I was just reading a few posts by Remittance Girl. (I tend to mention her a fair amount because I admire her writing style a great deal. Honestly, she gives me literary lady-wood as an erotica writer because she does it so different.)
My writing hard on aside, reading her posts always end up pushing me to think.
What role can sex take in writing? If sex is the “focus”, that is?
That question seems stupid to ask as an erotica writer, but I think it’s a valid one. I mean, I’m a writer, and even with the genre label hanging over me – as in your expectation when picking up my stories, glancing at my blog, reading a piece of flash fiction is that I’ll give you sex like a paid trick turner – I write to tell a story. That’s first and foremost.
I see sex as a vehicle I put you in. You need it, want it, look for it so you can climb into it and travel from the beginning of the story to the end of it. The sex is important, but the story needs to be a road worth traveling down.
But sex can get old. It’s hard to write a scene in a book that’s both interesting and new, as well as relevant to the life and development of the character. I have to turn you on AND bring you into the emotional awareness of the person. Making you understand dominance dynamics and power exchange, character need, and have you feel what they’re feeling is hard. And not be repetitive in the process?? I question my sanity sometimes.
Biggest compliment I could receive would be a reader who doesn’t usually partake in erotica telling me they liked what I wrote because they didn’t just see the sex, but the relationship and the why of the interaction. If I can write and make you see the why, then I think I did okay. If I can convince a non-erotica reader that erotica can be quality and worth looking into, well then, my work here is done. *dusts off my hands*
So how do you write sex? Maybe I’ll discuss that another time. Besides, I’m still trying to figure it out myself.
When I got it down, I’ll let you know. Sharing is caring.
I recently mentioned in a post that the nicest thing a reader has said on our blog is that they come there to “read good stories.” In other words, not for the sex, not to cum, but for the story. It totally changed the way I saw what I was writing. I agree with you, there “sex can get old.” I mean there are just so many ways of describing the act. I think that what my writing has morphed into is the psychological drama that is unfolding and be discovered by and between Lo and me. That’s the hook (if anyone is hooked).
I think it’s just nice to know people are getting something more from it. I’m not so uppity to say I’m not excited when someone says they’re aroused, but to hear they read the characters, could see them clearly, makes me feel like a half decent writer.
I’m always in a bit of a quandary about whether my stories are any more than an encounter. Personally, I do like reading stories where the sex is number one – but I know a lot of people don’t. I’m working on my style! Interesting post – and thanks for introducing me to Remittance Girl!
I’ve written scenes solely to arouse and I read some pieces just because I know they’re arousing and push my boundaries sexually. I’m so much of a perfectionist that I want people to see something more from it. I want them to want the sex and get the why too.
Your post is making me think…I want to say something intelligent in response, but I have not found the words. Writing about sex is challenging because while the act itself is quite common to say the least, it is also one of the most extraordinary parts of life. I like to think i write about how people relate to each other but really, I write a lot about me….
Bisous for the weekend!
Writing about sex is challenging. I think that’s why I started because it requires a large degree of creativity and finesse. You can’t just say cock or cunt and expect that to equal good writing. It’s not all literary fluff either. I think that’s why I admire Remittance Girl so much, she’s creative and different in this genre.
“I see sex as a vehicle I put you in. You need it, want it, look for it so you can climb into it and travel from the beginning of the story to the end of it. The sex is important, but the story needs to be a road worth traveling down.” –> This resonated the most with me. The question then becomes: is your story more character-driven or plot-driven? What change will your MC undergo? (Okay, that’s 2 questions.) That’s always the hardest part for me: effectively illustrating the internal change of my MC.
I probably write more character driven stories. It seems like my characters realize that their limitations or the constraints placed on them don’t have to hold them back. I think. Lol
I know — they’re so willful, aren’t they? Darned stories. 😉
Lol. I try not to give them too much freedom, but they do what they want.
I think if there was just sex and no story, it’d be like sex and no relationship…boring. There’s got to be more to it for it to be stimulating. One day I may get adventurous and write about my own escapades, but for now I just read not write about sex. My daughter is grown now and gives me a hard time, because I have trouble saying the word…I spell it…lol. She thinks it’s I’m naive. Oh well, I’ll let her believe.
I was extremely reticent when I first started. I think it was because its not stuff I should talk about. But sex is a part of life and its fun. Why not write about it. I’d be interested in reading your escapades.
I think because you have depth as a writer you find it hard to write sex for its own sake. Even in a flash piece, character and believablity are important.
Believability is what’s important to me. I think the story and the feel of the actions take precedence. It becomes difficult not to put a point to it, as in a why behind it. I’m not good at gratuitous sex in real life.
I completely agree!
I think that if every writer worth their salt takes this post, replaces “sex/erotica” with whatever genre specific word/phrase/term applies to their own writing, they will all relate to it quite strongly – I know I did! 🙂
True. It’s always about the story, isn’t it? Genre is the vehicle, but the story matters a whole lot.