Have you ever thought about writing something real? You know, something important?
It’s not usually asked with real malice, but you can bet your sweet ass that I prickle all the same each time someone puts the question to me. I often nod and smile, saying I write all sorts of things, but I try to stick with what I know best, and sex is at the top of the list. Everyone has sex I’ll tell them, or at least most people do. And for so long we’ve left it out of our books as if it’s not a giant part of the human experience.
But none of that is enough. That borderline polite conversation doesn’t get to the heart of it, and the heart is important. The blood is important. The breath is important.
Erotica is important, yes because sex is a part of the human experience, but of course so is water. We all eat and we all have to sleep too, so why don’t I write about those things instead? What is it about sex that stands out as something in need of examination through fiction?
And the answer is that we’ve perverted the sexual experience in the most traditional sense of the word. We’ve taken a normal part of human existence and loaded it up with so much baggage that the only way to unpack it is through myth, fiction, and dialog. Sure we can write textbooks, but they only give us part of the solution. Educating our minds as to facts is important, but we tell stories for a different reason.
Stories allow us to experience something without having to do it. There’s a great lie that says if we’re exposed to violence or sex through games, films, or novels that we’ll act them out, but in fact, these tales have always allowed us to feel things first and then decide how to act. We know what’s it’s like to be burned by hubris without having to fly close to the sun. A textbook can tell you what an orgasm is, but it can’t tell you what it feels like. A how-to-film can show you what sex looks like, but it can’t give you the emotional sensations of experiencing it.
But a great novel or a great film can make your heart race and your palms sweat. A good book can pull tears from your eyes and laughter from your chest, the experiences almost as real as if they were happening to you. So when we write about sex, we let ourselves explore our own fantasies in a way that is safe, sane, and consensual before we test drive them with another person. Knowing what a blowjob is is vastly different than experiencing one, and writing and reading give us the chance to work through everything that surrounds it from emotions to physical sensations and social repercussions.
Erotica isn’t just about the mechanics and it isn’t just about the morality. It lets us explore one of the largest and most complicated aspects of human experience with depth, compassion, and freedom. Dirty books don’t just tell us what a threesome is, they let us know what it feels like to let go and do something risky. Dirty books can let us know how to physically have anal sex, but can also advise us on what it might feel like emotionally, both during the act and also the next day. Through sex, we experience love, pain, loss, elation, jealousy, anger, and fear. And if we don’t write about it (and therefore read it), with honesty and in detail, we are simply left with our cultural messages of guilt and shame.
I write erotica because I’ve been told from a young age that sex is dangerous and dirty. I write it because each one of us has been told that our desires and our wants make us broken, and I want to tear that lie apart as brutally and fully as possible. It’s scary to let ourselves go to places we have been told are dark, but if we’re ever going to unpack the baggage, reverse the damage, and emerge healthy and whole on the other side, we have to do it. I write erotica to turn you on and to turn myself on. I write it to explore desires that confuse and upset me, and I write it to fight back against cultural institutions and messaging that tell me those things are wrong. I write erotica to feel, to experience, and to learn.
Most of all, I write erotica to say one thing: you are okay. You are normal. The things you want and the things you desire make you human. And that is a message that most of us could hear as many times a day as it takes for us to believe it.
So pick up a dirty book and remind yourself. Flip through the pages one-handed and know it is true. Close your eyes and let whatever comes to mind come as it will. Sexuality, with all of its complexities, is a part of what makes us human and alive.
And that is just as it should be.
I hope you’re all having a good day so far.
This morning I’ve been thinking about dirty books and why I’m so drawn to them. I always enjoyed reading smut, ever since I found a Penthouse in my dad’s sock drawer and discovered the Letters section. Once the web came along I found Literotica, along with chat rooms and other places to read and share stories about sex and relationships.
And now that I’ve been writing them for somewhere between five and twenty years (do I count those early letters I wrote in college to friends half way across the country?) I’ve started to distill down my thoughts and reasons for being such an advocate.
Here’s what I’ve come up with this morning in terms of my core beliefs around reading erotica and stories about sex:
- Dirty books are a fun and safe way to explore our turn-ons, kinks, and desires
- We all have the right to get excited by what we’re excited by without shame or guilt
- Books are the perfect place to explore kinks and turn-ons that we find immoral or unsafe in real life
- Sharing stories is a great way to communicate with our partners about what we like and what gets us off
There are times when I think books and stories can and should be used to model good behavior, safer sex, and healthy relationships. But there is certainly room–necessary room I think–to read and write stories about horrible, taboo, illegal, or otherwise immoral things.
