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Old 10-31-2017, 02:49 PM   #1
Charmolypi
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How long between sex scenes before your story drifts out of the erotic lit category?

I’m finding that I love fleshing out the world and characters in my stories. Sometimes that means the saucy stuff gets spaced farther and farther apart. I’ll “write the story I want to write” but I also want it to be an erotic tale. One sex scene per page? Do you ever feel like fitting sex in is forced and contrived given the context? Love to hear your experiences with balancing this.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:55 PM   #2
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I think eroticism is not all about sex scenes, and I would expect Literotica to reflect this. Sometimes the expectation of a sex scene can be more erotic than the sex scene itself.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:03 PM   #3
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Some of my erotic stories have no overt sex at all.
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 10-31-2017, 03:10 PM   #4
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Conversely, it could just be one sex scene after another one and never leave the erotic Lit. category.

This is yet another one of those, there's no definitive answer to this, questions.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
Some of my erotic stories have no overt sex at all.
I’d love to read an example.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Charmolypi View Post
I’d love to read an example.
Here are two:

https://www.literotica.com/s/dinner-with-friends-1

https://www.literotica.com/s/lenskys-aria
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 10-31-2017, 03:17 PM   #7
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I don't have an answer for you, but I share your conundrum. As a reader, I often find myself skipping ahead to the sex, unless the story really grabs me. So my stories so far have all been short and over 50% sex scenes.

Some commenters asked for more about a particular character. In trying to develop her more fully, I'm coming up with a lot more backstory that I have to tell before I can get to the sex. It's not really the style that I have developed for myself. But maybe my style has to evolve to tell the stories I want.

I'm very curious to see how this new story is received. If this thread is still active when it comes out, I'll let you know how the numbers compare.
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmolypi View Post
I’m finding that I love fleshing out the world and characters in my stories. Sometimes that means the saucy stuff gets spaced farther and farther apart. I’ll “write the story I want to write” but I also want it to be an erotic tale. One sex scene per page? Do you ever feel like fitting sex in is forced and contrived given the context? Love to hear your experiences with balancing this.
I'm writing a long multi-chapter thing at the moment with a lot of world building and multiple, detailed characters. The sex scenes must make logical sense with the plot, so I write them as required, but definitely not to a rota. In fact, my whole prologue chapter has zero erotic content but it does have a volcanic eruption and a fifteen year old. An opening teaser - set up to intrigue. Obviously, the story proper starts five years later... (Lit rules apply).
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:38 PM   #9
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I seem to do pretty well with lots of drifts between sex scenes, and I find that people are actually pretty forgiving as long as it's a good story!
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:22 PM   #10
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There's no formula. You can write an engaging story with well-developed characters and little or no sex, or a story with characters developed to the point of (maybe) having names, hardly any story, and lots of sex. What's acceptable to the readers will depend a lot on your category.

You don't have to be stuck in one place in that range. Different stories can fall in different places in the spectrum and into different categories.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotWise View Post
There's no formula. You can write an engaging story with well-developed characters and little or no sex, or a story with characters developed to the point of (maybe) having names, hardly any story, and lots of sex. What's acceptable to the readers will depend a lot on your category.

You don't have to be stuck in one place in that range. Different stories can fall in different places in the spectrum and into different categories.
^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Exactly. If a formula worked, authors would all be replaced by AI's.

My longest and highest-rated story contains exactly one very brief explicit sex scene. (THE BOTANISTS, linked in my.sig.) Other tales are almost nonstop fuckfests. Writing, the story tells me if and when another fuck is due. Set the characters loose and they might just go wild. Or not. They tell the tale and I merely transcribe.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post
As a reader, I often find myself skipping ahead to the sex, unless the story really grabs me. So my stories so far have all been short and over 50% sex scenes.
As a reader, I often find myself skipping OVER the sex when a story grabs me. I read mostly LW. The majority of stories I read there would be better without any graphic sex. Graphic sex scenes nearly ALWAYS appear to have been stuffed in without any real story purpose.

I enjoy sexual tension in a scene or in a story, but detailed descriptions of a man eating a woman and both ARRRGGGHHHHing into a coma have little to do with any story. The level of anatomical minutiae nearly always takes me OUT of the story just as pointless descriptions of the scenery do.

I don't normally offer my own stories as examples, but "Bar Tricks" is all sexual tension without any graphic sex. It's a very short standalone story.

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Old 11-01-2017, 12:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjordan View Post
As a reader, I often find myself skipping OVER the sex when a story grabs me.
Yeah, I've done that too. Not as often. I don't read Literotica for the great writing, but occasionally you find a diamond in the rough.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:10 PM   #14
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Sometimes it is possible to flesh out a character during the sex scenes, not in between them. This keeps everybody happy. As a writer you get to make your characters more real. For the reader they still get to read about all the hot stuff they came for. In fact, I would suggest that all sex scenes should involve some way in which you develop your characters or bring them to life a little more.

Of course, not all character development can happen this way. Just a thought.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:18 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by delicious_man View Post
Sometimes it is possible to flesh out a character during the sex scenes, not in between them. This keeps everybody happy. As a writer you get to make your characters more real. For the reader they still get to read about all the hot stuff they came for. In fact, I would suggest that all sex scenes should involve some way in which you develop your characters or bring them to life a little more.

Of course, not all character development can happen this way. Just a thought.
No problem with that. If it advances the story, graphic sex is OK (though it could still be dull). My criticism is that graphic sex rarely does advance the story unless the story is about graphic sex.

Pillow talk in a sex scene can be used to advance the story. The opportunities for advancing a story by describing what a pussy looks like or a blow-by-blow blow job are very limited.

Seriously, if a character has a flat tire, do you waste time describing how he changed the tire?

So most graphic sex scenes are indulgences or pandering.

