Posted in General, Writing Advice

Christmas Music as Writing Inspiration

For those of us who don’t work in retail, Christmas music can be fun. It’s festive and really sets the tone for the holiday season. Plus, there’s an element of nostalgia because we’ve been listening to these songs since we were in the womb.

Mariah Carey’s high notes can pierce any placenta.

However, have you ever considered how you can use Christmas music as writing inspiration? I’ve discussed music in general as writing inspiration, but today I’d like to focus on Christmas music. It sets a very specific scene in one’s mind of presents, cozy fires, and above all else, snow, snow, and more snow. Below, I’ve listed a few Christmas songs with ideas for jumping off points to help inspire your next piece.

White Christmas – Bing Crosby

Is there anything more classic than this song? This version, sung by Bing Crosby, is the best-selling single of all time with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide. When thinking about it from a writing inspiration standpoint, you can either play with or against type. If you decide to go with, you can start a scene with a character who is excited about all the snow or desperately wishing it would snow for the holidays. To go against, you could have a character who is angrily shoveling themselves out from underneath a mountain of snow.

Real Life Inspiration: Two years ago, my dad drove up to visit for Christmas. He doesn’t get snow where he lives, so he wished and wished and wished for snow. We’d been having kind of a dry winter, but on Christmas Eve, the skies opened up and my dad got his white Christmas. I should also mention that he drives a little sports car with almost no ground clearance and he still insisted he could drive it through the snow. Cut to two hours later, my husband was still digging him out of our driveway.

“Almost done!”

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee

I don’t know about you, but this song always makes me think of holiday parties. Consider using this song as a jumping off point for a story about a Christmas party. Maybe it’s an office party (as we all know, those never end well) or maybe it’s a friend’s party where that one friend nobody likes has overdone it on the eggnog. Think also about the kind of people who go to parties; there are the extroverts who thrive off of get togethers and introverts who spend the entire time trying to befriend the dog and counting the minutes until they can go home.

Real Life Inspiration: A close friend of mine had to attend a holiday party last night, so I spent the entire time sending her introvert memes as moral support to get her though the party.


“Santa Baby” – Eartha Kitt

Am I the only one who thinks this could definitely turn into Santa erotica? Cute, flirty, seductive–this song has all the makings of smut if you want to take it there. It’s like the grown up companion to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” The only limit to this one is your imagination!

Real Life Inspiration: Okay, I admittedly don’t have any real life experience with seducing Santa Claus, but I do think there are a lot of elements about the holiday that lend themselves to sexytime. The glow of the fireplace or the lights on a Christmas tree alone make for the perfect mood lighting.

There’s definitely room for a joke here about “stuffing stockings.”

What are your favorite Christmas songs? Try using one of them as a writing exercise and then let me know what you create!



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Posted in Writing Advice

Setting the Mood Music

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You’ve set aside the time. Your coffee is fresh and hot. You’re ready to write. And yet . . . nothing is happening. You’re feeling the creative itch, but nothing is happening. Your pen is drying out, the cursor blinking on your screen is mocking you, and you want to just bang your head against a wall. Creative blocks happen all the time, and I’ve found that one of the best ways to get past them is to blast a little music!


Setting the Mood

Think about the tone of the scene you’re writing; this is especially important when it comes to romance and erotica. Are your characters having a tender, romantic moment? Are they having angry makeup sex after a fight? Are they teasing each other in public, just waiting for the moment when they can finally be alone? All of these are sexy moods in their own right, but the playlist is going to vary a bit. For example, long lost lovers who are having a deeply emotional and tender reunion are not likely to listen to this particular song:

Or maybe they are, I don’t know your characters, but you get my point. Below, I’ve listed a few different moods with some suggestions that I have found helpful in my own writing.


“Kiss” – Prince  Really, anything by Prince will work. However, I chose this one because this one is more flirty and playful than some of his other work.

“Hands to Myself” – Selena Gomez

“I Want Your Sex” – George Michael This one is pretty to the point, but it’s good for setting a mood for your characters if they’re out in public (or maybe running to the bathroom for a quickie)

“You Can Leave Your Hat On” – Joe Cocker Anyone who has watched 9 1/2 Weeks can attest that this is a great song for setting the mood for a striptease.

Remember how good looking Mickey Rourke was then? I miss those days.

“I Touch Myself” – The Divinyls This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but imagine you have a character who is teasing their partner by touching themself but is just making their partner watch; there’s no better song to set that mood.

“Oops (Oh My)” – Tweet ft. Missy Elliott The repetition of “oops” has just the right playful quality in order to create a fun, sexy environment for your characters who might be teasing each other.

“Need You Tonight” – INXS This particular songs always makes me think of a crowded bar with two people looking at each other like they just know what’s going to happen the moment they get home.

Down and Dirty

“Work It” – Missy Elliott This song is particularly good if you have a female character who is dominating the scene.

“Stripper” Sohodolls This is a particularly sexy song, even more so if you’re a fan of Gossip Girl and you remember the scene in season one when Blair dances in Chuck’s club, Victrola.

Just ignore the fact that Leighton Meester is supposed to be playing a 16-year-old, because that’s when it gets weird.

