Guide To Writing Paranormal Erotica
Writing sex has its own challenges, check out my last post on what they are and how to overcome them. Today I’m upping the ante and adding in an element of fantasy. Not just the kinda thing you think about when you’re having solo fun time, no, I’m talking paranormal erotica and erotic romance.
What is Paranormal?
It has nothing to do with the usual way to parachute. Paranormal is defined as:
denoting events or phenomena such as telekinesis or clairvoyance that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.
When you look at the paranormal romance genre you will see lots of characters from fantasy, science fiction and horror. Werewolves (and other shifters), vampires and ghosts are probably the most popular but you can find more unusual characters like zombies, demons, angels and genies out there too.
So paranormal erotica involves mythical characters getting it on with others of their kind or humans.
Why should I get paranormal?
Well, as with anything, you should write paranormal erotica because you want to. That’s always the key. However, if you’re a bit bored of the constraints of reality and you really want to get crazy then you’ll find mythological characters and settings pretty freeing. You can play with magic, for goodness sakes, who doesn’t want to do that?
Vampires hate garlic, Werewolves are allergic to silver.
When you’re using mythological characters in your paranormal erotica there may be some established rules you need to stick to, but others you can bend. There’s not much point having a vampire who doesn’t bite but what if the vampire’s had its fangs removed somehow?
Werewolves get hairy at full moon but does it only have to be then? Can there be other triggers?
If you’re picking an established character type to use in your story then I think you need to keep a few traditional aspects intact but to make that character your own feel free to change it up a bit.
In my own Point Vamp series I have vampires who need human blood to live but they’ve discovered a way to drink to satisfaction without killing. They also don’t burst into flames in the sun (though high factor sun cream and hooded clothing is a must!) and garlic doesn’t much phase them. I pick and mixed the traits I wanted to create my uniquely blissful vamps. Fancy trying out my vamps?
One of my favourite series on TV was Being Human. If you’ve not seen it, look it up. That’s a perfect example of taking established characters and playing around with expectations. I adore the ghost who makes tea, lots and lots of cups of tea.
Werewolf in the chiller aisle?
Once you’ve got your characters you need to decide where to put them. You could create a whole world around them. That is no small feat and you will probably find it will take a huge amount of investment in time and energy and maybe words too. It is difficult (though not impossible) to write a short story with paranormal characters and a fantastical setting.
Creating a whole new world takes time and dedication. Zak Jane Keir is doing a workshop on it at an upcoming erotica event if it’s something you’re planning to do. I’ve not been brave enough to do it yet but one day, I’d like to.
The arguably easier setting is contemporary. Have your werewolf working in a supermarket or maybe your vampire can be a detective. Is your ghost paid to haunt a country manor? You can put your paranormal characters anywhere and the story comes from the unexpected mythical being in a world everyone thinks they know.
If you’re dealing with immortal beings like vampires in your paranormal erotica, you might have to decide when they were turned. This can contribute to their style, the way they speak and how they think. A vampire turned in the Victorian era is likely to act differently to one turned in the 1960’s. This can be a challenge as you’ll need to do your research, especially if you write about how they were converted in the first place. It can be another avenue to exploit how super awesome and unique your vampire, werewolf, ghost or other supernatural being is.
Think about how these characters will change over time. They’ll see many people die, maybe people they love. They’ll see governments and monarchs come and go, they could spend a lot of time alone. Factor this in to how they react in situations. How likely is it that an eternal being like an angel would fall in love with a human? What would make that possible?
Oh now, isn’t that beastly!
So now we get down to the nitty gritty. Sex. For some paranormal creatures it’s not too tricky to work out how they’d do it and for others there’s a whole minefield of possible squick moments to avoid.
Let’s talk about shifters for a bit. So these are humans who can shift into animal form or in the case of our hairy werewolf friend the change happens whether they like it or not under certain circumstances. Now when and how these guys and gals have sex can be tricky.
I spent a long and frankly disturbing amount of time looking up the intricacies of shifter sex and when it might cross the line into bestiality. It seems fairly widely accepted that human to person in shifted animal form hanky panky is a no-no. Some naked fur stroking (which should totally be a euphemism for masturbation btw) is seen to be acceptable but past that it seems to be an established hard limit.
Sex between two shifters in their animal forms is one that seems to split opinion. Some say it’s all right others think it’s a not at all right. However I think you need to think about what you will achieve by a scene. Does it forward your plot and will your audience understand it? Can we as humans understand animal sex? Will it bore people or even worse turn them off?
Raw, passionate lust.
Of course, any characters can have a damn good shag but paranormal characters have a calling to be animalistic in their love making. That is something that is infinitely appealing about shifters and Weres especially. They are called to be animalistic, they *are* animals sometimes. You’ve got your natural, dominant alpha males and then you’ve got those who are submissive. It’s the natural order of things and you can play about with that ‘til your heart’s content. Hot alphas are very appealing and when they have a calling to be masterful which is all down to their animalistic urges you’ve got a whole world of hot sex to play with.
Vampires can be cold and calculating, evil and selfish. It might not sound like the biggest turn on but taking a character which is all about his or her own base needs and setting them on some poor defenceless prey is kind fun and hot. You can always pull a twist out too. Maybe the prey isn’t so defenceless after all.
There is a pitfall with paranormal beings and sex. You can stick too closely to the established formula. If you’re writing a story that has several sex scenes in it you need to be careful that they don’t all read exactly the same. Change it up. Use unusual locales, make your submissive werewolf fight for dominance or let your vampire show some human emotion. Don’t feel trapped by the constraints of the myth. It’s your story, you can do whatever you like. Although you have to be ready for some people not liking it. There are sticklers for tradition in all kinds of genres.
Will they have all the right bits?
So it’s not too challenging to work out how vampires and werewolves have sex. You can imagine that angels and demons will be pretty straight forward too, at least in some kind of human form anyway, but what about Genies, Djinns and Ghosts? Dragons, elves and fairies?
Well, this is where you have to use your imagination in your paranormal erotica. Clearly full blown sex with a dragon is going to involve fire proofing and a huge vagina but maybe you can work around that. And remember, when dealing with mythology you’ve got magic to use and abuse as you so desire.
How does one fuck a ghost? Can it even be achieved? Would a ghost cock be cold like an ice lolly or feel ethereal and soft instead of hard and fleshy? This is the beauty of writing fantasy. You can decide and as long as you’re consistent and you have a reason for it being the way it is, go for it.
I used to spend a lot of time on the forums at literotica.com, it’s where I did my early writing and I have many fond memories of my time there. One of my friends was an amazing artist and I will always remember his one AV that had a fairy clinging to a huge, erect penis, arms wrapped around it in an encompassing hug. So there’s a starting point for human to fairy sex for you. I’m so kind, aren’t I?
The only constraint to paranormal erotica is your own imagination. There’s no end to restraints you can use but that, I suspect, is a whole different article.