As an erotica writer, I deal in fantasies. I try to make them realistic, because I feel like my readers will enjoy the realism, but they’re still fantasies.
There are some things that happen in reality that just don’t happen in fantasy.
- Getting a condom on is like trying to plug in a USB-A (the old kind that only goes in one way). I’d say more than half the time I get it backwards and have to flip the condom around. How often have you read erotica where that happens?
- I have a partner who is a squirter. I keep a few towels in my bedroom when I know she’s coming over. Before we do anything sexual that might lead to her having an orgasm, I put a towel down. Then, while we’re doing whatever we’re doing, I’m constantly checking to make sure the towel is in the right place. Not something that’s particularly sexy to read about, even though what we’re doing certainly is.
- Clothes get stuck, especially when you’re trying to take them off in bed. It’s awkward. Most of the time I just write “and she took off her panties” instead of “she lifted her hips and shimmied her panties down; they got stuck under her left foot, and then lost in the morass of blankets at the foot of the bed, never to be seen again.” (It actually is kind of amusing to come across someone’s panties a few days later.)
- Not everyone finishes during penetrative sex. I have one partner who, while she really enjoys penetration, doesn’t reach orgasm from it. And from my side, there are times that I can’t orgasm from penetration either, no matter how much I want to. Not particularly sexy to write about someone who can’t come — although I can certainly do it.
At Frolicon, I often will sit on a panel that discusses the need for realism vs the need for maintaining the fantasy, when it comes to writing in general and erotica in particular. I like to write realistic scenes. But some things just aren’t sexy, and it’s less fun to write about them — or read about them. Sometimes it’s better to keep it brief, and just let the reader imagine what happened.
But only sometimes.