Mar 142015
 
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By billierosie

Slowly, slowly, the beacon fire smouldered. In 1897, Bram Stoker struck the first spark when he published his horror novel Dracula. The kindling had been stacked up for centuries, in the form of mythologies, rumours and stories; those creepy tales whispered about Vampires. Creatures of the night; the undead, seeking you out to sink their fangs into your tender jugular and drink your blood; draining you. The stories go back thousands of years. Now, in 2015, the beacons have crossed oceans; the fires flame fiercely, proclaiming that the old stories are still being told and new tales are being written.

Stoker could have had no idea that his short novel would precipitate a whole genre of writing that would hold sway on our collective imagination for decades.

Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel’s influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical, film and television interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

From the beginning of history, vampire-like spirits and beings have been recorded. The Akhkharu were blood-sucking demons, written about back in the time of Sumer. We’re talking about 5,000 years BC. The ancient Chinese wrote about “hopping corpses” which would go around and consume a victim’s life essence (commonly known as chi). Even ancient Egyptian lore had a story where the goddess Sakhmet was consumed with bloodlust. From the earliest of times, vampire-like beings have been prominent in the folklore of several different cultures.

The most well-known versions of vampire myth are those of the Slavic and Romanian cultures, which, due to their proximity, are similar. And it is from Eastern Europe, that Stoker’s Count Dracula originates.

There are several reasons that a person may become a vampire, such as unnatural death, birth defects, or conception on certain days. Romanian legend gave rise to the belief that being bitten by a vampire would doom one to become a vampire after death. Both Slavic and Romanian myths hold the belief that, with the advent of a vampire, there would be deaths of livestock and family members of the vampire. The favoured way to kill a vampire in these two myths is by driving a stake through the heart, decapitation, and if necessary, dismemberment. Slavic and Romanian vampire myths have given rise to the most popular world-view of vampires.

But what’s the fascination? Why the endless retelling of this old story? Are we playing with danger from the safety of fiction? The horror of vampires is very real; I should know. I spent my adolescence terrified of them; especially Dracula. I invented bizarre little rituals to ward him off and keep me safe. Positioning on my left side as I lay in my bed, was paramount—as was a convoluted prayer; a mantra that I would recite over and over again. Sleep would be a long time coming.

The success of Dracula spawned a distinctive vampire genre. The vampire is such a dominant figure in the horror genre that literary historian Susan Sellers places the current vampire myth in the “comparative safety of nightmare fantasy”.

We relinquish control to the vampire. He swirls his cloak around his victim and bites. His teeth penetrate us. It’s a reconstructed image of the sexual act; in fact actual copulation seems tame compared with what the vampire can do. The victim has no control over his ghastly lover. The victim flirts with death.

Sex and death.

But it’s not just the Count we have to fear. He is scary, but his entourage of female vampires more so. Female vampires are predatory and take their pleasure where they will; they are women who take control of the sex act itself. Victorian men—beware! The ideal Victorian woman was chaste, innocent, a good mother. She definitely wasn’t a sexually aggressive huntress.

The three beautiful vampires which Jonathan Harker, Stoker’s narrator, encounters in Dracula’s castle, are both his dream and his nightmare; indeed, they embody both the dream and the nightmare of the Victorian male imagination in general. The sisters represent what the Victorian ideal stipulates women should not be; voluptuous and sexually aggressive—thus making their beauty both a promise of sexual fulfilment and a curse. These women offer Harker more sexual gratification in two paragraphs than his fiancée Mina does during the course of the entire novel. However, this sexual proficiency threatens to undermine the foundations of a male-dominated society by compromising men’s ability to reason and maintain control. For this reason, the sexually aggressive women in the novel must be destroyed.

In a passage highly charged with erotic symbolism, Jonathan Harker writes in his journal,

“I was afraid to raise my eyelids, but looked out and saw perfectly under the lashes. The girl went on her knees, and bent over me, simply gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck—she actually licked her lips like an animal, till I could see in the moonlight, the moisture shining on the scarlet lips and on the red tongue as it lapped the white sharp teeth. Lower and lower went her head as the lips went below the range of my mouth and chin and seemed to fasten on my throat. Then she paused, and I could hear the churning sound of her tongue as it licked her teeth and lips, and I could feel the hot breath on my neck. Then the skin of my throat began to tingle as one’s flesh does when the hand that is to tickle it approaches nearer, nearer. I could feel the soft, shivering touch of the lips on the super sensitive skin of my throat, and the hard dents of two sharp teeth, just touching and pausing there. I closed my eyes in languorous ecstasy and waited, waited with beating heart.”

The vampire lover is receptive erotica personified. You relinquish control; you do nothing, other than give yourself up to the seduction.

Janine Ashbless suggests; “We don’t fantasise about controlling vampires—we fantasise about how we have NO control over them. They are stand-ins for Death itself.”

Stoker’s narrator flirts with the promise of an intercourse so erotic that he will give up his life.

Later in the novel, Count Dracula has made his way to England, and sets about possessing the upper-middle class Lucy.

Once infected by Dracula, Lucy becomes sexually overt and aggressive, and is portrayed as a monster and a social outcast. She feeds on children making her the maternal antithesis as well as a child molester. In order to rectify Lucy’s condition she is sexually overpowered by her fiancée, Holmwood; the scene is witnessed by Jonathan Harker and Van Helsing. Holmwood penetrates her to death with a stake through the chest, a staking which is openly sexual in interpretation:

“The thing in the coffin writhed; and a hideous, blood-curdling screech came from the opened red lips. The body shook and quivered and twisted in wild contortions; the sharp white teeth champed together till the lips were cut, and the mouth was smeared with a crimson foam. He (Holmwood) looked like a figure of Thor as his untrembling arm rose and fell, driving deeper and deeper”

The killing of Lucy is a sort of legitimised gang rape, legitimised because the Victorian balance of sexual penetration from the female domain is back in its accepted station within the male domain.

