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Saturday, March 19, 2011
Author Interview: Robert W. Birch
Whipped Cream is pleased to welcome Robert W. Birch, who was a sex therapist for over thirty years. He began his writing by creating sexuality self-help books offering tips on cunnilingus, tips for rapid ejaculators and laying out a strategy for lifelong sensuality. He also began writing bawdy limericks and this led to writing erotic poetry. From there he gravitated into writing erotic short stories.
"It was a natural evolution to the writing of erotic romance novels," he said. "No one in my family was surprised when I began writing erotic romance novels using my real name. My wife will occasionally read one of my novels, admitting that she skips through the sexual scenes. No one else in my family has read any of my novels, at least not that they’ll admit."
Robert told me that, to him, erotica is the description of sexual acts between consenting adults, but without any real emotional involvement between participants.
"Total strangers can become beautifully turned on by hormones or pheromones, and go at it as couples or in piles of strangers," he explained. "Erotica literature is nicely and explicitly written hot sexual scenes. To me, erotic romance literature is also explicit in detail and language, but the emotional involvement of the participants is clear and eventually there is growing love between adults, gay or straight, leading to monogamy, a commitment and a long happy life. One man’s porn is another man’s pleasure, but in my mind pornography involves coercion, mental or physical, and there is no story line. The emphasis of porn is genital action and may hint of pedophilia, e.g., an adult women with pigtails in a cheerleaders outfit, playing a submissive role and calling the dominant man 'Daddy.'"
The main thing for Robert is to have a good story, in his writing. He enjoys writing mysteries, science fiction, and paranormal tales.
"I would want this story to stand alone if I cut out all the erotic encounters. When it is appropriate for the characters to be having sex, I will be sure it is realistic and believable," he said. "I also want it to be emotional, but I will write the physical expression in detail and with explicit language. Finally, it is important for me as a male to write with the female reader in mind."
"What are the biggest public misconceptions about erotica?" I asked.
"I would guess there are many people who would think smut when they heard the word erotica. Also, there is the misconception that erotica contains no story of any worth, only one sexual scene after another. I am sure there are also those who consider us authors of erotica to be perverts. I’ll bet another misconception is that authors and readers of erotica are predominantly male."
When it comes to researching his books, his background as a psychologist specializing in relationship and sex therapy comes as a big help. He has talked to hundreds of adult men and women of all ages, orientations, and preferences. His professional education and experience is invaluable when it comes to the aspects of love and sex in his books.
"I do, however, need to research locations, as in one of my novels where I had scenes taking place in a paper mill, and another that involved travel to cities in Europe," he said. "I also research historical events, and in one paranormal story needed the names of popular songs back in the 1950’s. I do most of my research online."
Robert will not write anything that tries to normalize emotional or sexual abuse.
"I’m personally not into writing of extreme sadomasochistic behavior and if I include anything involving bondage and discipline, it is with mutual consent and it is playful," he explained. "I do use explicit language, but never to degrade or humiliate. To me, some words one would not utter in polite society have erotic power when spoken between lovers. I am not afraid of words."
"If you could entertain a character from a book, who would it be and what would the evening be like?" I wondered.
"In my book titled Gray Pleasure, a retired teacher named Nick is about my age. We are both in our seventies. Like me, he began writing poetry when he retired. Nick and I would have a wonderful evening that would begin by talking of our past professions and of poetry in general. My introduction of the topic of erotic poetry would lead to the exchange stories of the lovely hot women we have known over the years. We would talk openly of how we have changed over the years, discovering that loving the woman who is our best friend survives desiring the woman who is our best lay."
On a personal note, Robert told me if he could be anyone he wanted, he would still like to be himself, only forty years younger and a whole lot richer.
He considers his tongue to be one of his erotic parts, so he would choose whipped cream to not only lick off a woman's tummy, but as he told me, "Also from around her perky nipples, the insides of her elbows, her inner thighs and, combined with her delicious natural flavor, from between her legs."
His favorite food is a barbecue chicken sandwich with coleslaw, but he can't bring himself to eat sauerkraut.
"As I was growing up, my mother for some reason would tell me that I once ate sauerkraut and went into convulsions. I do not remember that ever happening, but to this day I cannot bring myself to eat it."
"What is your most embarrassing moment?" I asked.
"A failed opportunity in my youth to lose my virginity in the back seat of a car stands out in my mind. The experienced girl of my same age announced to her friend in the front seat, 'This is going to be the first time I’ll get laid before lunch.' I had no idea how to caress her sweet spot, attempted unsuccessfully to do so from behind and I, after lunch, was every bit as virginal as I was before, and I had to face that girl every day in school."
His favorite letter is the first erotic love note he received from a college girlfriend during their freshman year at Michigan State.
" In it she invited me to spend a weekend with her, and in detail described everything she wanted to do to me. The weekend experience was more exciting than the letter," he remembered.
He's never known anyone who can tie a cherry stem with their tongue, and he told me that particular ability didn't impress him. However, a woman who is an expert fellatrix wins his admiration.
"What is your strangest habit?" I asked.
"I don’t know if it’s a habit or a fault, but in just about everything I write I misspell the word thrust, leaving out the letter h. I end up writing trust. In the first draft of my book for rapid ejaculators, I stated that men would last longer if they would trust slowly. I guess in good sex both thrusting and trusting are important."
Finally, I asked him what advice he would give a new writer.
"Keep your day job!"
You can keep up with Robert on his website, http://www.OralCaress.com