On Writing Porn in Public


Please note: This piece discusses my personal sex life, in a fair amount of detail. Family members and others who don’t want to read about that stuff, please don’t read this one. This piece was originally published on the Blowfish Blog.

ExhibitionismI’m not usually a fan of exhibitionism. Not the secret kind, anyway. I worked as a stripper years ago and enjoyed the work — erotically as well as professionally — and I’m perfectly happy to strip for a lover, pose and perform for them, etc. But the sort of sneaky, secretive, “fingering under the restaurant tablecloth/ fucking on the picnic table that you hope nobody can see” sort of exhibitionism has never done it for me. I’m not comfortable with the consent issues raised by involving people in my sex life who didn’t agree to be involved. And besides, the fear of being caught doesn’t make me excited. It makes me anxious, distracted, unable to concentrate on the business at hand. It’s one of those kinks that I more or less understand intellectually, while being totally baffled by it emotionally.

But I’ve been discovering an exception.

That exception is writing porn in public.

Seattle_B&O_5
Like countless other writers with laptops — and like countless writers with typewriters and pens before us — I’ve discovered the joy of writing in cafes. It’s a great way to avoid both the claustrophobia and the easy distraction of working at home all day.

And I’ve discovered that there’s something uniquely hot about sitting down at a cafe, opening up my laptop, and setting to work on a dirty story. Something that makes me finally get what it is that turns people on about secret exhibitionistic sex.

Part of it is that, without actually feeling unethical, it feels sort of naughty and bad. Like I’m getting away with something.

Breaking rules is almost always exciting… an excitement that can easily be turned sexual if you squint at it just right. And when you grow up in a culture that condemns almost anything sexual as wicked and forbidden, it’s hard not to think of the wicked and forbidden as naturally sexual. But when you live in San Francisco in the sex- positive community, it’s awfully hard to feel like anything you’re doing is wicked or forbidden. We’re all so damned accepting.

Laptop
But writing porn in my neighborhood cafe? That definitely feels naughty. I love writing about ex-Catholic women seducing their priests, and sex workers being drawn into sadomasochism by their customers, and high school slumber parties gone wrong… when, as far as anybody knows, I’m just working on my Ph.D., or my manifesto, or my screenplay, or whatever it is people do on their laptops in cafes. (Yes, I know. Some of them are probably writing porn, too. Don’t harsh my buzz. Anyway… that’s also kind of hot.)

Add to that the fact that I almost inevitably get turned on when I write porn. If I’m not, it’s a clue that I’m not doing it right. So you take the “secretly writing dirty dirty porn in broad daylight in a public place” aspect, and you add the “getting wetter and wetter by the minute in broad daylight in a public place” aspect… and it definitely makes me feel hyper-sexual, like an insatiable slut getting fingered in the back seat of a car because she can’t wait ’til she gets home.

There’s something else going on though, too. In an odd way, even though the public-ness of a public space is somewhat distracting, it also provides a curious focus.

Pulse right
See, when I’m writing porn at home alone, there’s nothing to stop me from reaching for the vibrator when I get turned on. Which is a good time, of course — writing porn puts my sex fantasies into sharp, intense focus, and I love jerking off when I do it — but it does tend to derail the writing pretty damned fast. My porn is always better if I can hold off on masturbating to it for as long as I can. It’s frustrating… but the frustration amps up the intensity of the scenario I’m trying to create, makes me focus extra-hard on the details and the motivations and the subtle emotional shadings.

And when I’m writing porn in public, I don’t have a choice. I can’t just jerk off as soon as I start getting turned on. (Not if I want to go back to that cafe, anyway.) I have to keep my attention on the writing. I have to channel my arousal away from my clit and into my story. Writing in public forces me to have the discipline that I don’t always have at home.

Cafe
Writing porn in public gives me focus in another way as well. When I get deeply involved in a raunchy fantasy, deeply turned on by it — and then remember where I am, and take a sip of coffee, and look around me at the barristas and the cafe art and the people playing chess — the contrast is like diving into a cold pool after sitting in a hot sauna. And getting back into my dirty story is like climbing back into the sauna. The shock of it wakes me up, makes me pay attention. It makes me feel intensely conscious of how I feel in my skin, intently present in the here and now.

And that’s always a good place to write from. Porn or otherwise.

So now I’m curious. Am I the only one? If you’re a sex writer — professional or amateur — do you ever write porn in public? And if so… what is that like for you? Is it harder than writing at home? Easier? Some of both?

And those of you who do like secret exhibitionism — the actual sex kind, not the “writing porn in cafes” kind — is this at all how you feel about it? Does it make you feel hyper-sexual and slutty? Intensely focused and conscious of the here and now? Frustrated in a way that winds up your arousal? Like you’re getting away with something naughty? Something else entirely?

Prurient minds want to know.

Comments

  1. says

    I have never written porn in public because I don’t have a laptop, but I have–many times–sat in a coffee house and plotted out porn stories. Even just trying to block scenes and visualizing moving the characters has gotten me aroused, and I find it also helps me focus. I also get a vicarious kick out of watching people walk by and meet my eyes, or look around and smile or nod at others, and I’m tickled that they have no idea what I’m doing, what I’m thinking. I am hoping to get a laptop later this year and can’t wait to try writing in public. I even put a Starbucks where I sat and thought into one of my stories.
    For the record, I write fanfic but am no less a hard working and dedicated writer for it.