The reasons for our fear of, and fascination with, vampires change with the times we live in. To Stoker’s contemporaries, Count Dracula posed many threats to Victorian social, moral and political values: he changes virtuous women into beasts with ravenous sexual appetites; he is a foreigner who invades England and threatens English superiority; he is the embodiment of evil that can only be destroyed by reasserting the beliefs of traditional Christianity in an increasingly skeptical and secular age; he represents the fear of regression, a reversal of evolution, a return to our more primal animal state.

Think of the wealth of literature, film and television dramas that we wouldn’t have if Bram Stoker hadn’t written Dracula.

Perhaps they leave you cold—I love them! I’m over my teenage angst about them. There’d be no exotic Lestat, from Ann Rice. No Hammer House of Horror. No vampires with a conscience; M.Christian wouldn’t have written his vampire novel, Running Dry. Neither would Janine Ashbless have written her short story, “The Blood of the Martyrs”. All wonderful stuff; my favourite writers digging around in my agonised psyche.

And then there’s those TV shows; Buffy, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries. A blood-letting, tinged with magic. I lose myself in a world, of exotic, erotic fantasy. A strange world of death and immortality. Stories that speak to us once again of an ancient, horrid rite and fear.

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Feb 142015
 
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by Suz deMello

For many of us who write erotica, the paranormal sub-(sub-)genre is the most enticing one of all, with its many ways to increase sexual tension. World-building allows us to create our own erotic settings, invent sexier creatures than those who exist on our planet, traipse through time to find or lose lovers…we can bend reality any way we choose. We can invent supernatural beings both virtuous and villainous; we can invest the corners of our new world with quirks, setting up the thrills and spills that make a great read.

Really, though, the paranormal encompasses so many sub-sub-genres! These include, but are not limited to: futuristic, including science fiction; steampunk; time travel; fantasy, which encompasses “creature” stories with vampires, weres, the fae, dragons, zombies and the like, as well as magic and witchcraft. All of these can be mixed into any story brew you please.

Take the basic elements of any book and consider how they could be made paranormal, i.e., beyond the normal.

Characters and conflicts

There’s a natural tension in a romance between a paranormal entity and a human, and you can exploit this to your advantage and to the betterment of your book. Vampires are a great example. How can there be a “happily ever after” in a romance between an immortal, virtually invulnerable being and someone who will, inevitably, die? Would any sensible vampire dare to open his or her heart to a fragile human?

And how can a human trust in the love of an immortal? We who age must fear the loss of an immortal’s love.

Vampires, being denizens of the night, are intrinsically mysterious. As powerful predators, vamps step easily into villainous roles, but lately we’ve been reading about heroic vampires as well; with their extraordinary senses, vampires can make extraordinary heroes. The vampire lovers in my short story Blood is Thicker… are a case in point. One’s a detective and the other a private investigator.

There’s also natural tension in a relationship between different supernatural beings. Werewolves and vampires are both dominating creatures with their own alpha males and females figuring into many an erotic romance. What happens when territories overlap? Clashes are inevitable, and the sex is awesome.

Many writers have created supernatural beings whose abilities amplify each other’s. For example, Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz) created different types of psychics in what I call her flower trilogy (Amaryllis, Orchid, and Zinnia); their differing talents need each other in order to focus and operate powerfully. Thus, they have to work together in dyads to solve the mystery and trap the villain. Often (but not always) in a heterosexual pairing, the psychics experience sexual tension, emotional intimacy and conflict via this device with, say, one psychic wondering if the other loves her or if he’s simply invested in their complementary powers.

Other writers create creatures made for sex. Succubi and incubi, supernatural demons who use humans for sex and seed—these and so many others have all become quite popular. Some writers have invented aliens which can extrude body parts and insert them into their human subjects for pleasure and pain.

Setting

Setting is an often overlooked aspect of our novels. As an editor, I have read several stories with completely unspecified or only vaguely sketched-out settings. As a reader, I like to be grounded in a story. I like to know where and when the story’s taking place. As a writer, I let the reader know where and when the story’s taking place, even if the both are completely imaginary, e.g., “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”

In a paranormal story, it is fatal to overlook setting. The more richness and depth you can impart to your story’s world within the constraints of wordcount, the better—in fact, some settings are so compelling that they will earn your book a spot on many a reader’s “keeper” shelf. Fans return again and again to the Harry Potter books and to Tolkien not only because of the intriguing characters, compelling conflicts and universal themes, but because they want to spend more time at Hogwarts or exploring Middle Earth. Orson Scott Card calls fiction dependent upon a particular setting milieu fiction, and gives Tolkien’s Ring Trilogy as an example.

Of course you may create any setting that compels you, but when you do so, consider how it will facilitate or block mystery and romance.

When world-building for a paranormal erotic romance, I like to include elements that will facilitate sexy situations. In Queen’s Quest, a paranormal erotic thriller, I postulated a planet with an extremely low birthrate. Babies were rare and prized. Thus, sex was encouraged—including public sex—which enabled me to include numerous erotic scenes, while the dearth of normal births encouraged the characters to find other reproductive methods. These added to the suspense subplot (I don’t want to say more without providing a spoiler alert) as well.

