Please enjoy my interview with Dean Cassady, a new author with an interracial erotica debut, “An Education,” which tells the story of an interracial affair with a taboo older woman and younger male.
You are a brand new writer to erotica… did you write in other genres before?
I have written for several TV shows and wrote two screenplays, the rights to which were purchased, but neither has been turned into a feature film yet. Hollywood is funny like that—a producer may jump at the chance to lock down exclusive rights to your screenplay, but then he (rarely a she) will sit on it for two years and nothing ever comes of it. Luck of the draw, I guess.
I began writing erotica in part because my fantasies weren’t being expressed elsewhere. I didn’t really set out to write, I just wanted to give life to what was in my head. Over time, I realized that I had enough snippets, and I often spent hours thinking about how my stories would progress, so I thought I’d publish a story and see what happens. Ultimately, writing is an expressive and somewhat exhibitionist act; what I seek through my writing is a connection with the reader. That has always been true, but I believe that it is even more true in erotica, since readers have the ability to communicate with me through a variety of social media outlets.
What drew you initially to erotica as a reader, now writer?
Well, I was first introduced to erotica in my early teens, when I came across an erotic novel hidden in my dad’s closet. To be honest, I think the attraction to the erotic novel was that it was a window to sex, and when I was growing up, the Internet wasn’t a thing yet, which meant that access to porn was limited for teenagers. Erotic literature was alluring because it was more than just sex, it gave me a window into the characters’ minds, their turn-ons, their hang-ups, all of it.
But I was always a reader. As a child I devoured books, anything from fantasy fiction to mysteries. When I got older, I enjoyed erotica because the stories made an effort to develop characters. Good fiction has the power to bring the reader into the author’s world, and that allows the reader to see the world through the character’s eyes. That’s something I try to work on in my books. Don’t get me wrong, vivid descriptions of sex are a must, but I take a bit of time to help create the characters. I believe that if the reader can empathize with the characters, they are more vested, and when they eventually get to the gratuitous sex, it is a more satisfying read.
Your first published story is an interracial erotica work about an affair between an older white woman and a younger black male. Was there a particular reason you chose this genre, and this setup between the characters?
Well, the main character, Kenneth, is drawn from a real person on my high school varsity basketball team (though I changed his name). My teammate was something of an athletic specimen who probably could have played in the NBA if he devoted more time to basketball and less time to the distractions that came with being a teenage superstar. He also had a reputation for being well endowed, and while I never saw it in all of its glory, I did glance down in the locker room and can verify that even flaccid, it was enormous. His was the first black guy I ever saw naked, and I must admit, I was impressed. Years later, when I was exposed to interracial porn on the web, all I could think about was my old high school teammate. I have been a fan of the genre ever since.
I also love the appeal of the older woman, younger man story. I think I speak for a lot of men who fantasized about an ex-teacher, neighbor or family friend who seemed to have an allure, a sex appeal that certain older women seem to carry with them. I also think older women understand their sexuality better and are more confident in pursuing what they want. In my early twenties, I had the distinct pleasure of being seduced by an older woman, and I marveled at how she seemed to take what she wanted from our sexual relationship. It’s not something I would want on a regular basis, but I loved that confidence, and I still enjoy the appeal.
For what it’s worth, I have noticed an uptick in teacher-student relationships on the news lately. I don’t know if it’s because the media runs titillating stories for ratings or if this kind of thing is becoming more common, but it’s certainly out there. I wonder if this is a case of life imitating art or the reverse. Either way, I find it pretty hot (so long as everyone is a consenting adult!!!).
Race seems to be an ongoing theme in erotica, and in the world at large, and interracial erotica always seems to capture a wide audience… why do you find it hot to read and write about interracial couples? Is it still considered taboo in your opinion, or is it just a compelling idea?
Traditionally, interracial relationships have touched a nerve in American life—and we all know that anything illicit has an aura of mystery and attracts curiosity. Even though we have made strides from a historical perspective, in many parts of the country blacks and whites still do not interact much. As a consequence, people misunderstand one another, which contributes to a cycle of animosity and mistrust. And if Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet teaches us anything, it is that star-crossed love makes for great sexual tension and chemistry.
It is unfortunate that a lot of interracial erotica that I have read still plays on stereotypical characters like thuggish African Americans who rob white women of their chastity. While there is a place for that (and I believe everyone is entitled to indulge in their own fantasies), I aim to normalize relationships between black and white characters, because that has been my experience. I have had several relationships with black women, and I have friends of every race, religion and background—but that is only possible because race is not a factor in our relationships. That is not to say that race is not acknowledged—a person’s ethnic background of course is a component of their identity—but it is not the defining component of the relationship.
Finally, on a more superficial level, I love the contrast of light skin against dark skin. I also like watching women who enjoy having sex with well-endowed men. I personally find interracial erotica extremely erotic, so there’s that.
There is an element of fantasy prevalent through your book where the sort of love triangle between Ken, the young black teenager, his older crush, Mrs. Thomas, and his young girlfriend Katie works out to have all interested parties happy, even though in real life we all know this would likely never happen! Do you find readers enjoy stories completely based in fantasy in interracial erotica, where “anything goes” and do you personally enjoy these type of stories?
Well, first of all, I take issue with the notion that “it would never happen”—the world is so crazy that it’s hard to conceive of something too outlandish.
