Art of EroticabyQuint©
You and I are here for a reason: smut. I write it, you read it; maybe you write some of your own as well, you poor masochist. Smut is a good thing: it lets us live our naughtiest fantasies without fear, effort, or the money it would take to get a girl to let us do THAT to her. It makes us happy. And, of course, it makes us horny and hopefully aids in the relieving of that horniness. Smut is a very good thing.
It can usually be a lot better.
Don’t misunderstand me—I’m not about to imply that there is one Holy Code of Erotic Fiction. Quite the opposite! There are as many styles of writing as there are ways of thinking and speaking, and that is what makes this such a wonderful place. The words I use are too esoteric for many people—and if you had to look that up, you’re probably one of them—but my writing appeals to many others. I tend to avoid authors whose keyboards apparently were not built with the comma key, but judging by their stories’ high ratings, I’m not always in the majority. Fiction is like language: we’re all capable of creating our own personalized type of it.
However—ah yes, you knew it was coming—, just as there is the language howled maniacally at the television when Notre Dame makes yet another incomplete pass and there is the language forced out in painfully-precise dribbles onto a college essay, there are different languages of writing. Each serves a purpose, but some serve them better than others. A story devoid of punctuation may be the hottest thing ever conceived of, but eventually most readers will simply get exasperated and at the very least, the story will be rated lower than it could have been. All because of one flaw that ruined the reader’s viewing pleasure. There are tips and tricks to counter those fatal flaws and help to make your story that much more enjoyable, and here are the ones I find most helpful.
Characterization. I can’t stress this enough without resorting to the dreaded caps. One thing I’m sure you’ve noticed about reading short erotic stories is that they tend to follow one of a not-very-long list of formulas: naughty schoolgirl gets punished by her stern teacher after class, sexy young wife moves in next door, a couple gets stranded on an island/by the side of the road/in the rougher part of town, and so on. These are scenarios that generally turn people on; they keep getting recycled simply because they are effective. That’s fine. However, how many times can you read them without your interest flagging? Well, it all depends on what the author does to spice it up. Characterization is the best way to do this.
Consider this well-used plot: an attractive woman has just started a new job. She is extremely eager to do the job well and please her new boss, and of course this inevitably leads to all sorts of improper situations. We’ve all read this one. How can you the author make it new? Where can you add your own personal touch, the creativity that makes the story yours as opposed to the 5,000 other stories with the same plot? Add something shocking, something unexpected, something that is random and almost insignificant but definitely unique. Are you a martial arts enthusiast? Let your businesswoman go straight from work to her weekly Judo class to relieve some of that tension she built up over the course of the day. And when she is in the expected “Just as I’m starting to fit into this lifestyle of work and sexual favors, here comes this frustrated coworker to rape me” scene, have her throw him over her shoulder! Who the hell needs a hero? The reader will go “Huh. That was unexpected,” and you’ll have yourself a novel idea. Novel ideas are good because they keep the reader alert and interested. That’s good, right? Damn skippy it’s good.
Try to take an action or a dream or a trait of yours and stick it into a character. I personally look at a problem that I’m currently having, isolate and magnify it, and let my main female character deal with it. This has two benefits: one, I have a realistic dilemma to work with, and two, if SHE has fixed the problem by the end of the story, then I know how to fix it for myself. (The fact that I rarely finish my own stories makes this trick not so helpful.) Your technique of course may and probably will differ. However, using yourself as the test model has the advantage of “I don’t have to look up anything new to make the story realistic. Yay!” And it does hold the reader’s attention—I guarantee it.
So you have yourself a character, full of genuine, realistic qualities. Maybe you even have two! Now you can take a stab at the story. I like to look at a story that I’m writing as a sexual experience, and one a little more thorough than a typical teen misadventure. The story has to build in intensity and sexual tension from the very beginning. You can’t have 20 paragraphs of the most average, uninteresting, nondescriptive, nonsexual events, and then BAM! He’s fucking the girl he was just sipping coffee with. The reader just isn’t ready for that. Most people don’t open a story and immediately get wet/hard. You have to work for it. Toldja you were a masochist!
