Writing Erotica for Trans Readers, Part 3: Is Something Missing?

This is part 3 of my 3 part series for #OutWriters on Writing Erotica for Trans Readers. Part 1 and Part 2.

In part 2, I described how one of the main ways I write erotica for trans readers is by avoiding specific and detailed descriptions of gendered bodies. As these are the norm in the genre, it raises the question of what might be missing in writing this way, which holds across pretty much all of my erotica, including both the erotica that centers trans characters, and the erotica that does not specifically mark characters as trans.

As a reader, I don’t need (or particularly want) detailed descriptions of dripping cum or blue-veined rock-hard cocks or huge furry balls or moist rosy cunt lips or perfectly round teacup tits or muscled hairy chests. That is partly about my own particular eroticism (dripping tears or blood are much hotter for me personally; give me trembling, wide-eyed fearful gasps any day of the week), but primarily because those kinds of detailed descriptions are often exactly what make it difficult for me to stay in erotic engagement. They are also descriptions that rarely make sense when writing trans characters.

I think that these kinds of descriptions meet some specific needs of the reader that I attempt to address in other ways.

1)       They illustrate arousal and orgasm;

2)      They bring the eroticism to a visceral level;

3)      They satisfy visual imagination;

4)      They help to draw an image of a character as desireable to another character (and perhaps to the reader as well).

Let me take them in reverse.

Drawing Images of Characters as Desireable

In my erotica, I want the reader to understand that characters are desired by other characters, and ideally to experience desire through identification with one of the characters. But I don’t want to do this by referencing cultural standards of beauty as a stand-in for desirability. This is partly a reflection of my fat activism, my feminism and my disability politic. It is also something that feels deeply queer in it’s insistence on specificity of desire, interruption of misogyny, and refusal of societal standards of beauty. So instead of creating erotica that sets characters up as desireable because they fit standards of beauty, most of my work is written from the point of view of characters that are deeply in their specific desires for other characters. (I should also add that I generally don’t write characters that fit cultural standards of beauty.) Here is an example from “Ready”. As a heads up, this describes a Daddy dynamic.

“Daddy was looming over me, his large belly brushing against my head. He smelled so good, a musky sweaty scent mixed with oil and metal. That smell alone gets my dick hard, the smell that tells me a man has been working hard on a bike. It was clear he had; he was dirty as only a mechanic can get dirty, and I ached to suck the grease off his thick fingers.

Sometimes I think about Daddy and get so giddy knowing that I get to be his boy, that a scrawny faggot like me is lucky enough to be claimed by this big tough bear of a man. This was one of those times, as he rested a paw on my head and pressed my mouth against his stomach. Daddy was big enough to keep me safe, strong enough to hold all of me, cruel enough to give me exactly what I needed, and scary enough to keep me coming back for more.”

You can taste this boy’s desire for his Daddy, but it’s not through his Daddy fitting some cultural standard of physical attractiveness. It’s not about the Daddy being”universally” or “definitively” attractive to all readers. (As if that could even be possible!) It’s about the boy’s attraction to this particular Daddy, which is rooted in the specifics of their dynamic, the ways Daddy gives him what he needs, and his particular scent.

Satisfying the Visual Imagination

As an erotica writer, I know how important it is to satisfy the visual imagination. I want you to see the characters, to feel like you can imagine them. I want you to see the action, feel like you can be right there, if not inside the characters than as a voyeur. So I work at other kinds of visual description, to give you images to eroticize that are not as likely to disrupt the erotic reading experiences of trans folks. Here is an example from “Compersion”. As a heads up, it includes descriptions of rough body play, knife play, and voyeurism.

“They cornered him against the wall, knives in hand, speaking softly to him. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but his eyes got wider and he had stopped breathing. He was scared, I could tell from across the room, and just watching the fear on his face made my dick hard. Marcus had a gloved hand on Abe’s throat, a knife against his cheek, holding him still against the wall, as Franklin swiftly shredded his clothes from his body.

