Saturday, September 03, 2005

Celebrity Fantasies Can Be Good for You!

“Erotica with Soul” reader Erica wrote (concerning blog entry “The Big Love Scene”):

Diana, this is an interesting post. While I'm not a professional writer (like you) by any means, I have been working on a fan-fiction type story in which I meet up with (you guessed it) Hayden himself. I have only finished chapter one, but I am currently working on chapter two (the part where it something lustful happens)…Writing about the big love scene, while I'm sure not as good as actually encountering it with Hayden, is rewarding, just as you said, and yes I do feel a little bit like those Weird Science guys at this point. Not a bad feeling, but still...

I have a ton to say on this topic. Fan fiction writing as a hobby has really taken off in recent years, and a lot of it is erotic. Some people may think it somehow dysfunctional for people to fantasize and even write about such encounters with celebrities, and think it a form of stalking or something. But I’m here to say I think it can be the most natural and spiritually beneficial thing in the world.

First of all, keep in mind that there are deep-seated psychological reasons why you are drawn to a particular celebrity—and to be accurate, it’s usually not the celebrity at all, but a character or characters he has portrayed. In this case, Erica and I share an admiration for Hayden Christensen’s character Anakin/Darth Vader. He is the classic tortured-soul-who-turns-to-evil. He works both as a “bad boy” and as a “guy in need of redemption by the love of a good woman.”

If you are drawn to this archetype, it is because your soul feels some fascination with it. Contemplating the archetype fulfills a need for you, makes you more content and peaceful. Seeking union with the archetype by sexual fantasy is simply the most extreme way of doing this.

That’s why it’s so fun and so satisfying to do. Neither Erica nor I have designs upon Hayden himself—we will not be emailing him, camping on his lawn, or boiling his pet rabbit. We recognize that it is not precisely him that is the object of desire. But at the same time, indulging the fantasies is very rewarding and satisfying to the soul.

I will confess something here that my readers may find interesting. One of the stories in Soulful Sex Volume II, entitled “Je t’adore, Etienne,” was actually cobbled together from a couple of lengthy private fantasies I wrote for myself about a certain hockey player. I of course had no designs upon the man himself (unlike Etienne in the story, he is a happily married family man), but my admiration of him was the inspiration. (Yes, I do pray he never reads this and makes the connection—it is of course highly unlikely!!) At any rate, I was concerned because of the origins of the story that the writing might not be up to par with the other stories in the collection.

Much to my surprise, several reviewers and readers have found this story to be their favorite. A reviewer for The Romance Studio wrote, “This story is told so sensually and skillfully I found myself totally entranced and would highly recommend this book for this story alone. It’s a rare gem of erotic romance…it seems far more personal than any romantic story I have read in a long while.” All I could conclude was that my personal feelings about the subject matter shown through the tale and gave it particular power. Pretty amazing.

So I encourage Erica and other readers to by all means indulge your mind and/or keyboard to create such fantasies. As long as you understand the phenomenon, it is a perfectly healthy activity.

For more information on this topic I would recommend my self-help book (written as Diane Lau) Living Beyond Reality: A Jungian Primer for Enhancing Your Life. There’s a great deal of material in it on the meaning of celebrity “obsessions” and how to integrate them into your imaginative life. Visit the Living Beyond Reality Press website page for more info.


Erica said...

I am happy to hear that you don't think my celebrity crush is abnormal. I do find writing about Hayden to be enjoyable and a means to help me vent my obsession, however ... I'm not to sure about not camping out on his lawn. I can't make any promises. The thought has crossed my mind once or twice (ha ha). Seriously if I did know he was going to be near where I happened to be at any given time I would go out of my way to meet the man. For now though, the fic has to do.

Thanks for writing this. It was really enjoyable and alleviated some of my guilt about my fascination/obsession.

Erica said...

I forgot to refer the reader to a self-help book? Is that because you think those who have celeb crushes and write fanfic need self help? Just curious.

Diana Laurence said...

Erica, nothing wrong at all either with wanting to meet the man. I have a whole chapter on that in my book Living Beyond Reality too. I've gone all the way to another country (Canada, so at least I didn't cross an ocean) to see one of mine.

As for your question about "self-help," I didn't mean at all to imply that celebrity crushing is something that requires a cure! However, since I published the book I have met so many people who, like you, felt really weird and guilty about their celeb fascination. The "help" I think they need is just to understand why it happens, why it isn't any kind of mental aberration, and how to make healthy use of the feelings associated with it (like writing fan fic works for you). People just feel so bad about this stuff sometimes when they really have no reason to...I like telling them that.

I tell you what, just email me privately with your address and I'd be happy to send you a copy of the book, gratis. I'd really be curious to know what you think about the ideas in it (which are actually grounded in concepts from Jungian psychology).

Let me know if you're interested!