In a past post, I discussed some of the challenges male erotica writers face in a genre that is primarily dominated by women. One of those challenges is the issue of writing from the female perspective. That is, to write from the point-of-view of a female character. In most other genres, this is not a difficult task. Especially for legendary authors, like George R.R. Martin, who seem to know exactly how to portray women who are both strong, and vulnerable. However, in erotica, the challenge is much greater, as we will be scrutinized on how we portray sexual women.
Let me illustrate this point with an example situation I’ve seen many times in erotica reviews. A female author writes a story from the point of view from a woman, and her story is read by another woman. The reader has experienced similar events in her own life, and thinks, ‘my experience was different, but the character is still believable, so the story is good‘. Now, if you take the exact situation, but make the author a man, it’s more likely the female reader will think, ‘my experience was different, but this was written by a guy, so what the hell does he know?’. This is not the case for all readers, of course, but it is an ongoing challenge male writers face right from the start. But how can we effectively portray a sexual woman, who is also believable and relateable to all readers?
We can’t. But we can do the best we can.
There’s no way for us to know exactly how a woman will think, or act, in any given erotic situation. Sometimes, we’ll find, in life, most women will respond with the opposite reaction we use in our stories, which cuts into our credibility. In other cases, our portrayal of women in a certain situation will resonate with some women, and they can relate it to their own experiences. That is what you should try to aim for when you write. As the saying goes: you can please all the people some of the time, you can please some of the people all the time, but you can’t please all people all the time.
So how do we begin to write erotica in a way that can appeal to some of your readers, and begin to build credibility and legitimacy among female readers? Well, there’s a number of things to keep in mind when you begin writing your story. First, remember women are, at their core, complex creatures. Men are normally much more basic, so it’s easy to make us happy with straightforward gestures, like pulling us into the bedrooms, pulling our clothes off, and fucking our brains out. Women, on the other hand, don’t appreciate crudeness, frankness, or pure physical stimulation.
Women want to know more than just how big a man’s dick is, or how hard he rammed into her, etc. Instead, they want to know more about what the characters are thinking, what they’re feeling, and their motivations for this sexual interaction. Thoughts and emotions are powerful in erotica, and help tremendously when it comes to making your characters more human, and relateable. Ask yourself why this situation is happening, and what is causing this woman to consider sexual intercourse, rather than flinging their drink in the guy’s face.
You may have also noticed that I was just using a bit of crude language as well, just a minute ago. Your use of language is also going to be an issue when it comes to appealing to female readers. You may have noticed in a few of my stories, like the Teacher’s Pet, which I wrote back in 2013, the language I used was somewhat crude. Back then, I was only just getting back into writing erotica, and publishing it online. Technically, I was still a new writer, and was still making many of the mistakes new writers make. But my stories were short, and very quick to get to the action, and ended with instant gratification. I was later hired to start ghost-writing some erotica novels, with the requirement of each one being at least 5,000 words. I learned, very quickly, what the secret to writing good erotica was.
Take things slow.
I realized, if I wanted to reach my required word count, I needed to pace my story in a way that allowed me to stretch the events out over several paragraphs. You can probably find these writing tips just about anywhere now, but I had to learn these things through self-discovery. Using techniques like utilizing the five senses to describe a scene, abandoning the laundry list, and using a broader terminology can all help your story feel less like porn, and more like erotica. A bit of eloquence, and knowledge of the human body, can make your story that much more appealing. Let me show you…
Her perfect tits and ass looked so good in her underwear, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. I grabbed her tits, and squeezed them. That was when she moaned for me. I wanted to fuck her so bad, so I pulled off her panties, and pushed her on the bed. I got on top of her, and started fucking her really good. I pounded her like a jackhammer with my hard rod until she creamed on my cock.
She stepped into the doorway, a playful smile on her face, and her cheeks blushing for me as she revealed the new lingerie she bought as a surprise. My eyes looked up and down her body. Her panties hugged her hips with red lace, and cupped her perky mounds to give her a cleavage that would tease any man. My skin grew hot and flush, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I got up, and stepped in front of her, placing my hands on her hips. Her blushing face became a deeper shade of red. She was obviously nervous about wearing something so revealing, but I had told her once about how much I liked red lace lingerie.
Both examples are just one paragraph long, but you can see how one method works better than the other. The better example is able to describe everything that happens just in the first sentence of the wrong example, and still has room for much more description! You also get a much better picture of what’s going on in the second example, and have a better idea of the thoughts, emotions, and motivations of the man and woman. Now, while it may be obvious that a bit of crude language is needed for the description of the actual sex, you may want to avoid using terms like: cock, pussy, tits, cunt, dick, hard rod, ass, etc. Although, it’s acceptable to use these sparingly in your description. I often only use these terms to make certain actions sound more intense, like points where the sex is becoming rougher. If you find yourself using certain terms a little too often, then thesaurus.com will soon become your best friend.
The next thing you should know about is female personalities and archetypes. A great many of them exist, and it’s important to remember that they only exist as a point of reference. Remember, even though characters fall under an archetype, each person has their own qualities, personalities, fears, dreams, wants and needs. You’re not just creating a sexual partner, you’re creating a character your readers will want to know more about. Once you have a general ‘template’ of the person you want to create, give them characteristics that make them unique. Do they enjoy a particular sport, or a food, or some other activity? Do they have an alter ego they only show to certain people, but not others? Once you know these things, have those characteristics play a part in what drives them to have sex.
It may help to base your characters on people you already know. I know that seems weird to do with erotica, but it’s not a bad idea either. Of course, characters will seem more real if you base them on real people. But, if you’re still having trouble, you can get a better idea of how to portray a female character by reading stories written from female authors. After all, who knows about female characters better than female writers? I have several female friends who are female erotica writers, and I read their work often to see what works for them, and apply their techniques to my own work. Seriously, this probably should have been my first suggestion.
Finally, the best piece of advice I can give you is this: the woman you are describing is what you make her. It may seem a bit daunting to figure out exactly how a woman would react to any given situation, but they’re still going to do whatever you say they do. Even with everything you’ve just gone through to make a believable woman, they’re still a character in your story. It may not always make sense to the person reading it, but you’re still the writer, and if it makes sense to you, then let it happen. Don’t let doubt discourage you from allowing your story to end the way you intended it to.
Keeping these things in mind, just remember female characters are people. They can be as simple, or as complex, as you want them to be. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t write from a female perspective, just because you have a penis. Ladies, we may not know what goes on in your mind, but we’re trying to figure it out. So… go easy on us?