The Perils Of Being A Sex Writer
by Chris Bridges
Excerpted from the book “Giggling Into The Pillow”
Yeah, it sounds great. Spend your days, your nights, endlessly researching sex and all its positions, permutations and possibilities until you can’t walk no more. Instantly know the answer to any question anyone could ever ask you about the whole sticky business. Get more poon than Woody Harrelson. Get bulk discounts at Good Vibrations, get a good seat at Spago’s, get head from passing supermodels while their husbands hold their hair out of the way. Is that what you think it’s like?
Well, yes, it is. But you can’t imagine the responsibilities, the pressures, the sheer volume of knowledge you’re expected to retain to earn the honored title “Sex Expert.” If you choose this twisted career path as your own, here’s what you can expect:
First off, there’s the studying. It was easy for Masters and Johnson; they were making it up as they went along. But now there are thousands of sex books written every year — millions if you include the online crap — and you have to know every word. Just because you had a lot of boyfriends in college doesn’t mean you can start publishing right out of the gate; that amateur stuff won’t wash in today’s sex-savvy market.
You’ve got to know that a “Flying Philadelphia Fuck” traditionally involves a rocking chair, and that Havelock Ellis didn’t write “Deathbird Stories.” You have to know instinctively which chakra controls sexuality (hint: the one in the elbow) and which hot lube is more environmentally safe (hint: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bear Grease”). You have to keep a constant mental list of the best brothels in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Seoul, Tijuana and Dubuque. You have to stay on the cutting edge of medicine so you can answer embarrassing questions with confidence, such as “Which Jell-O transmits the AIDS virus the fastest in a bathtub?” You must be able to identify Egyptian erotic sigils by touch and every possible human fluid by taste. To be able to force that much accumulated human knowledge into your brain, I recommend selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, in horse dosages.
Next, you have to be personally experienced yourself. Marrying your high school sweetheart and maintaining a lifetime lover total of maybe two is not going to qualify you for your own radio call-in show, not on FM, baby. You need to experience every aspect of sexuality, regardless of how personally repulsive you may find it, or how anatomically awkward you may have thought it was. Read the great novels of unbridled sexuality — “My Life and Loves” by Frank Harris, “Fanny Hill” by John Cleland, or “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D.H. Lawrence. Non-stop chain-fucking, all of them, and that’s your goal. Push your body to its upper limits and then screw right through them. But don’t expert to live a long life. You’ll be healthy, with some surprisingly well-developed muscles in odd places, but the shelf life of a sex writer is not high. Dr. Ruth Westheimer is, in fact, only 33 years old. She knew the risks.
You have to be able to analyze the sex lives of your friends and family, even if they don’t know you’re watching. You must always keep that impartial observer alive in your skull.
“You like that, baby? Huh?”
“Ooohh, god, yes!”
“How about this?”
“Aagh! Oh, Jesus…!”
“Better than before?”
“Oh yeah, lover, yeah, just keep…”
“How much better?”
“On a scale from 1 to 10, how much better?”
“What? Oooh… I don’t know, 6 times better.”
“Really? That’s interesting…” [makes a note]
“What… what are you doing?”
“Nothing, baby. You are between the ages of 18 to 24, right?”
Don’t expect to keep a loving relationship going for very long. Not only does it limit you to an unsatisfactorily small statistical universe, but sex writers are better when they’re anguished and single. No one wants to read about happily married people; they want to read about other tortured single people, just with more hot stories. Only after you’ve assembled many years of wild dating stories can you allow yourself domestic bliss. Would Cynthia Heimel, Anka Radakovich, or Inspector Gadget’s wife from “Sex In the City” be as intriguing if they were all happily married? I say no! Maybe if they were all married to each other…
Then there’s the public pressure. Just like doctors, lawyers, and taxidermists, everyone you run into keeps asking you for free services. “Is my dick too small?” “Are my breasts too big?” “Why won’t my wife/husband/dog let me (fill in blank)?” “Does this feel inflamed?” “What’s Madonna really like?” It’s aggravating having people in your golfing foursome drop their pants and ask you the best ways to check for testicular cancer. You don’t dare let yourself be recognized on public transportation, lest you be inundated with requests for advice on multiple infidelity, anal sex, and necrophilia (or all three) from society’s less fragrant members. It’s so rude how beautiful women will come up to you in restaurants and ask for tips on their deep-throating techniques.
