Writing Erotica: an Introduction

Writing erotica is about more than deciding when to use “pussy”, “vulva”, “clitoris”, and “sex.” It is more than avoid “member” (and “turgid member”) at all costs.

Like any kind of writing, it is about understanding the genre you are writing in, familiarizing yourself with its sub genres, and using your skill to create a story that conveys the idea in your head.

With this series, we’re going to delve deeper into the storytelling craft with erotica and understand when we need to develop complex plots and characters and when we need to just let them get down to the nitty-gritty.

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Blogging

I have been a bad girl and have not been updating the blog as often as I should. I’ve been busy with freelance work, though. Which is a good thing.

I’m trying to decide what I want to talk about next. I think one of the problems is that in freelance writing I talk about so much stuff. I mean a lot of stuff. After a while, you forget what the last article or the last story you wrote was about. Your mind just moves through the project and onto the next one. You do your best in the moment, of course, to provide a good article or an artistic story.

I like to think I do a fair job. 🙂

It keeps me busy, though.

So you get this rambling while I decide what I want to tackle on the blog next. I wax philosophical a lot. I think I want to try something practical next. So … if anyone is reading this let me know in the comments what kind of practical stuff around BDSM, sex, and erotica you want me to talk about.

At Her Service

What would you do with a man whose only concern was serving you?

I and several other romance and erotica authors tackled that question in one form or another in a box set that was released for Valentine’s Day. It’s my first anthology to write for and I enjoyed it. I got to work with some amazing people and see just what goes into a project like this.

I pulled part of a review below for my story, Helen and the Man from Troi. It made me smile to see the review, so I wanted to share it. My story only gets a few mentions among the reviews, but most of those mentions are positive. I will certainly not turn my nose up at a 3 1/2 star review.

Helen and the man from Troi: [Adam] is a BDSM slave with both a master and a girlfriend. He has also recently completed manservant training. Helen loves her routines and order. She has also recently broken up with her boyfriend and seems to be grieving more than just the loss of the man. Helen’s roommate Olivia is more of a wild child and wants to help Helen open up a bit more and try new things. She hires [Adam] as a present, to serve Helen for a day. I was surprised how much I liked this one. I don’t tend to enjoy BDSM in general. But this story was more of about Helen learning to let go a bit and let someone take care of her. Unlike the rest of the stories Helen and [Adam] aren’t headed toward a long term HEA (at least not with each other), but it was nice to see just a simple story of give and take and caring for another person who needs a break from the norm. (3.5 star) — reviewer Ly G

 

Yes, You Do Have to Be Taught (secret: we all do)

An image is going viral right now of a young UK man stating that he does not need to be taught not to be a rapist.

It is true that he may not need his college to teach him that. Maybe he does understand what consent and active, enthusiastic consent is. Maybe he understands how to navigate and negotiate complex situations so that he ensures that any kind of sexual encounter he has with someone is consensual.

Here is the thing, though.

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Should We Teach with Erotica?

As I am preparing to put outline to story today, a thought occurred to me.

Can erotica guide and teach others?

We fool ourselves if we think that at least some readers do not try to emulate what they read in erotica. We already know of a tragic case where a young man hurt his friend because he wanted to experience (without proper consent unfortunately) his own Fifty Shades of Grey fantasy. While yes, I like to harp on how Fifty Shades romanticizes what is actually an abusive relationship, how consent is questionable (especially if you consider what Christian would reasonably know in a scene), and how it not only misrepresents but actually disrespects BDSM, if someone is either irresponsible enough to harm someone or wants to harm someone using your story as a “guide” or “inspiration” they will do so, no matter how responsibly you write your story.

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Ravishing

I’m coming back to a theme I’ve visited before.

A few times.

Why?

Because it’s an important theme.

When it come to fantasies, especially fantasies that women have, the ravishment fantasy is a big one. It gets other names, but I prefer not to use them. I think that those names do more harm than good when discussing the fantasy, creating not only blurry lines, but misunderstanding of what the fantasy actually is. When we misunderstand the fantasy, then as writers, we do not do it justice. We create stories that are not just problematic. They are irresponsible and disrespectful.

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One of the Things I Really Hate

One of the staples of romance is the idea that the romance between the two characters makes each a better person. He overcomes something through her love and support. She overcomes something through his love and strength.

I don’t hate that. It has its problems, sure, but fine. Whatever. We’re social creatures and we like to have our romance blend with the positive aspects of being social creatures. I’ll buy it for a buck, or $0.99 on Amazon, and be done with it.

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Holle is Feeling “Triggered” This Morning

I’ve written about this before.

I have also seen first hand that people still do not understand this very simple concept.

If a person is inebriated, their ability to offer consent is hindered. If you describe someone as “stone drunk” or any variation that shows their cognitive abilities are impaired, then they most definitely cannot consent.

Consent requires the ability to understand what is taking place. It requires the ability to consider the consequences of the action and decide if those consequences are desirable or not. It requires the ability to measure one’s own desire, to see if one actually wants to do the act, or if one is being coerced, guilted, pressured, or otherwise acted upon in a way to bend one’s will.

Consent requires that a person be an active and alert participant to the activity. If cognitive function is impaired, then the person is not an active participant.

We have a word for doing sexual activities with people who do not consent to those activities. It is not a kind word, but it is a real word. It is a reality for women every day on college campuses (high school campuses as well). It is also a reality for them in the work place and sometimes even in their own homes. It is a reality with strangers and with people they know and thought they could trust.

To have someone come to me and ask me to write about this for them – that is beyond the pale. It is most especially beyond the pale when I explicitly state that I do not deal with non-consensual activities in my erotica. Consent and agency are very, very important things to me. I have very deep and personal reasons that they are important.

As erotica authors, I think it is vital that we understand what consent means. The ravishment fantasy is a popular fantasy in erotica and it is a very common fantasy among women and sometimes even among men (as the ravaged). As erotica authors we have to understand how to present this fantasy in works so that people can experience the fantasy without falling into the societal conventions that scar men and women every day.

 

The Difference Between Fantasy and Fiction

I love writing erotic fiction. I sometimes enjoy reading it.

Sometimes.

I do not like erotic fiction that blurs lines of consent or is disrespectful – to women, to men, to the community it is writing about, etc. Sometimes when I voice this, people will say “but it is only fantasy.”

And this is wrong.

There is a difference between fantasy and fiction, and I am going to explain that.

I think it is something that many erotica authors either miss or ignore, and our genre and its sub-genres hurt for it. Erotica can be erotic and it can still be respectful. It can sexualize respect and consent and be an incredibly erotic story. You just have to understand what a fantasy is, what drives that fantasy, and how to turn it into erotica. Continue reading