Write a funny sex scene
~ The Pocket Baird (Ideas for guaranteed bestsellers.)
Well how about that. There's a distinction between a ménage a trois and a threesome, and technically a threesome isn't a threesome when three is a sum of two doing one, in which case, said threesome is soft swinging, or double teaming. Well how about that.
Obama had reneged on Gitmo. His semen certainly wouldn't be staining my little black dress now. I would have to earn a living some other way. So, having found no more ways in which to put it off, I sink to the unthinkable, and start writing erotica.
The thing that put me off about erotica is that it isn’t very erotic. It’s just, well… blunt, really. A blunt object, I suppose. Something I associate more with being hit on the head than giving it, much less tickling my ticklish bits.
MMMMMFM Oh bugger me! No sooner do I come to terms with MMFM sex than they upgrade to MMMMMFM. No. That isn't possible. Six blokes? SIX? I mean a woman only has three possible entry points, unless she's got a lot of piercings and even then she'd have to have worn really big dangly earrings for a lot of years for them to be any use.
Harlequin's submission guidelines called for 90,000 to 120,000 words. OH NO – fuck THAT for a joke. There is no way I’d give 90,000 words out of my life to write fucking erotica. No fucking way.
So, they have something called Spice Briefs, maximum fifty or sixty pages. I think I can handle that. I decide I’ll write one, see how much money can be made. Maybe it could help pay off my credit card, I tell myself.
So, one Saturday, I find a million things to do before I’ll start on the thing. Eventually I do make a start, can’t wait until I may lean on a glass of wine for support. I read back the first four pages I’ve written, see all the faults, the lack of escalation, the jerkiness, the heavy handedness; the thump thump thump that is hitting the ground running – what they want – all that detracts from the first crystalline vision, and I make a decision: I’m not going to make this smooth, I’m not going to make this write. This time I’m going to rip it off like a soiled Band-Aid™ (product placement) and send it to the publisher as is. I think I already know what the result will be: published.
This is my darkest hour.
On the up side, I have a completely smashing new hair do! And tomorrow I’m going swimming!
Whoops – sorry, forgot. This is my, darkest, darkest, hour.
I surprise myself by being good at writing erotica, or at least enjoying writing erotica. Truth is, I suspect that after all these years of longing to write, I’d enjoy writing anything, even the back of a cereal box.
After I finish my story, I discover during a spell-check that not once, among the myriad times it was used, did I misspell clitoris. Now what does that say?
Then I realise Word had no objection to the abbreviation clit.
Now what does that say? Oh, Bill, you dog you! Off saving the world hand in hand with Bono, while behind the scenes you’re putting your stamp on some document authorising Word to recognise clit but, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, VERANDAH WITH AN H!
…oh no, never verandah with an h…
I think I already foresee a problem with my erotic short story: the editor is going to say there is too much sex and not enough character development. But I wonder, just how much can a character develop with their pants off? My God, Bruce, just one look at your wang and I’ve solved
’s theory of bilaterial projectilism, cried Laura. Newton
Laura, darling, do you mean to tell me…
Do you mean to tell me, Laura, darling, that you’re a… a… rocket scientist?
Oh, I am! I am a rocket scientist! I didn’t want to tell you because…I was afraid you wouldn’t hump me any more!
Laura, my love! Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, Laura… you see…
I’m the head of NASA!
…head, Bruce? Did you say… (her voice deepening)… head?
Call me a dullard, but when I’m at my most primordial ie naked/frightened my speech seems to limit itself to two phrases: uh-oh or grunt.
Tips & Techniques for Writers: Erotica 101
The biggest challenge facing the writer of erotica is finding a profound excuse for your gang bang. Loosely speaking your gang bang should fall into one of four categories:
The Altruistic Gang Bang
The cowpoke who is currently giving his brother's would-be-squeeze cunnilingus because said brother – the hero (as demonstrated by the size of his wang) – has been too slow off the mark to express his feelings for the heroine, and the cunnilingus giving brother wants to get them together before another man sweeps her off her feet. Or onto her back, as is probably more accurately the case. Or, actually, in the case of erotica, onto all fours with a bloke… oh never mind. Ends with: farm being saved.
The For-Your-Own-Good Gang Bang
As demonstrated by the husband who has stopped having sex with his wife because he's terrified that some time in the future of their marriage they'll lose interest in having sex. He remedies the situation by bringing in the plumber from next door to bang her senseless. By doing this, he satisfies himself that they will still be interested in having monogamous sex thirty years from now. Ends with: dripping tap fixed, (presumably free of charge.)
