A disclaimer for anyone considering writing erotica:
I’ve heard it said that you have to “get naked” to write good fiction. Usually, what is meant is that you have to be willing to expose your own emotions, to bleed on the page, for the sake of bringing authenticity and honesty to the story. And it’s true. Good stories always come from within, no matter what fireworks and explosions are happening from without.
In the case of writing erotica, I am finding that one must “get naked” in pretty much every sense of the phrase. You start out thinking, “Oh, anyone can write about sex. No big deal. It’s the ubiquitous human activity. There are plenty of ways to write it without getting too personal.”
You fool yourself into thinking you can write good sex and keep your privacy too.
So you settle in and start creating your story world. You breathe life into these characters who are deeper and sexier and far more troubled than you will ever be. Larger than life—proving that maybe size does matter after all, at least in personas if not in penises.
You give them all the right parts they need to be memorable heroes and heroines. No, not those parts, darling. Really!
Well…yes, okay, those parts too, but what I was actually referring to was their personalities. (I know, everyone says that, and no one ever really means it.)
Do they have inner conflicts, goals, desires? How do they conflict with other characters? What is the main problem they have to solve? What is the “ticking clock” that is pressuring them for time?
In short, a plot.
Yes, even in erotica—at least the kind I write—there are fully developed characters and a humdinger of a plot. (Did I really just use the word “humdinger”? Good lord.)
And then, you sit down and start to write. The characters come to life, the plot is churning. And it is time…
…to write sex.
The screen is white and blank. The cursor is blinking. The characters are waiting.
The pressure is mounting.
Write. Something. Sexy.
And your good intentions crumble. You reach for what you know, what is familiar.
That certain move your lover makes? Write it.
The way you feel when…yeah, put that in too.
Anything to banish the blank screen. Anything to get the scene moving along.
And suddenly, you realize the great cosmic joke that’s been played on you. When they said you’d have to get naked—they meant it. There’s no way to write sex authentically without involving yourself. There’s no such thing as privacy, any more than there is when you write drama or comedy or fantasy.
To be a writer, to tell a gripping story means exposing yourself, your heart, your sexuality, your emotions. Even if the story itself is the farthest thing from autobiographical, it still requires the author to strip down and bare it all.
You know readers will love it. You know you’ll take their breath away. For a few moments, you’ll transport them to your world, make them long to live there. That knowledge, that goddess-like ability—it’s euphoric.
And that’s why you’ll do it. You’ll toss aside the inhibitions and the naïve assumptions of privacy.
To fill up that screen.
To make the scene come alive.
To savor the moment when your reader says, “Oh my god. That was amazing. I was THERE. Hurry and write another!”
What is a little exposure, a little privacy lost, compared to that? Just warning you, darling. Nakedness happens.
And you’ll love it.
FREYA DUQUESNE is known to her adoring readers around the world as the Sorceress of Sex. Named after the Norse goddess of love, Freya likes to think that sex is a bit magical and a lot beautiful. She writes elegant erotic fiction and fantasy romance with a little help from her animagus friends: Bear, Raven, and Tiger. She enjoys good champagne, opera, and jazz; and she has a thing for Venetian masks.
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