Smut University – The Difference Between Young Adult, Fluff, Sensual Romance, & Erotica Smut Scenes

Written by ObsessingOverEdward

Writing Exercise

There are several forms of writing smut. You have everything from fade-to-black to hard-core fucking. But, where is the line? Where is that point that you cross over from Young Adult innuendo into sensual, erotic or extreme sex? And, what is the right smut for you to write as an author?

The answer to the last question is, whatever makes you feel comfortable and that line is different for everyone. Don’t get pulled into the trap that you have to cater to the perv in the readers if that’s not what you’re comfortable with, because that will show in your writing.

There is a trend in the Twilight fandom that the more explicit the better. Whereas in published novels, the sexual tension is preferred over the actual act and one satisfying love scene will placate your readers more so than multiple scenes that seem unnecessary.

I want to explore the differences in the love/sex scene so that you can decide what’s best for you and maybe get you to move out of your comfort zone and try something different. I’d like to point out that no amount of sex in a story can make up for a great plot and intriguing characters. So, unless you are going for the full-on smut story, focus most of your energy on the other elements of writing and let your sex scenes happen when it comes naturally. If they feel forced, then your readers will pick up on it.

Fade-to-Black & Young Adult love scenes

Stephenie Meyer is the queen at building the sexual tension and then leaving us to imagine what actually happened.

On page 85 of Breaking Dawn, she leads us through the intimate motions of two people finally connecting on a physical level. After Bella joins Edward in the water the sexual tension ramps up with small touches and tender words, but it’s the final sentence that gives us just enough to satisfy our sexual appetite.

“Forever,” he agreed, and then pulled us gently into deeper water.

What makes this work is that she set the emotion of the moment well before she gets to the actual act. Knowing that they are finally getting down to it is enough to placate that yearning that we have for them to find their release.

She built the nervousness, fear and determination all before Bella even steps into his arms, then sets up the sexual tension right before the scene:

• The fire was no longer a flash burn across my skin—it was slow and deep now; it smoldered away all my awkwardness, my shy uncertainty.

• He shuddered the tiniest bit at my warm touch. His breath came rougher now.

• It felt like every nerve ending in my body was a live wire.

The fade to black may have been frustrating to some, but she gives us a little more with the morning after conversation. Once you get past Edward’s angst, Bella drops subtle hints at what happened the evening before that complete the picture without making you blush.

• It had been simpler than I expected; we’d fit together like corresponding pieces, made to match up.
• Fire and ice, somehow existing together without destroying each other.
• “Why am I covered in feathers?” *giggle*
• I couldn’t recall a moment when his hold had been too tight, his hands to hard against me. I only remembered wanting him to hold me tighter, and being pleased when he did….

The purpose of the fade-to-black is to let the reader imagine and project their own experience about what is happening without going into detail. My visual after reading Bella and Edward’s first time was pretty dang graphic. However, my 14 year-old daughters’ was probably more age appropriate (I hope, LOL). With a young adult novel/fic, this is imperative if you don’t want mothers coming after you with a pitchfork. That’s not saying that sex doesn’t exist in YA novels. It absolutely does. They just focus more on the emotion, build up and feelings toward the other person instead of the actual act.

Sensual Love Scenes

Most romance novels fall within this category, however, the line has become fuzzy over the last few years and more explicit sex has crept its way into the romance publishing industry. For the sake of simplifying I’ll split these into two categories, Sensual Romance and Sensual Erotica.

Sensual Romance

With Sensual Romance the visual of sex is left up to the imagination of the reader, but a picture is painted using sight, sound, smell and touch to direct the readers mind on the path that the author wishes it to go.

No matter if your male lead is a Harley riding, foul mouthed, sex God or an even tempered, romantically inclined father of two, you can still write a sensual love scene because they are based on all the senses and not just the visual. Readers are starved for that shiver that runs down their spine when they read something that they can see, smell, hear, feel and taste in their mind.

Metaphors and similes are used within this category to describe the racier scenes, but the author should be careful to not fall in the cliché trap or become over zealous and use them in every sentence. There was already a lesson during SU given on visual imagery and how to use all the senses to write a scene that I would refer you back to. http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=81&mforum=ptbforums

With sensual romance scenes, the description of body parts is limited to vague explanations instead of a literal depiction. You would rarely hear graphic words like cunt, pussy, dick, cock, or come/cum. Opting for less harsh words like wetness, folds, hardness, and erection, or omitting them all together.