And personally, I enjoy writing both.
So there you go. If I have any core beliefs around what I do for a living, I suppose that’s about as close as it gets. And I’m glad that so many of you have affirmed my understanding by sharing your own stories of how reading and writing has expanded your imaginations, your sex lives, and your understanding of yourselves as sexual animals.
I hope you’re having a good day, and thanks again for being so great. Especially this week as I’ve been dealing with the fallout from losing my distributor. You’re all the best, and you keep me inspired to write every day.
We were in the middle of drinking through her sorrow when she kissed me.
It had been a rough afternoon with a lot of tears as she told us about her breakup, and we poured whiskey into the wound like we had a prescription. We laughed in the quiet moments, and we tried to cheer her up with words when there were no words that would work.
“That was better,” she said leaning back. I shook my head because we had never kissed before, and Rob just smiled because he didn’t know what else to do. Which is when she turned and kissed him too.
“Did that help as well?” I asked, moving in between her legs as he wrapped his arms around her.
“It’s a start,” she said, pulling me closer. I could see the change in her eyes and I could hear it in her voice. It was part anger, part desire, and part grief, and it made the room start to wonder what was next.
She kissed me again as Rob’s hand slid under her shirt, and by the time her hand moved to my belt his mouth was on her bare stomach and moving south. Her words turned to mumbles as she pulled me from my jeans and all I could think about was how badly I wanted her.
“Oh fuck,” she moaned as Rob opened his mouth between her legs, the cotton soaked through before he pushed it to one side. But then her mouth was back on me, sucking my cock in frantic gasps as I gripped her hair and closed my eyes.
“I want to be fucked,” she said looking up as the world stopped to breathe. A silence hung in the air because neither one of us had done more than hug her before and it was a cold afternoon with whiskey and tears and my god did we want her too.
Rob moved up her body removing clothes as he went, and we were done talking. My shirt, his pants, her bra, they all found a pile on the floor before he pulled her onto his body as he fell back onto the bed. His fingers were between her legs, opening her as I watched, and then it was my turn to taste her as she spread her thighs wide and grabbed me tighter.
“Now,” she moaned as I moved up, pushing her down onto him, his back to the bed and his cock against her ass as he grabbed her breasts, bit her neck, and tried desperately to touch all of her at once. I found my way into the tangle of limbs and rubbed against her wet cunt for exactly four seconds before I was inside her and she was kissing him and moaning my name.
Somehow he held her still, pressed between us as we fucked, and when I kissed her neck and then his mouth it didn’t matter at all. She turned and watched us kiss, my cock still inside her, and I think I saw her start to cry once more.
In a blur of movement, she ended up on her back with Rob between her legs, fucking her as she took me into her throat again and again. I kissed him once more and then pulled on her hair, and the music got louder and his voice grew deeper and for those long minutes in her tiny bedroom on her tiny bed we were the only thing that mattered.
Some of it’s a blur of saliva and come as we scratched and cried, climbing one peak and then another before starting all over again. He got me hard in his mouth when I didn’t think it was possible, and she pushed him out of the way to take him inside her again.
In the end, I held her in my lap, growing soft within her as he wrapped his arms around her from behind. He kissed her neck and she let her head fall onto my shoulder. He touched my hair and I felt his fingers as I took his hand.
“Are you okay?” I finally whispered, looking down into her deep brown eyes.
“I think so,” she said quietly. She turned, almost shy for the first time all day and she touched her lips to Rob’s for a long second. She did the same to me before leaning back and smiling. I kissed her collarbone and she giggled. He nibbled her ear and she laughed.
“At least I’m with friends,” she said.
“Friends who love you,” I whispered.
“Friends who aren’t done fucking me?” she asked with a grin.
And then it was tangled limbs and a different sort of tears as we laughed and smiled then laughed some more.
Since my distributor is shutting down I need another plan for selling books. I don’t know what that is or will look like.
But in the meantime, here are the 31 books I published via Pronoun.
It’s a big download with three file types for each of my 31 books (.epub, .mobi and .docx). The payment is via paypal by way of SendOwl and should be fairly straightforward.