Settings need not be exotic and magic need not be arcane, invented from whole cloth. You can use what you already know. I drew upon my teenage interests in Tarot reading and Wicca to write Gypsy Witch, an erotic short story set in my hometown of Sacramento, California during the dog days of late summer. A character used witchcraft to bring to life the stone statues of knights set at the doorway of the downtown Masonic Temple, bringing magic to an otherwise mundane setting. The romantic conflict ended in a ménage—a different kind of magic.

Theme

Theme is also overlooked, and unfortunately so; it’s intrinsic to our stories, as much so as words themselves. Many paranormals feature the clash of good against evil, often employing mythical and/or religious figures such as goddesses and gods, angels, devils, demons and the like. They will inevitably dabble in moral questions that the author may or may not have intended to raise—but it’s no wonder they make their way into our books; these questions are older than Faust, older even than the Bible.

Coming of age stories are also common, and (if the characters are old enough to consent freely) can be particularly enthralling in an erotic context. In erotica, we often read the induction of a virgin into the pleasures of sex. One of my erotic short stories, First and Last, was about an arranged marriage on a lunar colony. Similarly, another popular theme is the BDSM newbie learning about the joy of kink.

The message? Erotica isn’t only about sex, and paranormal content is an exciting and infinitely fertile way to engage the reader. Write a good story and weave in explicit sex and you’ll have a really good story. Put it on another planet and you’ll have a great story.

***

About the Author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written nineteen books in several genres, including nonfiction, memoir, erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms Totally Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

–Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com

–For editing services, email her at suzdemello@gmail.com

–Befriend her on Facebook, and visit her group page.

–She tweets @Suzdemello

–and posts to Pinterest

–and Goodreads.

–Her current blog is TheVelvetLair.com

 

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Feb 072015
 
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By Nobilis Reed

I just finished listening to the audiobook of Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. It’s a nonfiction analysis of the science of how human sexuality evolved. Mainly, it takes aim at the evolutionary psychologists that have presented us with a competitive model of monogamy and cheating, where men evolved to try to impregnate as many women as possible without commitment, and women evolved to select only those mates who could be coerced into committing. They point, instead, to a tribal culture where sex was free and open, used not for a “pair bond” but rather as a bond for the entire tribal band. Competition, in their view, takes place at fertilization (i.e. whose sperm will fertilize the egg) rather than by restricted matings.

It’s a fascinating book, and so chock full of useful information I won’t bother to summarize all of it here. Instead, you should read it. Or listen to it, as I did. I think you’ll find it quite convincing.

The important takeaways for me as an erotica author are manifold. Among many other things, this book explains why more women read erotica than men. It explains why MFM menage is more popular than FMF.

Sperm competition is one of the most important ideas in this book. The basic idea is that a woman’s body is designed to make fertilization difficult, so that only the fittest sperm make it to the egg. Biochemistry, the woman’s immune system, even the shape of her cervix are all designed to weed out all but a tiny fraction of sperm. This means that in evolutionary terms, it is advantageous for her to have sex with as many men as possible, in order to make that competition as fierce as possible. That explains why a woman (generally) still wants sex after she’s had an orgasm, more than a typical man would. This would seem to me, to explain why MFM menage is so popular; it synchs up well with that fundamental drive.

Sperm competition also explains why women can stay aroused for long periods of time, in spite of orgasm. To me, this is related to the greater demand for longer erotic work like novellas and novels among women. For a long time I had thought that this was simply sexism, a greater tolerance for such interests in women than in men, but I can see now that view was flawed. The difference isn’t cultural, it’s biological. Or at least, it could be.

Another book that’s been on my mind is Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering. This one talks about the nature of sexual paraphilias and how they come about; it appears that your average male’s sexual preferences are set during early adolescence and persist strongly for the rest of his life, whereas your average female’s are more malleable. This is referred to briefly in Sex at Dawn, as well. Again, there’s a lot more going on in this book than I can summarize here; I recommend it to anyone interested in writing books that hook deep into the reader’s psyche.

To my mind, this causes the interests of male readers to become tightly focused; they want particular body types, activities, or themes presented, the same ones over and over. They discover an author or website that focuses on what they want, and they stick with it, as long as it keeps feeding their particular interests. Women, on the other hand, being more flexible, can find lots of things sexy; this explains why more women write erotica, and why there’s more variety in erotica marketed to them.

These influences may have been presenting some obstacles to my career, or at least my ignorance of these influences hasn’t been helping me any. I’ll be keeping this new information in mind as I go forward.

***

Stories that don’t stop at the bedroom door—or the castle gate—or the airlock.
http://www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Nov 302014
 
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By Mistress Lorelei Powers

You’ve carefully described your protagonists: their degree of youth, beauty, and desirable physique. You’ve choreographed the placement of arms, legs, mouths, and genitalia in various positions for maximum satisfaction and ease of description. Maybe you’ve even tested those positions with a willing volunteer to make sure a kneeling submissive of a given height really can reach quite that far with a tongue.

But have you considered how the scene fits into the flow of the narrative? What purpose it serves in the plot?

“But it’s erotica! The whole point of the story is the sex!”

Well, yes and no. The sex is essential, but it isn’t sufficient. Submissions guidelines generally emphasize phrases like “complex plotting” and “storytelling as well-crafted as the sex is hot.” So if you wish to publish your story in an anthology or have your novel accepted for publication, you need to understand how to time a sex scene to make it effective—and incidentally increase your chances of getting the reader and even the editor aroused.


The Role of Sex in Genre

One way to look at the question of how soon and how often is to look at the standards of the particular form you have chosen. Clearly, in a short story, you can’t postpone the first sex scene for 10,000 words, but in a literary novel you just may want to. Pure erotica often has a faster pace than the “erotica plus” genres: erotic romance, erotic suspense, erotic mystery, erotic horror. Old-fashioned pulp porn generally featured a new sexual combination every other chapter.