Best-selling author Nora Roberts focuses more on the descriptions of the couple’s surroundings and their emotions toward one another, than the actual act that they are engaging in.

An excerpt from The Name of the Game:

She murmured, tensing up when she felt him slip the jacket from her shoulders. A step was being taken. Then he was soothing her, giving her time, plenty of time, but no choice at all. The buttons that ran down her back were loosened one by one in an agony of sweetness and promise. When she felt his fingers brush her skin, she shuddered at the contact and searched for the will to end it.

But his lips skimmed her throat as he peeled the blouse from her. She was helpless, but the sensation was no longer frightening.

Is this what it felt like to give in, at last, fully, completely given in to something not quite known but only sense? Hadn’t she waited for it, anticipated it, even while she’d struggled against it? Now the struggle was almost over.

He had to use every ounce of self-control not to rush her. He knew she needed time and care, even as his own needs balled like fists inside him. He’d already imagined what it would be like to touch her like this, to feel her tremble when he did. Her skirt slid down her hips. His hand followed it.

The sun had dropped away, but he could see her, her hair haloed around her face, her eyes wide and uncertain. He kissed her again, slowly, trailing his lips over her jaw as he shrugged out of his shirt. He saw her start to reach for him, then hesitate just short of contact. Taking her hand, he brought it, palm up, to his lips and felt her go limp.
He lowered her to the grass.

It was cool, soft and damp with early dew—a sensation Johanna knew she would remember always. He was over her, so she could only see his face, then only his eyes. She heard the first owl call before he bent to her. Then there was only him.

He touched. She shuddered, no longer from fear or from doubt, but from pleasure so pure she could never have described it. He tasted. She floated, no longer helpless, but a willing partner. And when she reached for him, drew him closer, the world was shut off for both of them.

She was so soft, so generous. He wondered that he could still be surprised by how many facets there were to her. She’d opened to him now, as completely as he could have hoped.

If her touch was still shy, it was only more endearing. He wanted it to be sweet for her, memorable, and as special as he already knew that it would be for him. Somewhere along the line she had stopped being a woman, however desirable, however fascinating, and had become his woman.

He took her, gently, higher.

When she moaned, desire thrummed in him, hard, demanding. He fought it back, wanting her to ride the wave as long as they could both stand it. Slowly, drawing out the process, he slipped her teddy down to her waist, then to her hips, letting the hunger build inside him.

Her fingers dug into the grass as he brushed his lips over her. She could feel her skin tremble wherever he chose to linger. Then, abruptly, the pleasure rocketed up, beyond anything she’d dreamed possible. She cried out his name, her body arching up. Pleasure doubled back, and he was with her again. Now her fingers dug into his shoulders desperately.

Stars began to wink to life above them.

The breath was dragging in and out of his lungs when he filled her. Now he was helpless, his face buried in her hair, his body more her prisoner than she had ever been his. Need expanded and became the focus of his world, and then even that shattered, leaving only her.

She managed to write this scene without making one reference to a peen, vajayjay or even breasts *gasp*. There was just enough description to let you know what was going on, but the main focus was with the emotion of them coming together.

Sensual Erotica

Sensual Erotica has the same elements as Sensual Romance, however, instead of sex being implied or toned down, it is more explicit. Sensual does not necessarily mean romantic, and like I said about sensual romance, it focuses on all the senses.

J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is on the cusp of sensual erotica. Nobody can deny that her characters are probably the most masculine creatures in the world of vampire novels. She writes demanding males and in this instance without being crass.

An excerpt from Lover Enshrined:

He roared again and dumped her on her bed, her body bouncing once. Twice. She flipped onto her stomach and started to scramble away just to make him work for it. She had no thought of saying no, but damn it, he was going to have to chase her—

The Primale leaped onto her back and pinned her hands up over her head. As she tried to twist around under him, he kneed her legs apart and held her in place with his hips. His arousal slipped down and probed at her, making her arch up.

He gave her just enough slack in her arms so she could turn her shoulders and look at him.

He kissed her. Deep and long. And she held her own, finished with being trapped in the Chosen’s yielding tradition.
With a sudden shift, he pulled back, moved a little, and …

Cormia moaned as he penetrated her body in one smooth stroke. And then there was no time for talking or thinking or lingering on what pain there was as his hips became a driving force. It felt so good, so right, the whole thing, from the smell of his dark spices and the weight of him to the way his hair fell down onto her face to the gasps that left both of their parted mouths.

As his sharp strokes deepened, she moved her legs even farther apart and echoed his rhythm in her own hips.

