About Me

Official Author Bio

Emerald is an erotic fiction author interested in elevating discussion of and attention to authentic sexual experience. Her short fiction has been published in more than thirty multi-author anthologies in the genre, and her book Initiative: Tales of Erotic Boldness won the gold medal for Erotica in the 2021 Independent Publisher “IPPY” Book Awards and was a 2021 American Fiction Awards winner in Romance: Erotica. The author of three short story collections, Emerald has also penned dozens of blog posts for her website, TheGreenLightDistrict.org, on topics ranging from sexuality and self-awareness to politics, sex work, and reproductive justice. The majority of her wardrobe incorporates glitter in some capacity.


Extended Bio

Thank you for visiting! Below is an expanded bio for those interested. ;)

First, about my pen name: Emeralds are my birthstone—I seem to recall feeling enamored of them since approximately the time I learned this. When I was a kid I wanted to legally change my first name to Emerald, so when I started submitting erotica for publication, I was delighted to realize it was an opportunity to use Emerald as my name. Had I known I would later get to use it as a stage name, I probably would not have bothered using a pseudonym for writing/publishing erotica, but at the time it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up!

And about my website name: The title “The Green Light District” came to fruition during a spontaneous conversation with my partner at the time. There was construction being done near my residence, including new traffic light installation, and as we were driving through the intersection one day I commented on “the pretty bright green lights” (which I guess was the case because they were new). He responded, “Yeah…it’s like a green light district.” Immediately I knew I wanted that to be the name of my website. The name is a play on words in a few ways. First, of course, emeralds are green, so it fits my pen name. It also, however, is a throwback to the “red light district” reference to prostitution. I am a sex worker rights activist and advocate the decriminalization of prostitution, so the title “The Green Light District” is symbolic as such. Lastly, more generally, the “green” symbolic significance as far as its meaning “go ahead” or “all clear,” etc., is a reference to the view in me about sexuality in juxtaposition with what seems to me a collective “red” undertone of vilification and oppression of sexuality evident in current society.

With that out of the way, a little more about me:

I was born and grew up in Iowa (USA), where I lived until I was 21. At that time I moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to finish my undergrad degree, and then to the Washington, DC, area to go to graduate school. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are both in politics. I am an advocate on behalf of human sexuality, particularly in the areas of sex worker and reproductive rights. I advocate the decriminalization of consensual sex work, support non-censorship of pornography and sexual materials, and champion reproductive freedom including comprehensive sexuality education. (More on these perspectives may be found in the categories Sex+ Government and Sex+ Work listed in the left sidebar of my blog.)

After I obtained my master’s degree in 2002, I was accepted into a Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing. I felt thrilled—I loved academia and I loved writing, so it seemed to me it would be the perfect combination.

Alas, for me that did not seem to be the case. I found shortly that the standardized context of academia juxtaposed with what I see as the subjective nature of creativity did not resonate with me. For many people, artistic academic programs work beautifully, and I wholly appreciate that. For me, the lack of resonance I experienced eventually felt like an undermining of the integrity of both my love of academia and of writing, and I found this all but intolerable. Thus I left the program, and I do not hold an MFA in creative writing. I appreciate the experience, having met many beautiful people and been exposed to others’ observations and perspectives about my writing at the time. As well it was an opportunity to develop the capacity for discipline in the act of producing creatively.

I continued writing after I left the program, and it was around then that I started writing erotica. At the time I was experiencing a considerable evolution in my own sexual development, and since I had been writing since I was seven, as I look back I do not feel surprised that the two areas seemed to converge in me. Soon after, I began submitting erotic fiction for publication, and as I had work published in the genre, I found myself more and more compelled to write in it until it became my main focus in writing. Presently it still is.

After I left the MFA program, I also entered the full-time day job world. I have been a reproductive rights activist most of my adult life, and for a few years I worked in the nonprofit arena in this and other socially progressive fields doing research, writing, and fundraising.

In large part because of a nocturnal orientation that has been in me as long as I can remember, I decided after a few years that I wanted to leave the day job realm and enter sex work, specifically as a stripper. I have since worked as a stripper, webcam model, and amateur porn performer. (For anyone wondering, which people have seemed to, my parents/family know what I do, and I have not experienced them as anything other than supportive. Frankly I haven’t really experienced any of them as appearing to find it a big deal, which may be in part because I have not either.)

The choice to enter sex work stemmed from an interest in me both to contribute to an appreciation of and respect for sexuality at a collective/societal level and also to enhance and support others’ sexual experience and/or understanding on an individual level. Sexuality, to me, seems one of the most inherent, personal, and fundamental aspects of life; as such (as with all aspects of life and life itself), I see it as sacred. More than just being “acceptable,” which society has sometimes not even seemed to grant, sexuality, as with every aspect of our existence, may be offered, held, and lived from the beauty and authenticity of wholeness; when so done, it is reflective as such. Thus I see sex work as an opportunity to devote one’s personal form of service to embodying and offering this interpretation of sexuality (and life) on a professional level. I continue to find the general societal perspective that seems to completely miss this heartbreaking.

Incidentally, I feel the same way about writing erotica. Particularly since for me the commencement of writing erotica coincided with a personal sexual evolution, I deeply appreciate the possibility that what I offer may support or initiate others’ similar experience, especially if it assists a reader in recognizing and/or relaxing out of sexual repression.

Finally, I am a student of the Enneagram, and spiritual/consciousness Work is the highest—really the only—aim in me. In the exquisite words of Eckhart Tolle, “[O]ur level of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.” (A New Earth p. 266)

Thanks for reading!

(written December 2009)

“Those who dance are thought mad by those who do not hear the music.”
-Anonymous