Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker: Location, Location

by | November 13, 2013 | Confessions of a Literary Streetwalker | 1 comment

before writing about the sex in a sexy story you have to set the stage,
decide where this hot and heavy action is going to take place. What a
lot of merry pornographers don’t realize is that the where can be just
as important as the what in a smutty tale. In other words, to quote a
real estate maxim: Location, location … etc.

Way too many times
writers will makes their story locales more exotic than the activities
of their bump-and-grinding participants: steam rooms, elevators,
beaches, hot tubs, hiking trails, space stations, sports cars, airplane
bathrooms, phone booths, back alleys, fitting rooms, cabs, sail boats,
intensive care wards, locker rooms, under bleachers, peep show booths,
movie theaters, offices, libraries, barracks, under a restaurant table,
packing lots, rest stops, basements, showrooms — get my drift?

know I’ve said in the past that sexual experience doesn’t really make a
better smut writer, but when it comes to choosing where your characters
get to their business, it pays to know quite a bit about the setting
you’re getting them into.

Just like making an anatomical or
sexual boo-boo in a story, putting your characters into a place that
anyone with a tad of experience knows isn’t going to be a fantastic time
but rather something that will generate more pain than pleasure is a
sure sign of an erotica amateur.

Take for instance the wonderful
sexual pleasure than can come from screwing around in a car. Haven’t
done it? Well you should because after you do you’ll never write about
it — unless you’re going for giggles.

Same goes for the beach.
Ever get sand between your toes? Now think about that same itchy,
scratchy — very unsexy — feeling in your pants. Not fun. Very not

Beyond the mistake of making a tryst in a back alley sound
exciting (it isn’t, unless you’re really into rotting garbage), setting
the stage in a story serves many other positive purposes. For instance,
the environment of a story can tell a lot about a character — messy
meaning a scattered mind, neatness meaning controlling, etc. — or about
what you’re trying to say in the story: redemption, humor, fright,
hope, and so forth. Not that you should lay it on so thick that it’s
painfully obvious, but the stage can and should be another character, an
added dimension to your story.

Simply saying where something is
happening is only part of the importance of setting. You have to put
the reader there. Details, folks. Details! Research, not sexual this
time, is very important. Pay attention to the world, note how a room or
a place FEELS — the little things that make it unique. Shadows on the
floor or walls, the smells and what they mean to your characters; all
kinds of sounds, the way things feel, important minutiae, or even just
interesting features.

After you’ve stored up some of those unique
features of a place, use special and evocative descriptions to really
draw people in. Though quantity is good, quality is better. A few
well-chosen lines can instantly set the stage: an applause of suddenly
flying pigeons, the aimless babble of a crowd, rainbow reflections in
slicks of oil, twirling leaves on a tree, clouds boiling into a storm
… okay, that was a bit overdone, but you hopefully get my gist.

again: location is not something that’s only important to real estate.
If you put your characters into an interesting, well-thought-out,
vividly written setting, it can not only set the stage for their erotic
mischief but it can also amplify the theme or add depth to the story.
After all, if you don’t give your writing a viable place, then a reader
won’t truly understand where they are — or care about what’s going on.

M. Christian

Calling M.Christian versatile is a tremendous understatement.
Extensively published in science fiction, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and even non-fiction, it is in erotica that M.Christian has become an acknowledged master, with stories in such anthologies as Best American Erotica, Best Gay Erotica, Best Lesbian Erotica, Best Bisexual Erotica, Best Fetish Erotica, and in fact too many anthologies, magazines, and sites to name. In erotica, M.Christian is known and respected not just for his passion on the page but also his staggering imagination and chameleonic ability to successfully and convincingly write for any and all orientations.

But M.Christian has other tricks up his literary sleeve: in addition to writing, he is a prolific and respected anthologist, having edited 25 anthologies to date including the Best S/M Erotica series; Pirate Booty; My Love For All That Is Bizarre: Sherlock Holmes Erotica; The Burning Pen; The Mammoth Book of Future Cops, and The Mammoth Book of Tales of the Road (with Maxim Jakubowksi); Confessions, Garden of Perverse, and Amazons (with Sage Vivant), and many more.

M.Christian's short fiction has been collected into many bestselling books in a wide variety of genres, including the Lambda Award finalist Dirty Words and other queer collections like Filthy Boys, and BodyWork. He also has collections of non-fiction (Welcome to Weirdsville, Pornotopia, and How To Write And Sell Erotica); science fiction, fantasy and horror (Love Without Gun Control); and erotic
science fiction including Rude Mechanicals, Technorotica, Better Than The Real Thing, and the acclaimed Bachelor Machine.

As a novelist, M.Christian has shown his monumental versatility with books such as the queer vamp novels Running Dry and The Very Bloody Marys; the erotic romance Brushes; the science fiction erotic novel Painted Doll; and the rather controversial gay horror/thrillers Finger's Breadth and Me2.

M.Christian is also the Associate Publisher for Renaissance eBooks, where he strives to be the publisher he'd want to have as a writer, and to help bring quality books (erotica, noir, science fiction, and more) and authors out into the world.

1 Comment

  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Great points, Chris! I've had sex in the back seat of a car, and while it can be done, it's hardly straightforward. So when you set a scene there, that signals the level of desperation driving the characters.

    People do get it on in unexpected places. But as you say, it's important to show the impact of this, the difficulties and the special sensory characteristics, and how they impact the experience.

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Hot Chilli Erotica


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