How to remedy this situation? Drop an innuendo here, a little shiver of excitement there, a stray thought that really shouldn’t be there because she’s in a meeting and ought to be paying attention, eye contact maintained a second longer than was comfortable, and so on. You get it. Use the introduction as foreplay: you are getting to know the characters, to become familiar with them and develop some sort of connection with them. This is when you’ll need to really show who the characters are, so that the reader too will know and relate to them and thus have an interest in what happens to them. Show them to be fascinating and sexual beings, people that we in our dream world would like to have lots and lots of sex with. I don’t just mean make all the women 38-DD and the men hung like a mastiff on steroids. Give them fuckable personalities, too! After that, take the heat up a notch and start increasing the amount of sexual dialogue and actions. Easy there, tiger—I don’t mean leap right into the bedroom yet. You want the reader to want the characters to fuck. You want the reader to be practically begging for the characters to finally get to it. You want the reader to be gnashing his teeth in frustration that the characters are taking so damned long and then, finally, you will give the reader what he wants and he’ll come all over the keyboard. Mission accomplished.
Do you have the patience as an author to draw the story out this long? Is it even necessary? The answer to the second one is no. Like I said, look at a story like a sexual experience. It can be tantric; it can be a quickie. However, even quickies require some heated words and furtive gropings that make your partner not even care that it’s going to be short, because it’s also going to be sweet. Likewise with the story. You can make the plot nonexistent and not hurt the sexual tension in the least. However, take the tension away and you might as well stick the story in Non-Erotic. Coax the arousal out of the reader. Seduce them. Make them yearn for satisfaction—and, of course, make sure you give it to them.
So now you’re down to the sex. About friggin’ time. If you mess it up here, there’s no hope for the story. Don’t be timid about leaping in and giving every sordid detail; the reader really won’t mind. They’re kind of hoping for it. Now is not the time for evasion and euphemism—tell the reader what they want to hear! Think about it yourself: what sort of thing do you pay attention to in sex? What particularly turns you on? Is it the sight of your wife straddling you and riding your cock? What exactly about that? Her breasts bouncing up and down? The way she closes her eyes but her mouth always falls open in an O of pleasure? The way her hands claw at your chest when she comes? Dammit, write exactly that! What’s so erotic about giving a blowjob? Is it his sudden inhale of breath as your mouth first envelops his cock? The heavy soft heat of him against your tongue? His fingers twisting in your hair, coaxing you to go down farther, take him deeper? The moans he can’t hold back as he’s coming deep down your throat? Say all of that. Don’t limit yourself to mere actions—give the setting, the sounds, the taste, the little details. Even more importantly, give the reactions. Compare these two paragraphs:
They were surrounding her now. The first man pushed her to her knees and shoved his dick in her mouth. He pumped in and out for a few minutes, came, and stepped away to let the second man take his place. This one had a bigger cock. He made her take it all, cutting off her air as it pushed down into her throat. She gagged and held on to his thighs as he fucked her face, pulling out at the end to come all over her face and breasts.
They were surrounding her now, she noticed with a whimper. The first man pushed her to her knees roughly and shoved his dick into her mouth. “Yeah, bitch, take it all. Take every fucking inch of it.” He pumped in and out, enjoying the tears streaming down her face, until with a groan of pleasure he came in her mouth and stepped away to let the second man take his place. This one had a much bigger cock. She squealed in fear and tried to move away but he grabbed her head and shoved it down on his enormous cock. He made her take it all, cutting off her air as it pushed down into her throat. Panic flooded her mind, erasing all ability to think, erasing everything except for fear and the humiliation at being so totally used by these men. She gagged and held on to his thighs as he fucked her face brutally, pulling out at the end to come all over her face and breasts. With each pulse of semen that hit her, she moaned weakly.
The first paragraph reads like a shopping list: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. There’s no reflection on what any of it means to the characters and so it feels empty and unsatisfying. You don’t really know much of anything about what the characters are feeling, if they’re enjoying themselves, what emotions are going through their heads, and so on. The second paragraph takes the same sentences and fills them out with more details. I find “sound” descriptions particularly arousing and so I pay special attention to dialogue and moans, whimpers, squeals, and so on. If you’re more visually-oriented, give lots of details about the look of disgust and terror on her face as she is forced to suck these men off. There are an infinite variety of ways to play with description and make it unique to you. It just takes a little self-reflection and patience. The end result is more than worth it.
So, to summarize, focus your attention on building realistic, unique characters. If your characters want to fuck each other, we ought to want to as well. So make ‘em live, and make ‘em love. (Making ‘em love more than once probably won’t hurt your rating, either.) But don’t get to it too soon! Let them simmer in the stewpot of lust—and don’t ever, ever use that phrase in an erotic context. And finally, lock them in the bedroom and give the reader all the dirty details they could ever want. You’ve just written a lovely, quality piece of erotic fiction, my friend. Enjoy.