Recently, a friend asked me to contribute a short erotica piece for one of the publications we both write for. He is going to curate the short pieces and tapped several writers to write personal, non-fiction erotic pieces and I thought about it and said yes.
Then I got scared.
I remember submitting a piece for the anthology Eros Pinoy, a collection of erotic Filipino poetry in English by different poets. My piece Remembering Touch was accepted and published in the anthology. Then, one of my mentors at the UST Writer’s Workshop, Ophelia Dimalanta, wrote a review of the anthology and called me out specifically by name and told me, “Not yet, Wanggo. Not yet.” Or something to that effect. My piece, apparently, wasn’t erotic enough just yet.
I got scared and thought to never write erotica again.
The deadline is coming up soon and I’ve been working the non-fiction piece in mind head and my friend tells me that almost everyone has submitted their work already. They are probably just waiting for me and it makes me nervous.
He told me several times last night that everyone’s work is really good. That freaks me out because the pressure is on. Remembering Touch was published 16 years ago and I haven’t written erotica since. Could I actually write an erotic piece now that I’m much older and have gone through the many gradations of love, romance, passion, and arousal?
The deadline is looming. I’m very nervous. The experience I will write about, I believe, is of some significance and the way I look at that moment in my life will offer much insight. Would I be able to write in such a way that it becomes literary? Erotic? Not indulgent or banal?
The deadline is looming. I better begin.