As for tomorrow? I guess I’ll have to figure it out then.
Thanks again for all your love and support.
“Show me what’s under your dress,” I said, as she lay down on my bed with a shy smile.
“There’s nothing,” she whispered, her knees touching even as she sat up on her elbows. Her cotton dress was pretty and old, and it sat on her thighs completely aware that it was in the way.
“I’m sure that’s not true,” I said. “Show me.”
She bit her lip and reached one hand down to grab the frayed hem. Just hours earlier she had confessed that she would do anything, and as my requests grew more and more insistent her hesitation came with a quickening breath and a flushing of her cheeks.
I leaned in closer and grabbed one knee, pushing her legs open as I watched. She whimpered ever so slightly as she lifted the dress up, sliding it over her thighs until it finally rested on her belly.
“Open your legs,” I said, my voice no longer sounding like my own. This time she leaned back and closed her eyes, doing just what I told her. I slid a hand up one thigh and down the other, listening to her sigh as I quickly passed her over. When I kissed her stomach she moaned my name, and when my fingers touched her lips she nearly jumped off the bed.
Her pussy tasted like summer. She was coconut and salt water; she was hot sun and bare skin. I licked her and kissed her, my fingers pushing inside her as she lifted her hips off the bed and pulled me to her. My tongue found every inch of skin it could, and I tasted her until she was inside me.
By the time I moved up to her mouth, her hands were around me pulling me in. I tore her dress off her shoulders, aching to feel her skin against mine, and I kissed her hard as I thrust inside her. She screamed out as I worked my way in, and when she had taken all of me we paused and kissed until there were tears in our eyes.
We fucked slowly, all the energy of reaching this moment held tightly in. I held her hands, she clenched her thighs, and we nearly held our breaths as we moved within one another. When my fingers touched her chin they were firm and unshaking. When her hands touched my face they were strong and determined.
As our fucking moved in just one direction the tension built until both our bodies were springs ready to snap. I leaned up on my hands, watching the mechanics of our sex before kissing her once more and giving her her final task.
“Come for me,” I demanded, as I thrust all the way inside her. She reached a hand between our bodies, her fingers frantic against her skin, and we climbed the final peak together. We moaned and screamed and made faces that were full of nothing but need. When she finally shouted her release I was right behind her, my cock exploding within her as we kissed between ragged breaths. We came for hours and days. We came for months and for seconds. We came without end, and I stayed within her even when I collapsed against her wet skin and kissed her lips with tenderness once more.
“I knew there was something beneath this,” I whispered, toying with the cotton that still clung to her hips. “Something perfect.”
Yesterday, my distributor Pronoun announced that they’re shutting down. Which means that the 31 books I’ve published through them (and have been distributed to Amazon, Google, Kobo, B&N, and Apple) will all vanish from the retailers at the end of the year. And along with them will go my book pages and my author page, all of which I’m currently linking to through hundreds of blog posts, social media links, and ads.
So, I suppose I have my work set out for me. Do I start over and just find a new distributor? Can I trust another company not to go the same way? Should I just sell books directly and say fuck the retailers? Should I try to find a publisher that wants to buy the full collection? Should I quit writing and go get a job on a tugboat?
Last night I was angry, frustrated, and overwhelmed. I’ve spent the last year adding all of my books to Pronoun, updating my author page, creating ads and links, and generally building my entire model around their platform. Which in retrospect feels silly, but also (at least in the moment) makes me feel like I’ve wasted a year’s worth of work.
The reality isn’t quite as dire as all that, although it’s not pretty. I suppose I have a chance to reevaluate my business and my writing, but that silver lining isn’t feeling especially exciting to me.
One nice thing they did do as they’re shutting down was to let me export all of my books into one giant file. Which means I have a zip file of 31 books including .mobi, .epub. and .docx formats for each one.
I’ll probably put together them all together as a package deal in case anyone wants to buy a shit load of my dirty books for less than the $95 it would cost to get them all separately.
So, today I’m going to reassess things, start working out a plan for moving forward and spend a lot of time cuddling Little Z. And tonight I’ll head over to Tableaux and commiserate more with Jack over a strong cocktail.
I hope you’re hanging in there and doing alright. And I hope that whatever adversity you’re dealing with today also inspires you. I think you’re doing great.