Many traditional erotic romance novels (AKA bodice-rippers) brought the hero and heroine together about a quarter of the way into the novel, again at the halfway point, and one final triumphant time toward the end. The ones driven by rape plots generally started the action earlier, sometimes in the first half-dozen pages.

In order to get the feel of a form, you must read widely in it. Read the classics of the genre, but also read plenty of contemporary fiction.


The Motives for Sex

Another way to decide where your sex scenes fit into the story is to ask yourself why your protagonists are going to bed. There are innumerable reasons people have sex of any kind. Here are a few:

·    A simple desire for touch

·    Love

·    Wanting children

·    Wanting to establish a relationship

·    Basic horniness

·    To manipulate someone or gain someone’s favor

·    Revenge (usually on someone other than the new partner)

·    Fear

·    Sorrow (grieving people can have incredibly hot sex)

·    Wanting to forget troubles

·    Compulsion by inner demons

·    Boredom

·    Loneliness

·    Curiosity

·    Competition with an established love object or a new flame

·    Hot make-up sex to rebuild a damaged relationship

Think about these motives. They’re not unitary. Each partner may have several motives, some subconscious. Furthermore, the participants may have conflicting motives—a conflict that can drive plot in any of a number of different directions. Most of the noir genre is based on such mismatches, but then so are most romantic comedies.

The motivations for having sex help dictate where the scene should go. If you are working on a story that emphasizes why or how your protagonists get together, the sex should be placed later in the story—as the climax. If a sex scene is the happy ending you have been promising the reader all along, you should place one of them in the final pages to serve as a symbol of happily ever after or at least happily this afternoon.

If your story arises from the complications of the relationship, the first sex scene must appear earlier. In either case, the sex should change things for your protagonists.


The Consequences of Sex

Once your protagonists have gotten together, they have to face the consequences of that sexual act. Complications are the bone and blood of plot, and sex can create a lot of complications.

The desire for sexual fulfillment, whether plain vanilla or a specific kink, is one of the most powerful of all drives. I’ve seen good sex (not to mention failed sex) radically change people’s lives by:

·    Helping them find new confidence and a powerful new sexual/social identity

·    Beginning and ending marriages, creating and rupturing families, causing long-distance moves, resulting in career changes

·    Shifting the balance of power in a love triangle, ultimately dissolving the triangle and severing several relationships

·    Beginning a number of friendships and ending a few

·    Signaling to one party that they were now in a relationship—an assumption the other party didn’t share

·    Serving as glue for a long-term relationship that was otherwise deteriorating

·    Causing a breach between my date and his hyper-religious mother, who threw him out of the house when he refused to stop seeing me

·    Causing pregnancy—a result that can be joyful, disastrous, or anything in between

·    Prompting one party to have a crisis of faith

·    Triggering unexpected memories and feelings (of love, anger, terror, despair, giggling)  in one or both parties

·    Ending with an intervention by the cops

And that doesn’t even go into the matter of the enraged house-sitter waving a machete, who didn’t realize that the homeowners had given us a key and permission to meet there. Can you see the plot possibilities here?

To be effective, sex needs to be woven in and through your story. The urge to have sex or to frustrate someone else’s desires can set your protagonists and the other characters in motion. Once sex has occurred, it can be the catalyst for unexpected changes. Keep on following the trail of desire, frustration, and fulfillment, and you have a plot in which the sex isn’t gratuitous, but essential for the story. And that’s the kind of story that readers—and editors—love.

***

Lorelei Powers, also known as Mistress Lorelei (pronounced LOR-eh-lye, and named for Germany’s famous siren of the Rhine River whose seductive music lured sailors to their doom), is the author of the BDSM how-to classics The Mistress Manual and A Charm School for Sissy Maids, as well as the short story collection On Display. She is a bisexual, polyamorous sadist and lifestyle Domme. She has started using her surname to avoid confusion with her respected colleagues, Lorelei Lee or Lorelei of BedroomBondage.com.

By profession, Lorelei Powers is a writer and editor. Under various other names she has published a number of books, articles, and stories. She also teaches writing classes, gives workshops and presentations on BDSM technique, and offers private coaching sessions by phone or in person for Dom/mes and submissives.

She blogs about BDSM at The Mistress Manual and about sex, feminism, politics, and naked men in bondage at Gallery of Dangerous Women. Follow her Twitter feed at @MsLorelei.

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Nov 152014
 
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By Nobilis

I recently asked some of my writer friends about the plot of a story I’m working on—was it a romance plot? One of the responders said that the plot didn’t matter as much as the tone; that a romance focused more on the feelings of the characters, and erotica focused more on the events and sensations. If the play-by-play of sexuality overshadowed the characters’ feelings and motivations, she said, then the story was erotica rather than romance.*

Now I should say here that I greatly respect this author, and in fact I am an enthusiastic fan of her work. I’m not saying she’s wrong. There’s a certain amount of truth there. Romance does require a focus on the characters’ romantic feelings and motivations, and erotica does require a focus on sensation.

At the same time, I think her answer implies that a work cannot be both romance and erotica at the same time, and I disagree with that. For one thing, any work longer than a short story will shift focus as it moves along. Action, conversation, reflection, and anticipation all bring out a shift in focus. Any story that focused on one of those elements to the exclusion of all others would have serious problems.

