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.
2 thoughts on “Teasing VS Raw Sexuality”
Your are wise for such a young one.
When I was writing (and someday I’ll finish – every scene is outlined but perhaps that helped tamp down the fire) I drew any many personal anecdotes of when I was a teen struggling at relationships. At the beginning I show the main character with a normal interest in girls but so terrified if talking to them. His cousin moves back to town after several years and now she’s a lovely 14 year old young lady (my plot device! and yes, incest, but I had some hot cousins) He immediately goes all Judge Reinhold over Phoebe Cates but as he’s oblivious, it takes weeks for him to realize she’s been flirting with him.
My senior year of high school I was doing daily phone calls with a girl I met from another high school. We got on a real date and in the movie theater she gazed up at me with these puppy eyes – and I gazed back. Such an idiot. So I recreate that in the book, but instead she says “Are you going to kiss me or what?”
So the first third is him chasing, the middle third them together trying to make it work, and the last third seeing if they can put the piece back together again after a world of hurt.
And of course there’s sex, but as time goes on (and we’ve talked about this before) I think how it’s less important to engage in the play by play. I remember one of your scenes where Nicole kept sending the poor boy to get her something in the kitchen. Such a tease.
So I’ll give a teaser about how I developed the character. At the beginning the first person narrator tells all about how the girls look – their ass, their great tits, etc, and how it turns him on. Descriptions about sex are how he experiences the sensations. By the end of the second third, instead he describes the sex in how she responds, without mention of how it feels to him. Then when he meets someone else, initially there’s no mention of her looks. When a friend asks it’s “Oh, she’s OK” His relationship with her is not based on physical attraction but rather on an emotional level, such as when he’s moping around the restaurant where they both work she gets up in his face to say “Hey, what’s the matter with you?” and tries to draw him out.
I got some reading to do to get finished with GBM. I expect more good work.
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It’s wonderful to hear from you again, Joe. I hope life is treating you well.
I agree with and love the idea of sex going from a purely visual idea (especially in the mind of a young man) and growing into the idea of how a partner reacts and feels. I think that’s how we evolve sexually in one way or another. And I never knew I thought that, I just felt it and never brought it to my conscious thinking. You’ve given me a lot to think about.