So let's cut the chase and save this thread from getting dull before it starts; we all know sex sells. We know that Erotica and Romance, as genres, are often considered to be cheap and commercial. They're often considered flat, puddle-deep and written in a formulaic way. Lots of people call this stuff trash - some people like trash - but they call it trash none the less. However, some people love Erotica, and believe the absolute opposite of all the above. Personally, I have read some amazing erotic scenes in profound literary fiction, which serve an obvious purpose and yet seem to make the piece really shine. There's trash and there's gold, like any genre, I guess. But that's not what we're here to talk about - so leave the debates out of it, please. ------------------------------------------------------------- Here's my problem: I love writing, and have been published 4 times now in anthologies (6 acceptances - two couldn't continue because the publisher had a near-fatal accident. Oops). That's all great. I'm on the right track. The problem is that the story I enjoyed writing most, wrote best and am incredibly proud of, happens to be in a lesbian Vampire erotica anthology. I know what you're thinking - it's probably trash, right? Wrong! I wrote my story with depth and great care. Everything was logical. My prose was as detailed and stylised as it was entertaining (IMO - it's the only story of mine which I've 100% liked once it's finished). Others can disagree with me, but I truly am proud of what I achieved when I wrote this piece. For me, it was a giant step forward. Amazingly, I've been picked to be published amongst a whole list of successful romance authors.The editor herself is well-known in this movement. The payment is semi-pro for short stories and, although it's still not much, it's the most I've ever been paid for small piece. That news felt like a million when I got that acceptance. There's blog touring and promotional writing involved too, so I get loads of publicitiy for myself and my writing blog. I've never had this much of a result from my other stories. Deep down, I'm really proud. So why am I also experiencing this sense of shame? Part of me feels ashamed that I enjoyed writing this stuff so much. I'm embarrassed to admit it's erotica out loud. I'm terrified about my family finding out - when my two copies come in the mail, I'm gonna have to hope nobody opens the boxes. I plan on hiding these anthologies away, when really I want to display them. Most of all, I'm worried that, despite my story being of a good quality ( I know that's debatable) this makes me a rubbish, commercial writer. On top of it all, there's another open submission, and my fingertips are tingling. I know I can come up with a really cool, yet steamy story. I almost feel kind of...glamorous. I like having control of sensuality in my stories. Am I going down a bad route? Am I just dabbling here, answering my true calling, or writing utter rubbish because I'm just not good enough? Are there any romance/erotica/dabbling writers here who understand my problem? What do you think I should do about this situation? Can my family and friends ever know about this?!