Well, actually, that’s pretty cool, but the rest is still annoying. And the worst part of the whole thing — you have to write about it all. You have to let people read about all the sick, depraved, twisted things you’ve done, with diagrams. If you become popular, you might even get on a national talk show where everyone can see you, even your mom. There is an upside, don’t get me wrong. Your sex life, at least theoretically, improves. You’re expected to surf for porn on the net at work. When you meet a new lover, you can coast on your reputation the first few times. You get on some amazing mailing lists. They let you get on stage at Aerosmith concerts. You get personal phone calls from Janet Reno, often with heavy breathing and minimal security taps.
And you get to write stuff like this.
One of the traditional romantic and sensual things a submissive male can do for his Dominant woman is provide a bath. Set out (or buy her new) soaps, lotions, scrub brush and so on. Pay attention to what she likes so you won’t get it wrong when the time comes for you to please her.
However, what does a poor boy do when his Dominant woman does not care for taking a bath? What if she is a shower only type? I myself, far prefer a steamy, hot shower to becoming waterlogged in a bath tub. The only plus I can see to it is soaking off some skin cells and reading a good book. But, I’d rather scrub off after the shower and read in a cosy coffee shop or an even cosier bed.
Does this mean a boy can’t please his Woman? Of course not, silly boys.
Instead of planning for her to have a long soak you plan a nice scrub. Get her a new bath brush. Yes, she may already have one in the shower or the bathroom. (If so, see that as a bonus in that you will know what to get her when you shop for a new brush). Find a brush with a nice long handle and if you don’t know what kind of bristles she likes find something that will give her a scrub but not hurt her lovely skin.
Next, find her some scented shower soap. This is not the same as soap for the bath. Bath soap is designed to sit in the water and not dry out the skin. Shower soap (or gel) lathers quicker and is meant to be washed off quickly rather than sit on the skin. Assume she has sensitive skin. Better to be have shower soap for sensitive skin and be wrong rather than finding out she has sensitive skin when she is all itchy or worse. You can get lovely smelling soaps for sensitive skin at places like the Body Shop. Find others by looking around, paying attention to where she already shops, or just ask her where she gets the soap she uses.
What scent does she like? Pick something she does not already have, but might like to try. If you know she likes lemony scents, get something citrus. If you know she likes floral, try wildflower scents. That should be simple enough to figure out.You may get the same scent for shampoo and conditioner or something similar. Make sure the shampoo is also a good quality in case she does have sensitive skin. Don’t get one which is very perfumy unless you know she uses something like that already. She could have allergies to perfume or any very strong scent. You may also pick up a body lotion, thinking along the same lines. Does she use a pumice stone or something else to slough off the skin at the bottom of her feet? Find out.
Every woman likes a different order to her shower. This is something you will have to find out as you go along. Be prepared. Have the shower soap, shampoo, conditioner, scrub brush and some lotion if she uses that ready. Bring it all into the bathroom and display it for her to see. She may prefer to shower without your help. Don’t argue, but you could offer to scrub her back if she wishes. This gives her a chance to decide if after all you could be useful as it isn’t easy to reach her own back for a good scrub. But, the long handled brush does help so she will be fine without you if that is her choice. Don’t push it! One of you is the submissive and it is NOT her.
If she does allow you to scrub her with the brush pour a little soap on the brush (or on her skin if she prefers) and brush her skin gently. Start with the back as this is a sensual area which gives you a fairly even surface to practice on. Take come time to find out how to stroke her skin. How hard or soft, which direction or is it best done in circles? Experiment and ask her what she likes. Next, scrub her legs and arms. Only work inward to her chest and belly when she signifies that she wishes you to do so. If you get this far don’t forget to scrub under her breasts not just the breasts themselves. This is a sensual shower but still a shower. She wants to come out of this as clean and fresh as if she had cleaned herself.
Have the shampoo and conditioner ready when she wants to wash her hair. She may prefer to do this first. If you wash her hair you should make sure the shampoo gets a good lather and once it does, massage her scalp. Rinse out the shampoo, it may need to be applied a second time to get a good lather and clean the hair well enough. The conditioner will have instructions for how long it needs to sit on the hair. Read them ahead of time and follow them. Rinse the hair well of all conditioner and shampoo. If the conditioner has worked well you should be able to carefully and gently finger comb her hair while still in the shower. This will make the job of combing out after the shower much, much easier.If she wants you to provide more service she will let you know. Don’t even ask her. Let her take the lead. You are there to give service, not take it.
