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2006 Authors Insider Tips

Beyond the Basics
With Tulsa Brown
The 30-Second Solution
Backstory vs. Flashback
Intimacy Begins With "I"
Hit the Ground Running
Make the Reader Leap
Meaningful Dialogue
Pulling the String
Central Image
Elegant Smut
Better Plots
Bitch Power

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
Predefined Your Goals
Spell Ink Miss Takes
Plotting & Planning
Character Building
Speech Therapy
Talking Sense

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Intro to Lesbian Erotica
3-Dimensional Characters
Submitting for Publication
Five Year Writing Plan
Setting Up Your Plan...
The Power of Naming
Language of Lesbian...
Sexual Description
What Can I say?

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
What Are Your Priorities?
How to Edit an Anthology
Follow the Guidelines...
A Cock is Just a Cock
But is it Still a Story?
Who Am I Fucking?
Potential Material
Rejection ...

The Business End
By Kate Dominic
Effective Cover Letters
How to Lose Contracts
Contracts: Agent Issues
Contracts: Read It!
Double Duty Bios
What's Sex?

Literary Streetwalker
By M. Christian
Ground Rules for Writers
No Muse is Good News
Effective Cover Letters
Location, Location
Say Something!
Dirty Words

The Erotic Book Docter
By Susie Bright
Marketing Your Book
Submission Concerns
Promotion Strategies

2006 Smutters Lounge

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Babes & Hunks of Erotica
Fantasy, Reality & Rape
Selling Ourselves Short
Selling Smut in Motown
The Frankenstein Bride
Frankenstein Revisited
Porn and Perfect Shoes
Porn's Passionate Pull
Instruments of Joy

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
Orwell's Eerie Parallels
Redefining Marriage
The Porn Menace
High-Quality Porn
About Profanity
Dirty Laundry
Big Brother


Wrong Reasons to do SM
by Midori

Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica
with Greg Herren

But Is It Still A Story?



I consider porn to be the most powerful form of writing being published today.

A pretty bold statement, don’t you think? But it’s true. Porn is the only form of writing that can provoke a physiological response in its reader. Well-done porn will not only get its male reader erect, but should get him so horny he needs to do something about it—jack off. That’s the goal of every porn story, and what should be in your mind when you sit down and start writing: everyone who reads this story is going to get so turned on their cock will drip and their balls will ache.

And it’s not as easy as those crème de la crème snobs think it is.

When I wrote my first porn story, I have to admit, it turned me on. I also got kind of embarrassed as I wrote it. I’d been writing my entire life—and had never once written a graphic sex scene. For me, sexuality was a very private thing, and writing about it was revealing something about myself that I chose only to share with a few people. Usually, in short stories or novels-in-progress, if I ever got to a point where characters were going to fuck, the violins swelled; the waves began crashing against the beach; and the lacy curtain came down. Cut, fade to black. But now, I was writing a story that specifically had to include a graphic sex scene. I had to think about choreography; who was going to fuck whom; where and how; what were the smells and tastes; what was going through the heads of the characters while they were fucking. So, I sat at the keyboard and called up in my memory my favorite sexual experiences. The anthology I was submitting the story to was sports-themed; so I decided to make it about wrestling.

And when I was finished writing it, I was happy with it.

Not only because I had written a really hot sex scene, but because I’d written a story.

One of the biggest mistakes rookies make when writing porn is they forget it’s a porn story. I’m not certain if this happens because they are so focused on getting a hot sex scene down on paper, or if it comes from that self-same mentality that ‘porn is not a valid form of fiction’—but that is the surest road to not getting published. You have to believe in what you are writing, and you have to take it seriously. If you don’t, it comes through loud and clear on the page. Sure, there is a formula to porn—two men are attracted to each other, they fuck, and either stay together or go their own way. But the formula is merely a skeleton, and it’s up to the porn writer to put some flesh on those bones. But just because there’s a formula to it doesn’t mean you can’t make art out of it.

In my story "The Sound of a Soul Crying," the main character is an empath. He has a power he doesn’t understand, but he feels other people’s pain—and his power is so strong that he can sometimes even visit the people in their dreams. In this story, the person is another gay man who is suffering; and he feels an overpowering attraction to him. They do have sex at a point in the story; but neither is sure that it’s real—and the story comes to an end with the two men actually meeting in a bar.

My goal in writing the story was to tell that story, as well as to write a really hot, lusty sex scene that would get the reader hard. I believe that the more connected the reader feels to the characters, the more involved he is in their story and their lives, the hotter the sex will seem to them. Just like in life, it is possible to have a hot one night stand with a guy you will never see again—but the hottest sex is generally with someone whose body you know; whose personality makes you comfortable to be around; and whose buttons you know how to push. Sure, you can write a story where the characters have names and descriptions, have some hot sex, and then go their separate ways; but while that story might give the reader physical satisfaction, it will not give emotional.

When I teach workshops on writing porn, I say, "Take the sex out of your story, and read it again. Just delete the scene out; and type in ‘Then they fucked’ and read the story again. Ask yourself, is it still a story?"

If the answer is no, go back to the drawing board. Tell a story; engage the mind as well as the cock….and you just might start making sales.

Greg Herren
March 2006

"Hard Business: Writing Gay Erotica" © 2006 Greg Herren. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Greg Herren is the author of five novels and the editor of seven anthologies, including the bestselling FRATSEX and Full Body Contact. He also published a collection of his erotic short fiction, Wanna Wrestle? He has published in numerous magazines and anthologies, and works as an editor for the Haworth Press, which is launching a new line of gay erotic titles. He currently lives in New Orleans with his partner, editor Paul J.Willis, and their cat.

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> 2006 Book Reviews

4 Erotic Ass-ets
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Bad Girls & More...
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The Best of Both Worlds
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The Black Masque
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Blood Surrender
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Bound to Love
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Double Dare
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Forbidden Reading
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Leather, Lace and Lust
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Mr. Stone & Lessons
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Nina Hartley's Sex Guide
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Oedipus & Rode Hard
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Orgasms & More
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Passion of Isis
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Sex in Uniform
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Six Top Picks
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Stirring up a Storm
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Sunshine and Shadow
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Surrender & Dying for It
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Wicked: Sexy Tales...
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Writing Naked
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America’s War on Sex
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Covent Garden Ladies
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The Commitment
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Eroticism and Art
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Female Orgasms
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Government Vs. Erotica
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Heloise & Abelard ...
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International Exposure
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A Profane Wit
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Secret Life of Oscar Wilde
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Sex Collectors
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Sex Machines
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