Jane sat on the bed smoking and staring at me with a grin I found joyfully familiar. I took another few drags off my cigarette before crushing it out on the ashtray, and I instantly moved closer to her on the bed with just one thing on my mind. She grinned again, and I put my hand on her leg, feeling her strong muscles through her skin-tight jeans as I leaned in closer.
“Your thigh trick won’t work on me,” she whispered, without making any effort to move my hand as it slid its way up her leg.
“Does it have to?” I asked.
“You’re impossible,” she said before I leaned in and kissed her. She tasted like smoke and curry, and everything about her was so damn familiar I almost couldn’t handle it. I pulled her closer to me, and she took a final drag off her cigarette before smothering it out as well. She wrapped her legs around me as we kissed, and I reached up under her shirt and undid her bra.
“What am I going to do with you?” she asked
A second later, her shirt was gone, and we were done talking. I kissed her familiar chin and then her familiar neck. Her familiar hands undid my jeans, and her familiar breasts crushed against my bare skin in a moment of joyful reunion. We tore at the rest of our clothes, kicking our jeans off onto the floor until we were entangled in each other’s naked bodies for the first time in over a year. I made my way down her body until her legs opened around my neck, and she cried out when my mouth found her.
“Oh fuck, I forgot how good you are at that.”
She was wet and delicious, and I ate her pussy until she finally pulled me back to a kiss and shoved a condom into my hand. My fingers replaced my tongue as we rolled over on the bed, and she thrust down against me as my mind slowly shut off. With her help, I got the condom on, and then she was on top of me, and everything else was gone. The drive vanished, college was a distant memory, and my break-up might never as well have happened. Jane’s pussy was the only thing in the world that mattered, and it wasn’t until I was close to coming that I realized there were tears in my eyes.
She bit my shoulder and pulled me to her as we fucked, and it was all I could do to hold off the inevitable. I moved my hands over her body until they slid down her back, not wanting to leave her behind. She knew as well as I did what I was about to do, and her whole body tightened. I pulled her onto me, looking up at her heaving breasts, and her eyes closed in ecstasy. She pushed down on me as I grabbed her ass in one hand, and when my finger found her tight hole, she screamed out. I worked it into her ass as we fucked, and she bit her lip so hard I thought she might bleed.
It only took a few minutes of me fingering her ass for her to start coming, and I was right behind her. I threw her onto her back, her body still trembling, and I pistoned in and out of her for all I was worth.
“Fuck me,” she moaned. “Make me come, Thomas. Do it.“
And then I was gone, exploding into the condom as she stared into my eyes and tightened her legs around me. I kissed her mouth between gasps, and my own ass tightened as I came over and over again. She brushed my hair from my face, and I kissed her chin as we stared into each other’s eyes. With a sigh, I touched her cheek before I reached down and squeezed the condom around the base and pulled out of her.
I got up and walked to the bathroom where I dropped the condom in the toilet and pulled a washcloth off the shelf. I ran some warm water, wet the rag, and made my way back to the bed. She had lit another cigarette, and I gently wiped the sweat from her body. She shook her head at me as I did it, but she didn’t stop me. I finally tossed the rag onto the floor, and she reached a hand out so I could take a drag off her smoke.
“I forgot that you know that thing about my ass,” she said.
“Jane, everyone knows that thing about your ass.”
“I am so happy to be here,” I said, leaning back and staring at the smoke as it left my mouth. “And not just so I can sit here naked in bed after fucking your brains out. I just had to get the hell out of Indiana. I don’t know. I needed old friends again, you know? I needed some city and something other than politically correct wannabe lesbians arguing with me about semantics. Fuck, it’s good to see you again.”
“You so did not fuck my brains out. It was nice, but brains are still here. Why do I always say yes to you?”
I lit another cigarette, and she nestled in under my arm as we shared it. The wind through the window was warm, and our bodies were too. I kissed her hair, and she ran her fingers up my leg, both of us lost in our thoughts. My few minutes of blissful forgetting were gone though, and I was back to thinking full time no matter how hard I tried. But, it was fine. Everything was going to be okay. I was back in the city and Jane was naked and smoking; the world was as it should be…
“It was definitely over the top and not for the faint of heart. There are some disturbing situations in this story that are really, well, hard hard hard limits for me. But I couldn’t stop reading. The writing sucked me in from the very beginning (no pun intended……well, maybe). The ending was not what I expected, but I can’t imagine it ending any other way. I am now very excited to read his other works.”
