How I Grew Comfortable With Reading Erotica
Why we should all read smut unapologetically
My Not-So-Brief History With Erotica
I was deep into the reading world, when I stumbled upon an adult romance book. Erotic fiction, to be technical. I was amazed to know such a thing existed and a little shaken by the fact that I actually enjoyed reading it.
After that first encounter, I would go on giving more time to read adult-centered romance books, and I would hide it from my friends. (I am shaking my head at the foolishness of it now). My notion (set by people around me and on the internet) was that reading erotic fiction was beneath actual "reading". I would tell my friends I was reading Throne of Glass, Paper Towns, and classics like To Kill a Mockingbird (I loved them, hold no doubt). But I would never tell them I was reading that book with a half-naked man on the cover (or women).
It would take me over a year to come around the booktuber community (and bookstagram) where people enjoyed, read, and recommended such books. I wasn't struck by the thunderbolt of understanding at once. Instead, it slowly dawned on me. I had to unlearn my own prejudices against reading erotica to come to ask myself this:
Why should I be even remotely ashamed of reading something that gives me pleasure?
We grow up in a society where even talking about pleasure is taboo. I know things have been better lately. But have they been better for women? How many women have you heard talk about their own pleasure openly? And now, contrast that with men who throw around sexual innuendos in basically everything. There's a long-distance between the two. And it took me these books to jump that distance.
Reading erotic fiction was my pathway to exploring my sexuality through others' experiences because society would not allow me to do it on my own terms. And when people say these books have set unrealistic expectations for your partner, I scoff at them.
What unrealistic expectations? That our partner considers our pleasure along with theirs? That they treat us with equal respect and show us we're part of a team and that I don't lie under their command?
When I analyzed books I read last year, I found a good percentage of them to be adult romances. Today I am not ashamed to share them with my friends. So I have listed them down below. These recommendations may not be everyone’s cup of tea, because erotica is something you have to read and experience for yourself to see what you enjoy and don't. But these a pretty good start.
I end my piece by saying that if you're someone who’s hiding what you're reading, you now know I have been there and I understand you. I'll give you your time to come to terms. I’ll give you your time to understand it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Let us read smut unapologetically.
Your Smut Recommendations
Your Smut Playlist
I couldn’t go without sharing a playlist to go with it now, can I?