Tears sprang to her eyes, bet she didn’t think twice about them as his relentless momentum carried her away, a knot of fire taking hold where he was pumping in and out of her until she thought she would be burned alive—and didn’t find that a bad thing in the slightest.

They both seized up at the same time, and in the midst of her own climax she caught a vision of him from over her shoulder, his head rearing back, his jaw clenching, the great muscles in his arms standing out against the smooth skin. But then she was too lost to see anything at all as her own body corded and released, corded and released, the greedy pulls on his sex making him moan and twitch as she drew the marking out of him.

And then it was done.

In the aftermath, she thought of the summer thunderstorms that swept over the mansion from time to time. When they receded, the quiet was all the more dense for the fury they’d wrought. This was the same. With their bodies stilled and their breath easing and their hearts slowing, it was hard to recall the vivid urgency that had propelled them here to this now-resonant moment of silence.

In this scene she successfully shows all elements of the senses, from the smell of his marking scent, the sound of his animalistic roar, the feel of his weight, the visual of him as he climaxed, and her overwhelming emotions.

With sensual erotica, words like cock, dick, pussy, and come/cum would make occasional appearances in the text, along with more adult language during sex. Sex is not the main element within this type of story, but it would be more frequent than your average love scenes within a romance novel.

Erotica

Within this category there are several genres and levels of intense sex. They move away from sensual and focus more on the act of sex; however, Romantica still builds an emotional connection with the reader. Within almost every chapter there is some form of sexual encounter and it is explicit and in some cases extreme. With erotica, in most instances, sex drives the plot.

Pretty much anything goes with these stories.

Erotica for women

One thing that I’ve seen repeatedly on the submission guidelines of erotica publishers is that the stories MUST have a plot. Especially with women’s erotica, a plot and intriguing characters are a requirement because women need more than a visual of a hot guy and a hot girl doing the horizontal tango. They have to become emotionally invested in the characters or the titillation isn’t there.

Ellora’s Cave http://www.jasminejade.com/default.aspx is a fantastic erotica website that sells print copies and eBooks of all their novels. Within the site there is a section for free downloads which are mainly one-shots to get you interested in a story or let you get a taste for the author before you buy their books.

The following excerpt is from one of the free downloads called Better Late Than Never by Savannah Stuart. Like most smut-shots this quickly builds up the relationship between the couple before they eventually fall into bed together. I had a hard time picking a scene, so I’m giving you two examples.

When he pressed a kiss to her throbbing clit, her hips jerked once so he placed a calming hand on her stomach. Licking and teasing, he circled her clit and lapped up her juices.
As he flicked the hard bud, he inserted a finger inside her. She was soaking wet. She might be turned on, but she wasn’t ready for him. Her pussy was tight, but she needed to come first before they fucked…no, it would be more than fucking. He felt as if he’d been waiting forever to meet a woman like Lindsay. Whenever she entered a room, people naturally gravitated to her. She was pretty, yes, but it was her smile that drew people in. It was absolutely contagious because it was warm and real.
If he could, he’d bottle that smile up and keep it forever. He never wanted to see her sad and if he could help it, he was going to put that sexy smile on her face tonight. And many nights to follow.
Slowly, he moved his finger in and out of her, dragging it along her inner walls. She clenched around him and her hips moved in perfect rhythm against his hand. One finger might be enough but he wanted to feel her body stretch and mold to him.
When he inserted another finger, he paused and she gasped. “Please, Randy,” she moaned.
He lifted his head a fraction. “Please what?”
“Please…do something.”
Grinning, he plunged his fingers into her and sucked on her clit at the same time. That was all it took. Her cream flooded his fingers as he stroked in and out. When he lightly used his teeth against her clit, it pushed her over the edge.
Her fingers tightened on his head, but he didn’t stop his assault. As her orgasm rocked through her, he withdrew his fingers and licked her slit from top to bottom, circled her clit then repeated it. He wanted to taste all of her and this was just the beginning.

