How To Write Feminist Erotica
The erotica genre needs an update. Enter AURORE: a digital space for real sex stories.
Founder, Carly Pifer, started the site to create the content she wants to consume. Sex that is representative, emotional, messy, feminist, and real. In the process, she discovered that writing non-fiction erotica can be incredibly healing—allowing people to rewrite their encounters helps them identify their desires, work on communication, educate others, and give themselves a sense of closure or understanding.
Below, read Carly’s tips for how-to write non-fiction erotica. If you’re into it and want more, join AURORE’s erotica writing workshop happening in September: Get Turned On.
Erotica Writing Step 1: Get Turned On
How can anyone write enticingly about sex if they’re not in the mood? We’ll be able to tell if you’re faking it. Get your juices flowing, so to speak. Play some mood-making music, get cozy, and start thinking about sexy times you’ve had, or want to have. AURORE writers report various mood-enhancing tricks, including: smoking a little weed, looking back at journals or diary entries about their romantic affairs, reading other erotica, or straight up masturbating.
Set up your “work” area with a candle or incense, journals, and your trusty Le Wand.
Erotica Writing Step 2: Revisit Your Sexy Past
Think about your past experiences. Allow your mind to wander. Maybe you start by mentally flipping through your last few hook-ups. Perhaps you think way back to some of your first sexual experiences. What were times that made you feel especially sexy? What encounters felt better than usual? Think of people you felt strongly for, or people who brought out the best in you sexually. But it has to be more than sex.
Consider your character development. Would you want to witness them having sex? It’s okay if they aren’t likable or sympathetic, but make sure they’re fully realized. Since this is non-fiction, you should be one of the characters. So don’t focus totally on your partner. Turn inward: How does your body feel? Write about the sensations. Write about your desires. Imagine you are looking in a mirror, and write about how sexy you look. Take pleasure in yourself. Remember, the reader will be reading this like POV porn. Put them in your body and let them feel amazing in it. Take ownership of how you’re touching and being touched.
This is your chance to educate people on what feels good! Don’t hold back—describe movements in detail, like this excerpt from “Mentoring a Giant” by Agatha Dekalb.
This is the moment for me to join his long list of sexual guides. I like thinking about the many women Alexandre will make happy because I show him the way. I tell him to lick the length of my pussy, teasing around my opening, and then, once my clit is fully aroused, I lead his attention there with instructions to pay special attention to the top right.
Erotica Writing Step 3: What Do You Call It?
This is something we talk about a lot in our workshops—how to name parts or describe feelings. The most cliche erotic phrase ever “throbbing member”…we want to stay away from stuff like this. However, the word pussy is used pretty pervasively, some people are into it, and for others, it’s a big no. You’re never going to please everyone, but staying away from things that remind you of cheesy romance novels is a good start.
Be aware when writing how your words have the chance to empower body parts, and use it to your advantage! I like using the word “cunt” because it’s a word with some shock value— it immediately makes me feel like I’m a badass when writing and puts me in the right mentality, fully owning my sexuality.
Erotica Writing Step 4: Establish Consent and Acknowledge Doubts
If you’re toying with writing about something that feels difficult, acknowledge it. It’s super important to teach people how to ask for consent and give it. Even if the consent was implied in your encounter, take the opportunity in the rewrite to make it firm and clear. We add trigger warnings for more provocative posts, but love when the writer is in touch with their desires and can express them clearly, like in “Red” by Laura Delarato.
I’ve never done this before—but currently I am so present in my own pleasure journey that I’ve conceived an elaborate plan to be surprised and brutalized to the height of my consent. I want this. I want to be taken and stripped and humiliated and used—but housed within the safe boundaries of my fantasy. The overwhelming suspense rests in the back of my brain as I brush my teeth, wash my face, and mentally prep for my in-action plan.
When remembering and writing, if you stumble on stuff that doesn’t make you feel good, don’t judge yourself for your past; instead, explore your feelings of uncertainty or regret. Let your readers in on the full experience. We’ve all slept with someone for the wrong reasons, and felt guilt or shame around our actions. Writing about it allows you to process, as well as offering an olive branch to readers—hey babes, it happens to everyone!
In your writing, even about encounters that aren’t one hundred percent perfect, try to focus on the pleasurable aspects of the experience.
(Spoiler alert: nothing’s perfect!) AURORE stories are all meant to be positive, while leaving room for the fact that many of our sexual experiences are not. Investigating these truths while searching for the silver lining will help future focus—the next time you hook up, you’ll feel more confident to make it a good story.
Erotica Writing Step 5: DIY Closure
You can’t go back in time, or design an impossible future…except on AURORE! Our stories are based in reality, meaning a fantasy about someone you know is totally fair game.
Finally found your person, but wish you had met them when you were younger? Invent a summer camp hook-up story. Made eyes with someone at the cafe last week and imagining doing all kinds of dirty things to them? Put it on paper until they answer your missed connections ad. Go through an incredibly painful break-up, and wish you had done things a little differently? Rewrite the saga so you come out on top…literally. Still angry at your ex but can’t stop thinking about sleeping with them? Write it instead of doing it, but make sure you’re in charge, like in “Ex-Boyfriend Fantasy” by Georgia O.
We stand uselessly. I wait for him to invite me in. I’m aching for him, thinking about his cock in me again makes me ache. I can still recall the way he filled me, the wholeness. The immediate verge of orgasm he kept me on while fucking. He starts to shake his head, reading my mind, knowing we were bad together, but wanting me anyway. I always reveled in the moment when he’d fall for me again, when I could watch the sense leave his face, and something more animalistic and honest enter his eyes. He was weak for me. I see it now.
He shakes his head and then pushes my hips against the wall, feeling my bone and the fat around it that leads to my ass. He leans into my neck and produces an angry growl, then inhales deeply. He’s sedated. “You smell like love,” he always said to me.
I melt into my victory, grab his cheek and press my lips on his. We pull back to look at each other, making a silent plan, and he turns and fumbles with his key. The door shrieks open the same way it always did. It’s a warning that we do not heed.
Enjoyed reading this guest article on erotica writing? You can submit your story on AURORE.
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