Writing in the Sensual Tense


  By: Jatana Williams, author of “In My Prayers with My Legs Wide Open.”


   I enjoy getting emails from readers after they’ve allowed their minds to be taken to another place by something I’ve written. I believe one of the best compliments I can get as a writer is “I saw the words come alive on the page” or “I pictured the scenes in my head.” As one who writes what many label as “erotic literature” (I label it “sensual tense”), I enjoy this feedback.

   My purpose in writing is to take readers’ minds to another place. Not only do I strive to take their minds but I also want to take their bodies as well. Yes, I said it. I want the body to go there as well. When reading a sexy scene in my writing, I want a reader to imagine he or she is the character being touched, kissed and caressed. I want them to see themselves in place of my characters. This is no easy task for any writer. Writers must be comfortable in their own skin when it comes to writing about sex.

  I assume if you have made a decision to write this genre, you already have a sensual inner being you want to release. One of the biggest challenges to writing in the “sensual tense” is learning to be open with your own sexual desires. In order to write sensually or sexually suggestive story lines, a writer must be willing to let go. You have to tap into the part of you that wants to be stimulated. If you are aroused by what you have written, then most likely so will your reader. If readers continue reading after the first few pages, it is because they want to receive gratification from the story you are telling. So let yourself go.

  When writing stories of strong sexual content, you are setting the readers up to be voyeurs. They are taking a peak behind the red curtains at the video store or looking over their newspaper at the couple kissing on the bus. You will want to draw the readers into your story. Everything from the room color and furniture to what the characters are seeing, smelling, touching or tasting needs to be descriptive. How far is one to go with being descriptive when it comes to sex? It all depends on the story you want to tell. Is your focus to be more romantic or to have a raw approach? You can be sexually suggestive, stimulating or get straight to the point. It all depends on your story. Just because you’re writing sexual content doesn’t mean you don’t need to tell a story. The most important thing to remember when it comes to writing in the sensual tense is not to write about sex for the sake of writing it, but to entertain your readers.

  Now, what do you think is important when writing erotic literature (sensual tense)?

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