He was trying so hard to be perfectly still, but I could see him trembling slightly. Franklin’s knife toyed with his cock, as Marcus murmured something that made him wince and close his eyes. The moment seemed to last a very long time, that thick, long, shiny blade caressing his dick. He began to breathe rapidly, his fists clenching as he fought to stay still. It was delicious.

They yanked him away from the wall and stood him between them. He was staring into Franklin’s eyes when Marcus punched him on his back. Franklin responded by punching his pecs, and they worked a call and response rhythm together on his body, building it, until it was so fast he had no time to process it. He was struggling, shaking his head, and stomping, trying to take it, but I knew it was too much too fast and he didn’t know how. That was the point, to throw him off, not let him find his footing, and I could see it getting to him.

Franklin spun him around, and began pounding into his back with his fists, as Marcus removed his gloves to put others on. I knew what these must be—SAP gloves. So did Abe, because he growled, as Marcus began to punch his chest. I could see him struggle with it, watched it blossom on his face. He couldn’t stop them, was overwhelmed and off kilter and he always cries when you punch his chest—it’s like a release valve, and this time I got to watch it happening, and savor each moment.

It was glorious, to sit back and watch him struggle against tears, until he released them. It made my cock throb. When I saw Marcus continue to pound his chest with punches while he cried, grinning all the while, saw Abe register that it wasn’t going to stop, and he really could let go, my heart filled up with love for him. My boy was beautiful when he cried.”

In this passage, you get the visuals of the action, can imagine watching it, without the specific descriptions that might jar a trans reader out of the story. You see the reactions of the bottom in detail, from the POV of his watching Daddy, who has a lot of experience reading them. His POV helps you build a visual picture.

Here is a passage from “Lucky”, where you can get a clear visual image of the central character, the final results of the “getting ready” part of the play between a high femme submissive and her butch dominant, where the top has dressed her, fucked her mouth, and made her submissive ride her boot, before turning her towards the mirror to look at herself and get a picture of the scene that is going to unfold for the rest of the day. As a heads up, this description includes humiliation play, bondage,  and D/s.

“Look at yourself,” she said warmly, lifting and turning me to face the mirror. My eyes were wide, face flushed, hair wild. My lipstick showed I’d been sucking cock. The A-line shirt was stretched tout over my large tits and belly, and was so thin you could see my nipples clearly, “slut” written across my chest in red. My skirt had ridden up and my cunt peeked out, glistening. The fishnets had ripped, and the tough boots made me look decidedly queer. She had marked me, her scent enveloping me, her name for me emblazoned on my chest, her cock still on my lips. I am not just a slut, I am her slut, and her actions crystallized that fact. Being her slut makes me powerful.

She tugged my skirt down slightly and stood behind me, pulling the lock out of her pocket and locking my cuffs together behind my back. I stood tall, and followed her out of the room, strutting, my shoulders back, my boots loud, my head high. I was proud to be seen with her, my handsome butch in leather.

This example gives you a clear (and hopefully hot) visual image of this character, one that illuminates her identity and desires. It marks her as fat (including fat characters and marking them explicitly as fat is one of my projects as a fat activist erotica writer), and uses the words cunt, cock, nipples and tits without describing them in great detail. The visual gives you a sense of where the story is going, satisfies a reader who is hot for the kind of scene that is about to unfold.

Making the Eroticism Visceral

I personally get off on descriptions of eroticism that include the visceral. There is something so real, that grabs my breath and my desire, when I read something that feels deeply embodied and raw in a visceral way. I endeavor to illustrate that kind of eroticism outside of detailed descriptions of bodies, to place it instead inside the senses and the psyche, where you get the intensity from the dynamic and the sensory information.

Here is a rather lengthy example from “My Will”, depicting the early moments of revisiting submission for a character that had moved to the other side of the whip 15 years ago and never been on his knees since. As a heads up, it includes descriptions of boot worship, D/s, humiliation play, pain play, consensual non-consent, and cocksucking.

