Zane needs no introduction. Since releasing her super sexy debut novel, Addicted in 2001, Zane has kept our juices flowing and has dominated the literary scene. But the undisputed queen of erotica has done more than just turn us on: she’s given us the freedom and the courage to explore our sexuality, celebrate our fetishes and indulge in our forbidden fantasies. Although most of the world is convinced that her books are all about hot sex, Zane is deeply passionate about liberating women sexually and empowering them outside of the bedroom.
With the high-grossing major motion picture, Addicted, under her belt, Zane continues to prove that she knows how to bring the heat and is the master of seduction. Her highly titillating work sheds light on real-life issues such as sexual addiction, infidelity, unplanned pregnancy, multiple personality disorder, and more. In this unforgettable, grown and sexy interview, we get up close and personal with the world’s most successful African-American erotica writers in history. Zane schools us on what gets her excited in the bedroom, how women can keep their partners sexually satisfied, her new projects, and much more!
Florence: Some have criticized you for writing ‘mommy porn’, but your work has substance and a strong, empowering message. What is the overall message you want to send to women? Is the message different for your male readers?
Zane: I am not offended by the opinions of others. Those are their opinions and they will never have any kind of effect on what I write. That much I can promise you. If I was going to be concerned about what others thought, I never would have put out my first book. Books 31, 32, and 33 come out in 2015. I am assuming that “Mommy Porn” refers to mothers who are sexually active. That sounds silly because I have yet to meet anyone who got here any other way than through a sexual act. People take issue with women wanting to have sexual gratification their own way instead of simply being vessels for the pleasure of men. That is the only thing that makes sense to me. My overall message to “everyone” is be transparent about who you are in this world, understand that not everyone is going to agree with it, and realize that it is okay. So what, actually? Life is difficult enough so why not enjoy the moments that you can enjoy? Intimacy is a true human need and desire, despite a lot of people trying to claim differently. What happens within the confines of someone’s bedroom needs to stay there.
Florence: You have helped liberate women and men sexually and brought back the passion in their relationships. What is the one thing that you are most proud of when it comes to your work?
Zane: I am most proud of the fact that I have given women the permission that they were seeking to be themselves. A lot of women did not realize that their thoughts were normal until they got hip to what my characters were doing. I believe that women are even more sexual by nature than men, and not the opposite. I am glad that I have made thousands of them, if not more, realize that.
Florence: You’re an expert at turning people on. What gets you excited? Are you like the characters you present in your books or more conservative in the bedroom?
Zane: Hmm, personal questions. LOL. I get excited by looking at my man, period. I get excited by knowing that he loves me and treats me like a queen. I get excited by knowing that we can touch each other and bring one another pleasure. The rest is whatever has us running hot on that particular day. No, I am not conservative in the bedroom and I have no apprehension because I am with someone that I can be myself with. That makes all the difference in the world.
Florence: People from all over the world write you for advice. What are two of the top struggles women go through sexually that have shocked you and what advice do you give?
Zane: This is a tough one because there are so many issues that women deal with. However, if I had to pick the top two, I would say fear of being on top (taking control in the bedroom) and lack of orgasms during actual intercourse. I wrote an entire chapter on being on top in “Dear G Stop: Straight Talk about Sex and Relationships.” I also wrote a very graphic description of how to do it properly in the opening chapter of “The Hot Box” and the main characters sorority name in “The Sisters of APF” was “Soror Ride Dick” so if they read my work, they will figure it out. They simply have to stop worrying about something so trivial and give it a shot. If you are going to be with someone, you should not be afraid of what they may think. They might even appreciate you learning to do it with them. It will make them feel special.
As for the orgasm issue, I believe that most women do climax during vaginal intercourse. They are expecting a lot of fireworks, toes curling, etc. Clitoral orgasms are generally stronger and that is why they have stronger ones when masturbating, coupled with the fact that they are not concentrating on what the man is thinking about their body, their movements, their dirty talk when they are masturbating. It is fine to be concerned about making sure the other person is sexually satisfied but it is pointless to have sex if you are making it all about them, and not about both of you.
