J.B. Rogers: erotica where gender isn’t always what it seems to be

J.B. sent me a story to review a few weeks ago, my review was published a while ago. I got really curious about the author hirself, whose gender is as mysterious as some of the characters xe writes about. For someone in the LGBT community, gender bending, gender fluidity and inter- & transsexuality are interesting, no matter what “label” people use. To use them in literature is good, as it offers the Qs, the Ts and the Is in the LGBTQI great role models. I didn’t have them when I grew up, and I think there should be lots of stories out there for all of us, no matter who we are. Anyway, enough introduction, and after the interview with Muffy and yesterday’s review of her book, here’s another interview with an author who masters the art of writing Erotica. Enjoy!

Measuring_Up-cover

We won’t see a picture of J.B. in this post. The author is keeping hir personal cards to hirself.

 

Who is J.B. Roberts in hir own words?

I’m a person who writes quality smut. I don’t like giving personal details, because those put filters between the reader and the story. I’m over 18, though; I will say that much! 😉

What is one thing you would like the world to remember you for?

Destroying the idea that smut has to be shallow.

What got you into writing?

Insomnia. 😉
Seriously, all of this came from an idea that came to me while I was trying to go to sleep. I spent the rest of the night taking notes. Before the weekend was out, I had over five thousand words of scenes, character notes, ideas about how the magic would work, and a lot more work left to do. Now my biggest question is which story to tell next.

Is writing a full time job of yours or…

I wish! 🙂

 

As an author, what is your driving force?

I’m out to do two things. First, get readers invested in the characters and their story. Second, get them off with something both erotic and different. Making some money in the process wouldn’t hurt, either. 😉
This author shows great promise and if you like gender fluid and queer erotic stories, you should definitely check our J.B.'s writing!

This author shows great promise and if you like gender fluid and queer erotic stories, you should definitely check our J.B.’s writing!

 

Writing erotica isn’t exactly going to land you a Pulitzer or Booker Prize. If anything, Erotica is considered even less “valuable” than Romance. What is the attraction of writing in a genre that most people will have writhing in their seats with embarrassment if others knew they were reading it (and loads of people do, read it i.e.)?

The attraction is the idea of dragging smut out of that gutter. I want to show that you can have good storytelling and explicit sex, that you don’t have to choose or settle. I may never get a literary prize for my work, but I still strive for those standards.

 

You aren’t limiting yourself to the classic M/F or the edgy M/M or F/F but your writing transcends genders and gender roles, just as your own persona does. For some, this would be mere thrill-seeking, but I have a hunch there’s more to it for you?

Oh, I have a gender and a sexual orientation, along with my age, race, and physical description. I’m just not saying what they are! 🙂
Boundaries fascinate me. We’re obsessed with sex, but we’re ashamed of it. We voluntarily accept incredibly limited roles that make no sense. Look at clothes. In the Western world, anyone can wear pants, but only women get to wear skirts. A man in a skirt’s considered effeminate and weak – unless he calls it a kilt, then it’s strong and manly. Makeup is right out – unless he’s on camera, where it’s mandatory. It’s all so arbitrary!
Forge your own path. Be yourself, whoever that is. Wear lipstick, or don’t. Grow your hair out, or shave it all off. Tell your lover about that secret fantasy. If it feels right and doesn’t hurt anybody, go for it. Just be safe about it, so you can live longer and have more fun.

 

Where do you see the role of Erotica in literature? Is there more to it than dirty bedtime stories?

If you fade to black every time a couple gets naked, you forfeit so many opportunities to show those little moments that can define a relationship. Falling in love doesn’t guarantee a magical night, just as a sheet-scorching encounter doesn’t portend a walk down the aisle. Those conflicts shouldn’t be off-limits, and not all sex scenes need to be sexy.

 

I’ve recently finished three erotic novels myself, my first, my last and my only one… I find it extremely difficult to write erotica, and to do it in the format of a novel. Sex is, after all, sex, and it gets boring after a while. You are making erotica your brand of sorts, focusing on it, writing exclusively erotica. Are you trying to make a point?