-Four Star Amazon Review
When I was twenty-two, I spent six months writing a novel by hand in a coffee shop in New Jersey. I had graduated college a year before, worked for a small Japanese start-up selling automated toilet seats that wash your ass, and I was not lost. I was taking a well-deserved break, writing a book, and dreaming of my life as a literary hero for the first time. I told myself that eight hours a day at the coffee shop counted as a real job, and so I sat with my notebook on my lap, flirting with the baristas as I put my thoughts down on a page.
The novel came from a suggestion I made to a friend after graduation. We were stumbling around drunk pondering our futures, and he confessed to me that he was concerned about what his options were now that he had finished with a degree in philosophy. What the fuck can I do with this? He asked, waving the paper in the air.
In my similarly altered state, I suggested his degree might best be served by finding a small island in Greece, writing the great American novel, and then burning it one page at a time. I had recently read a poem by Mark Strand called Eating Poetry and I was obsessed with what it meant to devour words. Mostly I wanted to know what it would be like to create something and then instantly destroy it, leaving all traces of obligation and responsibility behind. He laughed and we kept on walking and drinking, and a year later I decided it was a good place to begin.
I set it in Greece with a lost American stuck on a small island with friendly people who accepted his eccentricities. He wrote page after page before burning them, watching the ash fall over the blue-green waters of the Aegean. As he continued in his strange ritual, he slowly began to lose the ability to distinguish between the words he was writing and the life he was living. Was the new arrival on the island somehow the character he had just created? He tested his theories, writing them into stranger and more intimate situations, hoping that if he had his character crawl into the visitor’s bed that maybe his hostess would do the same to him.
It was a novel full of mystery, want, and confusion, mirroring my own fear of creating something that might be bigger than myself. The book was juvenile, touching, and strange. I wrote sex scenes after staring at the girls behind the counter of the coffee shop, and I shared them with them, excusing my behavior as that of an artist. They blushed and smiled and told me I was a writer. A good writer.
When the book was done, I passed up an opportunity to do anything about it. I was out drinking at a local bar with some friends from high school, and one of their father’s happened to stop by to hear the band play. He was the president of Penguin and he offered to have one of his editors look at the book for me. I was grateful and excited and it was a story I told over and over again even as I did nothing. The pages were typed up on my father’s computer, the book was done, and yet I might as well have burned them too, letting them vanish into the autumn sky.
I never sent the book, he never gave it to an editor, and it would be years until I came back to it, rewrote it entirely, and put it out under a name that was not my own. Even then, fifteen years later, I didn’t have the nerve to send my thoughts out into the world without a caveat–without a warning and a disclaimer wrapped up into one. If you don’t like it, it was never me. It was him, on an island, with a silver zippo, burning pages because he couldn’t bear the thought that they might be read; they might be judged, and they might be found lacking.
After that, I took a few tries at NANOWRIMO otherwise known as Nation Novel Writing Month, because they told me if I wrote a novel I was a writer, and I wanted to believe it even if I already had my doubts. The first year I wrote an epistolary mess of a novel that was supposed to be a mystery but was mostly incredibly bad porn. I finished it in the month though and I realized that fifty-thousands words weren’t the hardest thing in the world. Especially for smut.
But it sat on the shelf somewhere, a bad print out of a horrible book, which thankfully nobody ever read. I’m sure I have it somewhere and maybe if I was horribly drunk I could jerk off to parts of it, although I suspect I’d simply cringe at my affectated characters, the bluntness of the sex scenes, and the forced plot I somehow managed to mangle along with everything else. Of course, it might still be hot all the same, because our brains don’t work the way we think they do. I’ve read horrible stories on Literotica that still got me hard, so maybe my glorious prose would do the trick. I remember one sister writing to another about how she fucked the bellboy at her hotel, and the simple fact that she described it in vivid detail, was so absurd and strangely erotica that it might do the trick.
But I learned then that smut didn’t really count. It wasn’t really writing, it wasn’t art, and it certainly didn’t make me a writer. I’m no Henry Miller and there was no poetry in my words, just lust and want and desire and bodies doing the things that they do. And somehow that felt unimportant along with unimpressive.