I lick boots the old fashioned way, belly on the floor, as low as I can be.  As I placed myself on the floor at his feet, I shivered.  It felt so good to be here, to be worshipping the boots of this man I deeply respected.  I was in his care, and he would be careful with me; I knew that.  Tears filled my eyes, and when I touched my lips reverently to his boot, I felt so full I could burst.  This was exactly where I wanted to be.  Tears fell onto the leather, and his boots soaked in their due.  I could taste salt with the polish as I licked, pressing hard with my tongue, wanting him to feel it.

I had made myself forget what this tasted like, felt like.  I concentrated hard on all of it, imprinting the memory of this lest it be the only time I would do it.  His other boot came to rest on the back of my neck, and he pressed my mouth onto the toe of his boot, hard, groaning.  He held me there for a good long time, his hand reaching down to stroke my hair, his bootheel digging into my shoulder.  I didn’t want it to end.  Then he lifted his boot from my neck, and pulled my head up, telling me not to forget the other boot needed care too.

As I cleaned and polished, his hand stayed on my neck, calmly stroking.  At some point his boot snaked between my thighs and dug into my cock.  I held my breath, gritted my teeth, and did my damnedest to remain focused on polishing his boot, to give it just as much care as I had given its brother.  It was hard.  The heel digging into my cock felt amazingly delicious, flawlessly excruciating.  It took all I had to finish polishing, shining and buffing that boot, and I could not be quiet while doing it.  Growling moans kept fighting their way past my lips; I couldn’t keep them in.

I lay on the ground again, pressing my lips into his boot, and felt him resting the sole of the other boot on my back, pressing it into my skin, my naked belly on the dirty floor.  It was heaven, and I began to tremble, it was so much, so intense, so exactly what I had been yearning for.  His boot came down onto my neck again, pressing my face down onto the leather, my tongue working it hard for him.

He pulled me up to my knees, suddenly, by the hair, tugged out his cock, and thrust it down my throat.  It was amazing.  I went from 15 years of nothing to a glorious cock deep in my throat, gagging on it, tears seeping from my eyes, aching for him to use my mouth in exactly the way he needed to.  His hands gripped the back of my neck and he rammed his dick as deep as it could go, relentlessly, selfishly, purely focused on his own need, growling, until he came, forcing me to swallow it, holding my mouth onto his cock as he thrust repeatedly, until every drop was gone.

He released my neck and his boot pushed me into the floor, until I had my head pressed down onto it, his boot kicking my ass, ramming between my legs, stomping my thighs.  It was brutal and intense and completely unexpected.  I began to shiver, to scream no, and all he said was that no was not a safeword, and I better take it for him.  His boots flattened me, kept me in the place I desperately ached to be, the place I feared with all of my heart. 

He showed me exactly how much I wanted to be under his boot, how much I loved it.  He made me say it to him, tell him I loved being under his boot, repeatedly, as he kicked me, dug the heels into me, hurt me with his boots.  When I finally said it the way he wanted to hear it, he rewarded me by forcing my mouth onto the filthy floor.  He made me lick it, to show him how much I appreciated his attention, his dominion, his boots showing me exactly where I belonged and what I loved.

I sobbed as I licked that dirty cold floor, the taste bitter and perfect, and he groaned, telling me my tears turned him on, that the sight of me under his boots was making him hard again, that if I did a good job he just might fuck me.  Soon I was licking salty wetness along with the grime on the ground, and I knew that I wanted to please him more than anything in the world. 

In this passage, the focus is on taste and physical sensation, and the way that they are experienced as excruciating and reverent all wrapped together. The way that facing his desire creates both emotional pain and deep satisfaction, twisted into one. The top’s boots come alive, and from the bottom’s point of view they are the things taking action in accordance with the dominant. The boots acting independently is part of what builds the sense that the bottom is deeply in his submissive experience, at boot level and connected to the boots and the floor and his own identity as a submissive.

Here is another longish example from the top side, from “What I Need”. As a heads up, it includes descriptions of rough body play, a top pushing hir own edges, fucking, and D/s.

