My discovery of erotic poems was, as they put it, ‘by chance’. A friend of mine had suggested a book to me quite some time ago, and being the forgetful person that I am, I had put it aside for the longest time.
I realised that I was quite an ignoramus when it came to erotic literature, and to be honest, I really was not proud of this. It wasn’t that erotic books weren’t being written, it’s just that I had chosen to ignore the genre altogether. Was it because of a sort of conditioning that ‘good girls don’t read/write erotica’? Maybe. But when I realised I had given this entire genre a miss, I made it a point to read up the erotic classics and started appreciating its history, the contemporary works and what not. Eventually, my own creative juices started to flow but I will have to admit, it took quite some time for this to happen.
I am a woman in her twenties, living in a highly patriarchal society. Most of my poems have been about the experiential journey that I call ‘life’. So, in a way, I have basically written about anything that caught my fancy, but more importantly, on issues that affected me personally. In the past I have given enough thought to how I discovered romance, sexuality, spirituality and eventually socio-political awareness. My poems reflect the personal experiences of shock, awe, delight, pride and eventually self-love (which according to me comes with a lot of deliberation and practice). I have been writing for about 15 years now, and most of it is in my personal diaries that I have carefully treasured all these years. But in the last couple of years, I reached a sort of rut, a writer’s block if you may. I needed a muse, a sort of inspiration that could help reignite my passion for poetry.
Erotica gave my poetry a new lease of life! For which I am truly very grateful. As a writer and a woman expressing her desires and fantasies, it wasn’t so easy in the beginning. But eventually, things started to flow and post the ‘50 Shades…’ fad, it was much easier to come out and admit that women enjoyed erotica as much as men do. And why shouldn’t they?! Everyone has desires, and the ability to capture them beautifully in words is the main trick. I am also a little embarrassed to admit that I did not share my writings (and not just of this genre) with a lot of people. There was always a fear of judgment in my mind. But as a sex positive feminist, I realised that I needed to be brave enough to sail through any critique of my writing. This was also very important for my self-love journey. I had to reclaim my poems! I had to feel proud of them, even if they were gibberish! So, I started sharing my poems with the people whose opinions I value (Since a lot of these poems are about my personal journey and I wanted them to be a part of it). Some day, I do plan to get my poems published. I will eventually get to the point where I can share my poetry with the general public. Some day.
For me, erotica has become a beautiful part of my life, a tool to help me express myself better. I have explored many topics with my poetry and will continue to do so in the future. As a woman, I feel this has empowered me to be true to myself and love myself in ways I did not deem fit before, due to absurd social conditioning and gender-based expectations in society.
Things tend to get a tad complicated when I say that I identify as a pan romantic demisexual. Yes, I do realise this is also a ‘coming out’ of sorts for me. I have always been shy of labels but sometimes it is amazing when you find that even though you maybe misunderstood by the majority of the people living in society, there are still certain groups that you can belong to (In a way, claiming them as your own ‘tribe’!). Asexuality in itself is a highly misunderstood concept and so people get very confused when I say that being demisexual, I write erotic poems as well! But, it is what it is. Simply put, my poems are based on the thoughts of love and/or desire for someone with whom I can first establish a strong emotional and romantic connection. Also, if and when the feelings arise (if they ever do at all!) is something that I myself have no control over. Much like everything else in life, it just happens! The fact that I am proud of my poems makes me feel that I have finally accepted myself the way I am. In addition it reflects that I am also proud of what I stand for in life. The idea that it is not important for the rest of the world to figure out or even fully comprehend what my sexuality (or the lack of it is), is not only liberating for me, it is somewhat revolutionary too.
A version of this article has appeared here earlier.
Pic Credit: Antonio Litterio/Inverse Hypercube via Wiki Commons.