Tag Archives: Communication

Gender Based Writing Differences

I originally did this post back on Feb 19th of this year.  It seems that the controversy which inspired it has flared up yet again on Facebook and Twitter though.  So, here’s a very slightly updated version of that post:

 

I’ve already made a few posts today.  I did say I was going to talk about that other recent Twitter notification that bothered me though.

It was one going around the erotica authors’ circle on Twitter.  It was all about how women were supposedly “educating” men about what horrible erotica authors they are and laughing at their “stupid” mistakes.  Not the first time I’ve seen such a post either.  During my few months on twitter, I found the erotica authors to be pretty judgmental and negative in general.  The key words there are “IN GENERAL”.  There are some wonderful, supportive and talented women (and men) there also.  I adore Ava Sterling and Aurora Blue in particular.  They’ve been helpful since the beginning.  They’re also both very talented and I highly recommend their books.

OK, getting back to the subject, let’s be real.  There are quite a few bad male erotica authors out there.  What the ladies are NOT understanding though is that their (the women’s) way or view is NOT the only way.  I had a blog post about this in the past.  There was an article in The Atlantic magazine how authors had to write consent in romance novels.  The idea being essentially that if you didn’t have written and signed consent at every step of the way, you were writing and advocating rape.  Here’s that blog post:

A Minor Rant

My comments there are enough said.  Another example I saw in the past was a snarky agreement among some of those women that if bra or genital sizes were mentioned, they immediately stopped reading and declared the story was trash.  “What did they do, take out a measuring tape at that point?” was one reply.   What they were missing is that some people, particularly if they’re in fields that require regular measuring and sizing such as seamstresses and tailors, clothing sales people, construction and automotive workers, and even people that do crafty type things as hobbies, tend to be able to measure very accurately by eyesight.  Regardless of gender, they’re likely to be visual people as well.  It’s not unrealistic at all.  Overall, I’d agree that general size descriptors and leaving things to imagination is probably a little better though.

So where do I think the issues are being seen all wrong?  The ladies are missing a chance to grow their audience.  Men DO buy and read erotica also.  I get email from men and women both on my writing.

Saying “women don’t stand in front of mirrors and compare their boobs to fruit” misses the reality that men tend to be highly visual creatures and competition / comparison driven.  They care about things like are a female character’s boobs “pear shaped” or perfectly round and firm *cough*fakeboobs*cough* (lol).  They want to know who’s boobs are bigger and by how much also.  When you understand the male mindset, you can tailor your writing just a little so that you appeal more to them as well.  Bang, your sales go up.

Think carefully about that if you’re a romance or erotica author.  Do you want to shut out half the world’s population as a potential market?  If you bend just a little in your writing style you can reach a larger audience and still be true to yourself.

The whole idea of “teaching” men by belittling them is only going to backfire also.  For all their bravado, men have fragile egos, especially where women are concerned.  They’re also trained to suppress emotion early on, so they’re rarely all that intuitive, BUT they also are eager to please.

So here’s a tip, girls, both as authors and for relationships:  All you’ve got to do to get a decent guy to do what you want is ask nicely or gently suggest.  In the case of writing erotica, give them better, more natural ways to help relay visual information.  Explain to them that the act isn’t about rutting either when you’re a woman.  It’s about intimacy, emotional connection, and a primal need to feel desired, like that male character would sacrifice anything to have our heroine.  When an erotica author can impart all of those male and female perspective elements into a story, I think the sky is the limit.

Again, same holds true with relationships.  Too many women complain about men being clueless, and expect them to know exactly how to touch them, what to say to them, etc…  It takes communication.  Positive communication too.  “A little gentler (or rougher), oh yes!”, goes much farther with the typical clueless male than “not like that, you selfish idiot.”

A certain radio show host on relationships had it right; women have much more power in relationships than people think.  At least in reasonably healthy relationships.  It just has to be used in the right way.

Regrouping

I decided to nix my post on how various sources out there are manipulating the messages we receive via TV, the internet, etc…  I got a couple of likes, one intelligent comment and a whole lot of looks but nothing else.  Between that last fact and losing one follower after I published…  Well, message received.

I get it a little.  I re-read it and was frustrated that I rambled a bit and drifted between a couple of supporting points or arguments.  To do it right would require an entire series articles on the general patterns of manipulation that are used to play communication games.  Here, I’d have to leave political and social references out too.  People just don’t want to hear that the environmental movement is a great thing, BUT that they’re hurting their own cause with distorted facts.  They’re hardly the only cause like that too. News lies are always only the other side too…  *le sigh*

Soooo…  Getting back to the regrouping part…  Not only have I decided to set that stuff aside, I have been working on Witchfire’s material also.  Mainly re-reading and seeing where I’ve gone wrong, mapping the new story, discussing plot ideas and character developments with Deanna Troi and Comixfana, etc…

I’m realizing how dialog tag heavy the stories are thus far as one needed fix.  Probably some of my other erotica could use that fix also.