The Gay Male Couple Turn Straight For a Day Gang Bang
His man partner must… oh God I do not have the heart for this. Ends with: complimentary cleaning of heroine's house.
The Happily Ever After Gang Bang
Sigh. Okay, pay attention. This starts out as 'just sex' but during rumpy-pumpy  hero and heroine are alarmed to find they have feelings for each other. Naturally, the best thing to do in the circumstances is to invite another party (preferably a Navy Seal) to bang both the heroine and hero well into next week (as you do.) Only then can they be sure that they're safe to get married. Ends with: a very sore and bewildered hero's bottom, confused as to what it possibly did to deserve a thorough rogering from a total stranger. The bottom has an existential crisis, wondering if perhaps it unknowingly fluffed in the presence of this stranger sometime in the past, possibly on a train. The train becomes a metaphor for the journey of life and…
Look, the important thing to know is that women aren't allowed to enjoy sex for the sake of sex. There always has to be a superficially higher meaning. Yep, you got it – we're still supposed to need permission to have sex, fuck it.
I couldn't help myself. I went back over my story and wrote it as well as I could.
A Moment of Introspection before The Big Black Moment
Actors sing, singers act, writers cook, chefs write, musicians draw and paint. Suffering for art explained: we should have chosen our vocations more fucking carefully.
Perhaps to distract my thoughts away from chocolate brown eyes I'm not ready to think about, or perhaps to distract myself from thoughts about the handwritten telephone number on that Victoria Police business card, I'm lying on the bed, thinking about music, tormenting myself with the notion that I should be able to write music.
My own masochistic fetish: I like to listen to Chris Isaak and K.D. Lang and torment myself with the notion that I could learn to write the way they sing. (I wonder why Isaak and Lang have never worked together? Isaak must fear that Lang will show him up, I think.) I listen to Lang toss her voice about like a ribbon in the wind. I listen to Isaak’s voice sail down from clouds, slip behind a waterfall, then dash itself against the rocks, down down down, into lava and hellfire.
Isaak and Lang both do it: plunder the earth’s crust, cradle a
rock then cast it to the blue cool atmosphere. laval
And I listen to Nina Simone, her cascading piano rain on I Think It’s Gonna Rain. That one always brings tears to my eyes, because when I listen to it I doubt that I’ll ever reach that standard – quality – of expression.
I put on Isaak’s Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing, fascinated by its mad tormented ceaseless motion. How extraordinarily picturesque it is, banging, crashing and swelling like a living oil painting of a storm at sea. This music that writes scenery. This angelic voice that should find no company in this hellfire music. But it does. How does that work? Isaak’s voice mourns life, Isaak’s music celebrates life. This is what I don’t understand about music: it puts things together that don’t go together. That’s what music is. That’s what I need to learn.
And then his voice. The voice that leaves no doubt. A voice that doesn’t doubt itself.
I put on a CD my dad has sent me, K.D. Lang’s Watershed. I Dream Of Spring is a song so beautiful it hurts. This swelling and cresting, this crashing and surfacing. This breathing. Hallelujah: she pledges, hallelujah, she pleads – you too? Whenever Lang pronounces f or th she sounds like a little kid. It absolutely slays me to hear her say thank you to the applauding audience at the end of the song – not only does she sound like a little kid when she says it, she sounds like a little kid who can’t believe her luck. Like she’s done nothing to deserve this applause.
Instructing myself to learn, I get off the bed and lean against the wall to listen to her sing. This, of course, is magnificently defeating. I will never write as well as she sings. Sometimes I fear I have too much too learn. But I labour under no misapprehension: her talent she was given, her gift she has earned.
I can try.
Suddenly it occurs to me that music doesn’t show or tell. Music listens. Music understands. The thing that people like about music, I think, is that it understands them.
Literature tells you how it thinks you should think. Music says it understands how you feel.
My top five lyrics:
From Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah: All I’ve ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you.
Paradise By The Dashboard Light: Ain’t no doubt about it we were doubly blessed, ‘cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed. So evocative. I mean, there’s a whole novel, right there.
From Sam Cooke’s Frankie and Johnny: He was her man all right, but she shot him because he was doing her wrong.
And this, from Dar Williams’s, We Learned The Sea:
I am the captain, and I have been told,
That tomorrow we land and my ship has been sold,
Now losing this boat is worth scarce a mention,
I think of the crew, most of all the first ensign,
For all, we learned the sea.
