A lively and informative guide for writers and lovers of erotic romance wanting to write their own stories,
Passionate Plots has all the information you need, along with writing exercises and resources, to help you craft erotic and steamy scenes whether you are a new or established writer.
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One of the hardest problems for writers wrestling with erotic scenes, especially those fairly new to this, is what to call things? Specifically, body parts. Personally I prefer to call a spade a spade. Or a cock, a cock. It’s certainly preferable to euphemisms such as ‘manhood’ (though these may have a place in historical settings where the characters would have used those terms) or overly anatomical terms (frenulum) and most readers will be turned off or in fits of giggles if you start talking about his manly weapon or the delicate, dewy petals of her lady garden.
Having said that, straight to the point words such as ‘cock’ and ‘pussy’ may be deemed as too pornographic or even offensive to the reader. Which leaves the writer in a bit of a bind.
There are two approaches to this. Firstly, use words that are direct but not too explicit or anatomical. Here a few ideas.
Head (of penis)
Cleft (vagina or vulva)
Use these words in a direct manner without adding flowery adjectives – so no tumescent shafts or pearly nubs – and you can’t go too far wrong. If you don’t like these words, find some of your own. Keep a little notebook to build up your own erotic vocabulary, and you’ll soon have a list of words and phrases to use when you want to change the heat levels or substitute one word for another simply to avoid repetition. ‘Shaft’ instead of ‘cock’ for example.
There’s also another approach. Don’t name the genitals at all. Consider the sentence he slid inside her, masking her gasp. It’s explicit, to the point, and quite sexy. Yet no names have been used, because we don’t need them. We know exactly what he is sliding where. Similar expressions would be
He entered her
She rode his body
She caressed his length
He pushed his fingers into her slowly
As he tasted her, he looked up wickedly from between her thighs.
Try some phrases of your own, see how other authors do it, and record the phrases you like. Then have a go at writing a few sentences with each. You’ll have the outline of a steamy scene before you know it.
Kelly Lawrence is a creative writing tutor and the author of bestselling erotic memoir 'Wicked Games' and New Adult romance 'Unconditional'. She also writes steamy historical romance for Harlequin as Michelle Kelly.