I pull out of your throat, and push you onto your back with my boot, moving around you, kicking your arms, your thighs, your crotch.  I circle you, thudding into you with my boots, feeling the energy raise, riding it.  I want you breathless and aching, deep in your helplessness, desperately wanting to please.  You thank me repeatedly, your voice intensifying as I build into harder blows.  You are breathing rapidly, and your eyes are wild.  You can sense how feral I am in this moment, and I can smell the delicious bursts of fear in you.  I stop abruptly, and place my boot on your face.  Your entire body freezes.  This is exactly what we both need, and I am intensely aware of how perfect it feels.  I breathe into the moment, and hold it.  This is sacred and right and there is no rushing right now.  Everything stills. 

“Mine,” I say quietly.

“Yours, Sir,” you reply.

I can feel the smile slide across my face.  What a joy it is to be here with you, to take you in this way.  I am so full of love for you, I can feel it bursting from my skin, my chest opening and pouring it onto you, soaking you in it.  I want to roll around in it with you, my skin slick against yours.  As I think of this, I can feel the hunger build again, the urgency surge, and I am out of patience.

I pull you to your hands and knees, yank down your pants, lube up my cock, and work it into you, feeling your body resist, pushing my way inside, opening you for my pleasure.  I growl, holding myself deep inside you, and bite down hard onto your back, working your flesh between my teeth.  I strip you of your shirt, keeping my cock exactly where I need it to be, and then yank mine over my head.  Then my skin is on yours, and it feels so fucking good that I howl in exultation.  It feels exactly perfect to be inside you, my big belly against your back, my nipples rubbing against your skin, my bare arms wrapped around your chest.  I can be bare-chested in this moment, trust that it won’t change my gender in your eyes, that you won’t expect this to happen again. So much of my skin never feels the air, much less the feel of skin against it. It is so intense it hurts, just to feel you with my whole chest.

I am surrounding you and inside you, and I want to stay like this forever, to never let you go, to hold you close for eternity, my teeth embedded in your skin, my dick buried in you, reveling in the feel of you, knowing that you are mine.

This example is filled with a more urgent intensity, the driving need is part of what makes it feel visceral. The present tense, the repetition and the pacing help to create the visceral experience. The sensory descriptions and the internal emotional experience of the top pushing hir own edges also contribute to how the story feels. The piece feels visceral, without the kinds of description likely to jar a trans reader. In fact, this piece centers a trans character and it feels like that, with the kind of emotional risks that can come with taking off clothes as a trans person.

This excerpt also illustrates something I do frequently when writing stories about trans characters–talk about them getting fucked without specifying where, leaving it up to the reader to interpret. This opens up the possibilities for trans readers to identify in the ways that work best for them, and makes it less likely that they get jolted out of the story.

Illustrating Arousal and Orgasm

Despite the lack of lengthy descriptions of wet cunts, raging hard-ons, and dripping spunk, I endeavor to make it quite clear that characters are aroused, and to indicate orgasm.

In this scene from “Falling for Essex”, there has been a long slow buildup of desire that culminates in play between these two college students. This part of the story illustrates the way that desire builds into arousal as they begin to play. As a heads up, this excerpt includes descriptions of face slapping, cocksucking and Daddy dynamic. Also, these two characters specifically choose to reclaim a homophobic slur (that is part of the negotiation that occurs prior to play).

It felt so damn good to kneel in front of him. Samuel breathed it in, looking up to meet Leroy’s eyes, letting himself sink. Leroy’s hand stroked his cheek. He told Samuel to hold still, securing his chin. Then he slapped Samuel across the face. Samuel worked hard to stay still but he couldn’t stop from trembling just a bit. He kept his eyes on Daddy as he got slapped over and over, fear twisting up through his chest to pool in his throat.

“Oh, Daddy,” he breathed.

“I’ve been wanting to slap those fat cheeks of yours since the first day of class.”

Samuel actually felt his eyes widen.

“Oh yes, you tempted me right from the start,” Leroy said conversationally, as he continued to slap his face. This was a good way to begin. Samuel looked all startled and reverent, and just a little bit helpless. Oh yes, Leroy thought. I need this. He stuffed two fingers into that delicious mouth, feeling a soft tongue reach for them.

