Now and then I teach an erotica writing class at a sex toy store. I love that gig—they hand me a nice check, and I turn around and spend it all before I leave.
Something else I like about that gig is that I get to hear so much amazing erotic writing. And yet, nine tenths of the people who show up have never written anything before, let alone something sexy.
Part of what makes it work is my workshop structure—the way I set it up, it’s impossible to screw up. Everybody can dare to write badly, and dare to be bad. But I think the real secret is that once they’re loosened up a little, everyone writes from the heart. Even the noobs who have never written anything write about what turns them on
And that turns the reader on.
Okay, yes, we all have different tastes. I enjoy bondage stories but not the whole “lifestyle” thing, and a little spanking goes a long way for me—sorry, Anne Roquelaire. You may have little or no interest in magical sex in demonspace, sex with trees, sex with swans, sex on rooftops, mango sex, or any of the other crazy shit I’ve written.
But if someone is writing from the heart about what turns them on, it just can’t suck. I’ve been amazed over and over by the very stimulating fun that my beginner erotica writers come up with.
Maybe it’s the “virgin” thing. You always remember your first time because it is your first time. Your first ride on a horse, your first karaoke attempt, your first driving lesson. They say your first sniff of cocaine is the best, and after that it’s all downhill; I wouldn’t know, but I believe it. Someone who has never written a sexy word before is bound to be keyed up, sweaty, a little anxious, not sure what happens next.
That makes for excellent sexual tension.
And when they can get that first-timer’s tension out onto the page—magic happens.
If you’re writing sexy stuff aready and want to recapture the thrill of that first time, consider stepping outside your comfort zone.
The safe word here is fiction. You are not really having sex under a restaurant tablecloth, with your brother-in-law, in a mosh pit with strangers, while dropping acid, or with a shapeshifting dragon lord. The more outlandish or forbidden the idea, the more nervous you’ll be about it.
Stimulate your brain, and the sex you write can’t fail.
And if you’re reading erotica and getting a little bored, well, there’s a world of “wait, they what?” out there.