Authors of Note: Raw & Uncut an interview with gay erotica author Shane Allison

Influenced by authors of gay erotica such as Simon Sheppard, Sean Meriwether and M. Christian, Shane Allison has become an outstanding author of gay erotica in his own right.  Allison’s work  includes Hot Cops, Slut Machine, Homo Thugs and Black Fire: Gay-African American Erotica.

His stories have been published in Best Gay Erotica, Best Black Gay Erotica, Cowboys, and in many other anthologies. The Tallahassee. FL native has also written several poems that have been published in several magazines. He chatted with to discuss his work, processes and more.

PRIDEINDEX: Tell us about your earliest memory as a writer and under what circumstances were you first published.
SHANE ALLISON: I started taking writing seriously at fifteen. I didn’t start out writing fiction, but poetry, which was and always will be my first love. My first publication was an essay I wrote called “Kept In” about coming out of the closet. It was published in a gay newslettter called The Galant.  My first poetry publication was four years later when I got this incredibly bad peom published in an anthology. I was very happy about it then and felt like I had arrived on the poetry scene.

PI: Name at least 3 writers that have most affected your artistic style.

SA: Poets from the likes of Langston Hughes, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou help me when I went through a lot in the nineties. When I decided that I was going to take writing poetry seriously, I scowered the bookstore and found “The Selected Poems of Langston Hughes.”  I set out to read work by black writers and Langston Hughes was my first introduction to black literature along with Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, and Richard Wright. They were not a part of my high school curriculum, so I had to search for them on my own.  They were a huge influence on me as a young writer I wanted to be.  Then Allen Ginsberg came much later.

PI: Which of the following best describe your books? (A.) They’re all true stories based off real encounters. (B.) Part factual and part fictional.  Or (C.) Pure fictional.
SA: I would have to say (B).  I think a little fact always looms in fiction and vice-versa. It has a way of creeping in. The fun part is not knowing what is fact and what is fiction.

PI: As an author of gay erotica how do you maintain your craft without being overtly pornographic?
SA: When I got back into writing fiction in 2001, erotica just seemed like the right fit because much of my poetry is erotic, so it wasn’t much of a stretch. I was terrified to start writing fiction again.  I had taken a writing course during my sophomore year in college where I wrote a few stories, but after that, the only fiction I encountered was the kind I’d read. If I was going to write erotic fiction, I wanted to learn from the best in the genre.  Simon Sheppard, Sean Meriwether, M. Christian and browsing through editions of Best Gay Erotica introduced me to different styles of writing erotica. I’m not sure if there is much of a difference betweeen porn and erotica. It’s interchangeable in my opinion. No matter how you word it, the reader wants that money shot.

PI: Why did you decide to write for this genre?

SA: I feel like I kind of slid into it. Like I said, some of my poetry is erotic, so erotic fiction just made sense as far as making that next move in move in my writing. Erotica is not all I write let me just say that, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I write a hot story here and there so I won’t burn out on it.

PI: Have you ever considered writing something other than gay erotica?
SA: I write in many different genres, but people only remember the sex charged work due to our fascination with sex and the sex lives of other people. With me you never know where I’m going to move the line.  I love showing that I am not a one trick pony.

PI: Your books feature hot guys on the front cover, where did you find these cover models?
SA: The fine folks over at Cleis Press are guilty of creating those hot, selacious covers.

PI: Are these cover models true representations of the kind of guys that you date?
SA: HA, HA not at all.  I like men with a little edge.  I wouldn’t kick a muscle man out of my bed, but that’s not my type.  The guys on the covers are nice to look at.

PI: Why do believe some gay men are attracted to thugs or bad boy types?

SA: Well, it’s certainly a fetish.  The idea of sleeping with danger I suppose. In the pages of the books it’s glamourized, but it’s a different story so to speak in reality, but I think it’a about how we covet masculinity and shun the femininity in men because of homophobic stereotypes from heterosexuals. A lot of it is about loving the illusion.

PI: I often send my partner “cute-see” text messages throughout the day how can add some spice to these messages and get him aroused?

SA: Buy my books.

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