I’ve seen a lot of people in the LGBTQ community get blocked, reported, and basically, kicked off facebook for very ridiculous reasons. Some posted risque photos, some made risque comments, and some just posted about something that had gay content in a general sense that had nothing to do with sex.
In most cases, the photos and comments were all in fun. This isn’t hearsay. I know this because I’ve seen the photos and read the updates myself. And, just for the record, I was once kicked off facebook myself and I was never given a valid reason. The kind people over at Facebook restored my account and apologized. But I can tell you for a fact that I’ve never even posted the slightest hint of anything risque or sexual…unless it’s a book cover. And these books covers, in most cases, are about as risque as an underwear ad in GQ Magazine. I recently saw an ad in my latest Architectural Digest for a design firm, with two naked men and a naked woman playing cards in bed. My covers are tame compared to that.
But last night, after dinner, I signed into Facebook and the first status update I read went like this: “I have had my *blank* eaten *blank* so many times in the last ten years…” You can fill in the blanks yourself. You can finish the thought yourself, too, because I’m not going to quote something like this on my blog. But I can tell you it was the most out of context, offensive comment I’ve seen to date on facebook and I didn’t appreciate it…especially not on a full stomach. Needless to say, I unfriended this person fast. I figured if he can write something like that in public, there’s no telling where he’s going to go next. And this wasn’t the first time this person did this. It was the fourth or fifth and I’d had enough.
And I’m no prude. My books speak for themselves and I never make any apologies to anyone regarding the content of my fiction. But it’s fiction, not real life. I write erotic romance novels and each one has a storyline that’s strong enough to support the book without the sex scenes. In other words, if I was asked to remove all the sex scenes in every book or story I ever wrote and re-write them as pg-rated scenes, the storyline would still be able to support the book.
As an erotic romance author, I take this very seriously. And I take the way I conduct myself in public just as seriously. I don’t make highly charged sexual comments on social media just for the sake of getting attention. I could. But I don’t. I think that diminishes the genre and lowers the expectations of readers in the long run. And the erotic romance authors I know and like, including erotic romance editors, know how to conduct themselves professionally in public.
I’m not saying funny, sexy photos and comments in social media shouldn’t be done. I laugh every time see one and wish I’d thought of it first. And if it’s done in the right context, smutty, funny things are absolutely harmless. I have one good friend, my blogging buddy, Ryan, who has literally made an art out of posting hysterical photos and comments on social media. But he does it in good taste and he makes people laugh. And I’ve never been offended.
But I couldn’t care less if a budding erotic author has had his *blank* eaten *blank* a million times. Just the thought of that makes me cringe, especially when I have to see his photo at the same time. Some authors might think this is a way to get attention. And they might be right in the beginning. But in the long run it just might be the best way to get people to unfriend you on facebook. And you certainly aren’t going to score any big points within the publishing industry.