We have finally reached the conclusion of our discussion of the senses and landed on perhaps the most important sense in romance and erotica writing: touch. Think about it: you’re writing about people physically touching each other in fun ways. As a result, you need to make it as tangible as possible.
Your characters aren’t copulating in zero gravity (or if they do, I can’t imagine that it happens that often), so there are a lot of environmental sensations to consider like temperatures, fabrics, and so on. Imagine your characters are outside; is the sun beating down on them? Is there a breeze? Consider how these elements might change in sensation in the context of fornication (look at me busting out my puritanical words). Maybe the temperature outside feels cool or even icy against your character’s skin, but as they get to the active fun part of copulating (less puritanical?), perhaps the breeze feels good against their hot, sweaty skin. Are your characters playing with wax? Ice? Whipped cream? Chocolate? Hot sauce?
Another thing to consider is where your characters are getting intimate (wow, could that sound more grandmotherly?). Are they on a bed? What kind of sheets/blankets are on the bed? Scratchy sheets, fuzzy blankets, silk pillows, all of them create very different sensations. Are they outside on prickly grass or against the rough bark of a tree? Are they in water? On a leather couch? On a porch swing? In a car? Consider if your characters are able to spread out or if they’re in a tight, cramped space and think about the way that could impact their physical comfort. The more environmental details you can provide, the more your reader will be able to orient themselves in the setting.
This is the fun part where you get to talk about your characters touching each other! Have fun and be creative with all the ways they can touch and feel. What does your character’s skin feel like? What about their hands, are they smooth or calloused? Are your characters touching each other lightly or gripping onto each other for dear life? Have your characters touch each other’s hair and explore each other’s bodies–are they sweaty, making their skin slick? Do they feel warm or cold? What do their kisses feel like? What body part are they kissing?
Now, move on to the interior touching–consider how various body parts (fingers, tongue, penis) feel on the inside, both in the mouth or in an orifice down below. Wetness, how various parts take up space, all sensations worth describing. Does your character feel stretched in a most enjoyable way? For women in your scene, how does it feel when they climax? Do their thighs clamp around their partner’s head? For men in your scene, do they come on the inside or the outside? How do both options physically feel for your character? For any gender, think about how their nails might dig into their partner’s skin, consider if there’s hair pulling involved. Sex is a physical act and the more physical sensations you can describe, the more your reader will feel immersed in your scene.
I hope these quick tips are useful for your next scene. More than anything, just have fun with it. Sex is fun and your writing should reflect that, so get busy!
Are there any other touch elements you think I should have included? Let me know in the comments!
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