In Defense of the Fuckfest ~ A Smut-Lover’s Manifesto

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…

Oh really?

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.

Fuck that.

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

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26 Responses to In Defense of the Fuckfest ~ A Smut-Lover’s Manifesto

  1. Brita Addams says:

    I’m with you my sister Riptider. Oh, the times I’ve heard, “Oh, you write THAT kind of book.” That person couldn’t find his dick with both hands. I’m proud of what I write (and I love what you write!)

    Well said, Kari!

  2. Amen, sistah!! Writing sex is not easy, and smut =/= trash. I actually had someone ask about my books, and when I told her it was erotic romance, she wrinkled her nose and said, “Oh, I don’t read THAT trash.” Um…thanks…

    Ugh. Everyone’s got an opinion…


  3. Bryl R. Tyne says:

    You couldn’t have said it better, Kari! You have an amazing knack for pulling the reader into your books, sex or no!

    I’ve written stories both loaded with sexy manlove and those totally lacking any hint of it — all equally entertaining, mind you. What’s that prove? That I write good stories. So can I write great sex also? Do readers skip over my sex scenes? Hell to the no! I get as many comments/emails on the visceral scenes I give them to enjoy (and “enjoy” they do, according to my inbox!). Writing eroticism of any kind is an art, and as you so eloquently say to those who take it for granted or trash it: “Fuck that.” (and Fuck Them, might I add).

    I’m proud of my writing. I enjoy writing sex that takes readers deeper into the characters and the story. And I’m proud to say YES! to the Fuckfest. Did I mention that I love your writing?

    You rock!

  4. Taylor V Donovan says:

    Granted there are some books where the sex is the plot, but we must not generalize or stereotype the genre.

    In my opinion, sex scenes can be the most difficult to write. You need to find different and innovative ways to get the ol’ insert tab A into slot B to move the story forward and develop the characters furthermore. By being contemptuous about this kind of writing, readers are missing out on some powerful, beautiful scenes where connection and raw emotion are the key.

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  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself Kari! And Taylor, that’s so true too, sex scenes are hard to write, and when you get them right, that means you’ve done a good job with the details, with the teaching of characters and readers and all that good stuff Kari mentioned above.

    Gotta love the smut!

  7. Wendy says:

    From one smut lover to another – amen! Well written sex scenes can make a huge difference in my emotional connection to the book/characters (not to mention the physical reaction:)! Skimming is a crime – please bring on more good sex. Yes! to the FuckFest!!!

  8. Shannon says:

    Fuck YES! I was at the m/m scifi/fantasy panel at Dragon*con, and I wanted to get up and scream at all the authors sneering at writers of smut/erotica. I write all kinds of stories, and hands down, writing good, engaging, visceral sex is the hardest thing I do.

  9. jayhjay says:

    I totally agree with you. I think a good sex scene is both exciting/titillating for the reader, but also can illuminate so much about the characters. So many emotional developments can come out of the physical if it is written well.

    Let your smut flag fly!

  10. K-lee says:

    I really have to be in the right mood to write sex and I’m guilty of being a skimmer if there’s too much boring, redundant sex in a book – yes, I need plot and characterization. Sex is hard to write – especially well.

    Gonna reblog this.

  11. I’ll join in the amen chorus. I find sex scenes just about the hardest thing to write specifically because they’re so hard to do well–to not just advance character and/or plot but also present them in a way readers haven’t seen a bazillion times before. And good god do you do it well; you write just about the hottest sex I’ve ever read 😀

  12. Tracy says:

    I have had an orgasm or two after a well-written sex scene (smallish, but still…)

    So, Hells Yeah! Bring it on!

  13. Kari says:

    WOO HOO! Thanks, everybody, for signing on!!! Writing sex — good sex — is not an easy thing. We work hard — damned hard — at it. And I, for one, am purely fed up with the attitude that writing sex is the ugly, red-headed stepchild of the genre. As though it were something shameful that we should apologize for.

    I work at it. I’m good at it. I enjoy writing it…I. Love. Smut.

    And I say YES. 😀

  14. Jason says:

    mmmm! Smut!

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  16. You are SO right!! I love reading it, I love writing it and won’t read anything that doesn’t have it in it. Without sex none of us would be here. So BRING ON the smut!!

    With a hearty “Yes! YEs! YEESSS!!!”

  17. Judi says:

    You are so right! Wearing your badge with honor!
    Bring on the wonderful endless Smut. <3

  18. I join in with the chorus with a big Amen. I may not write it, but I sure as hell love to read it, and ya friggin’ rock, don’t let these assholes say any different. I’m grabbin’ that badge too. I’m flyin’ that bad boy.

  19. Casey says:

    Totally with you on this one.

    I’m so tired of skimming over the same old sex that reads like something out of the fade to billowing curtains era or alternatively a mechanical run through of various stock phrases that bring nothing but a sigh of boredom.

    Good sex is seldom found, great sex rarer still.

    I rate sex scenes on whether they leave me considering the need to take a short break from reading to uh… hmm… but anyway, the pictures painted need to be bloody hot and the heat needs to creep over my skin as though I’m right there watching it, soaking up the heat and the smell and those delicious sounds.

    Not easy.

    So bring it on, and lets all be proud whether reading it or writing it. Support the fuckfest? Hell, yeah!

  20. Damon Suede says:


    Yes to the fuckfest!

  21. La says:

    How the hell did I miss this? YES YES YES! And your sex scenes are HAWT.

  22. Kari says:

    LOL — THANKS, guys! 😀 😀 😀

  23. Clancy Nacht says:

    *starts the slow clap*

    I am with you on this thing, my sister. Preach it!

  24. Clancy Nacht says:

    Looks like i”m late to this party but may I still use the graphic? 🙂

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