Under the pen name of Kay Jaybee, I’ve been writing erotica for almost seven years. From The Collector, a linked anthology of short stories about a woman on a continuous quest for erotic adventure, to The Perfect Submissive, my first full length BDSM novel, to my latest offering, the e-novella, Not Her Type: Erotic Adventures With A Delivery Man, with 3 other anthologies of my own, and over 70 short stories in between, I have covered virtually every angle of the erotica genre. And I have loved every single minute of it!
It never ceases to amaze me however, the way in which people react when I tell them what I do for a living. Granted, I don’t tell many people from my ‘real’ life what it is I am up to as I tap away at my laptop every day, but those that do know often – after the initial shock that someone as I shy as myself should write this stuff – look at bit, well, disappointed. My lack of fishnet stockings and skirts the width of a belt, just doesn’t fit the bill somehow.
I see them trying to disguise the fact that they are looking me up and down, digesting the reality that I am a very ordinary thirty-something, in coffee stained jeans and a jumper. I’m average height, average weight, average shoe size, and (most shocking of all) I wear no makeup!!
The logic of it is bizarre if you think about it – if I wrote murder mysteries would they expect me to have a violent criminal record? If I wrote ghost stories, would they expect me to haunt the local graveyards and spookier parts of the area? Of course not- yet as someone who has found that her strength is in writing sexual acrobatics, I’m expected to appear as though I am about to seduce anybody who happens to be passing. Naturally, I should have an emergency piece of rope in my pocket to tie up his or her wrists, and (as a writer of BDSM and S&M) there is obviously going to be a whip or paddle secreted in the bottom of my handbag at all times.
Attitudes are changing slowly- the snag is, many (and I know I am generalising a bit here) folk want to imagine us scribbling away about our own experiences, with one eye on the man we have bound to the bed, while planning what kinky things we’ll do to him after we’ve written the next paragraph of smut… Let’s face it- the image adds to the fun!
I realised early on in my writing career that the only way to win this battle is to write the very best stories I possibly can, not take these perceptions at all seriously, and meet everyone’s expectations halfway. So, whenever I appear at readings at Sh! Women’s Store in London, or am doing any other publicity, I pop on the mini skirt (not too short), the low cut top (but with a cardigan over the top!), the boots (not high heeled), and a smile that can only be described as suggestive.
This ‘dressing up as Kay’ really helps me to deliver my stories- for taking on her persona banishes the urge to run away before I read erotic out loud to total strangers!
Back in 2008 the wonderful erotica writer Jeremy Edwards described my life as having something of the Superman about it. Not that he was suggesting I could leap buildings in a single bound or anything. Jeremy told me he had this image of me dropping my children off at school, and then, as I walk towards the cafe where I always write, undergoing some sort of mental and physical transformation. He imagined me walking taller, my head higher, smiling knowingly at strangers- my personality almost totally changing, – as if I was entering a telephone box as Clark Kent and coming out a Superhero. The thing is; Jeremy is almost right. As Kay I do walk taller, and I am so much braver.
Over the past few years I have used the perception of what people have traditionally thought erotica writers should be like to my advantage; helping me to develop my alter-ego ‘Kay Jaybee.’ You could argue that by doing so I am making it harder for people’s attitudes to change towards us erotica types- but I do hope not. Dressing the part is just like acting- it doesn’t stop me being happily married, or a mum, or an admin worker- it just gives me the little bit of confidence I need to read my wares in public, and makes said public smile!!
Many thanks for inviting me here to chatter today. If you ‘d like to read any of my work, then why not check out my website www.kayjaybee.me.uk or find me on Twitter kay_jaybee?