How To Tell A Good Sex Story I: Setting

I’m gonna start by saying this up front: I have some hangups about publishing erotica. Some big ones. They’re mine to deal with but until and unless I do, you won’t see any on here. That said, I love to use erotic stories to get Beth into a hot and steamy headspace during sex, and I’ve talked about it with people in the past, but I have a hard time really talking about them with other people. I definitely have no interest in writing these verbal stories out as publishable erotica; see my previous mention of hangups. Also, whenever I’m chatting with people about dirty talk or sexy stories, it’s usually been a while since the last time I told Beth a sexy story, so often all I have are vague recollections and no real ability to illustrate my points.

This morning Beth and I had a lovely bit of sexy funtime, and we found our way into “storyspace”… and the results were emphatically satisfying. I still have my hangups, but I at least now have a fresh example in mind of the kind of story that works well for Beth and me, and can detail some of the nuances of how they fit well together. I’m still not willing or able to put the whole story down for erotic consumption, but if you’ll permit me, I am at least prepared to share snippets and talk about specific tips to telling a good sexy story in bed.

Note: this post got WAY out of hand–well over three thousand words! I’m going to break it up into installations and post them throughout the rest of the week. I’ll give you the setup today, and then for the next five days (at least), I’ll break down one of the steps and explain why and how it works. But first, let’s establish the setting.

The Setting

Setting is both far more and far less important than you think. It’s a shorthand that establishes not just the environment and ambiance, but also the rules of the story. A story set in the boss’ office will have business ambiance, and real-world rules, but a story set in a wizard’s tower will have an arcane ambiance and rules that involve magic spells and potions.

I started this morning’s story with “Hansel and Gretel returned to the witch’s gingerbread cottage and immediately began breaking off pieces to feed each other.” This tells you it’s a fairytale setting, there’s magic afoot, the power dynamic between the two characters starts out equal, and there’s going to be an element of “the taboo of lost innocence”. Sharp-eyed readers will note that Hansel and Gretel “immediately” breaking off pieces of the cottage implies that they are returning to an activity they have already tried. This is because Hansel and Gretel is a sexy story we’ve told before. Many times, in fact. Outside the influence of the witch’s cottage, they are fairytale innocents, but under its spell they get up to all sorts of debauchery… and they like it, which is why they have come seeking it out.

Before we get too far ahead of the story, let me detail some other setting elements that have been established in earlier visits to the X-rated version of Hansel and Gretel. In our storyspace, Hansel and Gretel are cousins by marriage and, although they are quite naive and innocent, they are (just barely) of the age of consent. (We’ll cover the reasons for these specifics in tomorrow’s installment.) Various earlier stories have established that Hansel and Gretel have found, and returned several times to, the Witch’s gingerbread cottage. They have discovered that breaking pieces off and eating them makes them feel uncontrollably horny, and the two of them are then compelled by the magic gingerbread to do unspeakable things to each other for pleasure.

Keep in mind that every story I tell Beth is tailored for her specific kink. She is the only audience for my naughty stories, and I do cater to my audience. Beth is very much into surrendering control, being helpless, and being forced or controlled into behaving lewdly. Our Hansel and Gretel stories always feature a bit of mind control where the temptation of delicious baked goods leads Gretel into teasing or pleasuring Hansel until he takes over and forces himself upon her, which was what she wanted all along….

You can overthink a setting. Why doesn’t Gretel get pregnant? Because magic, that’s why. Okay but why doesn’t the princess in the wizard’s tower get pregnant? Because magic again, duh. Okay, but why doesn’t the secretary servicing the boss get pregnant? Because the magic of contraceptives. Okay, but why doesn’t the 12th-century peasant being ravished by the son of the Baron get pregnant? Because she dies of the black plague in the next chapter. You can overthink a setting.  Unless you’re telling a story that deliberately features a complication, leave it out of the setting.

I recommend choosing archetypal stories, at least to start with. The point of a setting is to establish a shorthand for the world and the universe and then forget about it and tell your story. If you say “It’s getting late, and the high school teacher has been summoned to meet with the principal in his office to discuss her violation of the school’s dress code” you’ve got a setting. If you say “Matrool 3.0 transmats into the Jovian hivemoon to discuss the Floraxian gimblemoot with Ansul, Visigarth III of the Terra Sanctum hegemony”, you’ve got a problem. Don’t get me wrong, if I were reading that sentence at the start of a novel, I would probably follow it for a while, if only out of morbid curiosity. But when you’re snuggling in bed and you want to set the stage for a steamy romance, pick a recognizable backdrop for your setting. A knight and a princess, a queen and a handsome serf, a principal and a teacher. You can even take specific characters from existing literature, like Christian Grey and Anna Steele, or Elizabeth Bennett and Mister Darcy. Or like we often do, pick fairytale characters: Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, the Third Little Piggy.

How you spin the setting is up to you. If you’re not sure what to do, go with the classic “they meet and are attracted and just forward enough to make sure they end up in bed”. The principal calling the teacher in to explain why not wearing panties is a violation of dress code is a fun spin, but you could also do the overworked female principal just needs that handsome new substitute teacher to spank her and fuck her to get her emotions reset after a stressful week. We spin Hansel and Gretel with the magic cottage being made entirely of tempting sweets loaded with magical aphrodisiacs.

So that’s the setting. Tomorrow we’ll start talking about the specific aspects common to all of the stories I tell Beth.

3 thoughts on “How To Tell A Good Sex Story I: Setting

  1. Pingback: How To Tell A Good Sex Story, Part 3: Be Sensual | Dom, Sir

  2. Pingback: How To Tell A Good Sexy Story, Part 4: Be Suggestive | Dom, Sir

  3. Pingback: How To Tell A Good Sex Story, Part 5: Don’t Stop | Dom, Sir

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