by Mark Pritchard
Paperback (June 1999)
New York: Masquerade Books
List price $14.95Dimensions (in inches): 0.67 x 6.90 x 4.19About the book
“Too Beautiful” is a collection of some of my best sex writing over the last several years. A few of these stories appeared in Frighten the Horses,
The first edition of “Too Beautiful” was published in 1999 by Masquerade Press.
The stories span the gamut of heterosexual and homosexual porn, but if you really want to put a label on it, call it “bisexual erotica.”
For more on the book, see the interview below.
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with the authorQ.
“Too Beautiful” is a collection of short stories. Do you refer
to these as erotica, or do you use another term?A. “Erotica” is the most commonly-used term, but I don’t
really mind if people call it porn either. The distinction between erotica
and pornography is just a matter of semantics — sometimes I think it boils
down to “What I like is called erotica; what you like is pornography.”Q. I always felt that “erotica” was more characterized
by emotions, real characters and a somewhat softer feel, while “pornography”
is more exploitative and just raunchier.A. Okay, but then when I’m writing, I don’t want to worry about
distinctions like that. I don’t want to be in the middle of a scene and
wonder whether I should use “her secret place” instead of “her
cunt.” I want to use the language that seems appropriate.Q. So it’s partly a matter of not restricting yourself to what
others might find acceptable.A. Yes, it’s really whether I’m going to censor myself during
the creative process. During the editing process you can address whether
the language in each case is appropriate, or whether they really should
have killed the dog in that scene.Q. Killed the dog?A. Yes, in one of the stories in my book, there was a short bestiality
scene, and everyone who read it said, Take it out, this is too much, it
derails the story. So I finally did.
Q. What other scenes in your book caused disputes?
A. There weren’t any other real sticking points. There’s one story
Q. You’re speaking of the story “Lizza.” It’s the longest
A. Yes, and one that I wrote mostly all in one sitting. I was
Q. But unlike others in the book, the story doesn’t seem to have
A. No, it’s set in some unnamed suburb. There are three settings
Q. What is it about the suburban environment that you find compelling?
A. It’s the teenage environment — a mixture of repression and
Q. You mentioned Japan, and I read in your author bio that it
A. Yes, I spent nearly two years teaching English in Japan in
Q. Hadn’t you written any stories before then?
A. Yes, but entirely unsuccessful ones. All the erotica I had
Q. You didn’t dare? What do you mean?
A. I grew up firmly believing in a feminist vision of society,
Q. So you really felt you had to curb yourself?
A. Yes, because I wanted women to accept me. It was only in the
Q. So Pat Califia was an influence. Any others?
A. Henry Miller was very inspiring. It was he who wrote, in “Sexus,”
A. You can’t have good sex without freeing your feelings and impulses
Q. So there are real elements of your own sexuality in “Too
A. Of course — not that my own sex life is really quite that
Q. You mean you’ve never been bent over the back of a couch by
A. No — unfortunately!
Q. In the introduction to the book, you talk about how you wanted
A. Yes, I wanted to capture the kinds of things that really go
Q. There’s not a lot of safe sex in your book.
A. No, but there’s some. Sometimes I feel that talking it really
Q. Do authors of erotica have a responsibility to feature safe
A. No, because erotica is about desire and fantasy, not about
Q. What advice would you give someone who wants to write erotica?
A. Don’t hold back. When you’re writing a first draft, write whatever
Q. What if someone feels that they’re not weird enough or “perverse”
A. Erotica doesn’t have to feature erotic gymnastics. The interest
email Mark Pritchard Last updated 24 Dec 07. Copyright 2001 Mark Pritchard,
Bernal Heights, San Francisco