Deanna Troi has been insistent that I’ve been too vague in my revelations about the greater evil lurking behind the villains, so I’m working on how to change that without giving away the whole farm in chapter one. 🙂

I think I’ve been a bit inconsistent with my portrayal of Krystal / Witchfire also.  Sometimes she acts the part of a vixen, sometimes she’s come across as if she was 15 and unsure of herself and what she wants.  I think I would have gotten called on that more if so much of her behavior couldn’t be explained away by her world being turned upside down.

There will probably be a few minor “RetCon”s also as I change a few small facts here and there to fit how she’s currently envisioned and the new direction the stories will take.

The biggest lesson I’ve learn though is to follow the rules for writing about sitting down, focusing and working without distractions.  No pressure to meet artificial deadlines either.  Relax, focus, get it done and get it done right.  When it’s quality, then I’ll release it.  Stress kills my creativity faster than anything.

Lastly, just as Witchfire is going to start being truer to herself, I’m going to be doing the same.  Her stories were meant to be kinky, and it’s time I stopped worrying about if I might offend somebody.

THAT said, I will still keep ALL my stories and any related digital art off my main page.  I *do* respect that a few of you come here for the other posts, and that others just may not want to worry about a NSFW email notification.  That much is courtesy to readers and as much of an attempt as I can make within the bounds of WP’s system to keep within laws regarding risque material.

Burnt Out

Here I sit after an eight hour ordeal trying to get police to come deal with a thief, reflecting back on nearly seven years of regular events like this, being attacked for saying thieves do NOT have a right to steal anything they want, trying to adjust to the lack of sleep this causes, AND just reflecting on some of the blog posts I’ve seen lately.

At this point, all I can do with the situation at home is file formal complaints with oversight agencies.  The blog situation is a microcosm of the mess I see everywhere in the world; people so caught up in their pet cause that they’ll say anything and go to seemingly any lengths to rationalize what they say.  I’ve seen this for decades on the internet and elsewhere, but it’s shifted from the rare troll to a common debate tactic.

I had been toying with the idea of starting a separate blog for promoting open communication, getting people to try to listen to one another, and trying to offset some of the hate I see everywhere.  I’ve seen people  I thought were rational make posts saying that one person was evil and neglecting their kids because they travel on their job occasionally.  They wouldn’t spank if they weren’t an ignorant redneck and were actually home to bond with their kids.  Never mind the blogger had no personal knowledge of this person and the post was based strictly on their own biases and need to beat down somebody on the other side.

I’ve seen a nature blog post saying people effectively were a cancer on the universe and were going to cause the entire universe to collapse.  How do you even debate with anything that irrational?  Even if you accept the premise that as children of the divine that we have that much potential power, it also has to presume that that same divine is too short sighted to set up safeguards for the universe against such bad energy.  That would be a pretty damned stupid God to be so short sighted.

If you’re on the “correct” side of an issue, anything goes in the name of the cause.  That used to be called fanaticism and was considered dangerous.

Everything from spanking to politics, religion and environmentalism, people on both sides play loose with facts, launch personal attacks on the other side, resort to gross hyperbole, and completely misrepresent what other people say… all for the sake of making an imagined point.

Reality is, these people only hurt their causes.  That’s a shame since in many cases they have a valid cause.  Hate is only going to get responded to with more hate, unless the other person is an utter Saint.

To paraphrase Proverbs: The gentle word turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Look at the alternative we see nowadays.  The standard “debate” tactic is something along the lines of “You’re a utterly vile human being because you don’t agree with me”.  Does anybody REALLY think THAT will change anyone’s mind?

The reason this tactic has become so common is that people have been stirred up to believe the worst in others.  The older wisdom that’s been lost in the inflated sense of ego is “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by ignorance”.  If people would realize they are NOT infallible, and that the other side might have a point and that there are multiple ways of doing anything, there might be some hope for humanity.

Duality of choice is false logic, designed to control and manipulate people, and / or just completely short sighted.  Let me give an example from classic politics:

Liberals are (stereotypically) big on social problems  or spending and conservatives are equally stereotypically big on defense spending.  Guns or butter as the debate used to be called.  Everybody is divided into two camps and fights away while those in power waste fortunes via graft.  If we looked past the distraction and paid attention to the waste and graft, we’d realize there’s enough money for all of it.  That requires the third option of just making sure the existing money is wisely spent though.

With gross twisting of words, telling half truths and using extreme hyperbole, there’s also the issue of the “speaker” losing credibility with their audience.  When your audience sees or sense a lack of integrity, there’s no way they’ll follow you.  Readers or listeners will often forgive honest mistakes, but a sensed lack of integrity will kill efforts faster than anything, including fanaticism.

If you want to convince others about something, be passionate, but warm.  Part of that being warm means debate the idea, NOT attack the person.  Know your facts, including those the other side believes, and be willing to admit if there are weaknesses for your cause.  Propose alternatives to the “party line”.  Listen to the other side and try to understand what their concerns are.  When you understand where they’re coming from, it’s much easier to come up with a win-win alternative.

And for what it’s worth…  These are the things I was taught in high school and college debate, where I actually went undefeated.  Communication IS the one thing I know, even if it often doesn’t show here thanks to frustration, sleep deprivation and physical pain.

And yes, I’ve disabled comments this time.  I’m sick of all the toxic BS anymore.