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by Jennifer Munro

Jennifer D. Munro discusses the genesis of the short story “Pinkie,” which was included in The Best of Best American Erotica, 15th Anniversary Edition, a collection of editor Susie Bright’s favorite stories from the annual anthology’s fifteen years.

I got stuck at dinner a few years ago with a friend’s pal whom I didn’t know. Our mutual friend never showed up. The conversation turned to erotica. Friends are fascinated that I write erotic stories. I live in a suburb, work in a cubicle, and keep my butt-crack covered, so apparently I don’t fit their Anais Nin image.

I mentioned to my new acquaintance that I’m not interested in writing about perfect bodies and gymnastic sex, since that’s not my reality. Forget Erica Jong’s famous Zipless F&ck; most days I’m happy if I can zip up my jeans.

She seemed surprised at my reality—she was currently having marathon sex in every possible position with a beautiful, well-endowed man. (Shortly after our dinner, she was checked into a psychiatric clinic with a severe mental illness. Don’t ask me what the moral is there.)

At dinner that night she shrugged, yawned, and said, “Well, why don’t you write a story about a man with a really small dick?”

So I did. To me, the idea was far more intriguing than to write about the amazing fornication that she was describing.

I’m as fond of Pinkie as the day he introduced himself to me. Once he plunked his glorious derriere down at my desk and started to talk, I became fascinated with the problem of a woman’s prejudices against him. I’ve written a lot about female bodies that don’t cooperate, but I hadn’t yet written about a man’s biological challenges. I enjoyed turning the tables.

Although many of my short stories are inspired by real events in my life, Pinkie’s pure fiction, but he’s confirmation that any writer in a relationship needs her partner to be understanding, to have a sense of humor, and to have a strong sense of self. My husband’s a good sport about the heat he takes over this story and others that I’ve published. Neighbors ask him at barbecues about his pubic hair and penis size. Everyone assumes that we’re screwing all the time, but usually I’m telling him to be quiet so I can write.

I’ve never thought of myself as an erotica writer. I’m a writer, period. To limit myself within a genre would feel as restrictive as not writing about sex in general fiction or essays. I simply write about relationships, and to exclude the sex that is intrinsic to most “romantic” relationships would feel false. I adore my characters. I fall in love with all of them and suffer empty-nest depression when they’ve gone off into the world on their own. I celebrate their ability to flounder through life with flawed bodies and challenging relationships, like we all do. Generally they do it with a lot more wit and grace than I manage.

 

 

Munro_JDJennifer D. Munro’s stories have appeared in two editions of Best American Erotica; Best Women’s Erotica; six editions of Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica; and many other publications. Her personal essays have appeared in Salon.com; Brain, Child (for which she received a Pushcart nomination); and anthologies such as The Bigger the Better the Tighter the Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty and Body Image. Her humorous stories about sex and the sexes are collected in The Erotica Writer’s Husband. She is a freelance editor and a Hedgebrook alum who has taught writing classes for Hugo House Literary Arts Center, King County Library, and the Edmonds Writers Conference. She blogs at StraightNoChaserMom.com Website: JenniferDMunro.com

Jennifer is teaching “The Funny Bone is an Erogenous Zone” at our Spring Salon, Saturday April 27. Register now!

 

Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.

Jennifer Munro
About Jennifer Munro