This week, “Sexy Shabbos” visits with Jordan LaRousse
1) What do you do for a living?
I’m the co-owner and co-creator of the literary erotica website www.OystersandChocolate.com. My business partner, Samantha Sade, and I have been running the site since 2005 as a sex positive playground for erotic readers, writers, and artists to come together. Samantha and I have been friends since fifth grade. We both graduated from CU Boulder, she with a major in English literature and I in creative writing. We worked in various capacities as writers and found that there was more opportunity in sex writing. We also discovered there was a real lack of quality erotic writing available online. We joked that we should start our own site. Samantha’s husband overheard us and thought it was a great idea and so we three started our business and here we are. We are now editors of two literary anthologies as well as authors of two upcoming non-fiction sex advice books. (See more at: www.oceroticbooks.com.)
2) Has Judaism influenced your work?
Although I come from a non-religious Jewish home, my extended family consists of Orthodox and conservative Jews. Consequently I’ve felt the necessity to live something of a double life for fear of being “disowned”. Until my grandmother passed away, absolutely no one in my extended family knew anything about my career. Most of them are still unaware of my successes and for all they know I’m a lazy underachiever. It frustrates me because I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and wish I could freely share my work. Since my grandmother passed away, I’ve been able to open up to some of my less conservative cousins and aunts with mixed reactions. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to reconcile my more exploratory personal views on sexuality with my learned religious and cultural expectations of how a nice, Jewish girl should behave. I’ve decided that so long as there is love and respect for both oneself and one’s partners that sex can truly be a mitzvah, even outside of the heterosexual, marriage bed.
3) Do you find that religion has an influence on the perspectives of your readers?
A lot of our readers are quite educated, sexually inquisitive, and open minded people of all ages—mostly heterosexual men and women and also a good number of lesbian women. I think these readers are drawn to us because several of the erotic stories on our site take religion and turn it on its head. Sex during services, seducing celibate priests, things like that. We see a lot more stories expressing Catholic or Christian guilt than we do Jewish guilt though. A lot of sexual excitement is derived from guilty situations.
4) Is Jordan your real name?
No, it’s my pen-name. In high school Samantha and I were so obsessed with Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat books that we took on vampiric alter egos. We would write each other cryptic letters. When we started our business we resurrected these old fantasy names. I added the last name LaRousse because it means “the redhead” in French. I’m a redhead and a total francophile. (My real name is a Hebrew one, but I’m not telling what!!)
Thanks, Jordan! Have a Sexy Shabbos!
Your interview with Naomi Tepper (pen name Jordan LaRousse) was very interesting.