A year ago I released Puff Piece, a fun investigation into Big Tobacco and vaping. This week I noticed a different book with the same title had dropped. I chat to Quixerotic, a Mississippian in his 30s, to find out what his Puff Piece is all about.
What genre is your Puff Piece?
“The primary genre would be erotica. Puff Piece is part of a series ‘Milktec Industries Presents’ that I classify as ‘alternative history’ in Amazon's system.”
“The concept revolves around the idea that WWII didn't stop after the collapse of the Nazis, but continued on with the Allies and the Soviet Union going into open war, rather than cold war. As part of that, a sinister corporation, Milktec Industries, rises to prominence by providing the American military with milk that enhances the human physique. The milk, as one might expect in erotica, comes from humans. The setting allows me to play with tone and, hopefully, keep the writing fresh.”
What is a hucow?
“Hucow is a niche among erotica that focuses broadly on lactation for sexual pleasure to the point of fetish. The word being a portmanteau of human and cow. This can be done through a variety of avenues. Milktec uses science and serums, other stories use magic, and some can be more naturally focused. For example, a common trope is for a woman (or man) to accidentally get themselves into a dairy factory's milking machine and somehow develop lactating breasts as a result.”
Why did you call your book Puff Piece?
“The protagonist is a reporter, tracking down a terrorist who stole Milktec's serum, the stuff that turns people into hucows, and has been mailing it to people in improvised devices. The reporter is enlisted to write an article about the victims, to try and flush the bomber out of hiding. So, that's the link to journalism/puff piece. There's also a little bit of marketing, by me, going on. Puff/puffy is a word used quite often in the niche to describe nipples. Generally, the goal with a cover/title is to convey to the potential reader that you've understood the brief and they'll get what the niche promises. Putting ‘puff’ in the title is a small way of reinforcing that.”
How did you first get into writing erotica?
“Writer's block. I had creative writing courses in college that would give broad prompts and I would lock up with indecision. So I would take whatever idea I had in my head at the time and give it ‘porn logic’ as a way to take the pressure off the story. Once I'd poked at that for a while, doing the actual assignment was usually easier.”
What do you mean by ‘porn logic’?
“The normal scenarios of life having sex shoved to the forefront. Very few real plumbers have the time or inclination to have sex with a lonely housewife. But in porn logic, the housewife is stunningly gorgeous and just happened to be getting out of the shower when the plumber arrives. She doesn't have enough money to pay for the whole job so she has to find other ways.”
Is your erotic fiction a good earner?
“I was more in it for the money when I started publishing. That side of it, the marketing, and Search Engine Optimization and such, takes a considerable amount of work, though. I've slacked off on that, but I have a dedicated readership across pen names, that makes it worth my time to keep writing it. And, I do enjoy the challenge of keeping things interesting for my readers.”
Does your partner read your books?
“If I'm trying something new or not sure if I'm hitting the tone I'm going for, I'll ask her to read it. She reads even more than I do and is a good barometer for whether I'm getting what I want on the page. Early on in our relationship, when I first showed her my work, I did have to thoroughly explain that the views in my erotica do not necessarily reflect my views in real life.”
Are you personally into the hucow kink, or is it just something to write about?
“It falls under a broader category of transformation erotica, which I find appealing. But personally I'm not overtly obsessed with breasts or lactation.”
‘Woke’ people are happy to to criticise things deemed offensive, from edgy humour to films from bygone eras. It would seem porn would be ripe for this sort of reprobation. But I've noticed porn has largely escaped woke reprobation. Do you have any thoughts about why that is?
“The issue does come up in community discourse. I think porn and smut exist in a space that winds up being strangely progressive because of the taboo element inherent in many kinks. It's meant to feel wrong, so you can't be upset when it does. Additionally, many niches are ways to play out problematic stigmas and resolve them. For those reasons and probably many complex others, I think audiences are a little more lenient on what they'll accept.”
Thank you for a very interesting chat!
“Thanks, I enjoyed it. Always like talking shop.”
Quixerotic’s Puff Piece is available here. For John Safran’s Puff Piece tenderly run your fingers along here.
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I see dinner conversations about hucow kink in my future. Always learning, thanks John.
This was super interesting John! thanks for the interesting interview!