For any given character, there are at least two channels in which to consider their story. Stories will often have an “interior conflict” and an “exterior conflict.” The interior conflict deals with the emotional and intellectual life of the character, which can be romantic, or fearful, or curious, or fill-in-the-blank—and most likely some combination of these. The exterior conflict is about the problems they solve, the obstacles they overcome, the experiences they seek out in the world. As it is written, romance tends to live more in the inner life; the thoughts and feelings of the characters. Likewise, erotica lives more in the outer life, in the experiences of the characters. That’s not to say that there aren’t elements that cross over between interior and exterior. But what I’m getting at here is that there’s plenty of room in a romance story for eroticism, and plenty of room in an erotic story for romance.

You can look at science fiction the same way. When the speculative world exists mostly in the exterior, then the interior conflict can be a romance story without interfering much. In contrast, erotic speculative fiction needs to mesh the sensuality with the speculation. The worldbuilding needs to directly address sexuality, or else the two elements are going to fight for attention, and the reader might start to wonder why there’s so much sex in the science fiction story, or why the erotic story is set in a science fiction setting. I come up against this issue any time I write an erotic science fiction story. How I deal with it, well—maybe I’ll write about that in another blogpost.

Erotic Romance is a thing, and it’s a thing that makes sense. There’s no line between them, no border that can be crossed.

And to my friend, if you’re reading this, thank you for giving me a blog topic this month. You gave me a lot to think about.

 

*Or something like that. I may be misquoting her, which would be a shame but wouldn’t alter my point here.

***

Learn more about Nobilis and his work at his…

Website: www.nobiliserotica.com
Podcast: nobilis.libsyn.com
Twitter: @nobilis

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Oct 122014
 
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by Suz deMello

From my writing treatise, Plotting and Planning, available November 1, 2014:

Scenes are the building blocks of your story, for acts are comprised of scenes. They’re nothing more than events, most often interactions between your characters. Scenes should fulfill at least one or two of the below purposes—best if you can include all four.

•Advance the plot

•Reveal or develop character

•Complicate or resolve conflict

•Express setting, mood, and/or theme

Everything in your manuscript should have a function, even every comma or em-dash.

How does this apply to the writing of erotica?

Too often, sex scenes are shoehorned into a story to increase the word count or the heat level, while those scenes don’t fulfill any other function. To quote from Plotting and Planning again: Everything in a story should contribute to it, from the biggest monster to the tiniest comma.

If a scene doesn’t contribute to the story, it doesn’t belong there. It doesn’t matter how well-written it is. It doesn’t matter how hot it is. It doesn’t matter how much you, the author, may love its beautiful prose or its scorching hot, kinky sex.

There’s a piece of writerly advice out there: Kill your darlings.

No one’s quite sure where this phrase originated, but it’s been repeated often, including by such notable authors as William Faulkner and Stephen King.

But it doesn’t matter who originated the phrase—it’s great advice. We often fall in love with our prose and are loath to cut it, especially when we may have slaved over a particularly well-turned clause or exhaustively researched, say, the eating habits of the lesser lemur of Madagascar.

But fiction is no place to be a smarty-pants. Leave that for term papers, book reports and theses.

In terms of writing sex scenes, what do we leave in and what to we cut?

We leave in those scenes that fulfill at least one of the purposes in the list above. Ideally, a well-written, thoughtfully planned encounter between our protagonists will fulfill more than one purpose.

Here’s a brief example, from a futuristic erotic romance I wrote called Queen’s Quest. The backstory is that the heroine is losing her virginity in a public ceremony that’s traditional on her planet for royals.

Tears in his eyes, my father squeezed my shoulders and murmured brokenly, “My little girl…” I hugged him, my heart full of love and gratitude.

“Blessings on you, my darling dear.” He turned to the front of the terrace and raised my hand, shouting, “Blessings on Princess Audryn!”

The crowd responded, “Blessings! Blessings!” This was the traditional call for a fertile union as well as an acknowledgment of my status as a royal.

My father wiped his damp eyes with a handkerchief and joined my mother on the Golden Throne.

Alone, I walked to the bed. I could feel the cool breeze flutter my chemise, which brushed against my breasts. My nipples firmed.

Frayn waited, already naked, already hard. He stroked his cock, and a cheer rose from the watching men and giggles from the females. He turned his head and winked at the crowd. I laughed.

Now at the bed, I took his hand. We smiled at each other and kissed.

A murmur rose from the crowd, a murmur that rose to moans as I took his face in my hands to kiss him more deeply. He reached for the front of my chemise and ripped it away, tearing it from my body. The crowd roared, as if they knew that real action was close. But Frayn had other ideas.

He eased me back onto the bed so I lay with my hips at its edge. He knelt before me and, reaching up, he parted my legs so my blond muff and pink quim were fully presented to the onlookers. Mutters of admiration filled the air, and to my surprise, I wasn’t frightened, anxious or shy. My pussy seemed to blossom open from the sounds of acceptance I heard from my people.

Lifting myself onto my elbows, I looked over the crowd, fixing my attention on the first row. Most were watching me, but all seemed to have very busy hands. Either they stroked themselves, or more often, caressed a partner. The fancy embroidered codpieces were open and feminine hands grasped a multitude of rods. Some ladies were already on their knees, while other women had exposed their breasts, tempting the males to taste their nipples.

Frayn leaned forward and fastened his mouth to my quim. Lightning shot through me and I wantonly pushed my pelvis forward, seeking completion. Already swollen from the attentions of the guards, my clit twitched between his lips as he sucked and licked. I drew a long, deep breath and allowed the pure joy of this day to flow through my being as Frayn’s talented tongue, the lovely scratch of his beard, took me higher.

