The do’s and don’ts about writing erotica


1. Respect The Genre. Respect The Reader

Bring the same attention and regard to writing about sex as you would to anything else you’d write. Assume the reader wants — and is capable of appreciating — something beyond a jerk-off vehicle. There’s nothing wrong with getting off — I always hope my readers are getting off on what I write!

but I want to affect people between the ears as much as between the legs.
There’s nothing wrong with getting off – I always hope my readers are getting off on what I write! – but I want to affect people between the ears as much as between the legs.

2. Spare The Rod

The throbbing rod, that is, and all other coy euphemisms for body parts. Please don’t tell me about our hero’s member, or manhood, or hard hot tool or battering ram. Likewise, don’t refer to our heroine’s mound or tunnel or the center of her womanhood.

3. Dispense With Cliches

Don’t say that he pounded her like a jackhammer, or that she lay back, spent. Tell me something I haven’t heard before. Make me think about something that wouldn’t occur to me otherwise.

4. Less Is More

Stay away from blow-by-blow descriptions of sex acts. The mechanics aren’t what’s intriguing. The emotional dynamics between people are intriguing.

5. Keep It Real

Two flawlessly beautiful people having ecstatic sex is just about the least interesting thing I can think of. The key to any fictional scene is tension and conflict. It’s okay for characters to feel awkward or angry or afraid within a sex scene. It’s all right for a man to be short or to wear glasses (meet Laura Antoniou’s Chris Parker), fine for a woman to have a flat chest or ample proportions. We are drawn to each other’s darkness, strangeness, sadness, and vulnerability.

6. Draw On All Five Senses When You Write A Sex Scene

The curve of a hip. The scent of leather. The taste of boot polish. The sound of rain on the roof. The texture of the grass in a secluded field. A compelling fantasy demands a certain immediacy. Put the reader where your characters are.

7. Hone Your Dialogue

…and expect it to carry the scene. Again, the old in-out is not compelling in itself. What is the fantasy these lovers are enacting? What is the power dynamic between them? What secrets, longings, grudges, insecurities, memories are in play here?

8. Bring The Reader Into Another World

We read to be transported, and there’s no reason erotic writing shouldn’t demand the same original vision and creativity as any other genre. Laura Antoniou’s Marketplace and the Chateau of Roissy are richly imagined alternate realms with their own rules and rituals and hierarchies.

9. Avoid The Overwrought

I believe that the more extreme the scene, the more restrained the language should be. Both The Story of O and Nine and a Half Weeks bring a straightforward, understated narrative style to an outlandish tale and — I believe — take on potency and credibility for having done so.

10. Write Your Own Fantasy. Make It Authentic

If I’m working on a sex scene and I’m not turned on, I know it probably isn’t very effective. If you’re not hot and bothered while writing, chances are good that ultimately the reader won’t be either. Conversely, if you can bring yourself to write what genuinely excites you, no matter how strange or mortifying, readers are usually affected in turn. You can’t fake this. And you can’t play it safe. You have to be brave.


55 thoughts on “The do’s and don’ts about writing erotica”

  1. YES! I’m so glad to see this! Especially number 10. There are so many erotic scenes in books/novels/short stories that just FALL FLAT. And usually when I read them I’m honestly wondering “did the writer even enjoy writing this?” Spot on and well said!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I do write erotica (mainly Femdom). I tend to be rather an eclectic writer with regards to my interests and tastes and vary in general. One day I’m writing dark, Gothic poetry, the next day I’m writing hard core Femdom D/s… it generally depends on my mood. And hey… through in tentacle sex now and then and I’m happy (umm yes I’m serious about that ;p). But hey, we all have our thing. You said be brave!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love these tips- I write erotical (self, never shared yet) but #5 is what I seek in a good erotic story,” we are drawn to each other’s darkness, strangeness, sadness and vulnerability.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Haha. Great post again. I have read many erotica/romance and you can definitely tell when the writer is using weird words for body parts or the sex seen doesn’t seem authentic.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. lol. I don’t know if this true but I here that erotica/romance books are for women like porn is for guys. That’s what I hear. But if you look at something like 50 Shades of Grey for instance, a lot of men read that too! I like many kind of stories but every now and then I have read one. I think it would be difficult to write lol. Thanks

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Well, I said it before, and I’ll say it again, for a young man you are an old soul! I don’t write it personally, but your insights into the world of the titillating are spot observations for those who do, to take note of . Fifty Shades was very ho-hum, I thought. I read it because I wanted to know what made Christian Grey tick and had to wade through three books to get there! It got dull and boring.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The taste of a boot polish? LOL! I find it hard to write erotic scenes (i ahve a smattering of erotic scenes in my manuscript) and I think I wrote too much. I should tone it down a bit. Great tips on how to write erotica. I should follow these steps.
    And Ana Spoke gave me a follow. O_O

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful post! I always wonder if my stories are bit much or too boring!
    I get annoyed when writers expect us to believe grown ass women would call their “womanly parts” “down there”
    I just don’t understand what women see so erotic or romantic about 50 shades! Bah what do I know?!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh goodness! The first thought that came to my mind! My writing was that bad, he had to blog about pointers on erotica?!
        I was laughing so hard because of
        My writers angst!😂
        I think you did a great job pointing some areas erotic writers have! We tend to over think and over analyze over describe over do everything!

        I’m hoping my erotica was g

        Liked by 1 person

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