*Cross-posted from Athena’s blog at Athena-author.com
If you’re a world builder into large-scale storyverse builds, pop in and check out this latest blog on Mandalic Storyverse Construction.
Why build a world when you can build a Storyverse?
As The Life Erotic Discovery Journal Series launch draws near, there’s a bustle of marketing and media management happening on the EGP front. The social media campaigns and ad sessions run this week!
The Life Erotic Discovery Journal Series will launch the first two of four journals in 13 languages and 22 countries. They are available on Amazon, and through any major book retailer by request.
I repeat—you may need to ask for it at Barnes & Noble and other providers due to the content.
Understandably, there are questions around the topic and the nature of the books and the current adaptation.
Sexy books and stories are nothing new. Packaging it HONESTLY and TRANSPARENTLY in mainstream media marketing is—revolutionary. Being honest and transparent allows the audience and the reader to willingly be informed of the content, then CONSENT to the material. In the Harlequin Romance Golden Age, all the books were clearly marketed in a way that left no question as to the nature of the content.
Now books and shows disguise the interior material with a neutral cover or by genre shift, hoping to bypass informed consent to reach audiences who would otherwise have passed on the material if they knew what was inside the book.
We at Elder Glade Publishing simply decided to be honest about the intent, contents, and material from the get-go. There is no mistaking the books or their sexual expression from the title through to the last page.
So, let’s talk about sex. Not just SEX, but healthy, intimate and bonding sexual relationships. Let’s talk about being HONEST about the content rather than tucking it away under another genre or title like it’s something shameful. Let’s talk about transparency, healthy power dynamics, deep trusting intimacy—and most importantly… consent.
On that note, allow me to introduce PRIMUS.
In the world of The Life Erotic, there is a primary directive to be followed by the members and initiates of the world at all times: Primus. This is the edict upon which the world is built, and allows for trust, safety, and communication of all parties in the sexual, emotional, and physical realms throughout the series.
Primus: of age, and with informed and active consent from all participating parties.
That’s it. It’s THAT SIMPLE. The world of The Life Erotic Discovery Journals, the streaming adaptation, AND the Abella upon which both are built must adhere to this simple, easy law.
This applies to Elder Glade Publishing as we market the works. It applies to those involved in the development of the materials. It applies to the way we market the work—no one should have any doubt that this material is sexually explicit, therefore their engagement thereof is a mark of consent.
To ensure the directive of this measure is kept as honest as possible, Elder Glade Publishing requested consent forms from participating developmental producers, studio execs, and all contractors participating in the handling of the materials. If a producer declined to take part with the consent form, they were allowed to decline—however; they were first given the opportunity to have one on file before the full scope and scale of the package was released to them, which includes significant erotic content in the form of pictures, videos, back stories of characters, world building sheets, and wiki content.
Editors, proofers, marketing, audio book readers, performers, and designers—even the team building the in-house wiki — were all given the opt out and consent form prior to being granted access to The Life Erotic archives and files.
WHY? Why go through this amount of trouble to discuss the content and consent?
It’s easy to look at The Life Erotic and know it’s the type of content that comes with concerns of exploitation, abuse or mismanagement of the characters, the performers and even a crew. For this reason, it was very important to put precautions and safety measures in place prior to any development on the book reboots or the adaptation. When I wrote the books in the first round of publishing many years ago, they were meant to be shared as little sexy stories for the ladies.
Female sexuality, by women, for women, shared amongst our friends and fellow smut fans.
What I hadn’t expected nearly a decade ago in the first runs was how much it would also find a connection with the male audience: half of my readers ended up being men.
When the emails began rolling in, there were dozens of very kind, concerned questions from men wanting to know better ways to support their female lovers and help the stigmas of shame and fear dissolve.
I’ll be honest—at the time, this was really overwhelming. Terrifying. I had no idea how to help them help others. It was above my pay grade. I was just writing porn for my friends!
I panicked and pulled the books off the shelves. It was too much responsibility, and I was too afraid to make a mistake.
A few years passed and I began working with a producer on my other series, The Pillars of Dawn, and he asked if there was anything else in the EGP archives we could develop.
I squirmed. It was a struggle to say the words, but in the end, he consented to the style of material for review, and we began developing it for streaming. When he asked why my biggest fears were, and why I was so reluctant to move forward with a property that had so much potential I said, “Because this is a series that can go terribly terribly wrong if it’s not done JUST RIGHT.”
