So let’s give some context to this essay: I wrote this back when I was on sexstories.com (a division of XNXX.com) hence the reference to the site and its stories. We cool? Cool. Gimme five.
For those who don’t know me, I was active about a year ago, and amassed a decent following for my own story, Being More Social, before I was forced to take it down. While in the process of writing a second series, one which could actually be displayed by this website given its rules, I’ve looked into how other people write smut and come across a lot of guides. Almost universally they bear the title ‘how to write a good porn story,’ and they usually boil down to opinion (like, ‘you should always include the guy doing this to the girl’ or ‘the characters should be dressed like this’). QED, they don’t help at all. Frankly, especially when it comes to smut if you ask me, a better guide would be ‘how to write a bad one,’ since badness in stories involving sex seem to revolve around tropes that should be removed, not a lack of tropes that should have been added. For this reason, I’ve decided amidst my new series to write this short, incredibly informal essay, ‘How to write a terrible sex story.’ (This is also going to contain a lot of opinion, but I hope more of this is universal opinion, ergo helpful.) Some of you may think I’m being a prick for outlining tropes in stories other writers have used, and frankly, yeah, I’m probably being quite the prick. Nevertheless, my works in the past have earned me an incredibly valuable resource – readers so dedicated they would read my content on other sites. For that reason, I’m gonna toot my own horn enough to presume I have the right to say what makes a terrible sex story, and proceed. If you wanna downvote me due to how arrogant I’m being, you know where the button is.
Let’s start off with an elementary point you’d assume everyone knows – the look of the story. A surprising number of writers across all websites don’t really care how their story looks, assuming that content would make up for it. Yeah, sorry, no. I Don’t Know About You, But This Makes A Story Hard To Read. THIS MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I CAN’T TAKE THE STORY SERIOUSLY. I CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL LIKE THE STORY WAS WRITTEN BY AN OVER-ENTHUSED 12-YEAR-OLD. When a story has unnecessary breaks… It makes it seem to have a stutter… and it disrupts how a reader reads your story. Styles like that take a reader out of a story. Suddenly the story isn’t about its content – readers are too focussed on how it’s written, not what is written, and that’s not something you want. Over-excessive punctuation in dialogue is another big one. ‘ “Really?!?!!!” she asked. ‘ This makes a story sillier on a whole, especially if it’s used constantly. Grammar, spelling, and overall flow counts too, but I imagine it’s something everyone already looks for. Ultimately, things you need to watch out for are writing tropes wherein people notice more how you write instead of what you did. When in doubt, have an editor. I know having an editor seriously helped me, and I’m only human – I’ve made a lot of stylistic mistakes. For example, I used to repeat an existing noun or verb in sentences. Example: ‘ “Do you think we should grill up some burgers?” Asked Sean. “First I think we should find Jordan, then we should grill up some burgers.” Jean concluded.’ ” This can be forgiven in moderation. Nevertheless, the fact that they both used the exact same wording stuck out, didn’t it? I’ve seen stories do this repetitively and it stuck out just as much as an all-caps story. Ultimately, I fixed it through practice by treating dialogue in writing not as extra writing, but as a play waiting to happen. If it didn’t sound like a realistic discussion two actual human beings would have, I would then modify it.
