Income From Erotic Stories & Fetish Literature

One of my friends, phone sex operator Angela St. Lawrence, also excels at the written word. She’s not only the author of erotica (or what she calls “smut”), but, under other names, she’s a successful writer of mainstream works as well. Tonight, however, Angela was discussing her fetish writing on the “Writers of Fetish Literature” episode of In Bed With Dr. Sue.

Along with Angela, the guests on Dr. Sue‘s show were authors Irv O. Neil, Ed Cantor, Louis Friend, and, as special guest, Lori Perkins, a literary agent. Whether you’re a fan of erotic fiction, erotic romance, smut, or whatever you call it — or want to learn more about it so you can add to your phone sex income, it’s worth listening to the archived podcast. The show had a slow start; but its worth hanging around because once it gets going there’s some good information there.

I myself called in. The first time, in part to support Angela, I asked the male writers if they’ve ever written custom stories (and if so, for pay), or ever collaborated to weave a story in real time. The second time I called in was to discuss publishing. I hadn’t intended to make a second call, but some of the things Perkins said about the publishing industry had me thinking…

Perkins said that 80% of book buyers are women, that women want “romance” along with their erotica, and that these things are to be credited for the 50 Shades Phenomenon — as well as driving the whole erotic romance genre. While that makes sense (and is similar to what I’ve heard in my years selling erotic stories to publishers), my experiences in the adult industry have me wondering why where there’s not more of a market share driven by men. Or, I should say, by straight men, as gay men are considered a large part of the market.

This isn’t a new line of thinking for me; just another time the subject comes to the forefront of my thoughts. As it does every time I read about the “boom” in ebooks and self-publishing options, areas I continue to dabble in.

My experiences are in larger numbers than average — but still, they are by no means enough to satisfy any statistician. But my empirical evidence leads me to wonder about this seeming discrepancy between the number of men who buy books and the number of men who pay for phone sex, custom stories, sex services, and other forms of adult entertainment… Especially submissive men, sissies, and others who fantasize about, and crave the attention of, dominant women. Those men spend a lot of money. So it doesn’t make dollars and sense to me that these men aren’t impacting the erotic publishing marketplace.

I’m pretty sure it all has something to do with the ability to interact, commission, or otherwise control the work/service. But it also likely has something to do with the length of the stories themselves. While women may be buying erotic novels, men have a proven sales record of buying erotic anthologies; Letters To Penthouse, for example, has been a staple on bookstore shelves for decades. Sometimes, it’s the only erotica you can find. While such anthologies are pretty vanilla, I still believe there’s great money to be made — and off men — in BDSM and fetish stories. I know the money I make off my written and custom erotica; it’s nothing to sneeze at. (Unless sneezing is the fetish!)

It’s not my job to worry about the money the publishing industry may be missing. And it in terms of my own business, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But the bottom line is, those looking to add to their phone sex business income shouldn’t overlook the money to be made in written erotic works — even if publishers are passing on such works. That might just mean even more money for us in the long run. After all, those men have to find and pay for their textual yet contextual kink and fetish fixes somewhere.

2 thoughts on “Income From Erotic Stories & Fetish Literature

  1. Mistress Magick

    There is probably a big distinction between erotic *romance* and kink writing, including the difference in the markets for the writers who were on the show tonight and for the agent.

    I also think that, for many of us, the future is in self-publishing. The privacy and quick purchase options provided by platforms like the Kindle appeal to the readers of both romances and kink. The need for publishers and agents is becoming less and less, especially in these genres. The only real role they play is in quality control, and even that seems to be falling by the wayside.

    Mistress Magick
    Male-Service.com
    InHerService.com

    Reply
  2. Phone Sex Secrets

    Hey, Mistress Magick, thanks for stopping by & adding your thoughts :)

    I agree there are differences in genres — and I tried to get to that point in the show (but hey, it wasn’t supposed to be all about me lol).

    Regardless of what genre we’re talking about, I still see a large pile of cash that publishers are ignoring. And while self-publishing is great (I do it a lot), there still is a publishing industry which is go-to in terms of book (print and digital) buyers.

    Plus, to me this is somewhat a matter of cultural acceptance… 50 Shades may be helping in some ways, but it’s still not helping the other side of the coin, so to speak.

    Reply

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