Friday, June 5, 2015

Repost: "Creative Incursions into the Mine of Fictional Desire"

But I also admit a creative appetite to destabilize what we identify as erotic in contemporary society and to invite the reader to consider that our erotic arousal may not be as natural or innate as we think it is. That far from being the liberation we proclaim it to be, it is more socially proscribed than we care to admit. Moreover, many the tropes we identify erotically transgressive are often centered around nostalgic themes of past prohibitions; thus making them socially ‘safe’. [...]

Indeed Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory and Barthe’s formulation of the difference between texts of pleasure and texts of bliss (or jouissance) seem like an almost too obvious, too simplistic ‘fit’ for creative writing in the erotica genre. And yet, the vast majority of erotic fiction available accepts, employs and perpetuates normative erotic signification. There is little recognition or interrogation of the fact that we, as subjects in the Symbolic world, are unconsciously adopting the desire of the Other as our own, including the explicitly erotic desire of the Other. Our world is inundated in pornographic memes that act as ‘erotosignifiers’ – incredibly effective triggers for things we believe we must, as normal erotic beings, desire. But these very erotosignifiers are the ones that most efficiently serve to maintain conformity and reinforce structures of hegemonic control over the erotic via, as Zizek has described it, “the Law’s obscene supplement” (The Parallax View 366). For all our mainstream culture’s disavowal of mindless hedonism, sexual objectification, decontextualization, etc., these disingenuously disavowed, but implicitly employed erotosignifiers serve contemporary power structures in myriad ways. They provide a libidinal valve for the enormous pressure of the socially responsible humans we are enjoined to be. They rationalize our concepts of eroticism, in terms of gender designations and roles, heteronormativity, socially validated forms of sexual expression. Finally, train us to a commoditized understanding of our drives, our identities and our intersubjective relations.

According to Bruce Fink, one of the central jobs of the Lacanian analyst in clinical practice is to get the analysand to become curious about their desires and the structure of their fantasies, to begin to question and critically consider how much of their desire is, in reality, the desire of the Other. (52-53)


Source: Madeleine Morris, "Creative Incursions into the Mine of Fictional Desire," Investigations into Reading and Writing Erotic Fiction blog, June 5, 2015, accessed June 5, 2015,

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