I wish I could formulate my thoughts but they seem all twisted and convoluted. So let me give you some instances and see if I can sort out my thoughts.
I write rather explicit sex scenes, and it doesn't bother me. I don't feel strange writing it. I could sit and quite openly talk about the writing process, or how characters take you on different sexual journeys. I can discuss sexual topics without too much cringing. I don't know how I'm like that.
And because I'm like that, I've no idea how to handle people who are embarrassed by what I write, embarrassed to talk about sex, and horrified by the word 'erotic'.
Sex is a normal part of life. I don't see that it's something to be ashamed about. And maybe it's the scientist in me that breaks it down to that and gets past the cringe-factor.
I was raised a fairly strict Catholic - so sex before marriage was a huge sin. Of course, I committed it. And it wasn't something I regretted. In my eyes it wasn't a sin, not something I was prepared to be sorry for, repent about, or ask forgiveness for. It was between me and him, and no one else need know about it. So I had a bit of a mind change.
A mind change isn't so easy, but I was relatively young and had always been asking questions about religion and not getting decent answers, so for me, I was halfway toward giving the views I'd been raised with the flick. The sex before marriage being a sin only sealed the deal.
Tonight at book club we were discussing Allain de Botton's Religion for Atheists, and the topic of Catholic guilt came up. I said I'd kicked mine. When I was asked when, I had to think... hard... and it brought me to this. I kicked Catholic guilt when I decided sex before marriage wasn't something to be guilty about.
And maybe that's how I have my relaxed attitude to sex. Maybe the years spent examining my childhood teachings, and discarding those I didn't feel fitted for me, were worthwhile. They've led me to writing what I enjoy - erotic stories!
It's been a interesting journey.