Florence: What is your secret for keeping your audience sexually, mentally and emotionally captivated by your work? To what do you attribute your success?
Zane: I am real, I take risks, and I don’t care what people think. I write about characters that have flaws, have issues, and deal with real life problems. I attribute my success to the fact that I walk to the beat of my own drum, I never try to emulate anyone else, and I am simply doing me. When I write, it is because of my own thoughts, my own ability to self-entertain, and when I do that, it tends to entertain other people as well. I don’t sugar coat anything and I am bold.
Florence: Are some of your stories based on your own fantasies? If so, which one?
Zane: Yes, some are based on my own fantasies and my own experiences but I never tell which ones. I am very private so people can simply guess on that.
Florence: Which character in your books turns you on the most and why?
Zane: That is an impossible question for me since all of my characters hold a special meaning for me. That is why I created them. I find all of them fascinating in their own ways and for the time that I am living and breathing them as I navigate through their stories, they are most significant to me. They all serve a purpose, they all are meant to persuade, inform, and entertain readers, and I love and adore them all, even though they are fictional.
Florence: Some have criticized you for writing your popular lesbian book series, Purple Panties, even though some church women were secretly buying it at your events. Why do you think women are still afraid to explore that side of their sexuality? What’s truly keeping them in the closet? How can they embrace who they really are?
Zane: I would not say that they are being kept in the closet. I am not interested in women but I can appreciate that passion and sensuality are universal. I can appreciate books about homosexual men as much as I can about homosexual women. I publish both by several authors. The books turned a lot of heterosexual women on but a lot of the readers are lesbian and appreciated me doing it. Their books do not get the attention that they should and I even ran into a couple of roadblocks when I did the first “Purple Panties.” Eventually, the bookstores all caved when they realized they were missing out on sales.
With that being said, I do get a lot of emails from women who are struggling with their sexuality. I always tell them that no one has a heaven or a hell to put them in here on Earth and they need to live their lives in a way that makes them happy. I do not believe that people can change what is in their hearts and it is truly disturbing to see others try to crucify someone for their personal choices. It is none of their business, quite frankly. Those same people would not want anyone to talk about the various things they do on a daily basis. Too many people are way too messy and if they put that same amount of time and energy into being proactive in their own personal lives, and professional lives, they could accomplish much more.
Florence: Did you always have an open mind sexually? If not, how did you get there?
Zane: As far back as I can remember, I never had any strong inhibitions when it came to my sexuality. I have always been strong-willed and I have always known what I like and don’t like. I think that a lot of women have open minds; they are simply afraid to let the rest of the world know it for fear of being judged, or perceived the wrong way.
Florence: Has being a prolific erotica writer helped your love life, or have you found that it intimidates most men that you date?
Zane: I am in a committed relationship with my soul mate so I am not even out there like that. In fact, I am not out there at all. He is not going anywhere and neither am I, so that makes life easy. With that being said, a lot of men probably would find me intimidating if they had the opportunity to ask me out. That is not going to happen, though. I am on lockdown for life.
Florence: What do you think women should do more in their relationships to keep their partners sexually, emotionally satisfied? What should they do less of?
Zane: Overall, women need to communicate more openly with their mates. I was speaking to a young lady the other day and she was explaining how it took her “decades” to be able to tell men that certain things turned her off sexually. That is sad to me. Women need to be able to express what they want and allow their men to do the same. No two people enjoy the exact same things when it comes to intimacy. They have to experiment and discuss the outcome of those experiments to see if they want to do it again. What they need to do less of is allowing men to be in complete control of the situation. They need to constantly evolve and be creative in the bedroom. Doing the same thing the same way all the time gets boring and the variety should not fall solely on the men.
