Tomorrow night, I will be running a seminar for the organization at which I volunteer. The organization normally facilitates one on one tutoring, but occasionally plays host to bigger sessions where tutors lead workshops on life skills like eating healthfully, renting an apartment, or finding your “best side” for picture-taking. By the way, the older I get, the more I’m convinced that all but very few of us have a good picture “side” and a bad one. I always find my side when I look in a mirror and think, “Just remember to pose facing this way!” And then I forget which side is my good one and my portrait comes out looking like when crackpots see the face of a saint on an old potato. Anyway, my workshop tomorrow is on finding a job. I’ll go through how to write a resume and cover letter, and how to best prepare for a job interview. Well gosh, if ever there was a topic I was unqualified to cover, it would be this one. I spent years underemployed, and only landed my current job because my resume was uploaded to one of those job search sites (that’s lesson 1-10 tomorrow--find a good recruitment site and eat chips every night, hoping someone contacts you out of the blue).
This is all a roundabout way of explaining that I went through my old job board haunts just the other day, just to see if those sites were all the same (they are). Just for kicks, and because we’re always running out of the coffee in our department’s Keurig machine, I wanted to see what jobs would be pinging into my inbox were I still hunting for Writing Jobs across Canada. That’s when I saw it. The ad read: Erotic Overnight Writer Wanted. Are you a writer who has always wanted to explore adult themes? Do you have the ability to think on your feet and a flair for improvisation? Then we want to hear from you! Must be able to work from 11 PM to 8 AM, five days a week. This job does not require you to make or receive telephone calls.”
Dream: Become an Erotic Overnight Writer.
Goal: Achievable because this is a job that apparently exists, and I suppose I could have it.
What? I mean, what? Naturally, I applied for the job immediately. I have no plans to actually quit my current job, but if any job ads warrants further interest, it’s this one. I mean, what the hell is an Erotic Overnight Writer? Of the three words in that job title, it’s the Overnight that stymies me the most. I asked Jon, and everyone at work, what they thought it meant, and nobody had a plausible answer. The only thing I can think of, bolstered by the “flair for improvisation” bit, is that the job is like phone sex, but typing? Maybe there are real lonely, horny folks who are desperate enough to reach out to a stranger for stimulation, but too embarrassed to do it over the phone? Or maybe I’d be typing responses for one of those webcam performers. I guess their hands get busy with other stuff, but they still need closed captioning? The other possibility is perhaps the need for erotic literature is so great that they need someone at a desk, banging away at a manuscript, literally every hour of the day.
So I sent my resume along with a brief email in lieu of a cover letter, trying to convey that I was serious about the job, yet totally in the dark as to what it was and needed clarification immediately. I never received that clarification, nor any follow-up from the Erotic Overnight Writer people. When I checked on the same posting later that week, the ad had been removed with a note saying the position had been filled.
Plan: Never let that happen again.
Again, leaving my current job to sleep all day and work all night isn’t the least bit desirable but I’m just so curious! What IS this job? In case it ever comes around again, I’m determined to answer the ad with not just a vague cover letter, but samples of my as-yet-unwritten erotic writings.
I’ve always heard that men like to watch porn whereas women like to read porn. Literary erotica stimulates the female brain which allows their furtive imaginations to cultivate a sensually appealing scenario, which in turn puts the reader into an emotional headspace where she can create a pathway to arousal. Whereas men are like, “Are those boobs?—SPLORCH!” Of course I’m generalizing, there are surely exceptions, but it stands to reason that erotic literature is the province of women readers. By coincidence, Jezebel has been running a few pieces on the romance literature industry, which is home to varying degrees of erotic lit, and it seems that this industry runs the gamut of topics to cater to all possible tastes. This is good news for any creative writer, because as long as you can think of a unique sensual idea, there’s someone out there who’s bound to be turned on. Here are some scenarios I intend to flesh out in future Erotic Overnight Writings.
The Pilot with Long Hair. Basically, a woman gets on a plane and she’s bored and thinking, “Will I ever find love?” The stewardess, who is a dumb bitch, leaves the cockpit door open and the woman on the plane sees the pilot’s long hair, blowing in the wind (I guess the plane has an open window on it). So the woman’s like, “Alright, this is appealing to me” and then she and the pilot make love for hours.
That’s My Cat! A lonely lady lives alone with only her cats for company. One day she is pouring her cat Brock Sanderson a bowl of milk, when lightning strikes her house and she feels a jolt of electricity pour through her body and into the milk bowl. Then she’s like, “That’s weird” and goes to bed. Brock Sanderson drinks the milk and turn into a sexy grown-up man. At first their relationship is tentative because of his weird origin story, but they push that aside because the sex is so good.
On A Moored Houseboat with The Trivago Guy. Call me crazy, but I think The Trivago Guy has really stepped his game up with this new round of ads. He’s got that close-cropped silver hair and he still seems pretty laid back about all the great deals you can get on hotels. Anyway, he owns a big houseboat that’s dry-docked for some reason and he takes women there for nights of passion.
I Don’t Hate You Because You Didn’t Do The Stupid Thing You Always Do. A woman goes to the bathroom and just when she sits on the toilet, she realizes her partner only left two squares on the toilet paper roll. She’s about to yell across the apartment at him to launch into the same argument they have every couple BMs, when she notices there are fresh rolls of toilet paper under the sink. Rows and rows of neatly stacked, fresh rolls. “How practical!” she thinks, her eyes brimming with grateful tears. “Why doesn’t everyone do this for their partner?”
Let’s Watch All Your Shows, Honey. A night of un-commented on Masterchef culminates in a grateful half hour of satisfying, if perfunctory, lovemaking.
That’s all I have so far, but that’s something, right? It actually makes me a bit sad to think about what this mystery job might actually entail. What depraved junk might you have to create at 2 AM on a Wednesday? What’s the demand for that from a customer standpoint, and what would that do for your soul? I mean, sex is great and fun and ridiculous, but the bloom is off the rose if you have to sell it all night long for your income. Tomorrow I’m just going to tell my session attendees to thoroughly research all the companies they apply to. Applying for a job when you can’t picture what the job is seems far from ideal. But I will also tell these people that, once they find a job, to stick around if things are basically working out for them. I mean, yes, you never know what else is out there, but in the case of the Erotic Overnight Writer, maybe that’s a good thing.