I'm honored to have a piece appear in the maiden issue of Aotearotica, New Zealand's first (and only) journal of erotica. I had such a hard time placing my story, "Nina", in a literary journal, owing perhaps to the sexual explicitness of the piece. This is why I'm so happy that Laura Borrowdale, the mastermind behind this project, created an outlet for those who seek to explore, in graphic terms, this important aspect of human experience. Here are some excerpts from her interview with Stuff:
"Erotica is art," she says. "It's literature or art ... that's about sex but more about the sensual side of sex. It's perfect if it's exciting, but it's designed to appeal to the imagination."
"Erotica celebrates sex. Porn exploits it for the end result," she says.
"Erotica relies on readers to be part of the process, to use their imagination and to engage," she says. "With pornography, the reader or viewer is more passive. Everything is so explicit and laid out for them, they don't have to do any work. With erotica, the reader has to be an active part of it."
There's an old joke that "porn is what you like and erotica is what I like", says Borrowdale. "That worries me sometimes because this whole journal is what I like. As the editor, everything is selected because I liked it. What if I'm seeing it as erotica and everybody else is seeing it as pornography?" She laughs hard saying this.
Here's another interview of Laura, this time by her brother, in which they discuss how Kiwis have a lot of sex but never quite get around to talking about it: I Asked My Sister Some Awkward Questions About Starting NZ's First Erotica Journal (Vice New Zealand)
The journal was launched today at Christchurch's WORD Festival and copies can be ordered on their website.
Unfortunately, my story, "Nina", was too long to be published in its entirety in Aotearotica's pages, but fortunately Laura was kind enough to publish an extract. The extract that appears in the journal centers around a young Filipina's memories of a threesome in New York. (Not autobiographical, in case you wondered.)