A Guide To Writing

Erotic Fiction

  • Words . Abby Fischbacher
  • Image . Still from Heartbeat (2000-2001) by Nan Goldin

Editorial | March 20 2017

For those who love to read erotica and hope to write erotica someday, putting pen to paper is a very daunting task. However, writing about sex isn’t as difficult as you first imagine. I’ve been writing erotica for many years now and have learnt a thing or two about erotic writing. I remember reading a guide to writing erotica that helped me enormously and therefore, I’m hoping that a few pointers will be of use to you.

When writing erotica, it helps to be original

It always helps to write about the things you know. However, don’t be afraid to take chances and write something original. There are lots of different ways to write sex scenes and if you stick to the same methods, it can become repetitive. Writing something original will keep your reader interested and continuously challenges you to think outside the box.

Shrug off your inhibitions with a pen name

If unable to be completely free with your creativity. This could be due to fear that it could be read by people who know you and may judge, or it could affect your career protects. Adopting a pen name helps to protect your privacy and spare any awkward questions. Your pen name can be used as your social media contact on Twitter and Facebook too, so you can still promote your work.

When writing erotica, remember to respect your reader

I recently listened to a podcast where the speaker declared that ‘No one cares about the plot in erotica’, and they couldn’t be more wrong! As with any good story, the reader seeks an escape into an exciting new world. However, without a good plot or interesting characters, a story quickly loses its appeal and the sex scenes fall flat. Disrespecting a reader with a poor plot is a dangerous precedent, and not one that I would recommend any writer follows.

When writing erotica, it is important to signpost any subgenres

Subgenres are a really important part of marketing your work. For example, if you’re writing horror themed erotica you’ll want to market accordingly so that it goes to readers seeking this material. If you’re including other aspects to your writing such as BDSM themes or specific kinks, ensure that you’re clear about sub genres. This ensure that readers aren’t surprised by material that they don’t feel comfortable reading. This doesn’t mean that you can’t mix genres, quite the contrary! Letting readers know what themes to expect helps them to make an informed decision and ensures that they will come back.

Try to avoid clichés – keep it real

As much as I’d love to put my hand on someone’s ‘throbbing manhood’, I couldn’t ever imagine doing so.


Avoid clichés and keep it real with original dialogue. You’ll have so much more fun!

Leave something to the imagination

When writing sex scenes, try to avoid giving out too much information. Your job as a writer is to tell the story, but it’s the imagination of the reader who puts the final jigsaw pieces in place. If the scene is stilted and wordy because you’re so caught up in trying to describe every detail, readers will put the story down and walk away.

Don’t overthink the sex – let it flow

Sex scenes are important in erotica, and as a writer this puts a lot of pressure on you. Many times in the past I’ve sat for hours writing and rewriting a scene because I just can’t get it right. However, I’ve since found that writing the whole scene from start to finish without taking a break to correct spellings, look at the screen or make a cup of tea produces my best work. Corrections and rewrites can always be undertaken later.

Be confident enough to talk about it, rather than around it

Penises make their way into lots of different places, whether it’s the rectum, vagina or whichever kink you’re writing about. However, readers don’t want to read about the ‘approach of the one eyed trouser snake towards the dampened river cave’. Have confidence in your ability to discuss what is actually happening in the scene. If you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, this will be seen in your writing and it can be off-putting for readers.

Draw on your own fantasies to create authenticity.

Nothing is more real to you than your own personal fantasy. By drawing upon your fantasies, you can create a really authentic piece of erotica that engages your readers. Don’t be afraid to explore your own desires and use this to your advantage.

Writing exercise: Write out one of your innermost fantasies and use this to create a short story. Who are the characters, how did they get to this point, do they have a background story and what happens next. This could help to inspire a great story too.

Sometimes a glass of wine does help.

Some evenings when the words aren’t flowing as they should. Going out for a walk, meeting a friend or even pouring a class or wine helps me to relax. Once I relax, it really helps the words to flow. Testing the waters for your writings on an erotic story platform will help to get a feel for what the readers wants and to gather some feedback.

< | >