I like sex, it’s as simple as that. Even before I started writing romance, when I was aspiring to be a crime writer, sex was still high on my list when it came to “what to include in the story”. We’re human, we all do it, well most of us anyway. So when I decided to start on romance, it was obvious that sex was going to feature highly.
I hadn’t really heard of the erotic romance genre before, and before a certain trilogy I hadn’t read anything near erotica. But a lot of my inspiration comes from what I read, and since turning onto romance, I’ve started reading a lot more of it.
But there is a line between erotica and erotic romance and plain old porn. I don’t have a problem with porn, but I don’t think it really has a place in novel writing. The whole point of a novel is a storyline, and porn doesn’t have a storyline, it’s all about the sex.
What about the sex though? There are so many sub-genres of erotic romance and erotica! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly naïve and innocent, but I had no idea how many different ways of having sex there were until I started researching for The Black Door. I knew that it was going to include a private adult club, and was sorely tempted to go all out with the BDSM, and sex-slaves and whatever else you can think of.
My friends suggested that we take a trip to a fetish club, for research obviously, but the trip didn’t come to anything other than talk. Although we are still talking about it. So my research was kept to the internet and my Amazon wish list. I hope nobody ever has to look at my internet history… Of course when I told my husband what I was planning to write about, he was more than happy to help me with the research side of it!
Still, The Black Door is tame compared to some novels out there. I thought working my way through the Kama Sutra and spending most of my royalty cheques at places like Lovehoney and Ann Summers would make my writing more intense. I think I still have a lot of research to do.
My main problem with writing sex scenes is word usage. Recently, I attended Smut by the Sea in Scarborough where I met some prolific erotica writers (who were all lovely and fantastic). During one of the workshops, it was asked whether there were any words we don’t like to use. It got me thinking and it turns out there are actually quite a lot of sex-related words that I feel uncomfortable using, which is going to make this part of the guest blog awkward to write!
Not all of them are particularly rude though. Moist for instance. I hate the word moist, especially when it comes to describing the female anatomy. I just don’t think that “moist pussy” is a particularly sexy way of describing it. In fact, I once told off a writer friend of mine for using it in their work-in-progress. And it is the female anatomy that I find difficult to describe.
It’s not got a very pretty name has it? Vagina. It sounds mechanical, which I guess it is technically speaking. We push babies out of it, it doesn’t need to be sexy for that. Pussy… Well I guess it’s sexier, but when I’m telling my husband I have a hairy pussy between my legs, I’m actually saying that the cat won’t shift off my lap. There is the ‘C’ word of course, but I can’t even bring myself to write that. I’ve used it in my previous novels, but only because it was sort of necessary for the scenes. Okay maybe not that necessary, but it was definitely a word that fitted.
So writing sex scenes can be tricky – we have to describe a not particularly attractive part of the body. Although there are ways around this. Sex isn’t just about the physical aspect of the act, but the emotional as well, and that’s how I like to write my scenes. I like to use the emotional and mental stimulation that we get from sex. Catching breath, arcing backs, tensing muscles, the electric sparks… It’s all clichéd and cheesy, but it’s true isn’t it? Or am I doing it wrong? Perhaps I need to do a little more research before writing my next erotic romance.
Men. All the bloody same. My mind traced back to the day I had given up on one-sided monogamous relationships. The children were at school or work, and the sun was beating down. It was a glorious day, and I had decided to go home for lunch, rather than spend it in a stuffy office. I pulled up outside the house and a fleeting thought passed through my mind when I saw Connor’s car sitting in the driveway. My husband of eighteen years had had the same idea. I crept into the house, hoping to surprise him. But, it turned out that his idea had involved a slutty bottle-blonde. I wanted to blame the events that followed on a red mist descending over me. The truth is that in the time it took for my mind to register that some tart was riding my husband in what I later found out was known as reverse cowgirl, my mind had calculated the necessary response. The skank lost a good handful of bleached hair, roots and all. I allowed her to gather her clothes and watched as she tugged her pants on whilst running out of the house. If nothing else, the neighbours got a good show. Connor yelled at me. But his words were drowned out by the blood pumping in my ears. I marched back up the stairs and into his little study. Opening the window, I saw Miss Slut stood in the middle of the road, screeching obscenities at me. I looked at the Ferrari in our driveway and smiled. I think his Xbox enjoyed its first and final flying lesson as it sailed out of the window. The fact that it landed in the bonnet of his prized mid-life crisis proved that Karma does exist. Connor. Holly. I made a mental note of the two names at the top of my imaginary hit list. I blinked and I was back in the boardroom.
Blurb and buy links
Imogen Pearce is a single mum of four children and fast approaching 40, she works at Ryedale Incorporated where she has to battle a younger and smarter generation to get to where she wants to go. If that means taking on the account of Cherry and Sean Rubin’s adult shop, then she will. But what happens when Imogen discovers the private club that they run at the back? And what happens when she realizes she knows quite a few members?
Author bio and links
British author Charlotte Howard, was born in Oman and spent much of the first part of her life flitting between Oman, Scotland, and England. Now settled in Somerset, Charlotte lives with her husband, two children, and growing menagerie of pets.
Her career as a writer began at an early age, with a poem being featured in an anthology for the East Midlands. Since then Charlotte has written many short stories and poems, and finally wrote her first full-length piece of fiction in 2010.
During what little spare time she has, Charlotte enjoys reading and writing (of course), spending time with her family, and watching action movies whilst eating curry and drinking tea.
Charlotte is an active member of Yeovil Creative Writers.