“His topography fits my geography. The wicked curve upwards kisses that place, that place which sends me into sensory whirlpools of delirious intensity, there on the underside of my navel.
Sure now that my movements are making the most of him, I prop my body up on several pillows, opening my legs so I can see myself reflected in the mirror at the foot of the bed… I guide him in and out, giving him more daringly to that hungry place inside me, building the intensity of sensations until each dive inwards is met with an outward rush of pleasure.”
(Excerpt – Salad Days © Adrea Kore 2013.
Published in Little Raven II and A Storytelling of Ravens)
Orgasms. As a beginning erotica writer, it’s inevitable that at some point you encounter this challenge. You have to describe characters having orgasms. Then as you write more stories, and inevitably more sex scenes, you have to find more ways of describing them – different tones and shades to suit the context, mood, character psychology, and perhaps even the sub-genre of your erotic scene. (Is it paranormal, sci-fi or BDSM erotica, for example?) Different genres may suggest different approaches to description, different language, and even a different emphasis of the experience.
As importantly, you try to write in ways that you hope will arouse the reader.
And all of this, whilst trying to side-step cliché, purple prose or implausibility. Any of these elements risk taking a reader out of the story, and can dampen the intended effect of the more explicit parts of your story.
“We fuck with a rabid, focused intensity.
Fear and desire. Desire and fear. Mysteriously entwined
threads that weave this heightened electricity through my
body. My orgasms, white-hot flashes of neon luminescence.
Splitting through the dark unknown of alleyway shadows.”
(Excerpt – Hand of A Stranger-©ADREA KORE 2013 Published on Forthegirls.com)
In my erotica writing, I reach for a tryst between the truth of sensation and the tease of imagination. I’m engaged in translating the sensations of sex into imagery, in a way which will transmute back though the body of the reader into arousal. In this way, erotica is a kind of sex. This, I believe, is also what all effective erotica does. It’s also a core part of what makes the act of writing pleasurable for me.
Even though my characters may be fictional, I aim to infuse the sensations and emotions my characters are experiencing with a visceral reality; thus often I am drawing (at least in part), on my own experiences. Anais Nin said that as writers, we “write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” I cannot speak for other writers in this genre, but at this stage in my work, there is often (not always) a personal element to my erotica writing. The ‘line’ analogy between fact and fiction isn’t relevant here – think more an intricate collage of these elements on the page.
“He likes to move into her, eyes fused with hers, his hardness
a divining rod, tapping deep into her subterranean flesh,
sensing the secret stores of liquid desire, drawing it from
her in orgasmic fountains.”
(Excerpt – He Likes / She Likes © Adrea Kore 2011)
For me, writing erotica is a deeply creative act, but also a political one. Helene Cixous said: “Women must write themselves .” I feel that call strongly.
The other element that inspires my writing is research; reading current articles about sexuality, and sexual relating. Going to workshops and events on different aspects of sexuality; from Tantric kink to the Japanese art of Shibari rope tying. Tapping into the flourishing sex-positive zeitgeist out there, particularly the increasing availability of information about female sexuality, arousal and orgasm. (Yes, dear readers; this is where I get off.) Throughout this post series, I’ll be quoting from this informative article by sex educator and coach Liv Bryant, who’s kindly agreed to let me share from her article about female orgasms. You’ll find more about Liv and her work at the end of this article.
“In the mainstream we’re sold a pretty simple picture of orgasm. It’s a fast linear climb, accompanied by ecstatic screams followed by post orgasmic bliss and satisfaction. It looks so easy in porn! But in reality it doesn’t necessarily happen this way and if it does, the fast way is not necessarily the most rewarding.” Liv Bryant
Time to share some life snap-shots here. Looking back over my life, I see the links between my interests have led to me being a writer and performer of erotica – through my enduring interests in exploring feminism, theatre performance, feminine sexuality, Tantra, relationship dynamics, women’s stories and writing. I studied theatre, media and gender studies at University and wrote countless essays on the portrayal of women’s bodies in advertising and film. I founded a women’s theatre company in my late twenties to explore female archetypes and women’s stories. I wrote and performed a monologue about a personal experience of rape, and finding my voice around this trauma led to both healing and empowerment.