And that brings us to realism. I honestly have no clue where to begin here. I lied, actually I do: Not every girl in the world is a slut waiting to happen. I don’t find pride in people telling me that my story is one of the more believable of its kind – the guy has casual sex with three different girls at his school. By all means, brag about how that was your freshman year (or maybe ‘brag’ about it while secretly trying to reaffirm your masculinity and hide the fact that you actually lost your virginity at 22+ like a surprisingly high number of people) but this doesn’t happen to anybody but a very low number of people, even lower in freshman year. Human beings aren’t built that way. They’re primarily emotional creatures. We can poo-poo this theory all you want, but the older I get and the more sex I experience, the more I realize that the old saying “sex takes place between the ears” is true. As a result, when you write a story about a guy who gets approached by the head cheerleader despite never knowing her beforehand and getting a blowjob from her then finding out the other cheerleaders dared her to, THEN banging another cheerleader and the first girl’s mother, the whole story tends to stink. Yes, fbailey, that was me calling you out. I swear, the only thing more unrealistic and baffling than the events in those stories are the people in the comments claiming that this exact thing happened to them last Tuesday. (These are the people who I think are compensating for something, since they see that the males in the story are treated like kings in the school for whatever reason once they bang a few cheerleaders and instead of wish they were like them, lie to themselves about becoming them so they can feel like they should be treated better too.) “But Bashful,” a voice protests, “I found that story more sexy than anything you ever wrote.” Not only is that fine, in many cases that’s probably true. Perhaps I should have clarified at the beginning, but let me make clear that I’m not suggesting that fbailey, blueheatt or any of the other quick-to-the-sex writers are bad. I’m sure they make good porn for their audiences. They, however, make terrible porn stories. I’m not instructing you on how to write about something primal. That would be dumb. I’m suggesting that there’s a difference between a quick sex-centric saga and a porn legend. I’m not using those words willy-nilly – a saga is a story that focuses on events. That’s what saga means. Ergo, stroke stories, which focuses on the events of sex so much that the people in the story may as well be cardboard cutouts, are sagas. The best porn stories are legends. Legends are not just amazing stories, contrary to what many believe – a legend is a story that focuses on the character. Need an example? Romeo and Juliet would be a legend. Events happen but the focus is on the characters. The Day After Tomorrow would be more a saga, since there are arguably no characters that encompass the whole story, and the story is all about the events that happen in the weather disaster. Lastly, I want to once again clarify that fbailey doesn’t deserve to be known as a bad writer – just a bad writer of *stories*, which isn’t their ultimate goal to write in the first place. We cool? Right. Moving on.
Source: “She peed in the urinal” by fbailey
Usually, the better sex stories are legends. This is simply because more good porn legends then sagas are written – sagas are harder to pull off when characters can come and go, since the spotlight isn’t on them. Plus, we read porn to fantasize, to project ourselves onto a lucky guy. Some people just want the immediate release and as such, go to someone like fbailey and find a story wherein a blank slate of a male protagonist (which is easy to project yourself on to since they have no alienating traits) bangs something like three girls in the first few paragraphs. That’s fine, that’s that audience. But notably, no one of his stories stand the test of time. Yet stories like Chris and Christie, She is the One, and An Incest Birthday, the first three I could think of, have fared better, received more hits, and are remarked as better stories. Now, why is this? The most noteworthy thing about those three stories is that while sex isn’t abundant, it isn’t always the focus of the story. Sex is regarded as a novelty. This drives the idea that sex takes place between the ears home. The more you know about the characters involved, the more you care about them, and share their experiences. It’s like with normal human beings – when your friends are happy, you’re happy. We behave with book characters in a very similar way. When a character you identify with and really like has sex for the first time, after a few pages, that build-up of no sex, plus the attachment to the character creates an anticipation in a porn story, and when it finally culminates, you feel a lot more satisfied. This happens with… The first two stories definitely, and the third one to an extent. When sex is treated as a novelty, something that doesn’t happen all the time, the sex isn’t the norm anymore, it’s more precious, more worthwhile. You know you’ve written a poor story when the sex happens before you know the main character’s real personality. The other side of this coin is waiting. ON XNXX in particular, having no sex in your first chapter would equivocate to suicide for your views and ratings. My solution in Being More Social, which can be found at Adult Fan Fiction and Stories Online was to have the character jumped by the school slut, only to have her take a liking to him. Was it realistic? No. I did develop Adam, the main character, enough by this point to have people understand what kind of person he was though. Through the acts that followed, sex or otherwise, Nicole revealed her personality too. But sex wasn’t commonplace. Character development and how the characters acted in mundane situations or other problems non-sex-related happened, because that’s how real life plays out. The trouble with making a sex-centric porn story is that once the novelty of sex wears off, there’s nowhere to go. It’s troubling when all of your sex scenes feel the same, maybe only changed by the protagonist banging a different girl whose only differences are her eyes and hair color. In a story, we need to know who these people are, and how they interact.
