When you write erotica, you want to create sex scenes that are evocative and even graphic — but not tasteless or misogynistic. You also want to avoid sexy phraseology that makes readers squirm.
Start by reading erotica to learn what readers expect from this genre. Then, try to write a little every day in a dedicated Google doc or Word document.
1. Focus on your body
Focusing on pleasure and cultivating a good relationship with your body plays a large role in eroticism. This can be a challenge for anyone who feels self-conscious about their body, so it’s important to work on embracing your sensual and sexual feelings.
Try focusing on skin sensations and smells while in the shower or bed, to practice staying present. If you start to get distracted, simply return your attention to the pleasurable thoughts and emotions. Treat any distressing ones as background noise.
Psychotherapist Esther Perel says erotic couples give each other a lot of sexual privacy and understand that foreplay starts after the previous orgasm. This shows that they prioritize sex over a laundry list of responsibilities.
2. Be present
Engaging with your erotic energy can be an amazing source of pleasure. It can also bring a sense of aliveness and vitality to your life and relationship.
Your erotic life is an internal landscape of sensations, passions and fantasies that often represent unmet needs or unresolved conflicts. To gain access to this energy, it’s important to be fully present to your own direct experience.
This can be done through activities, interests and personal passions that define who you are. For example, you could try dancing, taking a trip or learning an instrument. Anything that turns you on and engages your sense of curiosity and playfulness can be erotic.
3. Let go
Most readers pick up an erotic novel for the escapism it provides. They want to get away from the dirty streets of real life and let their imaginations take them to a place where everything is possible.
Make sure your characters have a place to escape to in your story: a moonlit beach, a sumptuous hotel room, or even a soft rug. Then you can use subtle cues, low lighting, and great music to guide them towards their climax.
Keep in mind that erotic writing is about the character’s journey to achieve a particular desire. The sexy scenes are just spice for the story!
4. Be honest
When we narrow eroticism down to sexual meaning, we miss out on its power as a transgressive force. This is why it is important to be honest about your sexual needs and desires, as well as the boundaries of your relationship.
Alyssa Morin is a Somatic Sex Educator and Relationship and Intimacy Guide. She weaves together a combination of mindfulness, soul-centric practices, and practical information to demystify pleasure, embodiment, and relationship without losing an ounce of the magic or mystery that is erotic.
She encourages couples to explore their erotic fantasies and pursue their own sensual interests independently of the other, as a way of enriching their intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
5. Be playful
Sometimes people feel erotic by looking at art (drawings, paintings and sculpture), watching a movie, reading a story or poem, or even just thinking about their own thoughts. Eroticism can also be triggered by certain movements and gestures.
Sexually playful teasing does not always lead to anything more. It can be a way to test the waters, or it can be a way to express feelings without needing to take the next step.
Bringing playful energy into everyday life enables us to keep our ecstatic fire alive. It allows for unique couple intimacy and enhances relationship satisfaction.
6. Be intimate
It’s important to focus on emotional intimacy as well as sexual connection. A great way to do this is through tantric sex. It’s also helpful to discuss what your expectations are with your partner during sex, which can help prevent conflict.
Try a romantic and sensual sex position such as the Eye Gazing Straddle with your partner. This tantric sex pose creates a lot of body-on-body contact and promotes slow and deliberate strokes.
It’s normal for desire to wax and wane in long-term relationships. However, if you are experiencing low desire, it is possible to reignite your passion.
7. Be passionate
Sometimes it takes a little bit of work to cultivate passion and increase desire in your sex life. But it’s a skill that can be learned.
When writing steamy romance or erotic fiction it’s important to have your characters go on a journey of attraction and growth. They need to know one another better, heal wounds and achieve their goals together.
This is why it’s so important to describe the scenes with details that spark the reader’s imagination and sense of touch. You want to set the scene with teasing, push and pull suspenses and the ultimate climax.
8. Be curious
Whether you’re exploring new foods, traveling to a different country or practicing your dance moves – being curious is one of the keys to bringing playfulness and aliveness back into your relationships.
Curiosity is also a key ingredient in healthy sexual expression. It allows longing and anticipation to flow in a way that doesn’t lead to obsession, stalking, or exploitation.
But Perel reminds us that romance isn’t intrinsically erotic. Even when it has “erotica” on the cover, a story about a love journey may explore the character’s emotional and sexual journey but it isn’t necessarily designed to show the development of a romantic relationship.