Books like The Beauty Myth and Women who Run with the Wolves were signposts for my political beliefs and creative explorations. As I was getting angry about sexual harassment in workplaces, and the kind of unwanted attention my friends and I endured on nights out, I simultaneously discovered Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus, Tantric sex and fell in love. I became an artist’s model. I discovered there was a word for the way my body responded sexually: multi-orgasmic.
Which brings me back full circle to the topic of orgasms. I read quite a sample of erotica and more general fiction exploring female sexuality before I started writing it myself. With the exception of some of Anais Nin’s work, what I noticed was very few writers (male or female) were describing the experience of sex, arousal, and orgasms in any way like I experienced them. Female characters were lucky if they had one earth-shattering orgasm – often hard-won. I often didn’t relate to descriptions of sex by male authors at all.
“The female experience of orgasm often looks more circular than linear with peaks and troughs. Whereas men reach a point of no return, women have the potential to keep on climbing in arousal, only releasing into climax when they can’t hold sensation any longer.” Liv Bryant
Where did I find women like me enjoying sex and all the experiences embraced by sexual relating in erotica? Tantra had enhanced my sense of the spiritual in the sexual, and only rarely did I find glimpses of this link in erotic writing. And what of the multi-orgasmic experience of sex? What if your experiences of orgasms were many, in layers, releasing through different parts of your body, from womb to heart to throat, with a myriad of subtle differences in sensations?
“Orgasm is very difficult to define. Of course there’s changes in the brain and body but orgasm is also a subjective experience with almost limitless possibilities. There are breath-gasms, and energy-gasms, laugh-gasms, nipple-gasms and cry-gasms but for the most part, you can’t be watching and waiting for it.”
What if you had gone beyond experiencing orgasms as discrete and quantifiable; that they were more often delicious overlapping waves of different intensities through your entire body? What if, like me, you saw explosions of white light behind your eyelids, or felt weightless, or had incredibly powerful spasms (called kriyas in Tantra) through your body? What if, like me, you’d experienced intense orgasms outside of actual sex – dancing or meditating? Or above as Liv describes them – Laugh-gasms. Breath-gasms?
“I am nothing now, but currents of pleasure, pleasure
breathing in and gushing out, breathing in and gushing out.
How can I hold such an ocean inside me?”
(Feast -© Adrea Kore 2012)
I wasn’t finding these stories anywhere. So I decided to start writing them myself. In doing that, other characters and scenarios have also started coming to me. Please don’t think all my writing is directly autobiographical! But I am nowhere near done writing these stories. Some I haven’t even begun.
Fifteen years ago, the erotic writing of Anais Nin gave me the spark, coming (only recently) across the sensual, poetic prose of Jeanette Winterson gave me the permission. I chose to finally focus more consciously on drawing out my thoughts around this idea –writing myself – the stories my body wanted to tell. In the words of my literary erotica inspiratrice, Anais Nin:“I had a feeling Pandora’s box contained the mysteries of women’s sensuality,so different from man’s and for which man’s language was inadequate. The language of sex had yet to be invented. The language of the senses was yet to be explored.”
Stay with me – i’m not finished yet! The next part of ‘writing the Orgasm in Erotica” will be published on november 22nd. I look forward to your company & conversation ...
Thanks to Liv Bryant for allowing me to Quote from “Orgasm – It’s not all about getting there”
Her mission is to help women awaken their sexuality and live in conscious loving relationships. She is the founder of Pleasure Ed, creative sexuality events for women, men and couples and she writes about her exploits and discoveries on her blog, Tell Me Darling.