“Chris and Christie” by theblackknight
“She is the One” by Jashley13 (also available at Adult Fan Fiction)
“An Incest Birthday” by nivek_88
Interaction is very overlooked in terms of correlation to sex. The idea of status plays in heavily here, and this is where stroke story characters lose their realism. Status in terms of how two people interact should correlate in terms of sex. This is true even when the tables are turned. Using my story again as an example of this, While sometimes Adam is the forceful one and sometimes Nicole is, it’s important to note that until she gets emotional, Nicole is always in command. She is higher status. Shy insecure Adam, who is essentially taught sex by Nicole, is lower status. This reflects in their conversations, their sex, and their actions. In the best porn stories, as with the best stories, a character shouldn’t interact with any two people in the exact same way. Human beings act differently around different human beings. Now, if you’re writing a stroke story, if you want to make it just a little bit better try status play. There’s an interesting piece called “After School Part 2” by raj007 I discovered once. In every other way it’s unremarkable (it showcases how punctuation can make your story silly among other things) but I have to say, for a stroke story it doesn’t status play really well. It shows who is higher status, how that affects their conversations, and how it affects their relationship. The events are ridiculous and it’s basically just sex, but the interactions frankly aren’t that bad. Gotta give credit where credit is due. If you’re an aspiring porn story writer and you take only two things from this, please make it to flesh out characters and give them status please. Make each character their own person with their own traits (a novice strategy is to make Sims of them and jot down their personality traits, then use those traits to influence how they talk and what they do) and figure out what status they have with other characters. Sometimes the status will change (ex. Nicole becomes lower status to Adam when she becomes really emotional and clings to him) and boom, you have the makings of an interesting story.
Source: “After School Part 2” by raj007
So, make a story well-written with good spelling, grammar and punctuation, check. If it’s not just a stroke story, don’t always make it about the sex, check. Make each character unique and have status, check. Let’s go back to realism. As mentioned, I had to have a reason why Adam got laid in my first chapter, and more often than not, a reason is needed. You’re writing a story, and unless it’s a fantasy with either mind control or medieval times orcs or something, odds are you’re making it realistic. People have reasons for wanting to have sex with others. A lot of people need to have a reason before becoming remotely interested in the other person. Some people are looking for love before sex. This should be factored in. Some people want casual sex, sure, but even then it’s usually with people they already know, and huge point, it’s a *gradual process*. Even if the events of sex are sudden, it’s gradual. A story about a female friend suddenly wanting a suck the male protagonist off is not realistic, and becomes a stroke story in its own right, because it’s all about the sex again. The sex loses its novelty, the pleasure of including sex in your latest chapter turns into mundanity, etc. Great way for writing a terrible porn story. So, if a backstory isn’t given upfront when sex happens, maybe make it happen throughout the story, slowly but surely telling the guy’s backstory, or the girl’s, and have the reader figure out where the turning point was, where sex first entered the minds of an otherwise platonic pair of friends, because that is crucial in a character relationship. You don’t just need strong character personalities and status for a rewarding sex scene – you need the bond between them too. “Sex takes place between the ears.” Find a way to make your reader understand the feelings beyond ‘he put his flesh inside my flesh’ amongst the two people. This is why I can’t wrap my head around “The Adventures of John and Holly.” Sorry, it’s not a good story. Sorry, commenters saying the writer should ‘write a book’ – what you’ll get is the same sex scene over and over with different people in different places. Notice a few things about that story – aside from announcements that are just words like ‘When I’m out of college I want to marry you’ (which interestingly doesn’t feel as important to the reader as it should), the relationship between John and Holly beyond a few chapters in really doesn’t change. Notice that the sex scenes keep involving more and more people (in a sex-centric universe! Imagine that!) in order to raise the stakes. Why? Because nothing else is raising the stakes. There’s no real plot beyond ‘people have sex and make porn in college’ and it’s frankly a long stroke story. Is it bad porn? Who knows. Is it a bad porn story? Yes. Again, not denouncing the creator as a writer, just… don’t write a book. I hate stories that have close to zero plot. The idea of a sex-centric story crushing realism and actual plot leads me to another point which is no doubt going to earn me a few extra downvotes: The Devil’s Pact is too sex-centric for me to consider it a good story. It has everything I cited: A progressing plot, unique characters, status, and it’s well-written. And yet sex is not a novelty. Go ahead, name any one prominent female character in five seconds who doesn’t have sex eventually in the story. Each scene, let alone chapter, is peppered with sex. I could excuse this if it was just during Mark and Mary’s scene, but it’s during almost every scene. Gabriel has weird god-sex with the nuns, the devil and Lilith have this sexual tension thing happening, literally everyone has sex at some point. In the side story ‘Mark Goes Back to School”, the one place you’d think sex is a novelty to some, a couple female friends whom Mark decides to take over reveal they’ve already been having lesbian sex for a while. All novelty in the scene was gone. Suddenly there’s no point in making them do obscene things if they already would have, I thought. Then I realized I was reading a story about an adult male going to a high school to force minors to have sex with him, so I quietly shut off my computer and thought about how much of a monster I am.