So the next year I went back to Japan, at least in my head, and I wrote a short novel about a ten-year-old girl who has to save her hot spring from the terrible hunters intent on capturing the last spirits left in mountains. It was sweet and meandering, and the voice was new and exciting! Everyone said it was the best thing I had written, and surely that must mean something! It wasn’t dirty, it wasn’t fluff, and it was sweet and charming in just the right amounts! I called it Spirits of The Onsen, and I based it on a hot spring I had visited with my classmates in college the last few days of our exchange program.
We spent a night or two in the county with the snow falling outside on the river as we climbed naked into the hot water next to a cadre of Japanese grandmothers. They laughed and smiled at us, pointing at our foreign bodies as we gathered around the stone wall to look out at the falling snow. It was beautiful and glorious, and my god did I fall in love with Sarah’s ass. We had been in Japan for months together, she was beautiful and aloof, and suddenly there she was bending over the side of the bath with her ass half covered by the steaming water and I was in love. I had never seen an ass so perfect or a girl so beautiful, so of course I said nothing. I did nothing, and yet the memory is still burned into my mind because that’s what I do.
Once more, I realized that if somewhere along the line we had slept together it would have vanished from my memory along with every other normal thing. But instead I had a glimpse of perfection that I couldn’t let go off, and even now if I close my eyes I can picture the light blonde hairs on the small of her back and the curve of that delightful bottom as the hot waters of the baths eased all of my pains but one.
So maybe it was her ass after all that inspired me to write a novel in a month about a girl in the bath, but if that’s the case I should send her flowers. The book is as tender as my restraint and as chaste as my regret. I finally printed it out with Amazon’s print on demand service, and I gave it to my mother for Christmas because it was something she could read! It was years later after everything else had filled in the gaps, but it was something all the same. The book sat on my shelf for years, like a tickle in the back of my mind reminding me that maybe I could write. Maybe I could do something important, and maybe, if I was lucky, I could create something that would move people.
And of course, it reminded me that sex wasn’t all that important anyway, and if I wanted to be a real writer, I had to abandon the words that ran through my head each time I picked up a piece of paper. No sex on the train to Athens, and no dirty letters from one sister to another. I didn’t need a heart shaped ass in a hot tub to keep going, and if I was going to try I had to leave it all behind.
It took me nearly ten years to realize just how wrong I was.
Get out the lube and start writing
People will tell you that writing is a grueling, miserable occupation, that should only be undertaken by the strong of heart and the bulletproof. They’ll inform you that you have to born a writer, and if you lack that certain something (they never know what it is), you’ll be mediocre at best. They’ll also tell you that the earth is 4,000 years old and racism is a myth, so don’t believe a fucking word they say.
Every single one of you can make people come using just your words. Okay, you can’t force them, but you can inspire, excite, and entice them. You can seduce them, arouse them, and make them fall off their chairs laughing. And if you want, you can probably get them to come and laugh at the same time.
Writing is a skill like any other, and you can learn it. You can learn to tell stories, you can learn to form incredible sentences, and you can learn to turn people on. It may take courage, and it will take work, but if you want to write dirty things you’re in good company. Some of the greatest people in the world have sex, and many of them write about it as well.
So, without further ado, here are my ten easy steps to becoming a moderately successful author of erotica:
Step one: have lots and lots of great sex.
Step two: write about it.
Step three: have sex with someone other than yourself
Step four: move out of your mother’s basement
Step five: go to Paris with a girl who says she loves you but then hooks up with an Italian street artist instead and breaks your heart
Step six: write a bunch of dirty letters, finish college, have a few threesomes, explore your bi side, and make a shitload of mistakes
Step seven: find a super kinky girlfriend who will encourage you to do stuff that makes you uncomfortable
Step eight: go to therapy
Step nine: read what you wrote about sex in step two
Step ten: write the truth
These steps won’t work for everyone, and you might even argue that they didn’t work for me. My forty-seven fans might disagree, though. You might also think that step ten is the most important and that I could have cut out all the others, but truth is relative and often it’s not very sexy. What I should have said was write enough of the truth and fake the rest.
When I first started writing erotica, my motto was “write till you’re hard.” If it turned me on, I would write it down. And it’s still often a good judge of how something will be received, but it’s not the end all and be all of writing hot sex, because there’s no accounting for taste, mine included. Some people like things I don’t and some people find words sublime that I find trite and vice versa.
