I have been a prolific literotica blogger for a little over five years now, and the job has definitely come with pros and cons. While some of my esteemed audience takes what I write to heart to improve their intimate lives and sometimes relationships, others see my work as a catcall for every thirsty human to come get a piece of my ass. The advances came in e-mails, Twitter DMs, Facebook inboxes and in physical form, especially since I started making TV appearances in Kampala. Some of these were out rightly violent as I documented in a Twitter thread, shaking me to the core. I have been assaulted, body shamed, slut shamed, denied opportunities that I have earned simply because I refused to put out and everything in-between, simply because of my chosen art form. The ramifications of my explicit literotica have worked for me and come to bite me in the ass on several occasions, and if I were a glass half empty person, I would think that the negatives were the universe’s way of telling me to quit this “suicide mission”. Au contraire, it only emphasizes the impact of my work and keeps me going.
I can guarantee you that the life of a literotica writer is not as glamorous as it may seem; like I said, I was scared by the impact of my work. The good scared and the bad scared. But here’s the thing; if so many people are affected by the content, it means two things; first, people are consuming and interacting with your content, and secondly, they are eager (although sometimes misguided) to try out what they have picked up. The million dollar question therefore is, how do I, as a literotica writer, protect myself from such advances? Personally, I find that question offensive to the maximum, because in this unfortunate culture where rape and sexual assault against women is mostly sneered at and swept under the rug and in some instances applauded, glorified and encouraged (grab ’em by the pussy, anyone?), no amount of protecting myself will stop a pervert from attacking me. All I am left with is my content as my armor and my self defense skills as my sword against potential attackers.
When I start to type a post, my intention is definitely not to put up a classified ad in search for a sexual partner or several. My box is well taken care of; thank you for offering but no thanks. My motives have always been two; to educate and entertain. Nevertheless, some of my audience are pigheaded and blinded by lust, to them that is a clear indicator that I am “thirsty”; polite reminder – you are not living water neither are you Christ. Again, I say, I am fine. Many such writers have been forced to blog in anonymity or to altogether give up this beautiful form of literature simply because of the risks posed by a few rotten tomatoes that can barely keep their hands to themselves let alone their pants up. It’s unfortunate, but it is the sad reality.
I don’t blame these rotten tomatoes though; I blame our society. The very fabric of it is rotten to the very core, firmly entrenched in less than human beliefs and appalling double standards, and very few of us are bothered enough to unearth this rot. This very rot has been made acceptable and normalized in the ugly form of male privilege and female oppression, and if we the female dare speak up, we are labeled insipid, rabid, frigid, sexless, unloved, ugly, bitter and angry, and every negative adjective used to describe feminism today. As women, we are not allowed to be sexual beings, we are not allowed to glorify our bodies in the way we dress and the make up we wear, inter alia. We must exist within the parameters society deems acceptable for women to exist in. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her book “We Should All Be Feminists” and quoted by Beyonce in “Flawless” says this of girls:
We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.” Because I am female I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments – which I think can be a good thing – but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.
Why am I quoting Chimamanda yet the topic is literotica writing and it’s repercussions, you may ask? It’s really simple. First of all, most literotica writers are female, and are prone to sexual assault as a result of the literature they put out. This, sadly, is the society we live in. This is how we are raising our daughters and sons, all the while avoiding the conversations that are regarded as taboo in our culture. As luck may have it, one of those conversations is sex; we leave the kids to go find out on their own how sex works and they end up misusing it, then we display our sanctimonious ire for all to see when things go awry. We also make it our business to shut those who speak openly about sex up – literotica writers and feminists – labeling them and censoring them, stashing them away in boxes hidden in dank, dark basements. We want the system to work but nobody wants to do the dirty work.
Fear not, however. There is a silver lining in all this. It is from literotica writing that conversations around sex and sexuality come to the forefront, and the more this information is out there and available, the better for the next generation, and the one after, and the one after. It is a domino effect; one of us steps up, speaks up and fights, the rest follow suit. Rome was not built in a day. So, to any literotica writer out there who may be afraid to pursue this art form, do not be afraid. Come forth with your art, share it with the world and do not be scared into silence. Use your art, use your voice, use your talent and use the platforms available to you. The rotten tomatoes will always be there, but let that be the gasoline to your flame. And as Kemiyondo (@Kemi_stry), a favorite feminist of mine says, Trust the Process. Hold the Vision.