“The Adventures of John and Holly” by John Morrison
“The Devil’s Pact” by mypenname3000 (emphasis on side story “Mark Goes Back To School”)
The topics of gradual character building and realism creep into the next topic: Incest. DISCLAIMER: I hate incest. I think it’s gross. I don’t actively search it out to read it. I’m a biased source, so take anything I say about this with a grain of salt. Incest is by far the worst culprit of sudden sex scenes. I hate the overused phrase, “I never saw my sister sexually” in these stories, because the protagonist just spent the last two paragraphs describing his own sister’s chest and butt to me in weird detail. Firstly, clearly you did, bro. Secondly, if this is so, how’d a few events as flimsy as discovering your brother whacking off (Hey there, Best Sister in The World), coming out of the pool with an erection (What’s up, My Sis Is Irresistible) or finding a porno mag and suddenly being cool with experimenting until your cousin’s freaking sister bursts in and is for some reason totally cool with the events and decides to join in (How’s it going, 3 Cousins) manage to carry that much weight? If there’s gonna be incest, at least make it make sense. Make it gradual (Sharing my Room with Sis is a good example) or make it pre-existing to the events of the story (again I cite She is the One). Don’t just make it appear out of nowhere! Is that hot? That’s up to interpretation. Is it good storytelling? In no sense of the word. It’s not a good story. In all three examples cited earlier, there’s no gradual buildup or even character development. In 3 Cousins, the flimsy excuse that Samantha was horny and Mary is going with it is made. No offence to Squirrelboy, but I want to know if he has actually had sex before. That is a completely unrealistic depiction of sex, and of most people’s urges even when they’re horny. All of his stories are painfully unrealistic. I wanna make sure for the umpteenth time that I’m not denouncing him as a writer, I get the feeling he deliberately does short stories. Good on him. There’s nothing wrong with stroke stories. They’re just not good stories. Besides, he’s better than My Sis is Irresistable, set in a weird alternate universe where despite not having an incestuous relationship, it’s totally normal for a guy to suggest his sister wants to bang him after she receives confirmation via wet bathing suit that he’s anatomically a male, then her best friend purposefully invades his shower to bang him and inform him that she wants to see her brother and her hook up. I mean… excuse me? Incest for some reason gets a free pass to be sex-centric and unrealistic, and it shouldn’t. It not only ruins stories, it gives a lot of potentially great writers the wrong impression when it comes to writing good stories with solid characters.
“3 Cousins” by Squirrelboy
“Best Sister in the World!!! Part 1” by LordofallSex
“My sis is irresistable!” by HornyHornyHippo
“Sharing My Room With Sis” by HardandSoft
“She is the One” cited earlier
Up until this point all cites were either praises or mean-spirited constructive criticism, so let’s switch gears and drop a nuke – if you want to really find out how not to write a porn story, look no further than undercoverman1’s I’m Hot for my Older Sister. Good gracious, that story. I’m not going to provide a deep thoughtful commentary on it as much as just needlessly rag against it, so here goes. Sins of this story: Exposition through dialogue that would sound weird in a real conversation, a male protagonist who at 15 is tall, has an athletic build and an 8 inch penis, a female character who has D cup breasts, a slim waist and a big butt at 17, a blatant stare which the anti-incest sister is weirdly okay with, a backstory including friends that for no reason want the protagonist to bang his sister, a flimsy set of events leading the cliche ‘yes my boobs are real, feel them if you don’t believe me’, terribly robotic dialogue, a brother literally responding to his sister not giving consent by doing it anyway (cough the definition of rape cough), the sister not giving two fucks when he does ignore her and goes for it anyway, the actual phrase ‘fuck my pussy’, all caps orgasms, dumb-as-stick sounding characters being straight-A students for whatever reason, a sister who apparently protested against her brother doing it with her pulling a 180 and saying ‘I’ve wanted you for years’ (excuse me, what?), introducing her friends to her brother as a sex toy as if that’s totally normal, every female character wanting sex, nobody being jealous throughout this, a black girl whose literal character revolves around her being black (in the sex scene, I’m not making this up, only two to three of her lines don’t outline the fact that she’s black and he’s white. As he screws her she mays as well be panting “I’m black! I’m black!”) with no other definable trait, categorizing girls by nothing but cultural background (and some offensive stereotypes, like all Asians being submissive), blatant fat-shaming, and as if that wasn’t enough, the protagonist then deciding to fuck his own mom literal days after his dad leaves the family, leading to a flimsy set of events involving a sun tan lotion cliche where suddenly his mom has the hots for him. Good grief. This was just from me scanning the thing. 