Florence: Your first movie, Addicted, was highly successful and sparked a lot of dialogue about black women and sexuality. What were some of the lessons you wanted audiences to grasp about sexual addiction? What are some myths people have about sexual addiction and what do you think causes some women who are in happy marriages to become susceptible to becoming a sexual addict?
Zane: Sexual addiction is a very serious issue and it is often swept underneath the rug, like so many other issues in the black community. However, “Addicted” is an evergreen story that was relevant 100 years ago and will be relevant 100 years from now. There was a lack of communication in the Reynard marriage that led to Zoe seeking attention and fulfillment of her needs in other places. Her behavior patterns were all symptoms of an underlying problem, which is often the case. A lot of women have had things happen to them that they never discussed or worked through and it leads to frustration and doing things that they truly do not want to do. I know a lot of women like Zoe and it is not that they do not love their husbands. They are struggling. They need to understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking help for their issues. Everyone needs someone to speak with about life and if they do not have that person, a professional therapist can be very helpful.
Florence: What would be one thing that fans would be shocked to learn about you?
Zane: Good question. I am assuming that most would be shocked to learn that I am quite normal. I have a normal family life, a normal love life, and I am a normal person who happens to enjoy creating and one who is blessed to do so as a career.
Florence: What’s next for Zane? What are two things you want to accomplish in 2015?
Zane: I make a list of 15 things at the end of each year that I plan to tackle in the following year. I never get them all done but I get a lot of them done. At the end of 2014, I had accomplished 9 out of the 15. With that being said, I have my list for 2015. People do not realize that you sow the seeds one year for that which you wish to harvest the next year. Two things that will definitely happen are new books being released, including “Infinite Words: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing and Publishing” in March and “Vengeance” in August, which is the next book in the “Addicted” series.
Also, on February 7, 2015, my radio show, “Zane’s Literary Salon,” premieres on WHUR Voices—Sirius XM Channel 141. The original airing will be on Saturday mornings at 11:30 AM EST and will repeat on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST during drive time. I have already chosen my next feature film and that will be announced soon. My adult toy line is up and running and people can see the delightful items at www.zanespleasureproducts.com. I am launching an exciting new web site for women to balance out a lot of the messy ones that exist. Empowering women is my thing; not trying to break them down. I have a new imprint called “Infinite Words” that launches this month. I am excited about that list as well as my list under “Strebor Books” as a Publisher. I could go on and on but I realize that you said two-LOL.
Florence: If you could give one message to your fans, what would it be?
Zane: The only message that I ever have for my fans is that I love and appreciate each and every one of them. That is a genuine sentiment and it will never change.
Zane is the New York Times Bestselling Author of ten titles: Dear G Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love, Afterburn, Skyscraper, Nervous, The Sisters of APF, Gettin’ Buck Wild: The Sex Chronicles 2, The Heat Seekers, Shame on it All, Addicted and The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth. She is also an editor or a contributor to several other titles including: Love is Never Painless, Caramel Flava, Chocolate Flava, Breaking the Cycle, Blackgentlemen.com. Zane is also the Publisher of Strebor Books International LLC (www.streborbooks.com), an imprint of ATRIA/Simon and Schuster.
“Zane’s Sex Chronicles”-a series loosely based on Zane’s real life, premiered on Cinemax on October 10, 2008. She is the only author to hold three out of five of the bestselling titles for fiction in Essence magazine and has dominated the list since her first published book in May 2000. Zane is also the only author to hold seven of the top fifteen slots for African-American books for Waldenbooks Nationwide.
Her website, www.Eroticanoir.com, averages a quarter million hits monthly.
Zane also gets hundreds of advice emails a month and moderates numerous discussion groups online.
Learn more about Zane by visiting EroticaNoir.com. Zane has a radio show airing this Saturday, Feb. 7th on Sirius XM WHUR/HURVoices channel 141.
Be sure to check it out here: http://www.hurvoices.com/
Click on the link to learn more about Zane’s upcoming book, “Infinite Words”:
Click the link to view the DVD release of "Addicted"
Connect with Zane by visiting her social media pages: