It’s strange to think that four years ago I had never written a single sex scene, nor even contemplated doing so.
I’ve always loved writing – stories, academic pieces, journalistic ramblings. I love words, I love the meaning and power and tenderness and sound and taste of words. My career and life went down a path which seemed to take me away from writing professionally, but the pull of the written word always lingered.
What drew me back? Strangely, it was that curious phenomenon called fan fiction. I stumbled upon fan fiction by chance and, like many who know little about it, at first I saw it as a bizarre, minority outlet for true fans of certain movies or books. A lot of it was very, very poor. But it was people writing, and that can never be a bad thing.
And then I read some outstanding fan fiction, and it drew me into something which I wasn’t even a particular fan of, but I fell in love with certain characters within that fandom. I soon decided that I’d quite like to have a go myself. So I did. The instant feedback and praise was one of the most liberating, surprising and rewarding things that has happened to me. The thought that hundreds of anonymous people are somewhere out there in the world reading and enjoying what you have written is an extraordinary and curiously life-affirming experience. The numbers of people grew and the things they said seemed genuine and complimentary. So I continued.
The first sex scene I wrote was a deliberately unerotic one. It was a necessary sex scene rather than a stimulating one. It even involved the terms ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’, a sure way to remove all eroticism immediately.
And then I wrote my first erotic scene. Oh yes. I have not looked back. Hundreds of sex scenes later, it still remains one of my favourites.
I have long had a vivid sexual imagination. If I am quiet and still and silent, my mind invariably turns to erotic scenarios and situations, always with a focus on dialogue, character and intimacy, but not stinting on pure undiluted hotness. At last I could get it out. At last I didn’t have to be ashamed of it. And people liked it. People just like me. People with ordinary lives and families and jobs. We were all the same, after all. Why the hell had it taken me so long to realise? They wanted more and more. I stayed in the safe world of fan fiction for some years. I knew my audience and I knew the characters. They worked for me. I used it to hone my writing skills and particularly my erotic writing skills.
When I made the move to original writing, I found, slightly to my surprise, that developing original characters did in fact come easily, and that people and publishers wanted to read those stories too.
Phew. Double phew.