He stood, his face shining with my pussy juices, and bent over me. “The important aspect of this ceremony is that the people see me enter you, see me take you thoroughly, again and again, and see the blood of your virginity spilt over my cock. How do you want to do it?”

I blinked, called out of my erotic cloud to do my duty. I managed a grin though I was annoyed. I was already aware of the event’s significance. “We should do it…visibly, I suppose.”

He caressed my pussy and fingered my slit. I took his tool in my hand. His cock had swelled thick and red with desire, and I wanted him inside me. “Lie down,” I said, pulling on him to enforce obedience.

“Yes, your royal highness.”

“Oh, hush up,” I said. “You’re as royal as I am.”

“Not quite.”

“Jealous?” Pushing him down, I straddled him and teased him with my body, bending my knees to dip low, letting my quim caress his cock-head. My breasts brushed his chest.

He gasped, his previous arrogance gone. “Audryn, please. I’m about to burst.”

So what do we learn from this passage? In regard to character, we see that the heroine, Audryn, is a princess beloved by her family and her people. She is fearless, aggressive, passionate and strong, stronger than her lover Frayn, who belittles her intelligence. She’s aware of her position and resents his arrogance, which foreshadows an external conflict.

In regard to the setting, we learn that public sex is not merely accepted but enjoyed. The references to clothing, particularly chemises and codpieces, tell the astute reader that perhaps this futuristic civilization partakes of some aspects of past human history. This allows the reader to visualize the setting and the garb as well as helping the reader to feel grounded in a very different society.

If you like what you read, you can find the book at Ellora’s Cave or Amazon.

I am a romance novelist and believe firmly that erotic scenes should never be gratuitous. If, while writing, an author bears in mind the purposes a scene must fulfill, the sex is never out of place; it is a seamless part of a well-written story.

* * *

About the Author:

Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, mystery and suspense, historical, and paranormal, as well as a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s held the positions of managing editor and senior editor, working for such firms as Totally Bound and Ai Press. She also takes private clients.

Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.

A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.

Check out Suzie’s site at suzdemello.com, and her blog at TheVelvetLair.com.

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Jul 222014
 
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One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. In this last post of our “Putting the Romance into Your Sex Scenes” series, romance author Angelica French will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first-ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.

***

By Angelica French

I have to learn not to take umbrage. I get it a lot—the sly winks, the horrified looks, the gasps. The queries: How does it feel to write smut? Dirty books? Trash?

I love writing sex scenes. Yeah, I do. Maybe because I like sex so much. Maybe because I feel that sex in all its infinite forms is essential to what it means to be human.

To write sex scenes, I must become a character. I imagine the touches, the emotions, the sounds and smells. I use touch to experience what I am writing so I can capture the sensations accurately. Hubs loves my “research”!

But I do not write smut/dirty books/trash. I write stories about people struggling with the same issues they struggle with in non-erotic romance—it’s just that I add in the very real component of their sex lives as well. This makes some people uncomfortable.

In my erotic romance, Streetwalker, protagonist Carrie wrestles with heavy stuff. She is a victim who refuses to be one—but her refusal doesn’t change the fact that she is, nonetheless, affected by past events—and lives the life she does because of it. Streetwalker is, at heart, is a story of redemption, recovery and renewal. But if you didn’t get past the first page where she is bored while servicing a john, you might not know that.

Streetwalker includes sex scenes and romantic sexual encounters. The difference? To me, sex scenes focus on physical acts in themselves. Romantic sexual encounters focus on emotions.

I included kinky sex, BDSM, straight sex, same-gender sex, and other incarnations of The Act(s). Each of the scenes I wrote, whether tender romance or sex-to-humiliate was difficult in its own way.

In writing about sex, the author has to understand and relate so many aspects of the human psyche. How does it feel to hurt and enjoy the act of hurting? How does it feel to want your beloved to step on your back while you crawl around a room? How does it feel when your heart is uplifted and expanded by someone’s touch—be it gentle or aggressive, tentative or commanding?

How does it feel to try to connect soul and body while making love?

***

After 39 years as an educator, Angelica French “transitioned” to the life of full-time fiction writer. She’s an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover. She writes culinary mysteries, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, and erotic romance. Angelica has lived in every region of the country except the Pacific Northwest and has loved every single one of them. Her current favorite region is the desert Southwest. She is married to the most extraordinary man and has four children, one daughter-in-law, a grandson, and a dog named Maudie.

For more information Angelica French and her premiere novel, Streetwalker, check out her Guest Author Interview with Romance blog Happily Ever After Thoughts!

 

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Jul 112014
 
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By billierosie

The fountains mingle with the river
And the rivers with the ocean,
The winds of heaven mix for ever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another’s being mingle—
Why not I with thine?

Sorry, Percy Bysshe Shelley, it ain’t gonna happen.

Forget it. If that special something is missing, she won’t want to kiss you. Your lips will repel her. Your breath will disgust her. She won’t fall into your arms—no matter how much you weave your magic with those wonderful words—it’s just not going to work.

Am I talking about love? Lust? Sexual Attraction? Infatuation? Passion? I don’t know. I’m probably talking about all of them.

Love—unrequited love. Thousands and thousands of words have been written about it, by pens far more graceful and elegant than mine.

And the songs. Memories. Tears. We all have our favourites. Beautiful words, melodies, rhythms and harmonies, reminding us of that one time that special something happened. Making us yearn for it to happen again.

Thousands of Romance writers re-write the same story, over and over again. He’s a bastard. She falls in love with him, despite herself. The reader is in love with him, too. The reader is addicted to the re-telling of the story. The reader believes in that elusive something.