“Lick your Daddy like a good little faggot,” he said. Samuel moaned around his fingers, making his cock jump. He yanked the faggots head down to his thigh, holding him as he fucked his mouth, stuffing another finger into him, watching his eyes pop even wider. Leroy was moaning too. Samuel’s mouth was hot and soft and exactly where he needed to be. Samuel was shuddering, his hands clenching his own thighs.

“Such a good cocksucking faggot,” Leroy murmured affectionately, as he forced his fingers deeper, savoring the sensation of Samuel’s throat convulsing around him. Damn. He needed to have his cock in that throat right now. He slid his fingers out and freed his cock, gripping his faggot’s head with both hands, moving that tease of a mouth onto his cock in one long thrust.

“Yes,” he hissed. “Daddy’s cocksucking faggot. That’s who you are. Take Daddy’s cock.”

He rammed into Samuel’s throat, watching him choke, his eyes reaching up for Leroy to let him know he wanted this, it was okay to take him, he wanted to choke on Daddy’s cock, wanted Daddy to take his throat and his breath and his everything.

In this example, arousal is illustrated by the descriptions of physical reactions (trembling, eyes widening, jumping cock). It is shown through the descriptions of sound: Samuel’s breathiness, Leroys moans and hissing. It is shown through information about the inner life of the characters: Leroy’s descriptions of Samuel’s mouth as delicious, his using the word need, his urgency to have his cock in Samuel’s throat, Samuel’s intention to show Leroy how much he wanted this, his naming that it felt so good to kneel for him. We don’t need a detailed description of anyone’s cock to know both these characters are aroused, especially after the long buildup of desire that is delayed and delayed through the beginning of the story.

One of the themes in my work is orgasm control, where a submissive is required to ask permission/beg for orgasm, and/or is forced to come on command or pushed to orgasm repeatedly. This kink dynamic makes orgasm pretty clear. Here is an example from “How He Likes It”, describing orgasm control, breath play, and fucking with a baton.

Sir smiled down at me, put his hands round my throat, and ordered me to come for him. My body responded before I even thought it, just began to move, racked with pleasure so intense it hurt, my hands clasping onto the bed as hard as I could. As I came, Dexter held the baton there, not letting my spasms push it out. It was relentlessly awfully wooden and stiff inside me, and I ached to be impaled upon it. He pulled it back just a bit, and pressed up with it, in that perfect spot, twisting it inside me, and I sobbed, begging to come, not sure I could stop it from happening. Sir gave me permission, and I spurted all over that baton, my entire body shaking.

Orgasm is clear and overt, without the detailed descriptions of body parts, and orgasm control is part of what makes it unmistakable in most of my fiction.

Here is another example of orgasm, without the orgasm control. It is from “The Tale of Tam and Jan”, a kinky genderqueer retelling of the fairy tale about Janet and Tamlin. As a heads up, this excerpt includes a description of pain play, and fucking someone while they are crying.

Tam began to punch Jan in the pecs. Slowly. In the same spot, repeatedly. A steadily increasing pounding, building heat in Jan’s chest from within, like a red hot coal, slowly building, rough and demanding. Jan could feel it growing in their chest and was helpless to stop it, just held Tam’s determined eyes as tears started falling. Tam kept ramming hir fists into Jan, smiling so sweetly at the tears, wanting them to come. This was exactly what Tam needed, they realized, and they let go and sobbed. Tam just kept driving the tears out of them, telling them to just keep crying, their tears were gorgeous and hot and making Tam so hard. That if they kept crying like that Tam was not going to be able to resist fucking them. Jan gripped Tam’s waist and bawled, tears washing over them both.

Then Tam yanked hir cock out and it was deep inside Jan, exactly where they both needed it to be, as Tam’s teeth drove into Jan’s chest. Jan kept on sobbing, and it egged Tam on, fucking them harder, grinding hir teeth into Jan’s flesh as ze came. It was sublime, and Jan held on tight. They were never going to let go now. Tam shuddered as ze fucked the tears out of them, growling. Jan was begging through their sobs, crying as they came, holding on as tight as they possibly could.