  2. Rick says

    I love your description of it. I am not a writer (should I abbreviate that IANAW?) per se, but I have written naughty letters to my wife using my laptop on a plane. That was HAWT!
    On the topic of public sex, the wife and I’ve done that a few times, but the risk of getting caught keeps the attempts to a minimum. The rush that we get from it is almost all in the “damn, we are so naughty” category. We tend to enjoy the contrast: we’re middle class, middle aged, middle looking folks, doing naughty stuff. Oh, and you might have walked by while we were doing it, completely unaware. We enjoy imagining the shock someone might get if they knew.

  3. says

    My hat is off to you, I get shy just writing a normal blog post in public never mind porn. Like Rick above I’ve done the public sex thing a good few times (shark-infested waters off Western Australia? Oh yes…) but somehow the intellectual aspect of writing about it makes it seem trickier to me. Maybe I’m more of a prude than I thought, have to sort that out quicksmart!

  4. says

    Funny this should come up right now; today I started writing an erotic story while on a break from jury duty.
    I felt a little self-conscious at first, then I realized that no one was going to come and read over my shoulder. So it was no big deal.
    The one thing I’ll never be able to do is draw erotic pictures in public.

  5. says

    This is great! I’ve always gotten a kick out of writing erotic stuff in public – cafes, waiting rooms (the dentist office – I wrote my entry for one of Alison Tyler’s blog contests while my son was in for his semi-annual cleaning; I started a longer story while getting my car serviced – even used their WiFi to do research), the library, the park. Sometimes I have my laptop, but I’ve written in my notebooks too – and I always have a small notebook with me.
    For some reason (no distractions?) I seem to be able to focus better when I write in public too. And it IS fun getting turned on in and keeping it to myself.
    As for real sex in public – I’ve done it, but always been too nervous about being discovered to fully enjoy it at the time. Remembering it is fun – especially for using in my writing.

  6. JG says

    I love writing porn in public. I’ve been on cruises where I’ll sit with a laptop and watch the ocean on one side and a constant stream of people on the other. And it doesn’t hurt that what I write is of the probably-way-more-dirty-than-most-of-these-people-would-find-acceptable variety. I completely understand that feeling you’re describing, an upstanding citizen in an upscale place doing something incredibly deviant right in the middle of a crowd. It’s a turn-on all on its own.
    I’m typically rather shy and would never even consider any kind of actual sex in public.

  7. Rebecca says

    Actually, I get some of the erotic charge you describe simply from fantasizing about sex while I in reality I am riding BART. I love that I can close my eyes and go somewhere else entirely, despite the crowd of strangers standing around me. It’s as if my body is in public while my mind is being fucked silly. Opening my eyes to check what station I’m at provides a jarring but entertaining contrast. And everyone assumes I’m just napping. Wonder how many of the other “sleepers” are doing the same thing?

  8. Rebecca says

    As for sex in public places, it’s definitely the Bad Girl Getting Away With It part that turns me on. I’ve never been caught and don’t want to be. I’m much wiser about choosing place and time than I was in my teens and twenties, in part because of the moral issue of consent.
    And I agree with Erobintica that part of the charge — for many of us, I suspect — is the telling afterwards.

  9. Owen says

    I often used the 45 minute bus ride in to work from my suburban home, madly scribbling porn into a composition book with a mechanical pencil, getting hotter and hornier by the minute. I always chose a blank run of pages in the middle of the book. A kind of hiding in plain sight game I played with myself. I’d get so excited sometimes, I’d feel like the next big pothole could send me over the edge. By the time I’d get to my stop, I’d be flushed, my breathing rapid and my blood pressure probably up 10 points over my normal. I loved it. Made the three block walk to my office door agony some mornings. I’ve been driving to work these days. Miss the time I had to exercise my wordsmithing muscles and exorcise some of the kinks I can’t work out in real time.

  10. Phil says

    Firstly I would like to say, I discovered (stumbled, to be correct) your site an hour or so ago, and have been entranced ever since – thank you so much.
    I write porn, occasionally, have never published anything, even on a sex-stories site, but I’m unplugging the laptop as I speak, and heading into town for a couple hours to a WLAN café I know – watch this space…

  11. Kade Azkyroth says

    …I know *exactly* what you mean. I’ve emphatically had the same experience, both sides of it, when I wasn’t getting distracted by trying to ensure that people weren’t actually reading it over my shoulder (having a fantasy life that stretches into the truly bizarre can be a drawback sometimes x.x).

  12. says

    You got me thinking with this post. I’m very into both exhibitionism and writing in cafes, although I have yet to write porn in one. (I’ll have to try it!)
    I ended up writing about how and why I like to do public sex on my own blog. I think it does have a lot to do with being hyper-focused, and the intensity of the contrast with my surroundings. If you’re interested, you can read the rest of my post here.
    Thanks for the food for thought, as always. I’m a bit of a lurker (the feed reader makes it too easy not to comment) but I always enjoy your writing.

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