B is for “Blow Me,” and Other Onomatopoeia

My A-Z Challenge this year is about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.

Over the years I’ve discovered that there are tricks to writing tantalizing sex scenes. First is not employing overused phrases like “engorged member” and “heaving bosom.” Let’s face it, they’ve been done to death and thus have become fodder for ridicule. Inspiring an eye roll from a reader is more anti-erotic than titillating. So what is erotic?

The second thing on my personal list of how to write a good sex scene is subtlety. There’s really nothing worse than the feeling that you’re reading an organ owner’s manual. i.e. Her bosom heaving, she grasped his engorged member and rubbed it. Then…

No. Just no. Step by step instructions don’t work for anyone with experience. So unless you’re writing specifically for virgins, I’d suggest allowing the reader to use his or her own imagination. Think of it this way – your target audience likely knows what they’re doing even with the lights off. They don’t need you to show up with a megawatt spotlight and a bullhorn to ruin it all for them. Rewriting the previous example with this in mind; With a deep exhalation she reached down and took him in her hand, stroking and guiding…  You get the picture, right? And if you don’t, you’re probably too young to be reading this. Go away.

The third and final point–and the one for which this post is titled–is onomatopoeia. For those of you who have grown a distance from grade six grammar, onomatopoeia is “the use of words whose sound suggests the sense.”* Depending on the softness or the urgency of the sex scene in question, there are just some words that sound better; that roll off the tongue and slip easily into place. “Blow me,” for instance comes across better as a whisper, whereas the phrase “suck it” has the sharp consonants that depict more of a demand. Shorter sentences provide a sense of breathlessness as the scene progresses toward its climax.

These are but a few techniques which, subtle in and of themselves, separate the passages that have a reader reaching for a fan from the ones that have ’em running for the toilet before they pee themselves with laughter. There’s an art to writing an effective sex scene. When you read one, you know it. Writing them takes practice, like anything. Like sex itself.

*Merriam Webster online

 

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17 thoughts on “B is for “Blow Me,” and Other Onomatopoeia

  1. I’ve had this conversation with other writers so many times. There’s a sharp difference between writing a sex scene and writing porn. Apparently, it takes a lot of reading and writing them to convey the difference, but the difference is always obvious to me. I try to say it’s the difference between painting a picture and directing a play.

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  2. Dear Miss Izzy, I agree with you about the subtly angle. In a previous life when I was writing such things my main aim was to not allow my characters to in any way hurt each other. Their interactions were always to be pleasurable. I find it fascinating that women can write in such subtle ways and at the same time I have read some women who write in far more explicit ways than I ever did. And I do agree the consonants in some words do give stronger more sensual meaning than the more harsh sounds, though they do have a place at times.
    Enjoy your Easter break.
    I wonder what take you’ll do with C?

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    • Oh C… so many possibilities. I hope you won’t be disappointed, Sir Michael. 🙂
      I’ve written my fair share of explicit material, and yet I don’t believe that subtlety need be sacrificed even for that. For me it’s all about the language. I can do just as good a job with writing an erotic piece using only food as I can mentioning every four-letter word in the book, still leaving enough to the imagination that it tantalizes my reader. 🙂
      I do hope you enjoy your Easter as well, Sir. May the bunny be good to you. 🙂

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    • Well well well …. it really seems I must catch up on my emails – Sir Michael – because you have me completely – utterly – intrigued now 😉

      I do hope you will forgive my inexcusable delay in replying and of course, reading blog posts. But that is for another day, perhaps when dusk settles in smokey blue haze, like the waft of cigarette perfuming the air, a halo settling around her tousled hair …

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  3. If I were to write any sex scene, I’d have to throw in a quivering mound or a purple headed warrior at least once as a salute to tradition. Sure, it’s corny and if it’s all you do you’ll kill the mood but a tip of the hat would be a must for me.

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    • Ha! That actually made me laugh out loud. Now I want to put “purple headed warrior” somewhere in my novel. …probably won’t be in the middle of a sex scene though. 😛
      Thanks for this. 😀

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  4. “You get the picture, right? And if you don’t, you’re probably too young to be reading this. Go away.”

    Anyone who can write this – in such a style – well …’nuff said. I almost fell off my chair laughing.

    Great post 😀

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