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Old 11-01-2017, 03:34 PM   #16
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Seriously, if a character has a flat tire, do you waste time describing how he changed the tire?

So most graphic sex scenes are indulgences or pandering.

rj
No, but if a character loses something of importance, you might describe it in detail - like losing one's virginity perhaps.

Or if a character decides to do something daring for the first time - like sleeping with their boss - you might describe it in detail.

These sorts of events can provide tremendous opportunity for building your characters if you focus on more than just the physical act of sex but consider the emotion and other layers that are involved. That's what I was getting at.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:36 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by delicious_man View Post
No, but if a character loses something of importance, you might describe it in detail - like losing one's virginity perhaps.

Or if a character decides to do something daring for the first time - like sleeping with their boss - you might describe it in detail.

These sorts of events can provide tremendous opportunity for building your characters if you focus on more than just the physical act of sex but consider the emotion and other layers that are involved. That's what I was getting at.
I know you are, and I'm agreeing with you. Maybe my position is a little more extreme. Details of the physical act are a distant second to considering the emotions and actions of the characters.

Again, detailed descriptions of the physical act that advance the story are important. Describing actions of the woman sleeping with her boss that show her as timid, inexperienced, very experienced, advanced give important clues about the character that my help understand her actions. I have no argument with that.

I have received complaints that my graphic sex scenes are lackluster which never surprises me because my heart just isn't in it. But I've never had anyone suggest that I need MORE graphic sex scenes.

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Old 11-01-2017, 04:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rjordan View Post
No problem with that. If it advances the story, graphic sex is OK (though it could still be dull). My criticism is that graphic sex rarely does advance the story unless the story is about graphic sex.

Pillow talk in a sex scene can be used to advance the story. The opportunities for advancing a story by describing what a pussy looks like or a blow-by-blow blow job are very limited.

Seriously, if a character has a flat tire, do you waste time describing how he changed the tire?

So most graphic sex scenes are indulgences or pandering.

rj
Well, you said it yourself: "graphic sex rarely does advance the story unless the story is about graphic sex." But, of course, a lot of stories here ARE about graphic sex. Readers want to read about, and writers want to write about, sex in all of its minute, blow-by-blow anatomical glory. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's not for every story, but neither is it to dismissed or edited out of the story.

Half of Moby Dick is an insanely detailed account of whales and whaling. It could fairly be called whale porn. But the reputation of the novel doesn't seem to have suffered for all of that. As with whaling, there's an art to describing sex organs, and all the ways they can combine, in great detail. It's no more or less legitimate a part of an erotic story than any other part.

As far as changing tires is concerned: should you spend a lot of words describing the changing of
a tire? You should, if it gives you pleasure to write it and if it will give your readers 5 minutes of pleasure in an otherwise boring and (dare I say) anticlimactic day.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #19
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I know you are, and I'm agreeing with you. Maybe my position is a little more extreme. Details of the physical act are a distant second to considering the emotions and actions of the characters.

rj
I see. I think we are pretty much entirely in agreement then.

I often find the most stimulating erotic fiction passes over most of the 'graphic' detail and just hints at what's going on. Instead the writing focuses on the relationship between the characters, the tensions and drama, the rising excitement and anticipation.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:09 PM   #20
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Saturday's Child is 4 lit pages and has only one sex scene, a brief one at that. Posted it in Erotic Couplings and it has done well. Just reposted one of my first stories, Weekend in the Mountains, which is nearly as long as Sat's Child but has 6 or 7 sex scenes, It has also done well. A lot of it depends on your audience, and a lot of it depends on how well the story is told. In any event I don't think there is, or even should be, a rule for how much sex in how many pages. They do it when they do it and they do it as much as they feel like doing it. Anything more or less the reader will pick up on.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:27 PM   #21
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Thank you for the thoughts and all the story links. I’m working my way through them.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #22
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I'm writing a long multi-chapter thing at the moment with a lot of world building and multiple, detailed characters. The sex scenes must make logical sense with the plot, so I write them as required, but definitely not to a rota. In fact, my whole prologue chapter has zero erotic content but it does have a volcanic eruption and a fifteen year old. An opening teaser - set up to intrigue. Obviously, the story proper starts five years later... (Lit rules apply).
Iy becomes more of a problem, I think, in multi-chapter works. For me, anyway, I felt that I was letting the reader down if there wasn't at least some overtly sexual content in each segment. In my new work, I'm not going to worry about it. The sex will be where it fits in the story.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:53 PM   #23
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I see. I think we are pretty much entirely in agreement then.

I often find the most stimulating erotic fiction passes over most of the 'graphic' detail and just hints at what's going on. Instead the writing focuses on the relationship between the characters, the tensions and drama, the rising excitement and anticipation.
Speaking as a female reader, the sexual tension in the relationship is much more exciting than any graphic description.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #24
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As far as changing tires is concerned: should you spend a lot of words describing the changing of a tire? You should, if it gives you pleasure to write it and if it will give your readers 5 minutes of pleasure in an otherwise boring and (dare I say) anticlimactic day.
You can write anything you want. Typically a storyteller would stick to the story; readers generally expect it. Unless you are fishing for comments like, "WTF is with all the tire changing?"

But yeah, write anything you like. I have no objection to graphic sex scenes either. If they advance the story, I read them. If they don't I skip them. My only point was that a majority of LW stories have gratuitous sex scenes that have nothing whatever to do with the story.

I'll leave it at that.

rj
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:40 PM   #25
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I see. I think we are pretty much entirely in agreement then.

I often find the most stimulating erotic fiction passes over most of the 'graphic' detail and just hints at what's going on. Instead the writing focuses on the relationship between the characters, the tensions and drama, the rising excitement and anticipation.
To me, that's the interesting part.

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