800 000+ views, 93% rating. For a racist, objectifying, sex-centric, paper-thin, horribly written story. In case you’re not convinced, the comments by the author are a treat, where he both calls people assholes for implying he stole ideas yet accuses other writers of stealing ideas, and literally posted the comment “If MY woman bitched that much about sucking my dick I’d strip her naked, ditch her in a biker bar, and call her sister for some action…” Stellar. Just stellar. Remember that my story which involved a fifteen-year-old got banned, and his didn’t. Please, if ever you need to remind your self what you should aim to NOT write, look no further than this offensive, poorly written, character-lacking train wreck.
Source: “I’m hot for my older sister” by undercoverman1
Yes, I am very bitter. Glad you could tell. In case you think this is an anti-incest tangent, it isn’t. My personal feelings about incest aside, it can be done well. “I Lust My Sister Meridian” by Lustn4sis for a sex-centric story is well-written. Why did I give this a pass and not others? For one, right off the bat the focus of the story is laid out as sex. What’s the conflict? Immediately you know it: Jason’s lust for his sister is consuming him. Back story is given, the build-up is gradual, and characters are kind of well written. Beyond half-way through, it goes to shit, but the first half I imagine for a sex-centric story is written really well.
Source: “I Lust my Sister Meridian” by Lustn4sis
There are cliches in stories one should avoid as well when doing a porn story. A few have been touched on, like the flimsy events that lead to a girl previously uninterested in a guy having the hots for him. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still learning. To an extent, I’m guilty of this. Other things like always making the protagonist very attractive (usually males with athletic builds at 5’10 or higher with 7+ inch long dongs)… Overdone. And thanks for describing him in vivid detail in the first few paragraphs. I totally needed to know upfront how big his penis was. Otherwise, how could I visualize the sex scene that came dozens of paragraphs later? Oh, you could have just told me then, when sed penis was relevant. Whoops. Guys and girls come in all shapes and sizes. Challenge yourself to make a character attractive to a reader without making them physically perfect. Give them flaws. Make problems from those flaws. See what happens when another person with higher or lower status enters the picture. That’s how to make a story. A sex story doesn’t necessitate sex as a theme. Your story doesn’t always have to be about the sex. If you focus on the plot and make the sex part of the characters, not of the plot itself, I guarantee you’ll have a better, more lasting story. People will stop commenting on how they ‘totally did that last week’ and instead that they wished they did that. That’s how I knew I succeeded in storytelling with my story – kind commenters were telling me that my story reminded them of how they felt in high school and how they were wishing they were Adam. I made a flawed, visually imperfect character have some sex in a story that still revolved around him, not the sex he was having, and people enjoyed it still. On a smut website. Imagine that.
Story flow, grammar, realism, characters, status, lack of sex-centricity, lack of cliches. These are all things you should totally avoid if you want to write a terrible sex story. I’m not the be all and end all of story opinions, and stories aren’t absolute, they’re up to opinion, so take this whole thing with a grain of salt. Ultimately, I don’t want you to mindlessly obey what I say – more so I want you to question for yourself if these sound right, and what things you should avoid if you want to write a good sex story. Did I miss out on a point you think is important? Please let me know in the comments. Did I slander your favorite author? Yell at me in the comments. Wanna keep up with my writing endeavors? I can be followed on your favorite neighborhood tweeting social media service at <at>Bashful_Scribe. Otherwise, feel free to e mail me at bashfulscribe<at> gmail<dot>com, since I no longer check the inbox at XNXX. Thanks for reading this pompous arrogant masturbatory essay, I hope I could make you think.