My name is Molly. This is me.
We’ve never met but I feel like you should have a picture in your mind when you say the words Mommy Porn to talk about romantic genre fiction – because you are marginalizing nearly everything about me. Only if you could squeeze in the words “wife” and “beer lover” could you better nail down and diminish some of my favorite parts of myself.
There are a lot of things that bother me about "Mommy Porn." But let’s start with your dismissal of not only my work, but my absolute favorite form of entertainment – romance novels. Perhaps at this point you’re sputtering some nonsense about the difference between erotica and romance novels – but those differences are real blurry. And since I’m writing this letter and I like the books that blur that line, you don’t get to sputter.
Considering the fact that you used the word just before mommy porn, I am going to assume that you’re making some kind of quality statement. (And I don’t want this to be about your shitty offensive, ridiculous movie – but really, REALLY Armie Hammer, you should avoid high horses). My guess is you haven’t read a romance novel. This isn’t surprising and there are several rants I could give you, about how little respect art made by women for women gets. How easily it’s dismissed, but I won’t. I will just say this: you’re missing out. Not just in a good way to pass a few hours while sitting on a beach, or a way to escape whatever reality you want to escape from. You’re missing out on an affirming artistic experience. The right romance novel at the right time I guarantee is the equivalent of whatever film experience made you want to be an actor. It’s John Hughes, and even Scorsese. And Cassavetes. Kathryn Bigelow’s hard, realistic edge. A little Billy Wilder mixed with Spielberg. Some are like Altman. Others like Lucas. Some are so new and so exciting, you haven’t seen their like before. There is a world of story and storytelling that you are missing out on. And as a guy making a life of sorts as an artist – don’t be the asshole that makes a judgement call on something you know nothing about. Educate yourself.
Now, you should know, I’m a mom. Twice over. And the words mommy porn seem to me to imply that our sexual desires are silly. Nearly trivial. Childish. Something to be brushed aside. Or perhaps, hidden away. Not at all to be prized. And my only reaction to this is – screw you, you stupid man. There are a million reasons why romance novels should be revered and appreciated, but let’s get to the heart of this – it turns women on. And that must just be deeply threatening to some heterosexual men.
I’m guessing you haven’t had kids and should you have this experience let me warn you now – the mother of your child - her desires will not be childish. They will be mysterious and fleeting and deep and explosive and mercurial. Because being a new mom is both out of body and extremely vividly of the body.
It is the least sexual time – ever. My sex drive – and it’s pretty well documented that most women after child birth have similar experiences – was encased in concrete and buried at the bottom of the ocean. The pleasure of sex was something I wasn’t interested in because it felt a million miles away. Romance novels and erotica brought that part of my life back to me.
This shit should be celebrated instead of made into a some kind of weird marginalizing catch-all.
I’m glad I got this off my chest and there are smarter women, smarter writers writing not just great romance novels but great critical analysis of the genre, I suggest you spend some time reading further and stop saying such stupid things.