Absolutely. Sex is never just sex. I touched on that a minute ago, but think about the last time you and Alex [the interviewer’s husband] were out of sync in bed. It happens to everybody [speak for yourself, LOL], but how did you two handle it? Did you fight about it? Does one of you generally get his way, or is there some negotiation to it? Now, here’s the real question. How did your emotional relationship affect that, and vice versa? No, don’t tell me – just think about it. Our sex lives affect the rest of our lives. They’re part of the stories we live, and that means they should be part of the stories we tell.
I don’t want to read about a couple of strangers going through brainless bedroom gymnastics, and I hope I never write that. I want to know what brought them together, and how it affects at least one of them… because it always does. It must. Whether he’s going to a hooker because his wife doesn’t touch him any more, or she’s out to put her sorrows on hold with a night of sweaty ecstasy, they’re fucking for a reason. That’s the story.
By the way, erotica isn’t all I write. It’s what I write under this name. Many authors use different names for different genres; ask J.K. Rowling. I have a more mainstream project in the wings under another name.

 

I have to hand it to you, the way you write is absolutely delicious. Did you study English or have you just always had a talent for finding new and unexpected ways to say the “obvious”.

Thank you! I studied English, but I didn’t major in it. I just read a lot, and I pay attention to the rules I learned and the way the most effective stories I read (ab)use them. I know that the perfect word in the right place can make all the difference, and there’s nothing I like more than someone with a big… vocabulary. 😉
What an intriguing cover... Put your hands over the top and you'll see what I mean.

What an intriguing cover… Put your hands over the top and you’ll see what I mean. To get your hands on the story, you need to buy the boxed set or enter J.B.’s contest. More info here.

 

I do not get the thing with BDSM, yet it’s huge in both Romance and Erotica. I go to all these conventions and they tie up poor teddy bears and have demonstrations for the curious. Can you give me a 101 crash course on why so many people are attracted to BDSM, in real life and particularly in literature?

Answering that question properly could be a post all its own. BDSM is a big topic, so all I can do is talk about what speaks to me. Forget the teddy bears. That’s a how answer to a why question. Ask me why, and my answer is “freedom.”

All healthy BDSM relationships have one thing in common: open communication about sex. Everything else comes from that, and every sexual relationship needs it. One of my most frustrating relationships was with a partner who sometimes said “I don’t know” when I proposed having sex. I always worried that when they said “yes,” it was because they thought they had to.

You have to know the difference between positions and emotions. “If you loved me, you would” is manipulative bullshit! Not liking bondage doesn’t mean you care less about your partner, any more than not wanting curry for dinner does. Knowing each other’s kinks brings the freedom of clarity. You can drink deeper of each other, knowing you’re in good hands.

Now to the most difficult question of them all: authors often draw from their own experience (I am no exception) and/or research, and that begs the question of how much of the sex in your stories is based on reality (I can’t get certain fruit in certain places out of my poor mind)? Because nothing would be worse than reading sex that isn’t practically feasible (and I have read that, and it’s not only a turn-off but also a page-turner of the worst kind)

This book took a lot of research, and only some was hands-on. That fruit scene was inspired by an older erotic story I’d read, but I modified it to work in the real world. I found the key to Jasmine’s Halloween costume online, and Tish’s measurements come right from that site. The fun part was getting into her head to choreograph them as a scene. Even the mask problem came from an Amazon review.

Finally, what can we expect and look forward from you in the future? Plug away…

Solstice, a new novelette is out!

Solstice, a new novelette is out! Available for Kindle.

My third title just came out – a holiday novelette called “Solstice Surprise.” It’s about a woman who breaks up with the man she lives with and decides to get her mind off of moving out by attending a holiday sex party. That’s when things get complicated. It’s my take on those cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas romances, but funny and smutty and twisted.

After that, the other half of The Freshman’s Curse should come out in time for Valentine’s Day, and the “box set” collection won’t be far behind. I’ve got other stories planned that fit into its “Leather and Lace” setting, but they’re about different characters. Right now, I’m working on kind of a sequel to “Surprise,” but it takes place several years earlier. It’s about the potential that careless dom/sub relationships have for turning abusive, and I’ve done a lot of research into cults and conditioning – both physical and mental – to make sure it works. It’s a big challenge, and I hope I’m up to it.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the mysterious J.B. Seems the human is still quite the enigma, but there are some very interesting insights into the author and hir work. Thank you J.B. for doing this for me. Reach out to hir for more information about hir books.
This is the final post before the Holiday. I’ll publish a little holiday surprise, but this blog is on vacation from now until January 6th, along with me! 😉 Back on Thursday 1/7. Happy Holidays.

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Hans

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