Well, based on the previous blog entry, it turns out that a lot of people have thought about this issue already. Message traffic is heavy, so it will take me some time to sift through it all.
I can already tell you there will be results to share with everybody, in terms of stories for you to read. One of those I can already tell you about is Tony Stevens, who kindly informed me that I've even written to him about stories in which his characters are of mixed races. My only excuse is that I'm old, and the old synapses aren't firing on all eight cylinders any more. That, and the fact that I've read a lot of things over the years.
I do, however, remember that Tony is one of my favorite authors. So while I'm tabulating results, if you're interested, you can surf over to his page and see what's what there.
I'm even getting mail from overseas. Poland comes to mind. But I won't take up a bunch of room just babbling. As I pull results out of the mail, I'll add it below.
One response was as follows: In the Latino division, there is El Sol, but most of the time he writes like a white guy with an Hispanic name.
One person suggested I Google the term "African American writers of pornography" so I did. Here are the top ten results:
1. List of people from Seattle - Wikipedia
2. List of HIV positive people - Wikipedia (How's that for racist!?!)
3. Young Black American Authors Very Young Naked Blonde ... This turns out to be basically spam, redirecting to a commercial dating site. When you try it again, you get a different site.
4. Mighty Real, an anthology of African American same gender loving literature. It is for sale at Amazon, and you can see it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Real-Anthology-African-American/dp/0557780683
5. Their Eyes Were Reading Smut - New York Times : A very interesting article by a black journalist about his experience with black authors. Here is an excerpt of the article: "On shelf after shelf, in bookcase after bookcase, all that I could see was lurid book jackets displaying all forms of brown flesh, usually half-naked and in some erotic pose, often accompanied by guns and other symbols of criminal life. I felt as if I was walking into a pornography shop, except in this case the smut is being produced by and for my people, and it is called "literature."
I encourage you to go to this link and read it: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/04/opinion/04chiles.html?_r=0+
6. Writing African American Women: K-Z - Page 875 - . This is page 875 of a book that says, basically, that African American women have written nothing but crap. It appears to have nothing to do with erotica, and lots to do with movies.
7. Holler If Ya Read Me: African-American Writers. This seems to be an op ed piece about "thug lit" and how little there is to read by black authors that's worth anything. You can read this here: http://observer.com/2013/05/holler-if-ya-read-me-african-american-writers-and-writers-fret-over-the-future-of-thug-lit/
8. African American Writers: Portraits and Visions. Finally! About Samuel R. Delany, who is described as an accomplished author of science fiction, pornography and swords and sorcery. Read the review of his career here: https://books.google.com/books?id=PuMklxR9RqQC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=African+American+writers+of+pornography&source=bl&ots=zfm7RRfc7L&sig=Nc_1Gsn12e-TBp3BHju8djkUfiE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=9DrYVP-XNIP2yQTzsoKwDQ&ved=0CEoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=African%20American%20writers%20of%20pornography&f=false
9. African American Mystery Writers: A Historical Perspective
10. Calls for Papers | Department African American and African Studies. An OSU article.
So, as you can see, there is no plethora of lists of black authors who write "erotica".
A canadian reader sent me this: In Overboard Too, there is a biracial couple and a Hispanic man who will get together with a lady (origin slips me), but this is not an erotic story up to this point. I'm sure that there are others but I cannot think of any at the moment. Rare birds, they are.
One observation was this: If you were to correlate wealth, eduction,reading for pleasure,access to internet among other things against ethnicity you may find similar results.
Another observation was this: While I have read some other erotica on A.S.S.T.R. that seems other than Caucasian, in origin, (Indian), and American Indian, I am not totally convinced of the authenticity of the author's heritage.
This was a popular theory: Perhaps we're looking at the stories from the point of view of a white reader, who would automatically envision the protagonists to be people like him (or her) and the antagonists be someone "other."