If you have scrubbed her all over, including her face (using a washcloth). Step aside and begin putting everything away, or at least make it tidy on the bathroom counter. Stand ready for her to come out, holding a towel and have another on hand should she wish one for her hair.If she wants you to dry her off with the towel ask if she would like her skin to be rubbed or just daintily patted dry.
After the shower she may like the lotion or a pumice stone for her feet. You should have those prepared and set out for her as well. It may be your next service to apply the lotion or pumice stone for her. If not, stand outside the bathroom, out of the way until she calls for you or tells you to move elsewhere. You may dry and comb or brush her hair. Chances are this will not be something you can do without some previous training.
For thethis evening/ early morning, I wrote about writing erotica. Here for your viewing pleasure…
Writing is always taking a chance, putting yourself out there, on a limb. I think that is even more so when you are writing fiction with fewer guides to track yourself and maintain your anonymity. You are putting more of yourself on paper than you think at the time, if you’re doing a good job. Especially when you write about sex. It’s already a taboo, hushed up subject. So, to write about your personal sex life or your thoughts about the whole thing in general is kind of setting yourself up for a fall each time. You are exposing yourself to the judgment of the masses. Not so different from getting into a car every day and hoping no one will smash into you. We trust the other drivers to be self interested enough to avoid accidents. But, when you are writing, the self interest is all on the writer’s side. The reader is a complete unknown, out to please themselves.
Anyway, I decided to write about writing erotica. Most of the rules are the same when it comes to punctuation, grammar, spelling all that proper rules of the page sort of thing. I think the biggest challenge for writing erotica is keeping it from being boring. As if sex could be boring, right? Well, it can. Try reading the same thing a hundred times. He puts it in her, she likes it, they come. There, that’s a sex scene. Was it good for you?
While you wipe yourself down…
When a story has no real plot or character development, just mechanical sex with a lot of naughty words and phrases tossed in it becomes more stroke fiction than erotic fiction. This might please a reader who just wants to jack off but someone who wants to actually become aroused and linger in arousal leading to foreplay, will be disappointed and likely frustrated too.
Another unique challenge to writing about sex, the name calling. What do you call it? My personal preference is cock for the penis. It has a blend of cuteness and crudeness that I seem to favour. As far as the vagina, I’ve sort of settled on pussy for lack of anything better. I don’t like it though. If something else comes along I’ll be glad to switch. There are so many variations for breasts, vagina, penis, butt, sex, come and so on. As the writer you have to find words you can live with and words your readers won’t laugh at or not understand.
Avoid 10 inch cocks, breasts like watermelons, anything that will seem improbable to your readers. Errors of mechanics are just that, things that easily believed. You can’t have a character doing something that he/ she couldn’t physically do. That is where really proofreading your work comes in. See the action in your head as you read it over. Make sure it’s clear who is doing what to whom.
Erotic writing tends to use a lot of metaphors and similes. Things like “her pussy was wetter than the whole of Lake Ontario”. I’d personally choose not to use that one, though I did just make it up on the spot. (Don’t blame someone else). You want to keep your metaphors as part of the action, don’t make them stand out and drag readers out of the story and into your writing. The idea is to keep them fully involved in the action, not in your sensational writing. Also, use phrases that don’t sound gross or silly.
Break up your sentences and paragraphs. The breaks are the spots where the reader breathes and moves onto the next part of the action/ plot. You can also use short sentences to spike the action. A short sentence gets attention and stands out. But don’t go overboard. Any writing should have transitional sentences at the end of one paragraph and the start of the next, it keeps things flowing without awkward pauses while the reader catches up with you.
Don’t forget to use dialogue. This also breaks up the story and keeps it interesting. Reading solid text is boring. Just pick up a text book and see how erotic you feel. Reading solid chunks of text takes patience. When the action is moving fast your sentences and paragraphs should be short. Using dialogue is one way to keep things short and moving.
Sex is a sensual thing, it involves the five senses: touch, sight, smell, sound and taste. Include them in your writing. It brings things to life for the reader. Bringing senses into play draws them into the scene and the ongoing action.
Yet again, character development and motivation. Even erotica should have some point or reason. Why are your characters interested in each other? What are they thinking? How do they look? Who are they? When is all this happening? Give some purpose to the sex. Develop the erotica into a storyline, make things happen besides two bodies bumping together.
At the end, you need a conclusion, something to mark the end, to let the reader know it’s over and (hopefully) something to leave them wanting more. Articles and stories without some kind of conclusion aren’t artsy or dramatic, just frustrating. Remember, the point of erotica is for everyone (reader and writer) to have a good time.