Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sexually Graphic Language

"You know when you are working your man's cock and craving that juicy load? You're so hot that your knees are quivering and you are moaning just thinking about it?"

This is an excerpt from one of the blogs that I've followed over the years.  Additionally, those two sentences are the introduction to the post.  You click on the link and BAM there's a cock in your face.  Figuratively anyway, a big written schlong right between your eyes.

I've mentioned that I have an aversion to language like that.  I'll avoid it whenever possible for multiple reasons.  I even got into a bit of an argument with the creator of e[lust] when I withdrew my interest in the project because I thought there was too much of the graphic and I didn't think it really fit with what I've been doing, e[lust] submission (read the comments, Monique and I go back and forth a bit).

On personal level, I generally don't enjoy it's because it tends to be crass for crassness' sake and lacks a sense of the artistic.  It reminds me of those young kids that run around saying swear words, grinning ear to ear because they're being bad.    

As a writer, the graphic language usage bothers me for two reasons (I'm using the term loosely, I don't consider blogging to be in the same category as most types of writing).  1. When you use evocative words too frequently they lose their power.  Imagine if every time you turned on the TV it showed hardcore porn, after a while it stops shocking you and it's just expected.  2.  There needs to be some build up before you jump into erotic language.  First off, if you don't know who's involved you have no connection, no investment in the sex.  It's just there.  Secondly, if you want to work someone up you start slow, suggest, tease... then when you get into the actual sex it's almost a relief.

So, both issues as a writer could be resolved by fleshing out the story and only using the graphic language once the reader gets into it.  When the language is used properly it stops being coarse, crass, and becomes erotic.

Yeah, yeah, I talk shit about everybody else but what do I have to offer?  Generally, I don't write erotic because that's less interesting to me than humor, philosophy, and observation, but let's flex some underused writing muscles.

Jenn had been working the day shift and watching her son most nights, I'd been working the night shift and sleeping most of the day.  The scheduling issue was driving us both up the wall, it'd been weeks since we'd been able to spend any time together.  So, when we finally got to see each other we were as excited as teenagers, hardly able to keep our hands off of each other.

When our lips met we were both eager, then quickly we became ferocious.  We locked together in my car, leaning awkwardly over the center console, uncomfortable, but neither of us willing to lose the tenuous contact of our lips.  I traced the line of her jaw with a finger, then down the side of her throat.  A single fingertip gently traced her collar bone, each breath she inhaled brought her chest against the back of my hand.  I could literally feel her breathing quicken against me as her lips pressed into mine.

She placed her palm against my chest, rubbing the muscles under the shirt.  That thin fabric, like a weak pane of glass separating our bodies.  The hand traveled down, then fumbled for a moment before getting her fingers under the cloth and pressing into the warm skin of my stomach.

I just whipped that out, it's a re-imagining of one of my semi-erotic posts about Jenn.  Now, that passage establishes a bit of star-crossed lover theme, the two having a difficult time seeing each other.  Then a make out session in the car, which is relatable because everyone has had a good make out session in a car.  You could just say "it was a make out session in the car" and each reader will flash back to one of their own experiences, no graphic language necessary.  It's a very Hitchcock-ian perspective, less is usually more.

And did you notice that I didn't use a single sexually graphic word?  I didn't even use the word breast; "each breath she inhaled brought her chest into the back of my hand".  Arguably, that would have been a good use for the word, kind of a tease to get the juices flowing before getting into the meat of the story, but I wanted to make a point.  Sexually graphic words don't make something sexy, good use of language and imagination does.

That passage above would be a very good introduction to an erotic story.  It warms everyone up, get's them interested, get's them invested.  It's sexy but not graphic, which leaves the hard core words for the graphic parts of the story. 

Why is this important?  Because the writers I've seen who write the most "erotic stories" use the graphic language all the time.  It could be a short post about how the dude making her coffee smiled at her and made her wet.  Then the language is expected and when they write their "erotic stories" they don't have the impact that they would have otherwise. 

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