About   |  Books  |  Media

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post: Tammy Crosby and The Art of Writing Erotica

I'd like to introduce you all to my good "virtual" friend, Tammy Crosby, a great pal with a wicked sense of humor.

Since Tammy is known for her amazing beta skills, I recently asked her if she wouldn't mind taking a look at a new project I've been working on. It was her first ever experience reading erotica and one that she probably won't soon forget.

I thought it might be fun to get her take on the Art of Writing Erotica and, true to form, what she came back with is not only entertaining but thought-provoking as well. So without further ado...

Hi ya! So my awesomesauce tweeper pal Ang asked if I’d like to do a guestpost on her blog. Once I figured out what that was (and realized Angie is a much faster runner than I am) I succumbed, I mean, er, agreed. The real challenge of course was what to discuss. *chuckles* Seriously, it’s me people, we know that’s never really a challenge where I’m concerned. The thing to talk about on an erotic blog is sex of course! ;)

Newbie writer that I am, I have hoards of questions. Let’s face it, erotica is a dicey genre for an author to write in. First thing that pops into my mind is: Is it just me or do you assume if you write a sex scene that EVERYone who reads it assumes that must be exactly what you do? Makes me blush writing a mere passionate embrace let alone a hardcore pelvic bumping steam scene. *shudders* I mean no matter how warped, twisted, and physically impossible it may be…I’d always feel like that’s what people really thought I did. How do you deal with this? Is it difficult? Does it sometimes get to you? How does this translate to building writing vs work vs home relationships?

If we tell someone we write young adult no one judges it, but if you say you write erotica suddenly people are looking at you strangely. What must it be like to write in a world with these sorts of precognitions? Told you I had questions.

This is one genre I know I’d never be comfortable writing in. I’ve been reading some of Angie’s work and I still can’t get my toes to stop blushing. But, since you all know I’m the queen purveyor of telling everyone to push their writing boundaries, my own blog will feature a steamy little flash piece this week. It isn’t a full out erotic piece by any means, but it’s definitely a piece that has stretched my skills as a storyteller. It pushed me to be BOLD which inspired my latest #tammyism – Bold risk brings bold confidence!

I hope all of you readers here today share your own thoughts on the topic of ‘Writing sex’. Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this.


  1. I love you guys! You make me laugh - and want a steamy book, too. Sure, it's hard to write a great sex scene, hard to shut down that inner Jiminey Cricket beating my skull with his little umbrella screaming "What if your mother reads this? Will she think you have Cirque de Soliel Sex? Hmm?" I used to drown him with scotch, but he's learned to swim now, little pesky bug. Keep pushing those boundaries! Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking forward to **blushes** reading the results of your experiment.

  2. LOL, great piece Angie and Tammy. To be honest I have the same sort of feelings as you Tammy, prefering to "fade to black" at certain scenes as I can't write it for toffee and feel that for me, the reader can put more imagination in so I don't have to worry.

    Like you, I always worried that if I wrote something, people would think that I was the Marque De Sade's second coming (no pun intended.) Even if its all imagination and no practical knowledge. (Mind you lets face it, where would you look to find someone to act them out for you to check authenticity, the cirque de soleil contortionists?)

    All in, great fun and thanks for that.

  3. Yes, writing erotica does add a new dimension to the advice given authors from time immemorial to "write what you know." LOL!

    But seriously, when my first two novels were published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books, my editor insisted I sex them up. So, reluctantly, I added tons of gratuitous sex. Of course the reviewers responded with, "Great books, except for all the gratuitous sex."

    Lesson? You can't just write sex to write sex, it has to be an organic part of the story.

    The other thing I've learned through the years of writing in many genres is that it's much more erotic to focus on the emotions than the mechanics of sex. Of course, this might be old news to everyone but me, but it took me a while to get it.

    Tammy, knowing you like I do and having witnessed your inherent shyness, I cannot wait to read your steamy story. You never cease to amaze me with your artistic courage!

  4. So true...it's been a learning experience for me too! And quite right, you really do need to write what you know...or what you can imagine...vividly. lol

  5. As usual, your post had me grinning. There's always humour in your blog posts even if it is something blush-worthly like erotica. I'm glad you had fun with it. I tried writing it a long time ago, but I don't know if it's something I'd want to write regularly. I'm all for pushing the envelope and stretching boundaries. Sex sells! Someone has to write it! :)

  6. Great post! I'm terrible at writing sex. I can kind of do it, but I tend to fade to black more than anything.


  7. Anyone who knows me will wonder why I am commenting on this post... because Angie and Tams are such lovely people of course.

    It was a wonderfully honest post, and funny too.

