Erotica Writing 101


“She starts things off simple, with the definition of erotica (“writing intended to arouse”) and some few quick pointers about developing your characters, making sure your story has a beginning, middle and end, and an instruction to use our five senses.

Almost all of the class was devoted to a series of writing exercises, lasting between six and ten minutes. The first, drawing on her advice to use our five senses, centered around food and drink. Essentially, we could write about anything we wanted, no matter how outlandish, as long as we mentioned something edible. Bussel told us to begin, and I panicked. I had expected a little more instruction before being thrown to the wolves. While it became clear later on that the classes skill level and familiarity with erotica varied, I had never written something like this before in my life. I mean, sure, I had sent boyfriends and crushes sexxxy messages, but that’s nothing compared to constructing an entire narrative.” Brightest Young Things on my Lotus Blooms Washington, DC erotica writing workshop

“Far from being a slinky Jessica Rabbit-type sexpot, the night’s speaker, Rachel Kramer Bussel, who has edited more than 40 anthologies of erotica, reminded me of my year-eight English teacher. I wasn’t sure if it was the ‘take me seriously’ specs or the fact that she just seemed a little bit awkward handing out pencils. But I wasn’t surprised to find out that her other passion was reviewing cupcakes on her blog

Her advice was straightforward: write what you know about, don’t be afraid to use humour. After a quick talk, she led us through a few writing exercises, giving us two minutes to write a short erotic scene featuring a given subject, the first two being food and a chair. The idea was to realise that anything can be erotic.” — Marie Claire UK, 2012

Interview with Maine Today