Selling Sex Sells Humanity Short - Jo-Ann Carson

Selling Sex Sells Humanity Short

My end of the writing week reflections:
Publishing Power Struggles and the lonely writer:

“If 90% of novels published, “fail” then we need to really rethink the business model.  The people who have the most vested interest in those novels not failing are the author.  Instead of having an adversarial relationship we need to go in the other direction and make the author-publisher relationship much closer than it’s ever been.” Bob Mayer, “Let’s End the Author vs. Publisher Feuding and Indie vs Trad

Caught in the vortex of a digital revolution the lonely writer doesn’t know where to turn. Sure they’d like to be published in print by one of the big 6, but even if they do their chances of success are slim and sliding. Self-publishing is an option, but it’s a hard road with no guarantees.
Is there an enemy in any of this? Someone I  can hate and pin all my anger on? I think not, unless I want to call the enemy technology. The world is changing and to survive I need to change with it, remember that my goal is to tell stories and find my own way to get those stories to readers. It sounds  easy, but it’s not. Grumble grumble…
Still, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time:)
I hate my story:
Yeah, I’m at that stage in revisions where I absolutely loathe my work. But I’m making myself continue with the revisions. If I didn’t I’d never finish any story. So that’s where I’m at…sinking in a stink pot of grumble.
Selling Sex Sells Humanity Short:

“The omnipresent sex industry has stolen our humanity, stolen our sexuality, stolen the way in which we perceive those around us and short changed us with a twisted, power-laden, financially driven lie. A lie which our society profits from and so continues to sell us. So mainstream is the sex industry propaganda that it has become naturalized, almost invisible.”

This quote comes from a powerful  article “Not for Sale: The Sex Industry Sell Out”, written by Angel K, a thirty two year old former hooker. She hits you between the eyes with her comments. Well, worth a read.
It made me think about my role as a writer. I think, for me, it’s important to put love and romance in stories and with that comes sex, but not gratuitous sex.  My thoughts.
Any comments?

0 Replies to “Selling Sex Sells Humanity Short”

  1. “for me, it’s important to put love and romance in stories and with that comes sex, but not gratuitous sex”
    Well said, Jo-Ann. It can be fun to write sex scenes, romantic or gratuitous. But we need to be mindful, because words have power, and what we publish we promote.

  2. And excellent comments they are, and so you know I’m not just blowing smoke…go look at my Facebook account; I just posted a blub about my book about an hour ago:
    “My sensual but not erotic, gripping but not graphic novel, SHE BELONGS TO ME, is filled with Romance, Mystery, and Suspense.”
    Not trying to advertise here, there’re plenty of places for that, but rather explain why I started writing in the first place…of course if you read my blog, I explain myself in there too. LOL! But yes, it irritated me that some of the great writers I had come to love had turned to “shock value” in their writing. So much so, I was afraid my son might look over my shoulder and gasp. Somehow these same books get made in to movies, are rated PG13, and people love them. Go figure!
    And since my Triberr feed is backed up three hours, I’ll tweet now. 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carmen
      Good luck with your book, She Belongs to Me (a great title by the way).
      I agree it’s annoying when writers, we think poorly of, have great success, but who says life’s fair.
      Shock value has it’s place, but not at the cost of hurting anyone …in anyway.

  3. On the pubbing situation, I think you nailed it when you said, Jo-Ann, there’s no one to hate. It’s just the way things are now. If we spend all our emotion and energy on griping because it is the way it is or being angry, we’ve wasted doggone (sp? :)) good emotion that should go into our writing. My main concern is to keep up with technology as much as I’m able. (I’ve said I’d never FB and never Blog, I mean who cares what we all think? Apparently, some do. LOL ) Guilty pleasure revealed: I love blogging. Don’t have my own yet, but hope to.
    Second subject. In an early dicussion of pornagraphy someone made the statement: “You’ll know it when you see it.” Well, I think that’s kind of true. Just as all writing and reading is a subjective area–I like this aurthor but not so much this other one. This is too much sex in the story. This is not enough. This has too much violence for me and that one was just about right. It’s all just my opinion or whoever’s. Subjective.
    Now, I’m talking about for adults. The stuff that’s on regular TV at night shouldn’t be seen by anyone under 16. My opinion again. And some books shouldn’t be read by kids. You may have seen the recent bruhaha (sp?) about the movie on bullying. Someone filmed what happens on school buses. The industry gave the film an R rating keeping most teens from seeing it. Many people fought to get the industry to change that, and I believe I read that they did. (Former elementary principal speaking here.) Somehow, we have to teach children decision making skills and to recognize propaganda when they see it. We have to teach them to speak up for the underdog. To have a strong enough belief in themselves they don’t have to put others down so they feel better.
    Apologies for length. The topics punched a few buttons.

    1. Marsha
      I love “pushing buttons”. You’ve made my day.
      Please, don’t apologize for the length of your comments. I look forward to reading them.
      Is smut subjective? Where is the line? Interesting questions. I’d love to save children from network TV, but I can’t. All I can do is hope that great authors like J.K. Rowling come along to snatch them away with vivid stories of adventures.

  4. Thank you for saying what I’ve felt but never quite put into words. I love romance and happy endings, but I also love great characters, intricate plots, well-described settings, accurate backgrounds. Sex doesn’t have to be behind closed doors, but I want a worthwhile read with sex between two people who care for each other or are trying to care for each other (as in the classic marriage of convenience), not a thin thread holding together a series of graphic sex scenes. Maybe that’s why I’m reading more mysteries, suspense, thrillers, & steampunk these days.

  5. Absolutely we need more great YA authors (though certainly Rowling is for everyone.) When the first book came out, I was stunned by how many of our little darlings were hauling this thing around with them. Very exciting. Kids who weren’t considered readers before got hooked. (That’s what happened to all of us with books, right?)
    I read the first couple because I had parents and groups saying it was blasphemous and kids shouldn’t be exposed. I couldn’t very well discuss with them if I hadn’t read the book.
    When I was a parent of teens and something came on I wasn’t comfortable with the girls watching, I watched with them and took every opportunity to point out that having a baby when they were in high school or college and not married wasn’t beneficial to anyone. Later I began to worry I’d been too successful, when the younger daughter was married 10 years before having a child and our older daughter was over 35. Of course now I’m blessed with 3 grands.

  6. Totally agree! And as an author of “clean” fiction at Astraea Press, I know the “no cursing, no pink parts” field is definitely growing by leaps and bounds. It’s such a relief as a writer — to focus on character emotions besides the panting/moaning! ;-D Oh, and the plot! Great blog, thanks.

    1. Meg
      Thank you for your comment. It is interesting watching the pendulum swing on shall we say expliciteness. Glad to hear that you are doing well writing what you want to write.
      I’m just starting and finding my way. I may be lost a lot of the time, but I’m having fun.

  7. I like what you said about the industry. The best thing we can do as authors is keep honing our craft, put out strong books, and roll with the changes. We’re lucky to have so many options today, no matter the state of the industry.
    As for gratuitous sex, that’s a tough one. It’s frustrating when certain books, who’ve been documented as having numerous errors, sell hundreds of thousands of copies and get big deals. But there is a market for that sort of thing out there. Nothing we can do about it. I do have sex in my books, but it’s more about the relationship as it evolves with the story.
    Interesting post:)

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