But fair enough, it’s highly improbable that a love triangle would ever develop between a high school kid, his pseudo-girlfriend and his best friend’s mother, and likely more improbable that it would lead to a spontaneous and erotic menage. I make an effort at creating a relatively believable plotline, but erotica almost always has an element of fantasy to it. It is, after all, an expression of our wildest desires, and those are, for the most part, unrealistic.
So, is it “anything goes”? I don’t know—I guess each reader will have to decide for him or herself.
It’s clear in this story that the main character Mrs. Thomas has no problem cheating in her marriage as she suspects her husband is doing the same. Do you find stories, interracial erotica or otherwise, where couples cheat is simply again, an extension of a fantasy, or do you think this is acceptable for couples in a relationship, thus your writing more accurately reflects real life? (This is always a hotly contended topic with readers, and curious to hear your thoughts as a writer.)
Oh boy, that is a loaded question. My views on marriage and fidelity are complicated. Personally, I think that society has unrealistic expectations for marriage. When two people get married, love is supposed to somehow suppress all feelings of lust and desire for anyone outside the union. That’s a preposterous notion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there exists a small subset of people for whom this is manageable, but I suspect that most of the married world is in a near constant state of repression of their sexual urges. It’s just not healthy, and personally, I think foolish.
We have to think of more honest ways to approach sex within marriage, and all the associated feelings of love, lust, jealousy, possessiveness, etc. I believe that if a couple is radically honest with one another, it may—just may—be possible to have it all: a healthy, honest, loving relationship in which both partners enjoy the deepest intimacy and grow old together, while simultaneously having some room within the confines of the relationship to explore their sexuality with others.
Alas, until that happens, I believe that loving couples will go on cheating, simply because they don’t know how to talk about this subject with each other (and our society does not do a good job of providing a space in which to do it), and because the very idea of suppressing your sexual feelings for other people for the rest of your life is a heavy burden.
When I wrote about Mrs. Thomas, I tried to empathize with the feelings of a strong, confident woman who loves her husband deeply, but who also has normal, healthy sexual urges—and is self-assured enough to want to explore those urges. I see Mrs. Thomas as a very powerful woman, in charge of who she is and what she wants. I find that to be the height of attractiveness.
In your book there is an interesting line about the older female character Mrs. Thomas feeling a competitive streak when she watches another woman with a black man in an erotic movie, then again in another scene involving Ken’s young girlfriend there is a bit of a competitive nature shown in her. Do you think this is a natural response in women when it comes to sex, or is this purely written from a guy’s point of view and how guys fantasize that women behave?
As a man, I guess I’m not well-positioned to say whether my writing is too narrowly written from a man’s perspective, that’s something that I hope some of my female readers might be able to help me with. But I generally think that sexual competition is instinctive for both men and women. Like most things, I think each individual’s competitive streak falls on a spectrum—let’s say a 10 would be extremely competitive in everything and a one would be someone who shies from competition entirely. Mrs. Thomas is on the upper end of that spectrum, but she is self-aware enough to recognize those feelings and to deal with them appropriately, which allows her to find a solution that does not require a zero-sum outcome.
You’ve mentioned your writing is a way for you to share some personal fantasies you’ve had… have you shared your writing with people you know, and if so how have they responded?
Some of my previous lovers were privy to my fantasies and read early chapters of my novella. I only ever received a positive response, and a few were very turned on, so I took that as a good sign that I was doing something right.
I have been fortunate enough to live a fairly adventurous sex life, and so I have actually lived out one or two of my own fantasies. That said, in most cases, the experience is disappointing. For example, I have participated in a few threesomes, once as the “third”, where I was invited to join a couple, twice as part of the couple, and once totally randomly, after a really crazy party weekend. In all but one of the instances, the experience was pretty mediocre. Either one person was getting short shrift, or it just wasn’t very passionate. In the one experience where everything clicked, I think it worked because we were all pretty high and both women were bi-sexual, so they really enjoyed being with each other.
I have realized that what turns me on most is the process of seduction. I love that initial feeling of meeting someone for the first time and thinking, “there’s something there.” I particularly enjoy first dates; exploring whether the chemistry is sparked, and whether there is potential for a second date. Then, when the sexual tension builds, there is nothing more exciting to me than those moments right before we both know it’s going to happen. It all happens in slow motion. It’s kind of vanilla, I know, but I love it.
Who are some of your favorite erotica authors right now?
I am a big fan of Ben Boswell’s interracial erotica. He writes a lot about naughty wives, and the book Dark Tide: An Interracial Adventure is lots of fun.
When I was younger I also read a ton of Stormbringer’s stories online. He has written a ton of interracial stories, almost all of which featuring tough black guys and innocent white women. Frankly, the sheer number of stories he has on the web is quite impressive, and I have to give it to him, some of his longer stories were quite detailed and well written.
You mentioned you’re working on a new project… care to tease your readers with any details?
Yes! Happy to share. I’m very excited about my new project! I am continuing Ken’s story, though I’m skipping past his college days (might come back to that in the future) and focusing on his time in the NBA. The interesting thing about this new story is that it will be told mostly from the perspective of one of the female characters, which is obviously a challenge for a male writer, but I hope I can do her justice. The events of the story all transpire over the course of one night… with seven characters. I am taking my time to set the scene, so there is a lot packed into it.
My goal is to have it out by the end of the year.
Find Deans’s new interracial erotica An Education: A coming of age story on Amazon now.
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