“You Can Do It” – Ice Cube Okay, so maybe a lot of the songs in this section are pretty self explanatory. This song is also a little bit of a fun flashback if you loved the movie Save the Last Dance.

“Dirrty” – Christina Aguilera ft. Redman This classic 2002 hit is from Christina’s “bad girl” phase (you can tell by the extra “r” in “dirrty”).  Is it a cheesy pop song? Yeah, kinda. Does it also talk about getting down and dirty and fucking while the music video features fetishes like mud wrestling and muscle worship? You’re goddamn right it is.

Smoothly Sexy

“Hell Yes” – Beck This song has an excellent beat that Beck uses to his advantage in order to create a smooth, sexy song that provides excellent atmosphere for two characters that are really, really into each other and want to take their time.

“Ignition (Remix)” – R. Kelly This is about as smooth as it gets as long as you look past the whole “peed on a teenager” thing.

“Pony” – Ginuwine Two words: Magic Mike

Three more words: Jenna Dewan-Tatum

“Criminal” – Fiona Apple Fiona Apple said the song is about “feeling bad for getting something so easily by using your sexuality.” Let’s be honest though, Apple doesn’t sound all that sorry in this song as she verbally slinks around the melody.

Angry Sex

“Desire” – Meg Myers Do you want to hate fuck someone? Do you want to write a scene about how your characters want each other so badly they want to devour each other? If you answered “yes” or even a tentative “maybe?” then this is the song for you.

“Closer” – Nine Inch Nails See above. This is the quintessential angry sex song and, really, with a line like “I want to fuck you like an animal” it speaks for itself.

Classically Sexy

“Let’s Get It On” – Marvin Gaye Is it cheesy and overplayed? Sure. Is it also the sound of panties dropping all around the western world? You’re goddamn right it is.

“Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye Let’s be honest here, Marvin Gaye’s was and will continue to be the sound of baby making forever more.

“Here I Am” – Al Green This is the kind of song you can get away with playing at a wedding so that your grandma isn’t offended, but the implication is still pretty clear.

“I Just Wanna Make Love to You” – Etta James Another classy mainstay. Etta James’s sexy voice lets the recipient of the song know exactly what the singer is planning, perfect for when your characters aren’t interested in beating around the bush.

Angsty Sex

“Colorblind” – Counting Crows Anyone who saw Cruel Intentions will remember the angst of this song when Ryan Philippe and Reese Witherspoon’s characters finally have sex for the first time but then they break up and everything is awful and it’s sexy and now I’m crying and wondering why I decided to write this god forsaken post.

“You Are” – Kathryn Ostenberg A painful love song beautifully sung about a broken heart, perfect for when your characters have emotional goodbye sex.

“Wicked Game” – Chris Isaak Do you have angsty characters running around in black and white on a beach? If so, this song is for you!

Romantic Sex

“After an Afternoon” – Jason Mraz From Jason Mraz’s live album recorded at a San Diego coffee shop, this simple acoustic melody really evokes the feel of two people lovingly wrapped in the sheets together. Lines like “your smile pressed against mine” will almost certainly help to inspire some romantic sex scenes for your own characters.

“Hold You In My Arms” – Ray LaMontagne For some reason, this song always makes me think of two people dancing alone to this song on a jukebox in a bar after closing. There is something so romantic in the feel of it about just wanting to hold one another and yet it’s still evocative of romantic, take-your-time sex.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of songs, but hopefully you have a few ideas to help you get started if you’re feeling stuck in your writing and need some inspiration. Music is a great asset, so be sure to use it!  I also highly recommend making mood lists on Spotify for some of your most inspiring mood music.

Did I forget any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!




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Posted in Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: “Rico Suave”

If that slimy feeling you get when a creepy dude hits on you had a theme song, it would be “Rico Suave.”

“Rico Suave” was a 1990 single by Ecuadorian rapper Gerardo, and it’s basically four minutes of him repeating “Rico Suave” in the creepiest sexiest way possible. In between pelvic thrusts, Gerardo raps a bilingual brag of his prowess with the ladies, which is understandable because I don’t know how any woman would be able to resist poetry like this:

Shakespeare ain’t got shit on Gerardo.

He also brags about being two hours late for a date because the girl insisted he meet her parents. In case you’ve forgotten what he looks like, check out the photo below–what woman sees that guy and says, “YES! THIS is the one I bring home to mom and dad!”?

Everything about this photo just screams "douche."
Everything about this photo just screams “douche.”

Gerardo has often referred to himself as the Latin Elvis and the Latin Frank Sinatra, which tells us that tying a bandana too tightly can result in brain damage. They should really consider adding a warning label.

For some, the warning comes too late.
For some, the warning comes too late.

While Gerardo is best known as a one-hit wonder, he actually produced a total of six studio albums. However, none of his other songs rivaled his “Rico Suave” success. He eventually moved behind the scenes as a record executive and within the last few years, he also became a youth pastor.

Yeah. This guy.
Yeah. This guy.

He also had a short-lived reality show on VH1 called Suave Says, which followed life at home with Gerardo, his wife, and their three kids.

There are no immediate plans for a second season. I fell like this is self-explanatory.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash my hands because while writing this post, I’ve just listened to this song more times in one sitting than any human should.

Pictured: Me
Pictured: Me

Happy Throwback Thursday!