He wholeheartedly agreed the pitfalls were problematic.
So I set about making a list of what I feared could go wrong. I imagined the many ways people, performers, readers, and even myself could be hurt by doing this adaptation and re-releasing the books. After an exhaustive list—I set to tackle every area with mitigation protocols to ensure the work, and everyone involved was adequately protected, had a voice, and access to information or safety exits.
The consent form fulfilled many of these needs all in one fell swoop. It also allowed me the chance to begin reframing the way we/people set out to discuss the narrative around consent, desire, and sexual collaborations by communicating clearly up front.
The greatest areas of potential injury, or disappointments, would ultimately come from lack of consent, or miscommunication.
So I endeavored to LEARN more about the needs of the specific material and hire people who would be conscientious and aware around the topics. I brought on a wonderful intimacy coordinator to check my work early on, and set about making a habit of asking—even if it irritates people—if they would like a consent form or an opt out.
All this is important for the material and the well-being of everyone working on the projects. It also lowered my blood pressure significantly, because I knew everyone in the room would look out for one another and we could then move at a faster clip, because everyone who is here actually WANTS to be here creating these books and the show.
That allowed me so much more creative safety and freedom that I exploded into a delicious writing frenzy and kept knocking out scripts.
Ultimately, this series of books, and the show adaptation are about SEX. Yes, there’s no way around that. But it’s sex with CONTEXT. Sex with human emotional and mental connection and intimacy.
It’s not porn—it’s deep human soul bonding, using the body as an instrument of trust and connection. There is not a show for that. There are very few books about it.
The books start off light, almost frivolous, working their way up to deeper, darker negotiations and heavier trust requirements.
Yet the foundation for those larger discussions, for that broader more engaging place of storytelling, begins here, with Primus, with consent to be a part of the materials—and that requires transparency, and open marketing strategies, and honest covers and titles.
Those who are ready to engage with this kind of deep bonding, sensual, SEXUAL negotiated power dynamics in relationships and intimacy will click on the ads—and that’s the audience we’re looking for, the informed, consenting audience. We’re here for you.
Thank you for joining our lusty adventure!
Athena, writing on behalf of Elder Glade Publishing
**This article is written by Athena, author of The Life Erotic Series. Athena also owns and operates Elder Glade Publishing.
What does informed consent look like? This downloadable form can be modified for your business or personal needs to support open, clear, and honest discussions around difficult topics for team members in a collaborative environment. Help shift the narrative. Be part of open discussions, and a change in the way triggering or sensitive materials are handled or shared.
Available for purchase or automatic download October 1st, 2023!
These small journals are designed to fit in a pocket and be read in snippets or discussed as tidbits. Some vignettes are just a few paragraphs, easy to read on the bus or in a waiting room. Other stories in the journals might inspire curious longings, or forbidden hungers—or new scenes to try out with your partner(s), or just by yourself.
Currently in adaptation for streaming television!
The Life Erotic Discovery Journals are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com
Join Blush Unbidden and her Beloved as they explore the twin flame journey of divine union and plunge deep into the human experience—body, mind, and spirit—along the sacred sexual path of The Life Erotic the Discovery Journals.
Warning: The Life Erotic Discovery Journals by B. Unbidden have been known to cause erotic longings, twin flame yearnings, delightfully curious explorative human behaviors, and climactic sexual events. Whether you’re a runner or chaser, or in a happy healthy union—these stories will stir hungers.
We believe in unfettered storytelling.
Storytelling is a co-creative process between the work and the reader. It engages energy, stirs thoughts, and sways constructs. That’s why we pick up the book, the ticket to another experience—maybe even one we wouldn’t choose in real life, just to glimpse another perspective.
Storytelling is not about engaging in narratives for censorship or cancel-culture. As a medium, a story can be made to serve any purpose, even those that are unifying or divisive. A story, or a perspective, is only as powerful as those who believe in it. When you stop believing in a story, it becomes inert—it loses its power to impact.
We believe in telling stories that might cause discomfort. We believe stories are for everyone, and therefore seek to love equally, include all—and offend universally without prejudice. We tell the stories that need to be told and want to be heard. For these reasons, we don’t make concessions for potentially triggering semantics, tiptoe around preferences, or fret about topics discussed at the PTA. We don’t sidestep political traps or avoid conversations about spirituality. We don’t agonize about common terms or sexual content. We don’t cater to the book burning mobs or the angry cancel parties. In fact, we invite them. Please come have a cup of something warm and fulfilling, and we’ll tell you a bedtime story. You can burn our books when you’ve actually read them. We’ll even hand you the match—after you’ve filled out a three-page book report for extra credit.
