Recap Thursday: On Erotica; or How to Write Porn

[My mind wandered off today so I started sifting through the archives for ideas.  Then it occurred to me that there may be newcomers who might like to read some of the older posts.  Here is one written over FIVE years ago.  How time flies!  Please note that the chat room no longer meets, although you are still free to use it if you like.]

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I knew that would get your attention.

For the last few months, the regulars in the ArmitageWorld chat room (it’s the place to be 9PM – 1AM EST) have been asking, “Judi, when are you writing some porn? More porn! More porn!” (they are a classy bunch).  Each time I say I don’t know when I’ll write more *erotica.*   I encourage them to write their own, but they plead ignorance.

Let me start right off by saying I don’t have a clue how to write erotica either.  No, seriously.  Before posting my story over Christmas, it had been a long time since I wrote fiction, and never since writing erotica.  Since my readership is so demanding (I’m looking at you, chat room gals), I knew getting away with an erotica-free Guy story wasn’t going to happen.  No cutaway to exploding fireworks would work for them.  So I researched it.

After quickly realizing Google would take me places I really didn’t want to go, I headed to Amazon.com which turned out to be a vast depository of erotica and how-to books. I spotted one called literally How to Write Erotica and the other, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance.  The latter one had me at “Idiot’s Guide.”  I purchased them both and waited.   Since one was an ebook, I didn’t have to wait long.   By page 182 of the 266 page book, I was yawning and still hadn’t gotten to the “good part” – how to write the mechanics of explicit sex- which my readership explicitly requested.  When the other honest-to-goodness-paper book arrived, I noted its thinness and made short work of it.  An hour later, I came to a realization – I’d learned nothing.  So, how do I write good erotica?

Needless to say, this was no help to me at all.   But because I was running against a self-imposed deadline, I simply dove in and started throwing sentences and paragraphs together to see what sounded good.  Then I realized the books were absolutely right in what they had been trying to tell me all along.  They could give pointers, but nobody can really teach how to write erotica.   As one book suggested, you simply have to get over your inhibitions and write it.

Obviously I’m no expert in erotica with only one story under my belt, but this is what I found: what eventually occurs in the story reflects how comfortable you are with the scenes and how far you want to go with them.  If you’ve never read erotica, you need to find some and read lots of it to learn different styles of prose.  Do you want to the sex to be implied or explicit?  Do want a sensuous (of the senses) tone or a more sexual (carnal) vibe or something in between?  What words do you feel comfortable using in describing the human body?  How does the scene work to move the story along?

Basically imagine what you would like to read and write it.  If you like it down and dirty and it fits in with the story line, then that’s the way to go.  If using clinical anatomical words would throw you right out of a scene, then don’t use them.  If more romance with only implied sex is your style, then that is what you should write.  If you’re uncomfortable with an action, then don’t go there because your reader will sense it immediately.

If there is one secret I’ve culled from reading, it’s this – if it doesn’t turn you on, it probably won’t turn on the reader either.

 

11 thoughts on “Recap Thursday: On Erotica; or How to Write Porn

  1. Thanks Judi, for devoting yourself to digging deep into the mysterously hidden ways of writing about carnal…. potentially exploding fireworks… Now, as you/we have this things clarified……. You, by all means have whetted my appetite for more, more, more saucy stories of the one and only…The Man… Oh dear!!!

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