How to write an erotic story without falling in the usual clichés

Of course, these tips start from a totally subjective point of view. People are different, and we live our sexuality in multiple ways. What one person finds exciting, another may find disgusting.

These reflections were motivated by the visit to any forum of “erotic stories” whose name is not worth remembering. What is there generally surpasses the worst expectations: they are pure porn fantasies without a hint of imagination. It’s really very sad that the expression “erotic story” is used for that. Couldn’t you call it “letters for immature people who want to masturbate to the first thing they catch,” or “obscene nonsense scenes,” which even rhymes?

Well, it’s people’s problem to be content with those things. The fact is that other types of people like us are not content.

So we said to ourselves, “What if it turns out that there are people with a lot of potential but they don’t have a clear idea how to capture it?”; “What if, after all, those who enter there are not just three-to-fourth saltors, but people who don’t find what they’re looking for?

So, in a shameless attempt to showcase kind collaboration, we try to bring together some parameters – which you don’t even have to follow to the letter – that can be considered more or less basic for those who cultivate (or intend to cultivate) this literary genre.

1. First of all, consider whether you want to write erotica or pornography. There is nothing wrong with writing a pornographic story; there are very good – and very exciting – stories in which the dividing line between the erotic and the pornographic blurs. It is difficult to establish clearly what corresponds to each concept, and even more so now, when sexual morality is fortunately changing.

But in general practice, everything has its rules. Eroticism is delicate and sensual, suggests more than shows, makes metaphors and analyzes feelings.

It gives and demands quality. Pornography – “description of the obscene”- is more instinctive and rude, shows everything, uses direct and simplistic language.

A solid thread of argument (including the “argument” of the sexual act itself) corresponds to eroticism. One hundred bestial orgasms between expressions such as “30 cm cock”, “he ran seven times in a row in my mouth”, belong to the field of pornography (and absurd fiction in general).

2. Give your story a solid foundation. The erotic and sexual experience is never the same, just as places, participants or practices are never the same. Don’t just think of those who are going to fuck like robots. Who are these people? What brings them to such a situation, and why? How much time goes by in the story: minutes, weeks, months? All these preliminary considerations will be crucial in the narration.

3. Maintain a tone. What do you mean by the story? Is it the furtive encounter between two strangers who will never see each other again, the lonely experience of teenagers, the tense love triangle between a woman, her husband and her lover? What is the reaction, attitude, feelings, doubts and reflections and feelings of the characters?

One must look for the original concept of their story: for example, in these cases it could be the fleeting nature of desire, the loss of innocence and infidelity. Each of them must be treated in a different way, with particular languages, using techniques and resources as disparate as humor, hyperbole, flash back or analepsis, the use of dialogue instead of description…

Likewise, the creation of climates and environments according to the meaning of the narration is vital.

There is no need for a simple dust to make us reflect on the ultimate meaning of existence.

4. Avoid stereotypes such as plague. Please. Most are sexist, classist and ridiculous, if not directly humiliating, and constitute an insult to the intelligent reader.

Golden rule: never take the limited range of commercial porn as a reference.

The hackneyed subject of the sweet and pure “good girl” who is perverted, and who torments herself by saying to herself, “Oh, what a slut I am, how dirty I am! Not only does it give the image that all women, deep down, are whores; it is also associated with the thought of “even if I say no, I know what you like”. You have to have an exacerbated sadism to enjoy this torture of the girl. Sex is jolgorio, not harm. Moreover, there is nothing intriguing about this argument: it is known beforehand that everyone will end up banging her.

Women can fuck. Not only are they there to wear lingerie and get fucked. Likewise, the man doesn’t start and end at his penis.

Don’t fetish. Long penises, huge tits, depilations of inhospitable places, stiletto heels, nancygirls who always wear “oh-god-mio-lo-voy-teaching-all” clothes… all that pornography has described as “sexy” is cultural, and as such, not everyone may like it. And you don’t have to like writing it either. Rather than relying on imposing elements, adjust to your characters’ way of thinking and the situation.

Also, don’t mitigate situations. For example, our culture is obsessed with everything the “first time” understands. But don’t stick to that: the first one can be just as interesting as the fifth or the sixth, because each one can be first in its own style.

The happy ending and the experience that is always the most rewarding of all the participants’ lives. Could anyone make a change in this? Isn’t there bad sex, or emotional (or physical) pain, or even an ending that isn’t “and they ate partridges”?

5. Write profusely and sensually. Do not be afraid to narrate after the “black melt”. Out of contention! Use suggestive adjectives, narrate simultaneous actions and perceptions. You must become the five senses of the characters in the story. Your own story must excite you, if not in a purely physical way, at least in a spiritual way.

6. Maintain a certain degree of credibility for the average person. So don’t exaggerate. Sixteen-year-olds don’t usually go out without their underwear and participate in orgies with strangers at the market. Of course it can happen, but it would be much more credible if the girl went out with her panties on and fucked an ex-boyfriend in a dark alley near the market. At the same time, it is quite absurd for a boy to find his cousin in bed and agree to fuck him without further ado; what do both think of incest? Does the boy not feel rejection?