I mentioned Tony Stevens up above. Here is an excerpt of his response: "Many of my stories posted on SOL involve major characters who are black, Asian, or otherwise minorities in America. I've written about a black ballplayer in an interracial marriage; about a gay Asian athlete trying to compete in MLB; a young black woman who has an unscheduled one-night stand with a white high school boy; an Asian woman who has a long-term relationship with a white couple; and a Mexican girl rescued from a life as an unwilling prostitute. In other stories of mine, secondary (but important) characters have been black or Asian or Hispanic, although the leading characters are white. I'm just another white (and elderly) storyteller."
The problem with this is that, while he writes with great diversity, he is not writing from a position of personal knowledge of what it's like to BE one of the races he has brought diversity into his writing with. I applaud him, but this isn't really the question. The question is, why is it that white people are the ones writing about characters of other races? Why aren't people from those sub cultures doing the writing? The most popular theory about this is that it's a supply and demand issue. There isn't enough demand for there to be a supply. But that raises more questions.
Here is one offering, but there's no information about the author's heritiage: In case you haven't read it, JRyter's "An All American Boy" has every race and mixture included within his characters.
This theory is probably as good as any other, at this point. It is about women, but the point transfers.: "I had a situation in '95 that came up in the same vein of things... I was in a training class for my new job in Tech Support... there were `30 guys and 3 women. During lunch, one of the women asked a trainer why there aren't more women... His answer had him catch some heat... but nobody could argue. There are women in the field and they appear to have the same success/failure rates as their male counterparts, but it appears that women just are not interested in the job. I believe this is the same thing... They don't have the same interest in it.
Here are some possibilities offered by one reader (though the race of the author isn't known): "I can think of a few stories where non-caucasian characters are not stereotypically bad - presently reading Wes Boyd's 'The last place you look', with a white main character and Latino friendly supporting characters, the 'bad guys' would appear to be white (the story's not finished yet); also, among my favourites Gina Marie Wylie's 'Kinsella', the main character a Jamaican descent female, and Thinking Horndog's 'Second Best', where there is a mix of Black and White high-school friends (both sexes of each).
Another interesting response was this one: "BTW, not black erotica, but very BDSM - the Japanese comic genre recently discussed on BBC's website. So erotica is not specifically a Caucasian phenomenon. Indian / Hindu temple paintings and writings, again not black, but very erotica."
This points out some cultural differences in terms of what the Japanese create for a Japanes audience. The fact that it is wildly popular with white folks, at least here in America, simply makes my point. I think there could be a huge market for things that are different from the white perspective.
Another author responded with this: "There's a site known as Literotica that publishes many stories by an author whose identifier is samualx, and whose biographical information shows pictures of a person of color, and further claims that he was born in Jamaica and raised in New England. Why he publishes there and not on SOL I know not. You might care to investigate. In past times there have been other bits of erotica published on Literotica that purported to be have been written by Oriental females."
This brings up a point we should all pay attention to. Whenever I find a good author at another site, I sing the praises of SOL and the quality of SOL's readers. I try to get that author to start posting at SOL. You, as readers, should do the same thing. If you find a good one somewhere else, woo him (or her) over to SOL and improve the stable of good rides we have here.
I got this from a female author. Pay attention, because this might have some clues in it: "Well, I`m south american and a woman, write erotica, here and other place and one of my stories was about people from here. The south. But I try to write in english, not my mother language because I don`t like sex or erotic stories in spanish, when I read them in my language they seem so gross, so I choose to read and write erotica in english. To me the perfect language for erotica."
Unfortunately, she did not give me her pen name, so I can't refer you to her work. I'll write back to her and ask if she's willing to stick her neck out. I hope so. I think the salient point here is that, from her cultural perspective, she has likes and dislikes about erotica. Other races may be the same way. Some of them may just think erotica is a waste of time.
UPDATE NOTE!!! I wrote back to this author, who I will just call "Liz" and asked her if she might be brave enough to go out on a limb and give us her nom de plume. She wrote back and said, "Well Bob, many thanks for answering me and yes I`ll stick my neck; my pen-name is Fermpera, and I would like to get feed back from your readers on my modest stories."
So here is one of those people (non-white, non-male) who this blog entry is all about. I ask that you be constructive in your criticism, should you offer her any, and effusive in your praise, should you feel it is deserved. I'm going to go check her out myself.
