I never started writing erotica for the money. Pursuing any type of writing for the money would be, amongst many other attributes, hilarious. I started writing erotica because it was what I was meant to do, and I started publishing it on Nifty (and eventually on this website) because I felt it was good, and that people might like it. Then and now, that has been my chief motivation for writing erotica: because I like it and hope others will like it too.
However, the market for erotica was once robust compared to the market for other fiction, and I came right on the tail end of a golden age. When I was selling stories to Men and Freshmen I was making an astounding – but, at the time, pretty standard – $300 a story. What’s more is that magazines were contacting me – me! – to write other things for them, and offering me money to do so.
I almost cried writing that last paragraph. Those checks were a godsend. Now – NEWS FLASH! – the writing/publishing industry is in the toilet. About the only game left in town are the anthologies (like Best Gay Erotica) and let’s just say that while I appreciate the money they offer per story, it don’t even add up to a week’s worth of groceries.
I work a full-time job. It’s a good job and I’m incredibly grateful for it. The schedule is flexible, which gives me free time to work on my writing and my website. The trade off for this flexibility is the fact that I don’t get paid a whole lot.
It’s never been easy for me to ask for money. But it’s becoming clearer to me that if an artist (or even a porno writer) feels that their work is worth something, they need to ascribe a monetary value to it and encourage their audience to do the same. That doesn’t mean I expect every reader of this site to donate something – I read and watch and listen to plenty of free things. Nor do I knock writers who want to give their work away – I think finding and developing an audience is paramount. But money is pretty necessary, too.
Consider this: my web hosting costs come out to about six bucks a month. The yearly fee for my domain is around twenty bucks. That’s small potatoes, but if you donated six bucks you’d be keeping my site alive for a month. For twenty you’d be sustaining it for a year. Either way you’d be supporting my writing (habit/disorder) in a tangible way. That’s pretty cool, right?
Think about it and get back to me!