And like these, a hundred: multi-orgasmic women who faint and continue to fuck, young people who commit suicide after making love, chandeliers that get into vaginas or asses five times smaller… Be careful not to have a distorted view of sex; your stories must be plausible. If you are going to introduce fantastic or extreme elements, do it with moderation. The erotic story is one thing and the science fiction story is another.

7. If you write more than one erotic narrative, or several parts of it, the elements vary. This is very important. We all have our “kinks” (= eccentricities, mania), or small fetishes: situations that we like more than others, couples that excite us, postures and practices that we like… and it is not strange that we find ourselves describing similar things with almost the same words (this happens even to professional writers). But sex is full of potential. Give wings to your fantasy: try to get out of your preferences and explore new territories. Introduce different, rich themes, without prejudging them. They are fantasies. You’re not going to pervert by talking about a group sex experience. (Note: you don’t have to like your own sex either just because you’re excited about reading or writing a story about a homosexual relationship. We are human)

8. Be careful when flirting with non consensual sex. I don’t think this has been given enough importance. A rape is an abuse that constitutes a traumatic experience, and I find it rude for someone to describe it as sexy or exciting. All right, erotic stories are just fantasies and blabble, but they say STOP the complexes of the writer.

In addition, whenever a story is written that someone else has to read, we are reinforcing social models. And little by little that we slide showing a violation as gratifying we are subliminally saying that “raping is good and right”. The same with other attitudes where respect for the person shines for his absence. Let us not bet on anything that denigrates human dignity in any of its facets.

Generally, I don’t enjoy the idea of someone forcing someone else to do something they don’t want to do. However, I have read things that dealt with rape from parallel perspectives: the feelings that might lead a person to do so, the recovery of the person affected, and so on. In this case, the issue comes within a broader framework. At the same time, there is a whole series of events bordering on rape, in the sense that the person is not fully aware of what they are (being) doing: drug or alcohol effects, mind control (e.g., hypnosis), magic spells… There are also cases in which the person hardly consents (psychological pressure). All I can say is: Beware! These subjects can produce very erotic and well written stories, dominations so subtle that they overflow with morbidity, or fantasies that are somewhat taboo and stimulating, but… you have to be very skilful when writing them. And you have to be responsible and coherent.

9. Classify your stories, marking especially the paraphilias (=Psicol. Sexual deviation.). Many people read a story looking for something concrete, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Specify the characters and their sexual identity (in a trio: nene+nena+nene). If the story is VERY sex-oriented, you should also make a reference to the practices that take place. There are a number of Anglo-Saxon codes in this respect that we can castellanize, such as an oral history/anal/organy/gay/hetero, which should contain all these elements. In any case, never forget that the characters are (on paper) people, thinking and feeling beings.

10. Find out about the opposite sex. Men and women are much more alike than some people think, but we are also different. There are people who pretend to write about the opposite sex without even having any idea of its anatomy, proportions or cultural attitudes.

In this last aspect, women are often over-masculinized (e.g., assuming that they are always willing to talk about dirty things, when there is a whole cultural baggage that prevents it) and feminised men (e.g., men usually don’t cry when something goes wrong, they have a habit of repressing their feelings).

If you are going to narrate a homosexual encounter between people of the opposite sex to yours – case of boys who write about lesbians, girls with m/m stories…-, make sure that what is in your imagination has something to do with reality.

11. Watch spelling, grammar and semantics. It doesn’t cost you anything to pass a spell checker to your text, look up a word in the dictionary or put periods, commas and capital letters where necessary.

Be clear and concise in the construction of sentences. Watch the ilation and the structure; don’t take comforters out of nowhere, unless the characters are doing magic.

If you are not sure of the meaning of a word, replace it with a synonym. Be aware of the general meaning.

And above all, naturalness; don’t try to give an excessively cultured or sought-after impression. Sincerity is one of the greatest qualities when it comes to writing.

12. Fuck, it’s fiction. The nonsense of starting as if the story were a reality show (“Hi, my name is Pepe and this happened to me a month ago with my friend Pedro. I’m very embarrassed to tell it but I’m going to do it, and in addition, with profusion of details”) can be the most artificial and be an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

The fact that a story is presented as supposedly real doesn’t make it any more exciting, except maybe for some dummy who really believes that Pepe goes around telling his experiences in the forums.

The attentive and sensitive reader searches for a story that is interesting, exciting and well written, and doesn’t give a damn whether it really happened or not.

What’s more, he prefers fiction that is presented courageously as such, without silly tricks. And it brings Pepe’s life to life or what he can do with his friend Peter or with the neighbour of the fifth, because for me both are characters at that moment, and I don’t care if they really exist. What I ask is that they tell me the story with realism, not that they give me a certificate of authenticity and existence.