I mean, this is me so I’m pretty sure step 1 is – DON’T USE THE PHRASE CUNTBUTT. But in all seriousness, I’ve spent a little bit of time with the wonderful Renee from Sh! Women’s Erotic Emporium. Renee is a sex educator and manages the store in London which offers everything from sex toys to spanking classes. With that expertise in mind, I thought I’d share with you some tips on how to write (and definitely not write) erotica.
Now, we’ve all heard of the Fifty Shades of Grey writer E.L James and we’ve all heard (or seen for ourselves) that you don’t need to be J.K Rowling (or any good writer) to pen a bit of sexy fiction – so why aren’t we all giving it a try? Here are a few pointers for you:
Start with a scent. Close your eyes and think of a smell that will automatically put you in a sexy headspace. ‘Disco Balls’ might not do it for you in terms of getting you sensually aroused, so think of something that’ll bring you right back to the sexiest time you’ve spent. Perhaps it’s a particular partner’s aftershave or freshly laundered sheets. Whatever it is, it should begin to get those juices literally and figuratively flowing.
Location, location, location. Where does your fantasy take place? If you’re going to write about it in explicit detail, it should be somewhere familiar to you, somewhere you’ve frequented or somewhere a lusty rendezvous occurred. And no, Trisha, I know you enjoyed getting fingered on the dance floor in Oceana in your day but a bonkbuster-pageturner that doth not maketh! Maybe you want to keep the fantasy realistic (though not THAT realistic) so setting it at work or in a public place would be easy to write about or maybe your fantasy flings you to further afield and you’re going to write about a romp next to a rolling ocean. Wherever it is, make sure you’re confident in writing about it in detail.
Characters. Perhaps you’re one of the 150 million customers of the Fifty Shades books and the domineering, controlling and frankly WEIRD Christian Grey gives you a massive lady boner or maybe you want to write about someone you already fantasise about. I remember being at uni and having the hugest crush on my Science lecturer. Two hours of PowerPoints on Primary School topics such as Teeth and Habitats regularly made me dream of…getting my teeth into his Habitat (AND THAT’S WHAT WE CALL WRITING LADIES AND GENTS). Anyway, I digress but the fantasies I had about him were so vivid and well rounded that they could easily be penned. I remember everything about him from his awful Dad dress sense to the JOOP Homme I’m sure his wife bought him every Christmas. When you’re forming the characters in your erotic fiction make sure you think about what they wear and describe it in sexy detail. ‘The grey linen shirt that clung to his biceps and fell hollow over his taut stomach,’ reads better than, ‘That Puma sweater with ketchup stains at the hem.’ You could also go into detail about HOW they wear a piece of clothing as this really tells us about the character. If your hero is a domineering and confident guy you want him to fill every stitch of his outfit with strength whereas if you’re punching for Louis Theroux’s weight you’d seductively say how those glasses teeter closely at the edge of his handsome, strong nose. I have a thing for Louis, k?
Positive language. Keeping a sexual tone throughout is key so at no point should you slip into any negative language that may cause your reader to lose the edge of their arousal. No-one likes reading an intensely built up sex scene that involves clothes tearing each other’s clothes off to see one of the characters stop mid flow because they really need to find that button so they can restitch it at a later date. You also need to think about the words you use to decribe genitalia and sexual acts because ain’t nobody getting their rocks off to, ‘and then he jabbed me in the foof.’
The sex. Do you want your erotic piece to actually detail sex? Could it be the suggestion of it that makes it hotter? Or do you want to be vulgar, crude and obvious? Doesn’t matter either way – it’s your writing and your fantasy! But whichever avenue you go down, thought needs to be put in. What kind of sex is it? Is it a romantic love making session between two people in a relationship that will be detailed with lovely phrases suggesting gentleness and sincerity? Or is it an out and out bone between two horny bastards? Perhaps at this point it would be a good idea to think about whether any toys are involved. Could you write a sexy piece on wearing love eggs to dinner and dying to have an orgasm all night or is that not something you can imagine having only ever had half a wedgie stuck your vag in a Nandos before? You must also consider the position the sexees will be in. If you’re writing from the female perspective and she’s being bucked doggy style, avoid references to her tits slapping her stomach and face as if they were an out of control accordion and focus on something far more erotic like getting spanked, having her hair pulled or being the lucky recipient of a reach-around.
I hope these tips have helped or inspired you in your quest to write some smut! If you want some more advice, go and see Renee and the team at Match down at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill tomorrow (Thursday 9th February). Visit the website here to get more information and sign up for an evening on erotic fiction writing AND the chance to see the ever so sexy French film, ‘Belle De Jour’. Use the hashtag #fromfrancewithlove to let me know all about your experience if you decide to go!
*this post was written in collaboration with Match, but as ever, all thoughts and awful examples of erotica are my own.