Nobody can bottle it, for sure; that thing that makes it happen. Perfume distillers with all their ancient skills have tried to capture it for centuries. It cannot be done.

If that something is missing, then it can’t be found.

A friend of mine, Lucy, had a guy doing some building work in her house. They started talking—she touched his hand…

Within a second they were in each other’s arms. Within another second their tongues were in each others’ mouths—it happened, just like that. No need to analyse it; there’d be no point anyway. That mysterious, elusive thing had happened.

Time stood still. The overworked phrase suddenly made sense.

What was it? Raw lust? I don’t know; neither does Lucy.

Lucy and the builder are still together, two years later.

But it can hit you at any time. I do believe it. Eyes meet across a crowded room/restaurant/rock festival. And he/she is there. The One. It may only last for an hour, or days. For some it can last a lifetime.

But what is IT? Where is IT? Why does one person make our juices flow, cocks stand to attention, while another person leaves us, well…flaccid and dry?

So I guess I have ended up talking about lust. Does lust come first? (pun intended).

Sometimes it smoulders, long and low. Think of all those office Christmas parties. Folks who, it seems, have barely spared a glance for each other all through the long year, are suddenly together. Alcohol lowers the inhibitions, and it hits you.

That happened to me, long ago. It took twenty years to burn itself out.

Then months ago, I was convinced it was going to happen again. A guy I knew from a long while back. But when we kissed there was nothing. Nada. Rien.

I felt sad, cheated, disappointed.

So did he…

***

billierosie has been writing erotica for about three years. She has been published by Oysters and Chocolate, in The Wedding Dress. Logical Lust accepted her story “Retribution” for Best S&M 3. She has also been published by Sizzler, in Pirate Booty and in their Sherlock Holmes anthology, My Love of all that is Bizarre, as well as Hunger: A Feast of Sensual Tales of Sex and Gastronomy and Sex in London: Tales of Pleasure and Perversity in the English Capital. She also has a collection of short, erotic stories, Fetish Worship, as well as novellas Memoirs of a Sex Slave and Enslaving Eli, both published by Sizzler Editions in 2012 and available for purchase at Amazon.
billierosie can be found at Twitter, @jojojojude and at her blog.

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Jun 302014
 
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One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. Each Monday a well-known romance author will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.

***

By MJ Flournoy

Back in the day, certain genres were geared exclusively to the male reader. The language was coarse, graphic and to the point—no flowery language, no building of sexual tension. That old adage, slam bam, thank you ma’am, pretty much summed it up.

Today, readers expect more, demand more and, of course, receive more. While early examples of male-oriented porn insisted on “just the facts, ma’am”, modern readers expect the genre to deliver the same erotic punch, but with heightened sexual tension. The genre has moved from behind the counter and under young men’s mattresses into the cultural mainstream as writers have increasingly described sex with excitement, passion and titillation—all while pulling the reader right into the action.

I much prefer to write love scenes than sex scenes. Does that mean the characters must be in love to engage in sexual activity? Not at all. It means the writing must engage the reader by considering all the senses, rather than limiting the scene to physical actions. Our readers have become connoisseurs of fine erotic literature. They want to feel the sexual tension, to enjoy the sensual tease of anticipation, to explore with the characters the pleasure of the sexual experience.

In my writing I seek to deliver the passion, tension and pleasure of an erotic encounter that will pull you into the emotional, sensual, tactile arousal of the characters—you should enjoy the experience along with them. The emotions and feelings of the fictional people in whom you’ve invested your time deliver as much or more erotic stimulation than graphic language in itself. The reader, when pulled into the scene with deep characterization, feels, experiences, and enjoys the masterful touch of a skilled lover.

Words are my tools and my palette to make these scenes come alive for readers. Describing sexual acts—especially the one known by most people as the sex act—in coarse graphic detail is easy, using words to evoke an erotic image in the reader’s mind isn’t. Graphic language detracts from the mood of the scene. Throwing the f-bomb around doesn’t measure up as erotic to me. I prefer to use more descriptive language that appeals to the senses and stirs up a vicarious emotional and physical experience. I want my readers to feel the romance inherent to the sex, not just witness it from a detached remove. After all, the characters aren’t just “going through the motions”—and neither should the reader.

A Matter of Trust

In this scene from my novel A Matter of Trust, we find Jolie suffering from shock after experiencing a vision foretelling her own death. She touches Mac seeking reassurance from his physical form. It is in reaching out and connecting with him that she pushes the darkness away and restores the equilibrium to her world. Their joining is an affirmation of life and living.

Excerpt: A Matter of Trust

“It’s over, the danger’s gone.” Mac continued to stroke her back holding her, cradling her against his chest.

“The house exploded, we were…”

Mac’s arms tightened around her. “It didn’t happen, won’t happen.”

Jolie shivered, shock stealing into her system. In her mind she saw again the carnage from the explosion.

“There, those windows.” Her gaze fixed on the wall of glass that framed a breathtaking view of the lake.

“Hush, we’re safe.” Mac’s lips brushed her cheek offering comfort. “Your warning prevented what could have happened.”

Clinging to Mac, Jolie focused on him, his strength, his energy, his unique maleness that caused her body to hum with feminine longings. She luxuriated in the explicit sexiness that was Mac. With him filling all her senses, there was no room for terror, for fear. Only Mac.

Need built within her. Her body throbbed with awareness at his touch. His hands traced over her. Deep cravings awakened. She snuggled closer to him. The spicy scent of his cologne and unique male essence filled her senses causing the chill slowly to subside. He lowered his lips to hers and the flames that licked at her had nothing to do with fire and everything to do with passion.

“You’re safe.”

