Recently, I found myself surrounded by accomplished writers of erotica, and an interesting conversation about the very act of writing about sex ensued. I contributed little at the time, my thoughts subdued by awe and wonder at the forces sitting around the table, but I’ve thought about a lot since then.
The general idea was thus: there are only so many ways to write about the physical act of sex. For writers of erotica, this is a shocking thing to admit, at least at first. Some of us make a living out of words, specifically, words describing the copious amounts of mind-blowing sex being had by heroes and heroines. If there are only a limited number of positions to write about, won’t we all run out of things to say someday? Maybe, but if we do, it won’t be for lack of trying.
Ok, let’s be honest. There are a limited number of ways to have sex. That number may be somewhere around 500 for the more limber, but eventually, there is going to be an end to the variety. Though it may not seem like it, the human body can only move, bend, twist, torque, and wiggle in so many ways! So if one were to write all of those stories, and more, once you have characters playing all those moves again and again, eventually, one will reach a point where there is nothing new to say. But herein lies the rub–that’s not the focus anyway.
In smut, and I call what I write solid smut, there is a lot of sex–straight-up sex, oral sex, twisty outdoor patio table sex, strap-on sex, blindfolded bondage sex, and then some–but while that may be a part of the story, it’s not the whole thing. The fun part, at least for me–as a writer and a reader–is the build-up. I love watching the characters flirt, play, tempt, and quiver while they wait for the big moment. And then that first moment is always awesome. And then, there’s even more fun afterwards as they get familiar and continue the relationship–but if they don’t, then that’s it. The focus of the story is the build-up and the big moment. So even if there are only so many positions under the sun, it doesn’t matter because the situation changes even if the position doesn’t. We can imagine cowboys, policemen, bad boys, doctors, and athletes–even if all of them end up traditional missionary, it’s still different because of the characters, because of the build-up, because of the desire that grows slowly or strikes hot and fast.
So while it may seem like it’s a dead-end road to write about tab A and slot B, there is infinite variety in writing about sex, not to mention love (something I occasionally touch on, but is not usually my focus), and it looks like we will be able to keep peddling our words as long as we can keep thinking of new characters to explore.