A few minutes later …

Hands on his belt buckle, he paused. “I haven’t been with another woman since you came to work for Phillips Design.
Her mouth fell open, but before she had time to digest his confession, he shucked his pants. That’s when she discovered he wore no boxers. Well, the man was just full of surprises tonight.
His cock sprang free and her abdomen muscles tightened with need. A tiny drop of come had already gathered at the tip of his thick, hard length. She repositioned herself so that she was on her knees and picked up one of the condoms.
She ripped it open then crooked a finger at him. “Get on your back.”
He faltered and his eyes flared. Giving up control would be hard but she wanted to see if he’d do it.
His jaw clenched but after a few long seconds, he did as she asked. Climbing onto the bed, he stretched out next to her and hooked one arm under his head. “So you want to be in control?” he whispered, the sound dark and almost ominous. His deep voice sent shivers skittering across her body.
Without responding, she fisted his cock and licked it from the base to the top. For a brief moment, she circled the tip and took him fully in her mouth before raising her head. She just wanted a quick taste before he buried himself inside her. He groaned when she lifted her head, but when she looked at his face, the corners of his mouth tugged up into a half-smile. He wanted to be inside her as much as she wanted him there.
Feeling more confident, she rolled the condom over his erection. As soon as she reached the base of his cock, he grabbed her by the hips and flipped her on her back. She started to protest as he settled between her legs once again.
“Sorry, sweetheart, I’m on top this time,” he murmured into her ear.
“Control freak.” She giggled. She should have known he wouldn’t give up control that easily. Not that she minded. Having a sexy-as-sin man like Randy on top of her was her fantasy come to life.
Her body burned for him. Wrapping her legs around him, she rubbed her folds over his cock. Groaning, he buried himself inside her in one long thrust.
She gasped as he pushed deep inside. The intrusion was more than she expected. He was barely moving and her pussy was already contracting out of control. How that was possible, she wasn’t sure. She’d just had the mother of all orgasms. She shouldn’t be ready to come again. Yet somehow, she was.
As if he read her mind, he palmed both her breasts and rubbed his thumbs over her nipples in measured movements. The erotic action sent zings of pleasure straight to the ache between her legs.
Needing more, she rocked her hips against his. He kept his thrusts slow and rhythmic until she dug her fingers into his backside and squeezed. Then he let go. He pumped into her with barely restrained passion.
Another climax swelled through her, starting in her pussy and rocketing through her entire body. It felt almost like an extension of her previous one, yet somehow stronger. Her legs clenched around him as she found release.
As she came down from another high, Randy cried out her name and jerked wildly inside her. Nothing about his movements was orchestrated or controlled. So unlike the man she saw at work every day. He grunted one last time before collapsing on top of her.

The emotional connection and character development in this smut-shot was built before they got down to business. As you can see with this example, there is some emotional connection with one instance where he was thinking about something more than sex, but it’s brief and once they are really in the moment it’s all about the fucking.

With erotica, there are no purple proses or flowery words. The language is graphic and to the point. Metaphors and similes are replaced with in-depth detail of the actual act.

Erotica for men

I have to admit that I don’t know much about this area because I don’t personally write with a male audience in mind. So, while I was thinking about how I wanted to approach this genre, I did some research by reading erotica that was written by men, with a male audience in mind. The distinction between erotica geared toward men versus women was an interesting lesson in how different we are when it comes to sex.

Now … my limited knowledge comes from a free online erotica site called http://literotica.com/ where authors post their erotica like we post Fanfiction. The story that I read is called John Billionaire by bluedragonauthor http://www.literotica.com/stories/showstory.php?id=311362&page=5 if you want to take a more in-depth look. It had an H rating which is the highest you can get within the site so it’s a fairly popular story.

The one thing that I noticed immediately about the sex was that there was no emotional connection between the main character and the different women that he was intimate with. As I read through the story, the main character eventually developed an attachment to a woman (well a couple of them) but when he made the jump to realizing that he loved one of them, there wasn’t any build up to the realization. I don’t think that this is a plot flaw because he is writing to his audience—a male viewpoint.

The sex was hard and fast from the opening paragraph of the story all the way to the end. There were a few tender moments, but they lacked the emotional connection that we, as women, crave.

Here’s an excerpt from chapter one. Don’t giggle too much over some of the phrases and word choice because the reality is that these words are used frequently in men’s erotica. Words that have become taboo in the Fanfiction community are still frequently used, and accepted, in all genres of publishing:

I slid down her body until I came face to face with her steaming pussy. She’d shaven recently and the smooth skin glistened with her arousal. She spread her legs and hoisted her legs up into the air while my hands each gripped an asscheek. And now it was my turn to return the favor.

I strained to go slowly, softly. My tongue and my lips barely grazed against her sensitive skin, almost tickling Taylor. And I continued my gentle, agonizingly slow ministrations of orally worshipping at Taylor’s altar of love. I felt like I could remain there forever, listening to her cute whimpers of pleasure.

