Treklit as Eroticism

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Title: Treklit as Eroticism
Creator: Helen R. Bookman
Date(s): February 1983
Medium: print
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic:
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Treklit as Eroticism is a 1983 Star Trek: TOS essay by Helen R. Bookman.

It was printed in Communicator #10.

Some Topics Discussed

  • the male gaze
  • erotic art is by men for men, but Star Trek work in zines may change that
  • finding erotic art is hard

The Essay

I had always believed that Treklit's biggest claim to uniqueness was that it was probably the largest collected body of fiction based on an individual work of fiction in existence. But I was wrong, because while that may very well be true, Treklit makes a far more unprecedented break-through in another area entirely.

As part of my continuing effort to become a Trek artist, and, more specifically, proficient at erotic Trek art, I began to study erotic art in general. Seeking inspiration, you understand. (Who, me? Steal? However could you even think such a thing?) This course of study proved to be far more difficult than I had anticipated, since half of the libraries with books on erotic art don't want to let you take them out of the library, and the other half don't want to admit that they have these books to begin with.

And so, I ended up studying just about anything I could find on erotic art, literature, or erotica at large. It was then that I discovered what really makes Treklit unique in the universe of fiction.

In the entire history of erotic art and literature, throughout all of the times of history going back through, cave art, throughout all the world's cultures, regardless of locations, religions, government, or politics, or philosophies, eroticism has always been overwhelmingly created by men, for men. In every single work I read covering the subject, from modern essays to translations of antiquities, from light-hearted humor to the most somber analytical material, this one point was repeatedly stated and reiterated.

While it is true that occasional works of an erotic nature created by women do exist, they are very few in number, and are nearly always both isolated and exceptional occurrences within the overall collections of their author's endeavors.

Thus "adult" Treklit is the very first large, comprehensive body of erotic work done both by and for women. This is unparalleled in the entire history of literature and art. And it is a true breakthrough, which, quite obviously, is totally unknown to the chroniclers of this field.

It is my belief that as more and more of our female Trek writers cut their teeth in the zines and then go on to pro-writing, we will see a significant change in the nature and the nuances of the literature now being produced for adult consumption. And it will be a change hopefully attributable to the different ways in which we, as women, see, feel, perceive, and therefore depict what is truly erotic to us, rather than what is imagined to he erotic to us by male writers.