Guiding a ship, it takes more than your skill,
It’s the compass inside, the strength of your will,
The first ensign watched as tempests all tried me,
I sang in the wind as if God were beside me,
For all, we learned the sea
Now, I would have shed blood to have written that, and the blood of my family at that.
My all time favourite lyric, the one that makes me sick with envy, comes from Weird Al Yankovic’s Fat: When I walk out to get my mail, it measures on the Richter scale.
The brevity… I wonder what it’s like to work in so succinct a form? I mean, to make the same statement in a book… Well, first of all, there would have to be a description of the door you’re opening, if not the hallway, and the room you left before getting to the hallway, if not what motivated you to get up at that very moment to check the mail. Let’s see. That gets us to the door. Now we’ll have to hear about the sound when it swings open, and what it reveals. I mean, you’re not just going to get the mail and be done with it. There’d have to be, at the very least, a weather report. And once you’ve got the old It was a dark and stormy night happening, there’d have to be something about the paved path, I mean it couldn’t just be a paved path could it? Ah now, what do I see? A tree root has cracked the path? What sort of tree is it? And I just bet it’s overshadowing the neighbour’s house… so then we’d have to hear all about the neighbours and your relationship with them. Ah. But the wind brings your attention back to the tree, that big old tree that’s just filled with memories… holding, as it does, the tree house of your youth. What woe begotten rites of passage tale will be yanked from the leaves, your eyes blurring out of focus as you consider the spider’s web… But perhaps it will be too painful for you think about, and you’ll actually go back to collecting the bloody mail. So, careful not to trip over the mound in the broken path, finally, we get to the letter box, and you’re bending over to open the door… but what’s this? We certainly need to hear that there’s a screw missing from the hinge. Or could it be that your preoccupation with the missing screw reveals your reluctance to open the letter box… hm? What you are so afraid of? Spider hiding in there? Maybe that’s got something to do with the memory from the tree house that’s too painful for you to think about… Or could it be that you’re dreading a letter from someone? Hey? Oh you bloody great coward – we’re off to get the toolbox to fix the hinge are we? Right. Back over the mound in the broken path caused by the root of the tree holding the tree house of your youth that overshadows the neighbours house… no… we don’t need a description of this side of the door, I’m sure it looks just the same as the other side of the door you’ve already described… What? OH ALL RIGHT THEN, let’s hear about the knocker and how cold it feels beneath your fingers as you distractedly push the door in and go to the pantry to collect your toolbox. No. NOT THE SHELVES. PLEASE! NOT THE SHELVES! Oh for the love of Christ… right. Paint tins. Dust. Odd implements and broken crockery… that remind you of what happened in the tree house? I see. Hey! Look! Down there on the floor – it’s your toolbox… Yes… that’s right. That’s what we came in for, remember? Okay, if you insist, just the smallest description of the dust motes dancing in the ray of sunshine falling on your toolbox… now, bend down and pick it up… that’s the way… No, look, as much as we sympathise we don’t really need to hear about your back injury. Fuck it. Okay then. Let’s hear how it happened. Ah… a WAR TALE. Fine. Go on. And I suppose what happened to you in the war reminds you of what ever it was that happened to you in the fucking tree house? No? OKAY THEN! Here we are walking back over the mound in the broken path, yes okay, staggering slightly under the weight of the toolbox reminds you of how you staggered under the weight of your fatally wounded best friend… Hey! Tell you what? Why don’t you put the thing down? Okay? We’re at the letter box, so how about you just put it down, that’s the ticket… now open it up… good… good…. no, really, it’s okay, we don’t need to hear about the squeaky lid, REALLY! That’s it, just pick up the screw and the screwdriver. Okay, yes, I see that the screwdriver is rusty… but we don’t really need to hear about it… Eh? What’s that? It got that way on the night the toolbox was left open in the rain, because your father hastily abandoned it when the scream from the neighbour’s house pierced the air… and that’s how you came to be left all alone in the tree house…
And we have even gotten to what’s in the damned letter box, much less how you came to be such a chubby cheeks in the first place.
 I spelled this trois. Word corrected it automatically to trios. I looked it up. No, Word, it's not trios, it's trois, although I suppose both are technically threesomes, but then a trio is not necessarily a threesome, and a threesome (or trio) is not a ménage a trois as I discovered – see above.
 Look, I hyphenated it. What's with the squiggly red? Okay. MS Word would like you all to know that it has no spelling suggestions for rumpy-pumpy.