“The edges of her stockings are peeking out from under her skirt, tantalizing me. Her beautifully large body is offered up for my pleasure, and I bask in the sight of it, sinking into my desire. I want her fear tonight. And her breath. I want her tears. I want to split her open, fluids dripping. I want to unleash my cruelty upon her. I want to reach deep inside and wrap her around my fingers.”
What is your context? What do you believe about desire? Why do you want to write stories about desire and sexuality? What is important to you about centering those things in your own writing?
“Hell, it’s hard to even figure out what our desires might be! Where can you go to learn about sex and the possibilities of desire? How do you learn to understand the physical body and its transformative potential, to appreciate the erotic uniqueness of each individual—the knowledge and skill we can only gain as we feel, smell, and discover ourselves through sexual acts, giving ourselves to (or taking) a willing partner? Who will help us learn what we need to know in order to practice our desires with awareness and comprehension? Where in this culture can we discover what is erotically possible between ourselves and other human beings? Where can we gain sexual and gender knowledge without being ruthlessly punished?” –Amber Hollibaugh, “Defining Desires and Dangerous Decisions”
- Are they knowledgeable about their desires? How did they learn what they know about their desires?
- Do they notice desire building inside them? Are they aware of what sparks their desire? Are they surprised by their own desire?
- Are some parts of their desire taboo or hidden or denied, either in general or in this relationship/encounter?
- Are they able to admit their desires to themselves? Do they accept their desires? Do they value honoring their desires?
- What is the cultural context for their desire? How does desire work in that context in general? How does it work for this particular character? For this encounter or relationship?
- Are they comfortable or experienced at naming their desires? discussing their desires with others? seeking their desires? experiencing their desires?
- What moves this character from desire to action? What prevents them from acting on their desires? What makes them hesitate to act on desire?
“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.”
“He pulled out the scissors and pressed them to Rickie’s lips. ‘Open up those pretty lips, boy. I wouldn’t want to smear your lipstick. Yet.’
They shined in the shallow of his mouth, and Jax groaned as he saw the boy’s tongue caress them, his cock pulsing. Those blue sparkled lips closed on the sharpness, and his pretty boy sucked the scissors off with a glorious enthusiasm, pausing to pant around them before suckling again, drawing himself off and then sliding back down, his eyes on Jax’s face the entire time.
‘I don’t think I’ve seen anything more beautiful,’ Jax murmured.”
Some folks are very aurally oriented in their desire. Sounds can be very powerful sparks, and provide great opportunity for you to get inside how the character interprets the sound. Some folks are turned on by the sounds they make themselves.
“Franklin reached around to remove the clamps, and Abe yowled as they were twisted off, writhing and gripping the bed with his fists until his voice broke and he began to sob harder. My cock felt like it was going to burst at the sound of it.
I love it when he cries. There is nothing that makes my cock throb more than hearing him sob. And to get to watch it, to hear it, gave me more time to savor the sounds, more freedom to sink into my skin and enjoy it. I didn’t have to control myself with him and make sure his sobs didn’t ramp me up too high. I could trust that Marcus and Franklin were going to keep up their cruelty, that he would be free to sob as he fucked Marcus, and that Franklin would continue to fuck the tears out of him.
This is what I love about watching him—the freedom to let go and really enjoy the impact his tears have on me. That is the show Daddy really wants and he knows it.”
Some folks really get off on language. Words can be really hot. Not just dirty talk, but also things like honorifics and role names (like Daddy, Ma’am, girl, etc.), as well as homophobic slurs and misogynist slurs. Part of this is about the larger narrative that these words can evoke or the roleplay that they can keep going. For some folks it’s the language itself, and for some it’s the story that really gets them hot.
Some Ideas for Language Sparks: “Good boy”; “Take it”; “Slut”; “Mine”; “Yes, Sir”; “queer”; “Oh, Ma’am”; “Please, Daddy”; “cocksucker”; “girl”
In the excerpt below from my story “Dancing for Daddy”, an adult who does Daddy/little girl play describes the power of language in age play, and how being called princess sparks her desire.
“The words are classic, basic. They should not work as well as they do. But they reach into my throat and twist fear into my being. Afraid. Excited. Shamed. Special.
The words are charged for me. Daddy knows just what to say. They are charged for her, too. She watches my eyes after she calls me princess, sees the struggle and intensity, and feeds on it. She knows which words will reach in and hold me.”
For some, the spark of desire is more about what particular things mean to the character, the kind of feelings or dynamics they invoke, or the kind of emotional reactions that get them hot.
Some Ideas for Sparks Based in Emotions and Dynamics: Teasing; Denial; Gratifying; Torture; Exposure; Serving; Shame; Mercy; Suffering; Praise; Nurturing; Helplessness; Fear; Desire; Objectification; Possession; Pride; Strength; Humiliation; Pleasure; Endurance; Reward; Control; Cruelty; Invasion; Force; Nervousness; Respect; Ferocity; Worship; Dependence; Frustration; Embarrassment; Betrayal; Safety; Structure; Punishment; Usefulness; Boldness; Deference
In this excerpt from “My Will”, a submissive describes what boot worship means for him, how it sparks his desire.
“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. When I touched my lips reverently to his boot, I felt so full I could burst. This was exactly where I wanted to be.”
In my novel in progress, Shocking Violet, I spend an entire chapter building up to and savoring the first moment of desire Jax has for Violet, so that you feel the shock of intensity with Jax when it crystallizes, when it’s visceral and real and he knows that he wants her for the first time. I’m loving the slow burn of that kind of storytelling, where the build-up is such a deep part of the pleasure of the story.
In short stories, you don’t have that kind of space for this moment; you have a couple paragraphs at most. So, I urge you to make them specific and concrete and individual to the character. Your story will be better for it, I promise you.