Writing My Own Erotic Stories
A never-been-kissed junior high school student, I passed around a battered, spiral bound notebook full of the “naughty” stories I wrote to entertain my girlfriends. I may have been a virgin, but that didn’t stop me from using my Bic pen to write what I imagined to be passionate and shocking situations. My protagonist did all the bad things I didn’t dare to do: she swore, shoplifted, drank fiery amber liquids, smoked cigarettes, stayed out all night in short skirts, and lingered in the back seats of cars with cute boys. Fade to black, no graphic details.
My stories were diary-style confessionals, episodic, with no resolution. No mention was made of the narrator’s mother (presumed dead). Her father was conveniently working too much to pay much attention to what she was up to. My frame of reference was Nancy Drew, who bravely sought out dangerous situations, and answered to no one.
I had great fun with these imagined adventures, so when I had the opportunity to take creative writing classes in high school, I didn’t hesitate to sign up. This was my chance to write stories that were “meaningful” or “relevant,” not the kind of trivial stuff I wrote in junior high. What I came up with was a few dystopian, end-of-the-world cautionary tales, and some pointless descriptions of dreary conversations between people in stark waiting rooms. Geeze, I even bored myself.
In my 20s, long before DVDs, an old boyfriend liked to take me to a notorious drive-in that specialized in porn. I was shocked–not at the content, but by the fact that the stories in the movies were so poorly written: no emotion, no anticipation, no surprise–not even any humor. By then I knew having sex could be so much fun. These short movies were far from fun.
At a Border’s bookstore in the 1990s, I stumbled upon a collection of Black Lace books, erotica written by women, for women. I never knew such books were published, or that they could be found in a regular bookstore. They were hot, daring, satisfying, and delicious. I bought a small stack. And I kept going back for more. (Sad note: Border’s and Black Lace have both closed their doors for business since then.)
As much as I loved reading the Black Lace books, after a while I noticed a lot of the same predictable trends, especially in many of the early books: twenty-somethings with perfect bodies, having lots of sex in exotic locations, with super-rich alpha-males. Unrealistic and unimaginative. I could come up with a lot better than that, I thought.
And so I decided I should be writing my own erotic stories.
I wrote a wry short story about an outspoken bartender with a blue collar background, who was attending community college. (Scents and Sexuality, by Doriana Chase, published in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, by Cleis Press).
I also wrote several novels (unpublished, as of yet), where I actively avoid some of the erotica cliches. Among the characters: a plump and uninhibited chef, a long-married middle-aged couple, a recovering alcoholic, an introverted and lonely sailor.
At this stage of my life, I’m experiencing the joy of writing in a way I never did before. I feel the freedom of being able to write the type of stories I like to read, featuring realistic characters, with the kind of desires and vulnerabilities we all have. The sex is not an add-on to my stories, but part of the experience of being human, as it is in real life. I aim to be authentic, yet playful.
And I still use a Bic to write my first drafts–and I still pass my stories around to entertain my eager friends.
Writing My Own Erotic Stories
Here’s an exercise I want to share with you:
When I am about to write a sexy scene, the first thing I do is to go through my thesaurus for relevant words. For instance, for a scene set in a shower, I’ll look up words that are synonymous with “wet,” “slippery,” “sudsy,” and “steam.” I’ll fill a page or two, just brainstorming words, not even considering how they are going to fit – I might use them, or I might not. If I find a really good word – ”slick!” – I’ll start a new column, and write down words I found under the entry for that.
There comes a point at which it all becomes redundant, with some of the same words coming up, over and over, and I’ll just stop, and immediately start writing the scene. I’ll already have a list of sexy words to pull from, and the writing just flows after this warm-up. As Stella says, “Writing is play”.
I hope you find joy in writing your own stories–get out that thesaurus, and write some sexy scenes!
As an aside, Stella has some great free email classes that lead you through her process that helps you start writing your own sexy tales. Check them out here.