Writing from the Female POV (by XS)
- This essay was originally posted by Xiombarg's Storyteller. I take no credit for reposting it.
- Contentious as it may be, one of the common issues that comes up in writing studies everywhere is 'writing from the opposite sex POV'. On /wst/ this has the additional complications of being gamer and male dominated writing. That said, I'm about as SJW as your average redneck, so take what is useful to you, and trash the rest. Have a wall of text.
- There are three things that writing about sex from the female perspective centers on for the female in question. The first and most simple is emotional content of what is going on. Even before the physical act itself, every bit of emotion that you can add to the act is likely to make a difference. Good or bad, the woman is going to apply an emotional context to the act that often supersedes the sensation, even if the emotion is described in a physical manner, e.g. crying during rape, thrashing her body to escape the clutching claws or tentacles, the soft smile and sudden intake of breath as her lover slips inside her body for the first time. The emotional content doesn't have to be vividly described in every sentence, but it is something that should be kept in mind, whether that content if physical or mental in its description or source.
- The second aspect of a woman's viewpoint of sex is the contrast of bodies. A woman's body is soft, not just inside but outside as well. A woman's lips are soft, so their kisses are softer, and a man's tends to be firmer, no matter how full his lips are. Likewise, breasts are actually firm only when they are very young; post pubescent breasts are almost always soft, and when they're younger they tend to be very sensitive (to the point of easily causing pain). Describing a woman's breasts as firm implies youthfulness even if she's middle aged, and women like being called or thought of as young. Likewise, describing them as full implies an older, mature look/feel.
- Even in adults, it's not just nipples that are sensitive – the areolae are as well, as is the underside of the breast, not just the top. The underside of the arms, the front of the hip, the well documented inner thigh, the inside of the knee – on a man these places are firm. These are soft and often smooth erogenous zones to a woman. The thumb is an oft overlooked sensory organ for the man; a woman will pay attention to where the man's thumb is and what he's doing with it, because men seem to like stroking things with their thumbs when they grip or feel them and they're attached to a woman, especially in writing. Strange but true.
- /wst/ has a further contrast of bodies: inhuman ones. The visual description of a body is only a third of the story. The other two parts are how the body feels, and what is inside it (which I will focus on the sexual nature of for the sake of the reader). Women like feeling things. That fascination with silk clothing, satin sheets, microweave outfits, latex, and nice warm leather exists for more than simply selling high priced goods. They're high priced because they're in demand, and they're in demand because they ~feel good~ against the skin. Inhuman flesh should be as readily described as human flesh. Those smooth, surprisingly dry scales of the lamia's hip; that slick, oily rubbery feeling of illithid membrane; the rough yet slick tongue that strokes a cheek (or elsewhere); the warm, spicy scent of a beast's fur as she buries her face in it. The contrast of bodies is one place where a little “purple prose” is appropriate, because women like these things and a female character should notice them.
- Last, and surprisingly least is the penetrative aspect of sex from the woman's viewpoint. Even lesbians have an appreciation for penetrative sex to a degree, and the aspect applies even to women who don't typically appreciate penetrative sex (some women are more sensitive to vaginal intercourse than others, and some can't orgasm from it even if they're straight). When writing it, the first thing that a women is going to think of is how her body expands around the insertion. This is true of oral, vaginal, anal, cloaca, gelatinous, fibrous, and floral bell: whatever the aperture is, the female is taking something inside, and that implies and often requires opening, expanding, or accepting. That leads directly to tightness.
- Vaginae (Really spellchecker? That's the correct word?) are tight. The thing is, this tightness is relative; it will be soft and gently accepting up until you reach the point of her personal limit of experience; the cervix is very sensitive, and while it is usually positioned in the body in such a way it's not going to be an issue, young women or shallow sexual organs can let the intrusion bump it, and that's painful (though some women like it that way). Position can change this also. This tightness issue is also true of throats – it takes practice to deep throat a penis/tentacle/dildo/stamen. Readiness is key; the less ready she is, the more tight (and often more painful) the experience is. The softness from the outside is increased on the inside, and here again a small measure of purple prose is allowed (particularly during anal from the woman's perspective).
- There is heat as well as wetness; the internal temperature of the woman's body is higher than her skin, and it is worth noting even in passing. Textures are mostly smooth, but there are differences: the hardness of the muscular cervix, the rough pad of the sensitive 'g-spot' deep inside, the velvet feel of the insides past the tight sphincter of the anus. Speaking of: going anal without lube is pretty painful, though some women can cope, but going vaginal without lube is worse by far – it's like getting a sandpaper covered 2-liter bottle shoved inside you. In other words, it hurts a lot. Smut writers usually skip this aspect on purpose, especially in rape scenes and dub-con/non-con, and that's all right. It takes a bit, but even during rape a woman will eventually get wet, because the body is designed for it; once it does the pleasure starts, because again, the body is designed for it.
- That said, the female body likes holding onto what's inside it. There are nerves in there – she can feel how thick and hard he is, and if she's not distracted, can feel him throb when he does. The vagina does clench at times, not just during orgasm but during sex periodically, or when we bear down on whatever is inside us. The uterus contracts pretty violently during an orgasm, and when women feel 'heat bloom inside' that's closer to how the sensation can be written even if it's not the source of the sensation or the most accurate description of the sensation, and during orgasm everything feels like it goes all hot and liquid inside even if there's no squirting involved.
- Most women tend to have trouble controlling their breathing when getting close to orgasm. Some hold their breath, some breathe faster, others gasp, and many cry out. Screaming is not really what it sounds like in the books, but crying out isn't nearly as dramatic (moaners get no love; how many times have you read about a girl moaning as she climaxes?) so it's usually called screaming.
- All in all, the real key to writing smut from the female point of view is description of emotion, sensation, and tightness. It's an extremely generalized thing, and realistically it's nothing at all like what you read about in books....which is why most women are disappointed if they haven't had much sex and they've been reading too much modern fantasy or romance with sex involved. Writing smut from the female POV is mostly a matter of where the focus is: emotion>sensation>body. Hopefully, this may help. In the end, reading both bad and well written smut helps you write better smut, regardless of who or what you are, because you learn how it should flow and read/sound through experience much better than by explanation.
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