It is said that men prefer to watch their porn, while women prefer to read it.
The best (and possibly funniest) explanation I’ve seen for this is that women want to know more about the underlying factors of a relationship. How long have the characters known each other? When did one start having feelings for the other? Do they have insecurities? Why has it taken so long for them to hook up? Woman want to know more about a character’s relationship beyond whether or not she “likes that dick.”
Though, not all erotica has that kind of depth. I’m certain that the strangely real dinosaur erotica has about as much emotional appeal as the I-Have-No-Money-For-Pizza-So-Let’s-Fuck porn plot.
It’s an interesting concept, and almost funny to see in action.
At one point during my novel, two characters share a passionate scene and I imply that it ended in sex. My Beta reader (a woman) encouraged me to add the sex scene. When the same chapter was presented to three male readers, they somewhat awkwardly told me that while I could add it if I wanted to, the scene didn’t really need it.
I thought this was both hilarious and interesting. All the women who read my stuff seem to have a perverted streak. The guys, not so much.
That’s not to say I have much experience writing sex scenes. I’ve certainly read a few in my time (some of my books are very bad for the constant sex scenes when there should be plot happening). However, I’m very convinced that a sex scene of a few hundred words would take me three hours to write and I would spend two of those hours laughing.
I’m a mature adult. Really.
However, I do think it’s something I should consider writing, even if it gets cut from the final draft in the end. Learning to write is like learning to draw in that sense. An artist may suck at drawing wings (aka sex scenes, fight scenes, etc), and will only get better if she keeps practicing. As such, I have to try to write things that I’m not very good at if I want to continue to improve.
And sometimes, your genre just requires something a little risqué. As one (male!) friend put it: “You’re writing a steampunk-mystery-romance, right? Then someone has to get some at least once.”
Wise words, my friend.