The orgasms are clear, without any descriptions that might be jarring for readers identifying with either of these genderqueer characters. In this example, the release of tears is somewhat more the point, and the thing that they ride together to orgasm, with the fairy tale theme of holding on through everything being a central aspect of the orgasms.

Leaving out detailed descriptions of gendered bodies does not mean that we cannot meet the needs of erotica readers, and create work that illustrates arousal, is visceral and visually satisfying, and offers characters that are clearly desired. My hope is that the examples I have offered give you some ideas about how you might create your own erotica that is more accessible to trans readers.

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10 thoughts on “Writing Erotica for Trans Readers, Part 3: Is Something Missing?

  1. Pingback: Writing Erotica for Trans Readers Part 2: How I Write for Trans Readers | Kink Praxis

  2. Pingback: Writing Erotica for Trans Readers, Part 1: Being a Trans Reader | Kink Praxis

  3. Just wanted you to know that I’ve been reading and appreciating this series and found this post in particular helpful. There are so many hot aspects of sex and play to focus on in erotic writing beyond the physical details of genitals; I really love all these specifics, especially the detail about the smell of a bike mechanic–so specific and in-character and hot… and not hot for me because I’m personally especially turned on by that smell but because the character’s being turned on by it is so well evoked. I’m going to be thinking about this in my own erotic writing, as a way to make my writing potentially more accessible to trans readers and also as a technique I find more personally interesting than focusing on the specifics of anybody’s genitals. Thanks for writing and sharing all this.

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    • It felt really good to read your comment. I’m glad to know that you found this post helpful, and that it was useful to give specific examples. If you wanted to talk more about this, I’d be glad to.

      Like

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  5. “You can taste this boy’s desire for his Daddy, but it’s not through his Daddy fitting some cultural standard of physical attractiveness. It’s not about the Daddy being”universally” or “definitively” attractive to all readers. (As if that could even be possible!) It’s about the boy’s attraction to this particular Daddy, which is rooted in the specifics of their dynamic, ”

    I was particularly drawn by this set of statements. For me, this is the essence of all good erotic fiction, regardless of its target audience, actually. Where desire and desirability are not read directly through the desire values of a culture, but experienced through the lens of a very particular desire and a very individual measurement of desirability.

    I have a very difficult time seeing how the passage pertaining to this commentary is not erotic to everyone, and anyone. It’s hot, it’s poignant, it speaks of a desire mix of comfort, safety, thrill and risk. I don’t have a fetish for bears fixing bikes, nor am I personally aroused by the taste of oil, but for me those details don’t push me out of the story. They don’t eclipse the eroticism of that central engagement.

    I think, more than anything else, this takes good writing. It is far easier to rely on mainstream agreements of what is desirable, than to forge a reader’s connection to the particular desire of a individual character. But that is where literary erotic transportation truly occurs – a the point of radical individuality.

    Damn, you’re really inspired me to think about this in much more depth.

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    • What a wonderful compliment, that I inspired deeper thinking. You made my day.

      I agree that writing this way takes more skill, thought, & care. It is definitely easier to rely on cultural short hand.

      I’m hoping that you will share your deeper thoughts. I’d be interested to read them.

      Like

  6. Really interesting. I’ve been wondering why erotica writers make such a big deal out of telling the reader how hot the characters are, with their standard big tits and perfect ass and slim waist and zzzzzz . . . oh, did I fall asleep? Anyway, I’m much more interested in what they do and how they feel, how they interact. Been starting to wonder if I’m some kind of freak. (Oh wait, we know I am, I write monster erotica.)

    Next, can we talk about why every monster erotica cover has a picture of a hot girl in underwear? There’s nothing about underwear in the story (except that they get removed), so why underwear on the cover?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Resources on “Writing the Other” | Kink Praxis

  8. Pingback: Reviews of trans and/or non-binary lit by trans and/or non-binary reviewers | Kink Praxis

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