Romance Writing Tips I Learned From Adult Entertainment


© Arturkurjan | – Young Lovers Lay In Bed Photo

Yes, I’m going there and I’m calling it research because, in truth, it is. As a romance writer, it’s daunting to write love scenes and keep them fresh. Therefore, viewing adult films (Yes, whispered this would be porn.) or erotica is a very good way to spark the imagination and help with the creative juices. (Yup, I went there.) A lot of women read romance novels for the heated drama and sexual fantasy, and that’s what I want to deliver.

Obviously love scenes are integral to romances whether they are sweet or erotic. That’s a given and although I’ve been writing them since I was…ah…sixteen (Don’t tell my mother and I blame The Happy Hooker for my first introduction to the stuff down there. So if you tell my mom, make sure you blame The Happy Hooker. Thanks! Um…yes, I’m in my 50’s, so what’s your point?).

In truth, my selections in what to watch were narrow and quite picky and quite romanticized. Some of the acting was so-so, some was quite good and a lot of the plots (Yeah, I was surprised, too!) were pretty good. Romance-worthy good. What I like to term romantic erotica. And, to my shock, what I discovered is that the adult entertainment folks actually delivered. These are the 4 things I unexpectedly learned.

  1. It’s all in the eyes. It’s the one thing I have noticed in everything I’ve watched. The amazing eye contact is there and it’s sizzling. Powerful. Intense. This is the kind of scene I am always hoping to portray in my books. The strength of attraction and the building up of that attraction into something more meaningful that leads to the couples expressing their attraction physically. It’s all about the emotion from the very beginning. The connection that pulls these people further in reluctantly and against their will. It hasn’t just helped with the love scene. It’s helped quite a bit with those first glances, the coy eye contact, the longer stare…good stuff.
  2. What “in love” passion looks like visually. With the strong eye contact comes a deeper loving and sharing between the couples. I imagine passion when I write love scenes. It’s something that you have to do because when you write it’s just you with your hands on the keyboard (Yup, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). It helps my imagination when I can see how that passion looks on a man’s face. How he looks when he kisses her, touches her, the size of his…hands. (You thought I was going there, didn’t you?) and the way pleasure changes the human expression. I like to watch the differences in how a woman makes love to a man. It also reminds me here that’s it’s not just the sex, stupid. A love scene is about more than the moment. It about the budding, building, culmination of real love between two poeple, not about body parts (except when it is, see #3). These people need to seem real and “in love” passion in the real world can be ecstatic, terrifying, and above all, a deeply emotional process. Real “in love” passion needs to be written with it kept firmly in mind that the participants are so utterly vulnerable. We are all, when the time comes to get naked, terribly excited and frightened and hopeful and doubtful, usually at the same time. Complex emotions are much more compelling. I like to write how these people think about passion and the fact that, ohmigod, she is getting it on with this person she is so damned attracted to, even in the face of danger or complications. So, I want to get it right and not make them caricatures of people. That would then make it truly porn.
  3. How positions look and how men and women fit together. Sometimes I go completely bonkers thinking about how a man fits against a woman. How it looks when they are standing or kneeling or sitting and doing it. My head hurts and it takes me way too long to work it out. You might be thinking, has she never had sex before? Well, yes, I have, but I don’t watch myself doing it. I just..ah…do it. Watching a visual portrayal of sex puts all those movements, thrusts, touches, and hands in perspective. These details are so important. You don’t want your reader going, huh? He did what? How many hands are in this scene? Is this girl a gymnast? The devil is always in those little details.
  4. How sexy is it really to talk in a love scene. Okay, there are the tried and true lines that most people don’t say for real like, “Give it to me, baby;” or “Yes, deeper, harder, deeper!” or “Oh, baby, you are so big.” Well, at least in my experience. But, some of the stuff I watched had some great lines like, “You are so perfect,” and “I love the way you touch me,” and “You have the most amazing eyes,” and “I love you.” The characters said these lines with amazing eye contact, too. I also learned that I’m not against having my characters say comical things during sex. Something I have explored in my recent novels. So talking can be sexy when there is something sexy being said or whispered.

So altogether I’ve learned quite a bit and enjoyed my research immensely. That research has taught me to use all the senses, don’t obsess over body parts (except when you have to) and, even though this has been true, it’s okay to get aroused by your own love scenes. That’s probably the biggest indication that others will, too!

So, has this post made you consider watching adult entertainment or do you already indulge yourself? I promise I won’t tell your mom.

My latest release for you to check out will be on Monday, May 18th. Mark me is the 6th book in my Hope Parish Novels series.

MarkMemmRory Finnegan had one goal when he got out of the Marines. Find a place where he can settle down and open a tattoo parlor. That’s when his best friend Ethan Fairchild suggests he come to Suttontowne in the Louisiana bayou. It’s there that Rory gets a job bartending for Braxton Outlaw and runs smack full force into gorgeous, too young for him, Savannah Hawkins. To make matters worse, she’s got an over-protective mother and an upper-crust boyfriend. It would be smart for him to steer clear. But Marines like Rory don’t back down easily, especially after he gets much too involved with the southern beauty.

Savannah Hawkins is not sure what she’s going to do with her life and is quite sick of having everyone dictate to her, especially her family. When she gets a load of pierced, tattooed and gorgeous Rory, her interest goes off the charts. Complications like life decisions and a pre-selected husband seem inconsequential when she gets to know this scarred and battle-hardened warrior. Will she discover the answers she needs or will her coming of age tear her heart apart?

Happy reading until next time!

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5 Responses to Romance Writing Tips I Learned From Adult Entertainment

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Zoe! I’ve been waiting for someone to write this post! Thank you. Definitely those of us who write romance need to see it in action, and those of us who write hot benefit from seeing it too 🙂 What struck me was, not hand here, hand there, but the motion of it, like dance.

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Zoe, I need to watch porn! The only one I watched was awful, and it turned me off of porn. One of these days, I’ll email you for recommendations.

    Congrats on your new release! I love the blurb and the cover!

  3. Zoe Dawson says:

    Ha! Edie, email away. I found a couple of good safe sites. And, you’re welcome, Mary! I just started doing this only recently and it’s been an eye opener. I so agree. The couples have it down pretty good and the good, clean fun of what I’ve been watching has been great. It is so much like a dance.
    Zoe Dawson`s last blog was …RELEASE DAY FOR AFTERLIFE!

  4. Amy R says:

    I have heard that like anything, there is good films, bad films and those in between. It’s a matter of finding the right ones. I always categorized them all as the same, but I have been told, that is not the case. Now I really want to give one of your books a try to test ot what you learned. 😉 Which one do you recommend I start with?
    Amy R`s last blog was …Review: THE SHADOWS by J.R. Ward

  5. Zoe Dawson says:

    Amy, you can give my erotica shorts a try. Forbidden Plays series. Monster Man, Hot Read, and Illegal Motions. All .99. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
    Zoe Dawson`s last blog was …RELEASE DAY FOR AFTERLIFE!

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