But it’s a place to start. When you sit down to write some hot sex, “what turns me on right now,” is as good a place as any to find inspiration. The next step is honesty. And I don’t mean you have to be honest with your readers. In fact, I think that’s probably never true. You can lie to your readers all day long if you want. It’s called fiction. I mean you have to be honest with yourself. You have to look at your current fantasy and figure out what’s turning you on about it. What part of the fantasy can you not get out of your head? What’s the one thing in the story that makes you want to tear someone’s clothes off and do squelchy things with them?
For many of you, this may be a creepy thing.
Let’s face it; our turn-ons are rarely politically correct.
Just think of the names that we call each other in bed: baby, slut, (baby-slut?), piglet, whore, daddy, little girl, bitch, lying-cheating-bastard, chubby, Mandingo, Chloe Moretz, uncle, honey, cum-dumpster, and everyone’s favorite Game of Thrones inspired name, Hey Little Sister.
Now, if you want to write a story using all of those words at once, I salute you and pass the fucking torch. You don’t need me anymore. But in all seriousness, our kinks and our turn-ons are not always what we like to think they are. We don’t all get turned on by love (although that can work too) and sweetness. We push boundaries, find places that make us and our lovers uncomfortable, and sometimes we even fuck up and go over the line. And that’s the entire point of fantasy. That’s what we’re supposed to do, and that’s the place we dirty writers live. Because we’re not idiots, we can distinguish between fantasy and reality. And I think most readers can do that as well. We all understand that the idea of being kidnapped by five sexy men and the reality of it are not the same thing. And that’s a good thing.
If you want to make a lot of money, it helps if you love money. I don’t mean love having money, or even spending it. I mean it helps if you love everything about money. If you’re interested in how it’s made, where it comes from, how it’s valued, and everything in between, you’re far more likely to have a lot of it. You have to pay so much attention to money that it’s almost all you think about. Once you understand it, focus on it, and adore it then you can set your mind to making as much of it as possible.
And the same goes for writing about sex. So before you decide that you’re going to dig out those crusty copies of Penthouse Forum, the old typewriter, a bottle of scotch, and then sit down to write the great American Erotic Novel, you have to be sure that you sincerely like sex. Sure you got laid last week, and it was like totally awesome, but that’s not the same thing. What kind of sex was it? What did it feel like to your partner? What was so good about it and what was just mediocre? Why did you like it? What was your favorite part? How did you decide to have sex, and how much did you talk about it before and after?
I’m not saying you have to be a sex god to write great sex. In fact, I don’t think it’s all that important. What is important is that sex interests you. Have you ever read an article, or even a book, where it was clear that the author didn’t like their subject? If they hate it, that’s one thing, but nothing is less enjoyable to read than disinterest. If you can tell the author just doesn’t care about stamps, then there’s no reason you should either.
So think about it. Many of us think about sex frequently, but it takes more effort to think about thinking about sex. When does it most often come to mind? What’s going on in my life when it does? Is it in the morning? Is it while I’m in the shower? As soon as the girl in the next office walks in with a skirt so short I have to resist bending her over my desk? And then, of course, there are my hangups, my fears, my turn-ons, my shame, guilt, and joys. When was the last time sex made me laugh? When was the last time I cried? Why is it that sometimes I come within seconds and others it’s all I can do to fake it?
This book starts by examining own personal experiences because no matter how real or made up a story may be, our lives are some of the best fodder we have. I then move into short stories–which is mostly about narrative arch–and how to build tension in small ways. We’ll talk about full-length novels, character development, fetishes, dialog, blogging, and we’ll even touch on publishing.
There are a million books on formatting, self-publishing, marketing, and promotion, but this isn’t one of them. At the end of the day, the most important thing for any writer to do is to keep writing. So, with that in mind, I hope to give you some tools to do just that. Every chapter has a short exercise at the end, with a hashtag in case you want to share your work on Social Media. And some of the chapters also have thought experiments in the middle. Feel free to share those as well.
So after you’ve had your heart broken in Paris, after you’ve gone to therapy, and after you’ve listened to your own truth with as little self-judgment as possible, you’re ready to pick up the pen (fine, your laptop) and get started. The rest of this book will tell you–and show you–how to get the words down. It will show you how to keep at it, how to get better, how to make your readers come so hard they go blind, and then if you’re interested, how to earn money with your filthy little monkey mind. So, sit down, get comfortable, and don’t forget that lube. It’s going to be a slippery ride.