Writing about sex. Title photo

Sex, Strawberries and Cream


Writing about just sex is like eating the cream without the strawberries

Writing about sex, I recently ran a poll on Twitter asking this question: In my stories and books I try to weave graphic sex into a plot. Some erotica writers go straight for the sex in paragraph one. Which do you prefer?

The results and the comments were interesting:

Plot, sex, plot about right 50%

More plot less sex 25%

More sex less plot 15%

Who needs plot 10%

One comment that stood out was: It’s not even that plot is important; I like believable, rounded characters with at least the veneer of an inner life who move in a world I can relate to. But that’s just me. 


I agree. There seems little point in writing about sex, even very kinky sex, if it is not performed by believable characters. The story is even better if the characters are entwined in and stimulated by a plot.

Sex in erotic stories should be character driven. Even the most libertine characters have some motivation for their actions. People indulge in, take part in, sex for a variety of reasons; desires, needs, even boredom (maybe not a great motivation for an erotic tale).

A characters motivation might just be enjoyment. But would you read a short story about a woman eating a piece of chocolate cake, even if it’s the most delicious, succulent chocolate cake ever without some back story or change, other than she is presumably hungry for chocolate cake when she starts and full of it when she finishes?

Something needs to change between the beginning and the end of the story. That can be the character’s feelings, their relationships, obstacles that have been overcome to achieve something.

If a piece of writing does not include these it is a narration not a story.

Two versions

Man wants to watch his wife with another man. They go to a bar/party/recruit a friend and he fucks her. They both enjoy it. Narration

A story might be:

Man wants to watch his wife with another man (Why? Because it turns him on or he’s insecure and wants to see if she enjoys it more or…). She decides to surprise him on his return from a business trip/work/fucking his mistress/Mars because…

She goes to meet a man, she doesn’t fancy him but his friend is a hunk (first hurdle overcome). Hunk leaving town so it’s now or never (second hurdle related to first). She takes him to a location. Phones husband who is on his way back to her in a taxi — get here if you want to see it.

Taxi is stuck in traffic so she makes a video call showing foreplay (tension building). Husband sits in the back of the taxi watching and trying not to jerk off. Video switches to a large cock about to go into the orifice of the writer’s choice.

Taxi stops at their house, husband rushes in just in time to see the final action (he has overcome the hurdles to achieve his goal and/or his reaction illustrates a change in their relationship) Alternatively he finds the house empty because she is in a hotel/alley at the back of a bar/on a trip to Mars (bigger change).

There is no more sex in the second version, it is merely strung out for longer and there is rising tension before the finale.

Feel free to use the second version as a prompt — I’d love to read the results.

Oh, and if you wondered if eating chocolate cake is sexy – it depends how you eat it!

Writing about sex is like eating chocolate cake - it depends how you do it.
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More on writing and some of my erotic short stories

4 thoughts on “Sex, Strawberries and Cream

  1. Pingback: Elust #152

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