He lifted his head, lips slowly gliding across her cheek to find the tender flesh of her neck just below her ear. His teeth found the soft flesh of her ear lobe and a soft moan escaped her throat. She tilted her head, granting him easier access. Her arms circled his neck, pulling him closer.

“God yes. Make me feel alive.”

Mac’s answer was a low growl deep in his throat.

His hands landed on her butt, and pressed her against the hard ridge of his erection. Jolie rubbed herself against him, filled with the power of her own femininity. He throbbed growing harder with each movement.

His hands slid up her back, found the tail of her shirt and slipped beneath to caress away the coldness that had invaded her body. Liquid fire replaced her chills burned a path from her shoulder blades to her ribs. Slowly, his fingers crept up until they found the mounds of her breasts.

“You’re sure?”

“I need you, now.”

This moment had been inevitable since the first time he’d touched her, running his hands over her body searching for the non-existent wire, Jolie thought, while he stripped the shorts from her body leaving her vulnerable. His lips followed the path of his hands down her body. She could no longer resist this attraction to him that left her feeling off-balance and needy and now that need had grown much too strong to deny any longer.

He held her, pressing her back against the cool plaster of the wall as one leg insinuated itself between her thighs. His fingers teased her nipples as his lips plundered her mouth. Jolie found herself riding his thigh, her hips rocking against him as tension built within her. With unerring precision, she reached lower; her hands found the fastening of his jeans, unbuttoned then unzipped them. Her fingers sought the shaft that pressed insistently against her. He shifted his body slightly to grant her better access. Her fingers closed around his engorged flesh and he groaned deep in his throat, pressing deeper into her hand. Need filled her. She wanted him, wanted to feel him inside her, feel the power of his body while he fed the hunger that threatened to consume her.

From one pocket Mac produced a small foil pack. He pressed it into her hand. A challenge issued, blatant need, like electricity, spiraled from his fingertips to hers when he deposited the small trophy within her grasp. Her hand trembling she accepted his offering, unwrapped it and quickly sheathed his length with it.

“Put your legs around my waist.” He lifted her.

Jolie followed his instruct and was rewarded with the pressure of his fullness against the heated mound at the juncture of her thighs. He pulled her shirt up and over her head and pressed her back against the smooth cool surface of the wall. His hot, moist lips claimed her nipples, one after the other through the thin material of her bra. Then even that meager barrier was gone.

One hand moved down to tease her intimately and Jolie arched her back, tightening her legs around him, urging him closer. He found the throbbing center of her desire and pressed home with one swift, sure stroke. He filled her completely, stretching her, electrifying nerves that had never felt so alive. He braced her against the wall, his mouth plundering hers, even as he plunged to the depths of her. Tension built within her, she felt herself spiraling out of control, sailing away into the stratosphere, past the rings of Saturn and on into the void of space beyond. In her mind’s eye she shot across the midnight sky like a rocket before she shattered into a million pieces, her pleasure raining across the heavens spewing behind her like the tail of a comet.

Mac followed her into the stratosphere, urging her on, demanding more, seeking more, giving more. She felt the intensity of his climax, the coiled strength of his whipcord muscles beneath her hands, the straining of his body when he reached ultimate release. The pleasure built to the point where it was too much to bear . Quickly she followed him toward a powerful climax that left her trembling and depleted. She whispered his name and collapsed against his chest.

In the darkness Mac lowered her to the floor and Jolie found her legs would not support her.  He followed her down, his body cradling hers when they lay on the smooth hardwood.

 

 

MJ Flournoy lives in Georgia, USA. MJ writes romantic suspense with paranormal elements. MJ’s motto is “If it is to be, it’s up to me.” When not writing, MJ enjoys traveling, reading and doing any type of research. Connect with her via her website, Facebook page and tweets.

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Jun 232014
 
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One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. Each Monday a well-known romance author will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.

***

By Sabrina Luna

Hi!  I’m Sabrina Luna and I’m an author of paranormal and erotic romance stories.  Yes, I personally see a big difference between a written sex scene and a romantic sexual encounter. Over the years, I’ve written both.

When I started writing in the late 1990s, I was a member of an online group which focused on ‘erotica’. Basically, erotica consists of a scene or short story which focuses only on the sexual relationship between the characters. There is very little building of a romantic relationship and the primary goal of the story is to stimulate the reader’s libido.

Then, around the year 2000, erotic romance hit the book market. Romance stories which allowed the readers to enjoy what was happening to the characters in the bedroom became popular and, since then, there’s been no turning back. Nowadays, readers can find any level of sexual heat in erotic romance stories. However, in my honest opinion, well-written erotic romance stories show a growth in the characters’ relationships as well exploring their sexual chemistry together.

The last piece of short erotica I wrote had a sexually adventurous couple who were more ‘buddies’ than romantic partners. It was a fun story to write—but, as the author, I found myself hoping they’d get together in the near future.

What can I say? I guess I’m an erotic romantic at heart. The last few erotic romances I’ve written have focused on building the relationship between the characters and using their sexual encounters to spark and cultivate their feelings for one another throughout the story. And, at the end of the story, there is a commitment in their relationship. The couple can either live happily ever after—or my personal favorite kind of ending, happy for now.

So, to me, there is a big difference between a written sex scene and a romantic sexual encounter. And, although I enjoy writing and reading both kinds of stories, I prefer an erotic romance with both a good relationship *and* sexual chemistry.

***

Sabrina Luna is an author of paranormal & erotic romances and, recently, became an indie ebook author, too. She enjoys haunting bookstores and coffee shops, listening to classic rock, and attending movies and munchies with her fellow geek-peeps.

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