On erotica and politics

Hi. Thanks for caring enough to read this page.

If you’re not going to scroll down, here’s the short version: it’s erotica, not politics. You should be political, but your politics should be to keep what I’m writing purely in the realm of fiction – and that will take active work to normalise consent and gender equity, because we’re too close already.

Here’s the longer version.

I write erotica online under the pseudonym All These Roadworks. My erotica largely deals with non-consent, degradation of women, and slavery.

That’s a challenging topic and a challenging space, and it imposes some additional responsibilities on me as a writer of that content.

First up, let’s say this: this work is enjoyed by healthy, mature people of all genders. I have readers who are women. I have readers who are men. Some of those readers are trans. Some of those readers are straight. Some are bisexual. I know for a fact that many of them are people who have an unwavering commitment to consent and gender equity in real life, and I hope the rest do too.

We don’t choose our kinks. Our kinks choose us. The very things that our society considers most strongly taboo are disproportionately likely to become fetished as a result of that taboo. Also, our brains often deal with trauma and stress through sex. It’s very common for survivors of sexual abuse to have rape fantasies. That doesn’t mean they want to actually be raped – it means they’re processing trauma through eroticism.

Today, with gender politics very much front and centre of the public consciousness, it is entirely unsurprising that many people want to explore gender degradation fantasies. That doesn’t mean that they want to oppress women, or think that women are actually inferior. It means that it’s important for us to all take a public stand defending the rights of women, and that the stress of that needs an outlet.

That’s normal. That’s healthy. We don’t choose our kinks. But we do choose what to do about them. There is no harm in consenting adults engaging in fictional depictions of problematic topics. Reading Conan the Barbarian doesn’t mean we actually want to slay people with a broadsword. Watching Friday the 13th doesn’t mean we want to become a serial killer. These are cathartic societal outlets.

The stories I write are ridiculous in many respects. And yet, they’re entirely too plausible. Women do face an unacceptably high level of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Women are struggling to keep hard-won human rights in countries across the globe, and particularly in Western democracies. Women do find themselves in humiliating and unsafe situations every day through the normal operation of the society that we live in.

Everyone – and particularly readers of my stories – needs to actively work to make that change. The world in which we are best able to consensually enjoy our kinky fantasies is a world in which everyone – including women – is safe, respected and empowered to pursue their interests without fear of being shamed, assaulted, or having the expression of their sexuality taken as consent to having someone else’s imposed upon them.

The only acceptable basis for real-life romantic or sexual interaction is positive, enthusiastic, informed consent.

People who want to be sexual need to be free to consensually do so. People who don’t want that, or don’t want it in that form, or with that person, or at that time, or under those conditions… need to have that respected unconditionally, and without them needing to have to say it twice.

Please enjoy my stories. But they are not your manifesto – or anyone else’s. They are not an expression of how the world should be. Please, be good people. Build a better world for everyone.

And finally, by way of putting some money where my mouth is:

In any month where I make more than $300 of profit from alltheseroadworks.com, I will make a donation of 5% of the profits to a charity supporting women’s rights, that combats sexual harassment and violence, or that helps the women-inclusive victims of sexual and domestic violence.

Thank you for reading. Keep enjoying my work.

– All These Roadworks, August 2019

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