was a talented writer, something I always like to hear. :) Idontexist managed to say something vaguely positive in between getting disconnected from MSN every 3 minutes. Star, at whose request I wrote the story, was the only person who actually said that it turned her on, and she gave me lots of pointers for the next one. And last but not least, the inimitable Liadlaith complimented me on my characterisation, upbraided me for my superfluous use of distasteful words, and made some very interesting and pointed comments which I will quote in just a moment.
(But I just want to pause here to point out that if you're feeling envious of all these people for the inestimable honour of being linked from my diary, I want to point out that YOU TOO could very easily earn this honour - just by writing a brief critique of the next story, if there is one. Ah me. I am way too keen to find ways to avoid doing my work. Anyway.)
Ok, so the promised quote:
"I had a thought about why it didn't turn me on - apart from the fact I was half-watching the Forsyte Saga at the time : ) - because your characters
were so realistic - their experience was personal, and emotional, so while it engaged me on that level, I didn't allow it to engage me on any other because that would have felt like I was intruding.
That's an interesting thought - does text porn need bad characterisation to
be titillating? I know some guys who prefer not to see the faces of
girls in visual porn because then they have to accept that the person they're
getting off over is a real person, not just a sexual object . . ."
It is indeed an interesting thought. Does porn necessarily have to be dehumanizing in order to be genuinely erotic? Is it more sexually exciting to read descriptions of objectified bodies mechanically performing the sex act, than it is to read about the subjective experiences and feelings of people who are having sex? Because, if that's the case... I don't think I want to write porn. I mean, why would I? There's already reams of it out there, and if I were to write imitations of that sort of stuff then I'd feel... like I was doing something fraudulent but also kind of... evil. Well, not very evil, I mean, they're just words, but I hate the thought of dehumanising people. It doesn't really make a difference if they're being dehumanised for hateful or lustful purposes, or even out of indifference, it just seems wrong. I guess the issue is... can I write about the characters in such a way that they feel like real people, but at the same time, don't exclude the reader? That is, somehow allow the characters to "invite" the reader into their experience?
I don't have an answer for any of these questions. I'm just trying to think through the issues that are involved. Hmm.
"A little cabin in the countryside
Curtains and fancy frills" - Fred Eaglesmith
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