A few years back I got an email from an ex that started with, “I need to talk to you…”
All manner of worst case scenarios ran through my head: Was there an STI he needed to let me know about? Had he written about one of our intimate moments and it was now getting published? Had something happened to one of our mutual friends? Was he pregnant?
This was a man I hadn’t been on e-mailing terms since our lunch date nearly a decade ago when I had told him I couldn’t date him anymore. His version of polyamory involved dating every even half way attractive poly and kinky woman in town. I’m poly too but that level of sluttery didn’t leave me a lot of space to feel special while I was scheduling a hour date with him weeks ahead of time.
We called it quits fairly amiably. But the kink community is a small world so we saw a lot of each other socially without any time to recover from the break up. Things got snippy a few times as emotions run high. So by the time I got this message we hadn’t talked in a very long time.
“Funny story, I think I may have submitted one of your pieces of erotica to an anthology. Good news: it’s set to get published in the fall. Bad news: I thought it was mine.”
The long tamped down anger and disappointment of our relationship came flooding back. Of course he would find a story and just assume it was his! Of course he didn’t remember helping me edit that story so we could record it for a podcast together! Of course he wouldn’t figure this out until he was signing the publishing contract! That was so like him.
At the same time: one of my stories was getting published? Awesome! That meant something I wrote was good enough for other people to read.
I held back my first instinct to write back and say, “Of course that’s my story you selfish man whore!”
Instead I wrote to ask if there was any way to rectify the situation and get my name on the story. To his credit he totally threw himself on the sword of humility and told the editor of the anthology he had submitted to exactly what had happened. And she was cool enough to take things in stride.
This is how I found myself signing a contract to get my first story published by a reputable publisher of erotica. Somehow a situation that had started out full of stress was turning into a dream come true. I’ve been writing my entire life and dreaming about seeing my words in a book but I didn’t think anything I wrote was good enough, my smut writing was just a weird hobby, something I did to turn myself and lovers on. It took my ex submitting one of my stories to an editor and having it accepted for me to see otherwise.
When I received my copies of the anthology and opened the pages to see my story among the names of other big name writers I was hooked. After that I never stopped submitting my own stories and getting regularly accepted. Suddenly I was a real writer with publishing credits!
This is how I accidentally became an erotica writer and repaired my relationship with an ex I never thought I’d talk to again.