OOE: Well, maybe altar of love isn’t used in publishing anymore. *giggle*

But once Taylor started to get really turned on once again, she would have no slow worshipping going on in her temple. Taylor’s whimpers turned into moans and then her hands were now on the back of MY head, pressing me deeper into her as I began to eat her out with more fervor.

“Fuuuuck, Johnny.” My hands circled around her ass and after inserting a finger deep into her sopping wet pussy, I pulled it out and pressed it against the tight muscle of Taylor’s anus.

She shuddered in my grasp as my finger surprisingly slid in very easily. I’d gotten my finger wet, but not that wet. And I picked my head up in surprise.

“I lubed for you…” she giggled at the expression on my face. My dick twitched violently on its own hearing those words, knowing instantly what it meant. Taylor wanted me to fuck her ass tonight. And suddenly I had no more patience to continue going down on her.

Taylor didn’t seem to mind, and in fact she whooped in glee as I suddenly pounced on top of her naked body and snatched up her feet in my hands. With her heels in my grip, I forced Taylor’s knees back against her own shoulders until I’d damn near bent the girl in half. And then holding her legs wide in a big V, opening up her wet vagina, I aimed my cockhead and then pounded my way into the back of her womb in one ferocious thrust.

“FUUUUCK ME!” Taylor screamed. It was loud enough I’m sure the neighbors could hear. Of course, I was sure they’d heard us a number of times. And without letting go of her heels I jackhammered in and out of her rapidly. It was apparently just what the doctor had ordered for Taylor.

Less than a minute after my dick had entered her, Taylor was shrieking in the throes of her climax, the sound of her voice vibrating in response to the vibrations running up and down her body. I wasn’t about to let up on her either.

Instead, I just kept fucking as hard and as fast as I could, my cock now swimming in a veritable sea of orgasmic fluid. And just when it seemed that Taylor’s orgasm was waning, I pulled out, redirected, and then shoved my way into Taylor’s butthole.

Taylor’s shriek briefly went up an octave when the head of my cock penetrated her nether hole, but then her voice died out as she seemed to just run out of air. Her mouth was still open in a silent scream, tears in her eyes as she fought to breathe. For my part, I was focused on driving my cock up her ass.

Despite the heavy moisture coating my pole, and the lube inside her anal chute, I had a tough time forcing my way in. And as Taylor lit off into another orgasm, her muscles clamped down so tightly I thought she might actually squeeze my cock off in her ass. But once she relaxed again, I was able to glide forward, constant pressure pushing me in until my balls were trapped against her asscheeks. We both paused to catch our breath, Taylor’s body folded in half beneath me, blinking away the few drops of sweat coming off my forehead as she panted and laughed almost maniacally.

“Oh, that’s so great, baby. But I wanted to change positions.”

OOE: Yeah, I think that’s enough. I’m sure you get the picture. Is there one instance in this entire excerpt where there’s an emotional connection? Even in the following paragraphs where he reaches climax, there is a lack of affection that is present in erotica geared toward women.

I honestly lost track of how long I fucked her. I can’t even remember how many orgasms she had. It could have been five minutes or it could have been half an hour. I do know that the next morning my pelvic bone hurt like hell. But that night, my eyes just rolled up in my head and I let myself lose control. I wasn’t trying to last a long time. I wasn’t trying to give Taylor pleasure. I just let the baser part of me give in to the lust and simply violate her ass.

I fucked and I thrust and I drooled and I fucked some more. And when my conscious mind reasserted itself, I had Taylor’s hips in a death grip, pinning her lighter body against me as I held myself as deep into her bowels as I could go. And I was cumming. Oh, was I cumming.

Anyone else notice that even though she climaxed during their time together, this scene was all about him? There was no thought given to her pleasure, but he still managed to be a sex God and make her come over and over again. The reason is that her pleasure wasn’t important to the author and the readers, but was only inserted to make the male lead more virile. There is a reason that this story is so highly rated … Men love it. Most men don’t need tokens of affection and flowery words to enjoy erotica, it’s all about the sexin’.

~*~

I hope that this gives you a basic understanding of the different levels of sex within writing. The main thing that I want you to come away with is not to feel like you have to be in one category or another because that seems to be where the trend is. The most important thing you can do is write what you feel most comfortable with.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t step outside of your comfort zone every once in a while. That’s the way we grow as authors. But don’t feel pressured to write smut in every chapter because everyone else is doing it. Sex, within every well-developed story, whether it’s YA or erotica, should compliment the story and not be gratuitous.

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