    I agree with others above, there seems nothing that will scare Tammy too much for her to try and tackle (no pun intended) something new.

    I have to say I don't 'get' the whole erotica genre. Not so much as to why it appeals to readers, but the motivations for writing it, other than the obvious 'it sells', or 'it's hot'.

    The concept seems a bit bio-mechanical (not read Angie's work so that isn't a critique of her writing BTW), but as Devin says above, the emotions and not the mechanics are what fires my creativity... I'm just another fade-to-black writer I guess.

    I'll leave the erotica to the experts, and I have a funny feeling (again pun not intended) Angie is becoming one of those ;).

  8. Writing erotica doesn't mean you aren't writing emotions...it's not all about the sex...we are talking romance here, folks! Romance requires a lot of emotional connection...maybe more than the average person expects in their "real-life" relationships.

  9. Great guest post! What a fantastic pair you two make. Tammy, Angie...am I seeing a co-writing project in the future?
    Tammy, I agree with you. I can't write a steamy scene without knowing that my father is going to read it. Yikes! I build up the "leading to" moments and then after that...fade to black.

  10. For me, romance and sex go hand in hand. If in RL you love someone passionately, chances are the day's not going to end with a peck on the cheek - unless you've got a house full of kids roaming around!

    I love passionate scenes. I don't need a detailed description of all body parts used, but I do love when my toes curls at tastefully written love-making scenes.

    I've tried my hand at writing bits of erotica and thoughts of the ladies at church reading the scenes makes me both giggle and cringe! The idea of my daughters reading said scenes convinces me to use a pen name! LOL!

    I do find the challenge of "writing sex" stimulating! ;)

    Thank you for this very interesting post ladies. As usual, entertaining and thought provoking!

  11. I tend to approach the subject obliquely. I see that picture you have in your mind now, ha ha.
    Many of my characters want sex, but don't often get it, LOL! I keep them waiting.

  12. I can't imagine ever trying to write a sex scene or erotica. Though if I did, a pen name would be a must since I teach preschool!

    As a reader, I enjoy the gamut of sex scenes, from fade to black all the way up to nothing left to the imagination. As long it suits the story, I'm happy. I do want emotions with my sex though. I'm not interested in sex just for sex's sake. It has to matter, even if it's to show how ill-suited a couple is.

  13. Angie I had so much fun doing this, and reading the comments has been very insightful. ;) Thanks to all! :)

  14. Hmm, my earlier comment is missing so I'll try again.

    I like a range of sex scenes, from fade to black to very, very detailed. They all have a place, it's what works for the story that matters. That said, I do want emotion, it needs to be about more than just the physical act.

    I can imagine how hard it is to write one, I'm sure I couldn't do it. Hats off to you Angie! Don't stop.

  15. I'm not a writer by any means, but you nailed it Tam! I do read erotica and think - damn, these authors must have really, REALLY good sex! :)

  16. I'm not a writer by any means, but you nailed it Tam! I do read erotica and think - damn, these authors must have really, REALLY good sex! :)


  17. Hi ladies! *waves* Tammy, seriously, I can't imagine anything making you blush. LOL But, like you, I have a hard time writing sex scenes (but I sure love reading them). I'd much rather write about a brutal murder. *shrug*

  18. Right now not interested in "Erotic" writings ..............thank you for the Award... but since then I lost my remaining sanity ( I even stomped The poor toaster to death as well as a monitor on the back porch.....)
    So I had myself checked into the CRC (Crisis Recovery Center) for a week....
    two nights upon my return home , My Dog ("Uno") got out of the house ....spent all night searching for him..... Animal Control contacted me that he was"mashed" in the road And computer problems
    Was your award supposed to "Bring Misery" ??? the Doctor

  19. Great post guys! It's always good for me to read something from someone who struggles with the erotica genre because it helps give me perspective and remember the varying attitudes that exist out there. One of my issues is knowing when a fade to black is the right thing to do.

    For me sex is just one form of human encounter. In the same way as having a mild conversation in a coffee shop, a vicious fight in a parking lot or standing up in a court room, sexual encounters are charged with emotion and thought. They are passionate, pressure filled situations which can generate some great stories. You get apprehension, recklessness, insecurities, vulnerability and many varied motivations. It's not all about lust.

    A friend of mine who writes erotica once told me "if you can take the sex out and still have a functioning storyline, you're doing it wrong." For me that is the difference between erotica as a genre and a sex scene in a story of a different genre. The sex must be integral to the story.

  20. It was Not so much the Erotica in writing ....I was asking if the Award "Minions of Misery" was supposed to bestow "Misery" upon its recipient ???
    As for your response the Erotica it can to be used to Break or Enhance the dramatic impact the overall storyline's pacing