We believe that humans tend to fear what we don’t know or understand. Stories are about revealing that knowledge, about creating bridges to understanding. We recognize that assimilating new information, or challenging outdated ideas, can be an uncomfortable growth experience for many. Growth is not mandatory, and it can be challenging for the individual ego. We sympathize—however; we do not capitulate or grant pardons to avoid those discomforts. They are up to the reader to choose or not; it is not our right to determine other’s comforts for them. Readers’ emotional responses are their own to manage as an empowered human being. It’s our job to tell the story.
We believe in being inclusive, and to honor that stance, we choose not to be exclusionary in our practices by limiting stories to be only comfortable, acceptable, or pleasantly contained by expectations not conducive to the narrative. We believe inclusiveness is showing all the facets, all the grit, the good, the bad, the abhorrent, and even the magical, brilliant, and magnificent. We set the whole banquet and let the readers feast upon the parts they like, then politely pass over the dishes they do not prefer.
To that end, we choose to publish only certain types of stories. We choose to support, uplift and generate content that encourages thought, pushes buttons, tests limits. We choose stories that allow the audience the opportunity to be unsettled, to lean into their own personal and emotional responsibilities as an individual living within a larger, interconnected human community. We don’t censor—we allow YOU to feel as authentically as you wish, as empowered as you choose. We don’t alter character voices; we let them speak how they choose to express their character and development within the story. We don’t cherry-pick language to make sure the audience is happy—we choose plain old common language, everyday terms, colloquialisms, and allow the audience to decide how and what will affect them individually. By trusting an audience is capable of emotional self-regulation and mental discernment, we can offer stories with more inclusive, global appeal.
In other words, we don’t believe in neutralizing content to avoid backlash, we believe in building global emotional resilience and cohesion. We believe in participating in social evolution, and creatively re-imagining a world with more harmony and inspiration by not supporting any one person, or agenda, over the whole of humanity.
By encouraging self-responsible audience participation, it frees readers to decide to cheer a book, story, character onward—it also allows a person to realize a particular book is not for them personally, and they can decide to leave it on the shelf for someone else to discover. Because being aware and self-regulated means understanding not every book is for you. Not every book is about you. Not every story is made just for you—but you can choose to engage with it anyway, or not. That’s what makes storytelling such a glorious kaleidoscope of adventure.
We only publish content for mature audiences, but we also do not always have control over where our books land, and in whose hands, they may end up. We support parents making decisions about their own child’s reading levels, and content management--inside their own homes.
Because we encourage free thinking and individual emotional responsibility, we publish content with a variety of sexual topics and relationship stories. All kinds. All varieties. We also publish content that includes violence. We believe if you’ve been deemed old enough to go to war or buy a semi-automatic weapon—you’re deemed to be mature enough to have authentic, and respectful conversations around sexual expression, intimacy, human desire and physical autonomy; rights all individuals have. We believe if one is deemed able to wield arms; they are also competent enough to respect individual differences in all areas of ideology. In fact, we support such discussions being had first and in the open—because if narrative history and story have ever agreed upon anything; it is that those responsible for indiscriminate violence are most in need of understanding the basic principles of love and human intimate connections, along with self-accountability, individual boundaries, and personal emotional regulation in relation to all the above.
The magic of the story allows us to dip into other worlds, different perspectives, new ideas, and unsettling new inspirations—then, when the story is over, we are safely back in our own environments, tucked into our old patterns and habits—returned to our normal way of life. Only then, from the comfort of our armchairs, do we get to look at the way it’s always been done and ask, “Is there another way to do this? Does it need to keep repeating if I don’t wish to live the same old pattern, rethink the same old thought, wear the same old fears?” You decide. It’s your story. It always has been and always will be.
Until then, we’ll be here, telling a variety of tales. We’ll be pleasantly, irreverently, joyfully—and probably offensively - placing content on the shelves for adventurers to sort through and find their perfect escapism, before returning it to the stacks for the next person to explore.
We support your human right to choose your story, trust your story, and live your own story.
Share with your friends!