“Sex doesn’t have to be stupid,” Donna Storey says. Storey to you: a nationally acclaimed erotica writer with some 80 published stories and essays to her credit, the Berkeley author also holds a Ph. And so, on a bright Sunday afternoon in June, Storey (a petite, mid-40ish blond, attired today in an ankle-length silk sheath that sets off her observant blue eyes) has convoked a gathering of like-minded Japanophiles, advanced degree collectors, writers and mom buddies to discuss Amorous Woman, her just published, distinctly dirty first novel.
“Erotic literature shouldn’t be something you have to hide away; it should make people talk about sex,” she proclaims.
Yet Amorous Woman also details “real-life situations and emotions,” as Storey points out a few days before the Berkeley hills bash, in the course of a conversation that starts at a kitchen table and winds up, hours later, over tea and tapas at César.
Unlike the standard stroke-book protagonist, Storey’s heroine encounters some unexpected obstacles along the path of sexual pleasure—a sincere but failed attempt at married monogamy, an agonizing decision about abortion—that transform her into a deeper, more battle-scarred human being.
After all, the submissive person gets all the attention of the dominant person.” There’s nothing like dipping into a little BDSM literature (an erotica sub-genre focusing on the psycho-sexual practices of bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism), she says, to make you realize that much of the allure of sex springs from the mind, not the genitals.