As so many epic tales begin, it was summertime and I had a one way ticket to Europe. In order to prove the skeptics wrong, I gave myself a serious journalistic assignment: go on Tinder dates and interview people about sex and dating in their culture. With each interview, I shared intimacies with strangers far more raw than sex. I asked, I listened, and they asked me, too. After baring our souls to each other, it only felt natural to sleep together. I fell in love in the afternoon, over quick drinks, a walk in the park, over and over again. To make a long and lovely story a bit shorter – although if you want more read “Two French Boys One Day” – I returned to New York with hours of interview material and a few more notches on my bedpost.
How long have I been writing erotica? Since I started having sex. My journals and diaries are full of ripe explorations and yearnings for whoever it was I lusted after at that time. But I never officially named it as such until I realized there was no publication on earth that would accept my half horny half intellectual deep dives on sex and relationships.
Instead of filing away another declined pitch, I created AURORE. She was conceived in the 2016 election season in the US, where the daily onslaught of our sexual predator soon-to-be president made my innocent loves of the previous summer seem lifetimes away. I wanted a space for sex stories that felt like shelter – our best experiences, whether they were truly magical, or simply deeply felt.
This is not romance, and it’s definitely not 50 Shades. I love Anaïs Nin, but even her stuff feels outdated. Real erotica is shaped by each writer; it hits that escapist, voyeuristic urge while remaining firmly relatable. There’s something reassuring and inspiring about people’s real sex stories. You can use your imagination, but it’s totally attainable.
Writing real erotica is therapy! That means you will weep and cringe before you grow.
It became clear early on that getting people to write about their intimate experiences wasn’t going to be easy. One of my first and bravest friends to dive into writing for me found herself on a surprising journey reconnecting with past lovers. Her raw, matter-of-fact style of writing was a means to give herself a voice and show her side of things. She delighted in the fact that many were pleased to see her memories printed on the web, even in some unforgiving portraits, like in “The Masseuse”…
I stand up and walk across the apartment into the bedroom. He’s put down a sheet over his bedspread to protect from the massage oil. I lay on my stomach. “Alexa, play Burial,” he chirps. He told me when we met online that he liked my taste in music. It’s adorable listening to him speak to a device. “Alexa, turn it down to a 3.”
For her, writing facilitated closure and commemoration.
For others, remembering past encounters can bring up unprocessed trauma, but writing though it can prove incredibly healing. The AURORE writing workshop series acts as a guide for those wary of going there alone, and the sessions feel a lot like group therapy – there are intense confessions, discovery and celebration of shared experiences, and lots of awkward giggling over words like “boner” and “boobs”.
Rewrite history with erotica, for a better ending.
There’s hate-fucking, and then there’s hate-writing. They both feel good. Part of the healing power of writing is taking an experience that was not ideal, and rewriting it into a story where you prevail. Like in the AURORE story “If Walls Could Talk,” where a woman details a messy break-up and the gorgeous last time she’s on top. This style of writing is the best revenge, make them miss it, bad…
He knows she wants to fuck him – not get fucked. She shoves his rock-hard cock inside her and rides him. He tugs on her nipples, but she grips his hands, slamming them against the bed. “Tell me how much you love fucking me.” He loves her, god he loves her. In that moment, he decides he made a mistake. His eyes well up with tears and he grabs her face for a moment to say, “Let’s fix this.”
Her nails are gripping his chest and she leans down and bites his earlobe. He’s seconds away from cumming – all this wild in her. “You will not cum unless I tell you to.” Her arms out stretch, leaning against the wall. Her palms are hot and slippery, but powerful and steady. She owns this house, she built this house, she will forever stain the walls with her rage.
Writing erotica will change the way you fuck, forever.
The first time you sit down to write a proper sex scene and find yourself squinting at whose leg is wrapped around whose and how this copulating entity gets from the bed to the floor, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the mechanics of sex. You’ll pay more attention when you have sex; to how you switch positions, and to how your lover sounds, smells, and tastes, all of these details becoming fodder for your writing.
You’ll find that writing these details helps you communicate easier with your lovers. Putting down in writing what you like and what you fantasize about, is an excellent way to practice sharing.
You may find yourself embodying a new ‘character’, trying things you might not otherwise, “for the story”, obviously. And it’s not uncommon to live in a near constant dream state, slipping between your memories and fantasies, searching for the perfect story. It’s not a bad place to be, aroused and in-touch, with a keen attention to detail on a very serious assignment.
The next AURORE Erotica Writing Workshop is taking place on 16 June – get your tickets now!