EDIT: This post was meant for last week but I only realized like a day before this is posted that I accidentally scheduled it for a week later. Sorry about that.
I’m not great at getting to the sex quickly. One of the many reasons I’m niche is that in most cases it takes “too long” for me to get to the sex. Sometimes it’s reasonable, like in Panopticon or something, but sometimes I wonder how quickly stories should get into the sex, especially when one is trying to set up an actual story and not a porn-without-plot situation.
Recently I got a kind comment on my most recent story on one website where I posted it, saying that “even though the first half had very little sexual stuff in it” they liked it. I noted the good and the constructive of their comment in mind, but also realized that this was a story where pretty immediately the main character has a sexual tension brewing with another character. Three scenes and a couple hundred words in, she starts masturbating thinking of the person she has a crush on. Despite this, the first half of the story has ‘very little sexual stuff.’ I’m not at all going to say the commenter is wrong (I have this mindset that if anything is subjective or up to interpretation at all, the reader is always right) but it’s interesting where the standard is set for a sex story’s sexual content.
With the way I write stories, sometimes I worry about my future in relevance in erotica. I pretty much have to write slow-burn style. I’m not good at brevity. 5000 words for a story is short to me, and will usually only have one or two sex scenes. I like for sex to supplement a story, not begin and end it. It’s very hard for me to both write a story and have sex in it immediately, which was one of the challenges I gave myself for The Good, The Bad and the Molly. Above all, I feel cheap making characters have sex before I’ve tried my hardest to make the reader care about the characters in one way or another. To me, writing two characters you don’t know having sex is about as hot as a tab containing porn pop up when you’re halfway through a work shift. You’re not invested, you didn’t get warmed up to wanting it, and odds are you’re just going to close the tab.
Maybe I just need to challenge myself and broaden my horizons a bit more, and maybe there’s a whole world of stories out there I could write that have sex all the way through it, but I almost feel like that would burn people out. I want to make the sex in my stories special, not something that happens on a near constant basis. If this means some people turn away because I didn’t write sex into my first scene, so be it, I guess. At the very least I find the buildup to be important, and hey, even as that commenter himself said, a lot of the time longer stories with bigger payoffs are worth the wait so maybe I’m on to something here as opposed to deliberately cutting my audience short. Heck, maybe I’m doing both. Who knows? Only time will tell. I’ll talk to you all next week.