What makes a story sexy?
As a debut erotica author, I’ve been asked several questions about my story, my first foray into the world of extreme steam, some of which I’ve had to take with a grain of salt.
“Is it sexy or smutty? Do you write your real experiences? Is there a plot or is it just sex scenes? Don’t you feel embarrassed writing the sex?” As I strive to answer the questions as truthfully and as politely as possible, it actually makes me ask a question of myself, what makes a story sexy?
To be honest, I’ve written all levels of steam and been published under other pseudonyms in children’s fiction, sweet romance and steamy paranormal romance. All of these share one thing with erotica, there has to be a story first and then you can build whatever world you want around it.
To me, graphic scenes or language, bare parts of the body and honest descriptions of sexual practices isn’t what makes a story sexy. The relationship between the two (or more) main characters is the key.
As I read or write a story, I’m most interested in the characters, their strengths and flaws, and the journey they embark on. These key elements must be the impetus for all actions and reactions in the story. In fact, one of the sexiest scenes in the story I’m touting right now is a caress that my hero, Jon gives Lori. It is in foreplay but it doesn’t involve an erogenous zone, per se. He just manages to make her feel loved and appealing in the best way possible, by admiring the very thing she sees in herself as a negative, her extra ten pounds.
As a reader of romance from way back, I’ve been moved by more eye gazes and simple caresses than I can name. When joined with a killer plot, two or more characters that are endearing and identifiable, as well as yummy scenes of lovemaking, the result is a keeper book that is reread over and over.
As a writer, the one thing I always insist on was a love story between generally two people that ends in a commitment of some sort. It doesn’t necessarily have to be marriage, but some commitment just the same. When the romance market opened up to more erotic forms I rejoiced. It was the type of book I loved to read and wanted to write. I love the fact that now, with the growth of affordable digital platforms, erotic books can find a home in libraries around the world. And the choices continue to expand. Our imaginations as both writers and readers are the limits of erotica.
So, to answer the questions I’ve been asked: Is it sexy or smutty? My writing, I think is sexy. There’s an emotional undercurrent in all of my love scenes, whether it’s tenderness, laughter and joy or a realization that this person is the character’s other half, it is always my goal to have emotion tagging the sex.
Do you write your real experiences? Not always.
Is there a plot or is it just sex scenes? Oh, I sincerely hope there is a plot first in all of my fiction. If there isn’t, I’m not doing it right.
Don’t you feel embarrassed writing the sex? To be honest, not now. When I started writing the scenes with more graphic language, I had to actually practice typing certain words and usually ended up editing out some that I still have problems saying aloud. But, instead of focusing on the language, I try to hone in on the scene and the emotion and find it works.
Eve Simon is the pseudonym of an author who is also published in paranormal romantic suspense and sweet romance. She spends most of her time in front of the computer but in her spare time, gardens, hikes and enjoys being outdoors. Eve’s first foray into erotic romance is Waking up Lori, by Secret Cravings Publishing.
Blurb for Waking up Lori
Lori and Jon have been friends and gym buddies for a couple of years. For Lori, Jon is the one person she can turn to when she needs to unwind, to destress and be herself. She’s willing to keep their friendship on casual terms. After all, a best friend is hard to find.
Jon doesn’t agree. He’s hot for Lori and more, he wants her to know what a treasure she is. And he’s determined to take a weekend to prove it, once and for all, and in no uncertain sexual terms. When Lori calls Jon to request a workout session after a stressful day, he takes her up on the offer. But his version of stress relief is a little different than hers, and a lot more enjoyable.
Can Jon convince Lori she is everything he needs and wants?