One reader said he found this after he read my blog post. It's at SOL and he says it applies to this discussion. http://storiesonline.net/s/38114
I got a really wonderful response from a reader in Poland, who basically said that he learned English by reading stories at SOL. Since then, he has searched for erotica written in Polish, and while he can find lots of it, it seems to be in its infancy as a genre. By that, he means it's mostly crap, and even what good authors include in their books, in terms of sex, seems to be in very juvenile language. It's his opinion that this genre hasn't had a chance to mature in Poland. The culture hasn't allowed for this genre to BE developed. Then he says this, which is an interesting observation. I'm going to leave it as it appeared. It is easily identifable as being written by someone to whom English is a second language, but it's impressive that he learned enough from reading at SOL to be able to communicate this well: "So maybe one from reasons why we don't see black amilies in stories on SOL is they have simply very different history than white peoples in American History and tradition you don't see on their faces on street or tv, but which is still in their minds and shows in places like SOL?"
I'm just going to copy this whole response in, because it makes some very good points: "I can name one author of color on SOL -- CWatson. He isn't active anymore, but in one of his blog posts he said he is chinese-american. And he has written at least one chinese-american main character. (The character I'm thinking of is female, naturally. Just as the african-americans in erotica are almost all well-hung men, the asian-americans in erotica are mostly petite submissive women. More fodder for the shrinks) literotica.com has a vein of stories set in India in which both authors and characters have Indian names. Search for "Raja" to find a sample. None of it that I've read is to my taste, which may reflect cultural differences or may just be the nature of erotica."
As I mentioned above, the Japanese seem to have developed their own tastes, and marketed it to the west. East Indians also seem to have a well developed strain of erotica, much of which centers about incest (in my experience). But it is not well developed in a literary sense. In other words, most of it seems to be written with a juvenile sensibility. Whether that means horny teenagers are responsible for most of it - or not - I can't tell. But there is most assuredly a strong cultural undercurrent in that genre of writing.
Here's another one I'm going to dump in here in full. It's from a black guy ... sort of. "I am an American, semi-retired... teaching English & singing jazz [location deleted to protect his identity, but it is a European non-English speaking country]. Not long ago I came across the web-site StoriesOnLine. Your recent blog caught my attention because I am American Black / American Indian. I grew up in OKLA., born in 1950, which tells you that I know something about the time of FLOSSIE'S REVENGE. You asked about the number of Blacks that read or write erotica. This same question came from another genre that interests me a great deal: science fiction. I know of only two writers within this field, Octavia Butler being my favorite. I suppose the same is true for erotica... plus... there is no profit in announcing one's-self as a writer of erotica.
This response was from another SOL author, Belinda LaPage. I'm going to put it in here in toto because I respect her, and like her. It plugs some of her work, but she makes some good points. "Interesting premise. I agree. It's curious, but no more so than the non-representative world-demographics of my readers (80% USA, 90% male) As you're no doubt aware, my Headmaster's Office series includes an Indian (the Asian variety) supporting character named Rupali. I received ZERO feedback on Rupali's race until I wrote Sundara (Hindi for lovely, elegant), where she became the narrator and leading lady, with an Indian leading man, Rajit. Race and culture was a small sub-theme in the story; it wasn't just white sex painted brown. (Well, not JUST that)
Want to know how many readers commented on race in that one? One. It was an Asian guy who like the story, but warned me I might alienate my audience with Asian heroes."
Might alienate her auidience? I sure hope not, because if that could alienate her audience, then any author other than white will have no incentive whatsoever to enter the fray.
Here's an offering from one of our friends from over the pond: For a British slant on interacial erotica, I
suggest that you check out Tedbiker's "The Bike
and Jamela" or "Grumpy Old Man".
I've been a fan of Ted's for quite a while, but again, I remind you the question is why aren't people of color writing more erotica, not why isn't there more erotica involving interracial sex. Then again, I have no idea if Ted is a person of color or not. Maybe he'll tell me, the next time we communicate.
That's it as of 8 March. To be continued.