I want to talk about labels, labels for books, labels for people and more particularly labels for characters.
When it comes to selling a book, particularly a piece of erotica, there's relatively little opportunity to communicate to the buyer what is available. For this reason a lot of erotica pieces tend to have quite simple titles, often with a sub-title that's little more than a list of kinks (We know that we're occasionally guilty of this).
If you're lucky someone might be interested enough to then have a look at the blurb for the book, a hundred words or so giving a basic set-up and an idea of what's inside. Again this tends to be to the point where if one is so inclined a brief list of the activities contained within may be included.
It goes without saying that using labels in this way over-simplifies things massively and any reasonably well drawn character will defy any pigeon hole you try to put them into. That's part of what makes them compelling and gives them a chance to evolve as the story progresses. This is why I try very firmly to only use labels for the specific acts (spanking, rope bondage, etc) that a story contains. Why? Because that's usually what the buyer wants to know.
If you did try to label your characters you'd end up with a mini paragraph on each
"Sort of submissive, but only in a playful, 'I want to really, but want to be persuaded' sort of a way, who also will take charge of events and isn't averse to exploring new ideas."
Why? Because they're not cardboard cut-outs, we just don't write that way. Yes sometimes peripheral characters might be a bit 2D but, guess what, they're not the ones at the heart of things having earth-shattering sex!
Where this gets tricky is when the labels one wants to add are considered 'adult' or worse 'unacceptable' by publishing platforms (Amazon's adult filter it's a minefield!). This often leads to situations where you can't be open and honest about what's in the book and have to cloak it in mysterious terms like "taboo" which could mean pretty much anything.Labels, they can be a powerful tool for finding what you want, but in the wrong hands can be used to do the exact opposite.
What do you think? Join the debate below! Do you want to know what's in you're books? Or do you love a saucy surprise? Thanks for hanging out with the Brit Babes today Kinky Brits! x x x