A while back, in a different forum, I put together some thoughts on writing orgasms. Specifically, these thoughts were about smut, prose which is intended primarily to titillate and arouse, stories of that genre called “plot? what plot?” because sometimes, all the plot you need is sex.
Writing porn is difficult enough when you have to work your way around all of the weed phrases in foreplay, but the orgasm is important, too, and so often just glossed over. I mean, it’s the payoff, the money shot. Sure, it’s not necessarily the true payoff point for the reader (some of us take longer than others, heh), but I think it’s worth a little more than just “And then he came,” or “And then he fell over the edge.”
Not that I always avoid using these passive kinds of phrases myself, but what I mean is, I’m constantly trying to kick the habit. Because orgasms written like that are weak, dude. Those characters have been working hard for their pleasure and their minds deserve to be fucking blown! Skimping on that moment, letting it slip past without remark, it’s like, hey, did the characters (and by extension, the story) do what they were supposed to do?
I like an orgasm that’s memorable. I love it when authors can show me exactly how earth-shaking and life-altering and body-rocking those precious, hard-won seconds can be, because with so much energy expended on the preparation, there had better be proper follow-through. I mean, it’s one thing to have crappy orgasms in real life, but this is porn, baby. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it orgasm, or a paint-by-numbers orgasm — those are kind of like strolling past home plate whistling with your hands in your pockets. Stomp that fucker and claim that run as yours! Get nasty, get sploogy, get on top of things and go buckwild!
Don’t get me wrong — I don’t think you need a lot of pretty or over-the-top text. You just want to get across that this is some really good fucking head. You need text with power.
I love authors who’ll shove an orgasm in your face, all hot and spasmy and unabashed. I love a good italicized “Oh!” or “Oh god” or even a guttural “Unh!” I love when authors go a little stream-of-consciousness, using lots of hyphens and italics — like this — all short and — yes! — choppy — indicating — urgency and — oh holy fuck! — need. I love characters who shout and flail and throw their heads back, or come so hard they faint a little bit afterwards. Authors who drive a freight train through an orgasm with words like burst or exploded or shattered, who lavish lines on descriptions of the ultimate pleasure. Sometimes it’s so transcendent you need to go out of body, go metaphorical: cars crashing, ships sinking, stars going supernova.
I love the feeling that the person behind the story thought it was really hot while she was writing it, and now through the force of her words has got me feeling it, too. A well-written orgasm is like a nod between comrades or secret club-mates, like the author’s saying to me, “I know you don’t just want the foreplay — you’re at home all by yourself and you want that Big Fantastic Finish as well…”
So in my writing, I want to do the orgasm justice. Foreplay and fucking are all good and well, but the end is not just an empty end: it’s a result, a culmination, a CLIMAX. If you don’t give your characters and readers adequate satisfaction, what was the point of all that smut?
Now, of course not all erotica and erotic romance is about being porny, as such — it might actually have, like, characterization and stuff. 😉 But even there, you can still use the “come shot” thematically. For instance, if you’re writing an ongoing relationship, or writing the sex to show off a particular dynamic, then sure, a mindblowing orgasm isn’t always realistic. But in those cases, I’d still consider giving the orgasm some appropriately significant description that matches the overall aims and arc of the story, an orgasm that has the requisite weight and context.
It’s all about making that moment memorable.