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
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.