I write smut. Really hot smut. Melt your Kindle and email the author (that would be me) with the moisture status of your panties (or the length & girth of your very insistent wanker) smut. I write sex and a lot of it. I’m not ashamed of that. Hell, I LOVE it. I love the sweat. I love the jabbing elbows and long, smooth strokes. I love the sounds, the smells, the groans…I love. writing. sex. And judging by the wonderful squirmy-filled emails, readers love it too.
Which is why it pisses me off that writing good quality smut is looked upon with so much disrespect and sneering disdain. And yes, I am including authors I consider friends, some of whom I greatly admire, in that.
Writing sex is easy, they say. It just fills space that should be sucked up by plot and character and <insert pretentious literary element/device here>! Readers are tired of sex and skim right over it…
If readers are skimming over your sex scenes, dudes, pardon me for saying so, but you ain’t doing it right. Sex doesn’t take the place of plot and characterization, either. Sex — the right kind of sex — ADVANCES plot and ENRICHES characterization. If it doesn’t? You’re doing that wrong too.
Writing sex — good sex — is not easy.
The right kind of sex engages the reader. They (and you) should feel it on a visceral level — not just physically but emotionally. Readers experience the whisper-soft caress of fingertips skating down the bumps of the hero’s spine…because you’ve damned well made them feel it. They hear the pulse pounding in the hero’s head…because you’ve invested them so deeply that the reader’s pulse is pounding a frantic staccato in their heads too.
You think that’s easy? To drag readers into your world of sensation and consuming want?
They share your hero’s turmoil, the chaos reigning in what’s left of his mind as shaky arousal and lust overtake him. He wants it. He needs to be touched…right…there. Please. Does he like to beg? Does he crave it?
Or are you too busy with the mechanics of inserting Tab A into Slot B to notice or care?
Sex, good sex, forges such a strong connection between the hero and readers that they become as aroused as your character does. The hero buckles to that want in spite of all the reasons he shouldn’t — and your readers do too. Readers don’t skim that scene, dudes. Because they are as invested in the sex as the hero is. He has something at stake. Something to lose, something to learn — and so very, very much to feel. And if you’ve done your job right — your readers do too.
I have very few pretensions about what I do. I write fuckfests. I write porn WITH plot. I write hot little stories that will turn you on — and eviscerate you, all at the same time. I write smut. But it’s quality smut. I will turn you on, or I’ve failed. I will invite you into my slightly skewed view of the world, or I’ve failed. I will take you on a journey. I will entertain you. Or I’ve failed.
Too much sex, you say?
No, compadres. Too much isn’t the problem. What I see lacking is good sex. Boring sex? Phone-it-in sex? Uninspired, emotionally flat, pointless canned sex is everywhere. Good sex is practically an endangered species, though. Fucking and sucking that turns you on, tells the story and reveals something new about your hero TO your hero (and to you!) is rare. I’m talking about sex that gives you the total package. It grips your heart, hitches your breath, makes your body flash hot. Emotionally evocative sex that moves, affects and inspires you (and not just the contents of your underwear). It engages you physically, sure, but also emotionally and intellectually. That kind of sex? Of that, there isn’t nearly enough.
And God help you if you dare to write it.
Some will say it’s only mindless titillation for the sake of filthy lucre. Because, yanno, no “serious” writer could ever genuinely enjoy or be drawn to writing such stories. Some blithely and blindly act as though there’s no merit in it. Because erotica (good and bad) doesn’t fit their parameters of what is acceptable in M/M. We, as a genre, should outgrow such crude beginnings. Your work — the work you’ve sweat blood over to produce the best story possible– will be ignored (at best) and otherwise, demeaned. Simply because it’s erotica and good erotica just isn’t good enough.
I write smut. I entertain people. I stir hearts and gonads. I ask readers to take a step or three outside their comfort zones and consider the world from a different perspective. And I write sex. Lots of it.
I won’t apologize.
And I am not ashamed.
If you aren’t ashamed to fly your freak flag too, I’ve got this uber cool Yes to the Fuckfest badge for ya. Show your support for quality smut by signing the Smut-Lover’s Manifesto in comments below and/or grab the nifty badge for your site, blog or Goodreads profile!
Image ID: 183666 courtesy of Patti at stock.xchng