Art and Erotica. Two gay erotica authors on writing inspiration
SAXON BOULEVARD MEETS JAKE INDIANA — two gay erotica authors on literary heroes, erotic awakening and the importance of writing with a boner.
Who are the people behind erotica? How do they live, why do they write porn?
I had the very distinct pleasure of interviewing BERLINABLE author Jake Indiana, whose recently published Butt du Jour is now available online.
The self confessed ‘sensitive little flower’ has penned an absolute must-read with Butt du Jour- a kinky romp that unfolds inside a labyrinth-like Berlin club, where our submissive protagonist pushes the envelope with a ‘Mapplehthorpe-ian wet dream’.
In our interview, Jake Indiana talks candidly about their literary heroes, their erotic awakening, writing inspiration and the importance of writing with a boner.
‘If your aim is to create art with the intention of arousing the spectator, how would you know it’s any good if you’re not even aroused yourself?’
Saxon Boulevard. One of the immediate responses I had to reading your work was the affection I held for the voice of the character.
You write in an eloquent and sophisticated manner, which can make erotica so much more…erotic.
Who are your great literary loves?
Jake Indiana. I have many, many literary loves, but I’ll begin by shouting out Jane Austen, whose canonical ‘Pride & Prejudice’ is probably my favourite novel — fellow Austenites may notice that I paraphrase/appropriate the infamous first sentence of that novel as the first sentence of ‘Butt du Jour,’ which came to me in a fit of sudden, cheeky inspiration.
Austen aside, I have major love for Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, and Hunter S. Thompson. I guess he’s more of a journalist… but he made journalism more literary than anyone, so!
SB. Butt du Jour explores the boundaries and limits of two men who meet in a club and engage in a night of hardcore spanking.
How have you made a story that involves aspects of kink and power play so accessible and easy to enjoy?
JI. I’m so humbled and pleased you found it accessible and enjoyable! The honest answer is I didn’t set out to make it either of those things; it simply came from an honest place.
Kink is wonderful, but there is of course an element of darkness — which can make it too intimidating to even approach for a lot of people.
At heart I am a sensitive little flower, so I feel super fortunate to have had a lovely, loving entry-point to it, because so often that’s not the case.
I think a lot more people would be open to exploring kink if they were introduced to it under similarly comfortable circumstances, and this thought was not far from my mind when writing ‘Butt du Jour.’
SB. You use art as a mechanism to propel your character through the story.
Are there other sources of inspiration that you find useful when writing?
JI. Reading! The first place I go when lacking inspiration is straight into a book — if the writing process is like an elaborate sushi dinner, then you need reading like you need that piece of ginger to cleanse the palette between each bite.
SB. I remember reading Jaws as an adolescent and feeling scandalised at the sex scene. It was the first time I had felt the power of sex on the page.
Can you remember the first time you read something that turned you on?
JA. I felt intense pangs of horniness at that age right before you start feeling sexual from a bizarre fantasy book I found at the public library, it was called something like ‘Guise of the Gargoyle.’
I remember absolutely nothing about it other than a scene that involved nudity and kimonos, and the male of the couple was actually a gargoyle who was in human form for a quest. It drove 10-year old Jake mad with desire.
SB. Reading sure does inspire desire, but I wonder if writing has the same effect.
Tom of Finland once said ‘If I don’t have an erection when I’m doing a drawing, I know it’s no good.’
Is being turned-on part of the writing process for you or the metric for a good story?
JA. I’m in complete agreement with Tom of Finland — my writing process for erotica involves erections.
If your aim is to create art with the intention of arousing the spectator, how would you know it’s any good if you’re not even aroused yourself?
SB. Aside from authors boasting erection while they write, I’m also really interested in the actual mechanics of writing.
What does it look like physically when you pen a story?
JI. Almost exclusively I write from home, I tend to work best when I have full control of my immediate surroundings. The general atmosphere of my home is the Louvre but with the coziness of a Hobbit hole; nearly all of ‘Butt du Jour’ was written while I was splayed in my antique chair or sitting cross-legged on my carpet.
It’s also a safe bet to say I was blasting some Bach — I can’t always listen to music when I write, but when I do I can only handle classical.
SB. It sounds so sophisticated! There is a reference to the Pope of Trash in your story, the prolific and profane John Waters.
I’m wondering if there are any other pop culture icons that might influence your work, overtly or otherwise?
JI. John is a key influence for me, there are few other artists of any medium whom I feel so closely aligned with in terms of personal and political beliefs.
I had the extreme good fortune to interview him for a magazine last year and I could — barely — keep it together.
Likewise, I feel the same way about Divine. And though she’s fictional, Mary Poppins is legitimately a constant role model and source of strength.
SB. There’s a real potency in Butt du Jour as a short story.
Are there inclinations to produce a long-form piece in the future?
JI. I have written one novel and it is almost unreadable. One day I plan to redeem myself and give it another crack, but that day seems… Distant. Let’s see when inspiration strikes!
Like Jake Indiana’s fictitious leather-clad Frenchman (who punishes his sub with swift blows from a riding crop), let’s hope that the writing inspiration does strike again… hard!
FINDING JAKE INDIANA
FINDING SAXON BOULEVARD
Here is the result of Jake’s writing inspiration: “BUTT DU JOUR”
Originally published on BERLINABLE