You know, for an erotica author I talk about sex very little. Sometimes I take a break from writing erotica online and when I return, I find sexual themes being brought up in the first few paragraphs and my prudish mind experiences whiplash. Then I go, “Oh yeah, that can happen.”
I’m not good with being blunt and sexual right off the bat. In fact, that’s probably why I loved writing Nicole’s character (and why a lot of you enjoyed reading her dialogue too” – it’s refreshing departure from the rest of the story. Out of all of the characters to give advice in the story, she’s clearly the smartest. In a story which likes to take it’s time and set up themes, she’s basically a slut that’s ready to go when given the word. People really like that kind of thing.
I honestly had no clue what I was doing when I wrote Being More Social at first. Any immediate attention it grabbed, it was luck. I somehow captured lightning in a bottle without realizing it and managed to write a story that appealed to people who loved backstory and loved quick to-the-point sexual themes, because in one way or another it had both. As well, it had both in ways that make sense. I’m willing to admit in hindsight a few sex scenes in GBM have been a little… out-of-nowhere. A few sex scenes took a little too short a buildup and it felt unnatural, whereas the story on a whole definitely is more of a story that has sex in it than a ‘sex story’. Often times trying to have both buildup and raw sexual bluntness is playing with fire. I got super lucky with BMS.
Is one better than another? Not really. It all comes down to taste. I usually prefer a longer buildup, which is why I write like I do. Some people decidedly don’t. Odds are if you like me enough to read my blog, you like buildup. Or, at the very least, you like character work enough to tolerate the buildup, since to put it frankly, not too many erotica authors really want to explore their characters in any way that doesn’t relate back to the bedroom. To them, what’s the point? You’re here to read about people fucking.
I get this, and yet… I recently read a story about two former classmates reuniting at a high school reunion then going off to screw. The story clearly stated they never were together or even thought about each other while in high school, and yet her dialogue with him was very forward and sexual from the beginning. I basically said out loud, “Um, excuse me, sir, but that dialogue is not realistic.” Then I shut my computer off and did some Xmas shopping instead of reading porn.
Sometimes sexual bluntness can be fun if done right. For me it often comes down to how convenient it is. For instance, if you’re writing an (ugh) incest story and the same day the brother happens to notice the girls tits and “how much of a woman she’s turning into” on the same day that she decides to make her move on him because she totally wanted him for years and only now decided to show it, that’s too convenient. I could even buy it if she noticed him looking but of course in most stories it’s just two people independently deciding they have crushes on each other at the same time. Talk to any past crush you had. Unless it was love at first sight, it’s basically barely possible that you two started to like each other at the same time, especially to the point where you two started sexually flirting with each other out of nowhere.
So that’s how to do sexual bluntness wrong. Doing it right requires a bit of surprise, subversion. Have someone hit on your protagonist out of the blue. Your protag responds with shock that they’re being hit on – they think about the situation and whether they’d go for someone like that – they decide “why not” and test the waters by hesitantly flirting back or something. Bam. We just wrote the porn equivalent of a YA novel that sells like 30,000 more copies than it should.
To me, teasing is fun. Especially in the whole “Ooh, will they fuck or won’t they?” way. Of course, I’m writing a porn story, so odds are sex is inevitable. Still, the will-they-won’t-they is fun, especially since that more accurately reflects real life. I guess, are you reading porn to escape real-life, or extend it? Do you want to build on existing fantasies and read a story with teasing and imagine it’s you, or do you want to deny reality (and there’s nothing wrong with that) and read a story where people immediately hit on each other in the first few paragraphs? I think I’ve covered a topic similar to this before and I still have the same conclusion – both are valid. I’m of the opinion that one is more shallow than the other, but it’s not like we read porn to be deep. Read what you want, like what you like. I just find it fascinating to know what I like, and see why. I’ll talk to you all next week.