10 WORST TROPES IN EROTIC FICTION
A while back, I broke down the 10 best tropes in erotic fiction, and guess what we're doing today? Just take a guess, you'll never get it.
You guys wanted to hear me whine and complain about erotica, and I am absolutely delighted to do so! We haven't talked about genitals here in a hot minute!
A quick disclaimer: if it wasn't obvious already, this post is NOT safe for work or children! I will be talking about sex and anatomy and terrible books. If you read past this point and are shocked and offended, you have no one to blame but yourself! Now it's time for some salacious shenanigans! Three, two, one, go!
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Number 1: Alphas and Betas
Imagine a world where an entire gender is easily categorized into two groups, because depth and layers don't exist! Erotica has made this world a reality, and boy, does it suck! Men only exist in two forms. Alphas (aka domestic abusers), and Betas (aka doormats). Want a man with a rock hard eight pack, ’roided out testicles the size of grapes, and certifiable anger management issues? Feast your eyes on the plethora of Alpha erotica readily available for your consumption. Want a man you can treat like garbage and he'll still insist on sucking your toes, cleaning your kitchen, and bending to your every whim? Welcome to Beta erotica! Have a ball! Or a ball gag, whichever . . .
Call me crazy, but you know what's really sexy in a man? Emotional adjustment and agency! I'm not into men who punch walls or curl up in the fetal position whenever something doesn't go their way. The only place Alphas and Betas belong is therapy.
Number 2: Inaccurate Human Anatomy
Typically of the female variety . . . I once read an erotica where a man bent a woman over, opened her cooter, and peered inside. Peekaboo! When he looked inside her cave of wonders, he discovered a perfectly intact hymen, which was described as a wall of flesh. He then tongued said flesh wall until she came, because apparently that's how hymens work? Excuse me while I lobotomize myself . . .
I wish this was a unique occurrence, but I think I've read more erotica that messes up female anatomy than I have erotica that's gotten it right. I don't understand why this is an issue. You're writing about sex! That's literally the focal point of the genre. How did you not take 10 minutes to read up on vaginas, or pull up a diagram? I get that the U.S. sex education program failed you, but the internet is readily available. You have no excuse!
Number 3: Babies
Who the hell started putting babies in erotica? “Secret love baby.” “One night stand baby.” “He's gonna give her a baby!”
I realize intercourse leads to babies, but this is a sexual fantasy. Who's really out there going, “Aw yeah, impregnate the shit out of her! Get that egg, you filthy little sperm!”
I'm not trying to kink shame . . . Okay, maybe I am just a little. But the least sexy thing in the world is a baby, and if your erotica revolves around making one, I'm gonna pass.
Number 4: Brothers
Harem erotica is on trend right now, which is great. What's not so great is when the harem is all brothers. Say what now? I don't know if it's just me, but if I've seen a man’s dick, I have absolutely zero desire to see the genitals of literally anyone he's related to.
Isn’t family off limits? How do you bone brothers? And how do brothers bone the same person? Family dinners must be super awkward.
And just to add some extra yuck to the situation, most of the time in these brother eroticas, they're having group sex. I don't know if you know this, but this is an act we sane people refer to as “incest.” Save that shit for Alabama. I'm not a hill person. I'll see myself out.
Number 5: Splooge
What is with the jizz obsession? And why are writers describing it in explicit detail? Globs. Streams. Pearly fluid. We get it, you're gross!
I know some people have a semen fetish, but I didn't realize it was so popular until I started reading erotica. I also didn't realize there were so many colorful ways to describe baby batter. It's weird penis goo. Why do you need to wax poetic about it? I once read a spunk description that was so detailed, I started dry heaving! Sorry if you're into that, but I think it's disgusting.
Number 6: Animals
Shifter erotica is a thing, and that's fine . . . until the animals start having sex. Wolf on wolf doggy style. What?! Do I need to explain why this is on the list? I don't think so. Besides, if I elaborate any further, I'm probably gonna throw up in my own mouth. So for my sake, we're moving on.
Number 7: Fetishizing Gays
Since the dawn of literature, heterosexual men have fetishized lesbians in their manuscripts. You could always tell when it's happening, because both women look like Victoria's Secret models and are probably scissoring. They also never mention the clitoris, because hello, why would they? What even is the clitoris for? Don't ask the author! He hasn't a clue!
But now times have changed. Women have decided that they've had enough! Does that mean the fetishizing of lesbians has stopped? No, silly! It's time for women to fetishize gay men. Equality matters! Now, if you want to read about two Abercrombie dude bros doing each other, you're in luck. We ladies got you covered! Further proving that all genders are capable of being bags of shit.
Number 8: Slamming
Every time penetrative sex begins with a man “slamming” into a woman, you've officially lost me. My lady bits have dried up, tumbleweeds are rolling through, and I'm putting the book down. Erotica writers, you can't initiate sex with slamming! IT HURTS!
It's even worse when the guy is slamming into a virgin. Do you hate her? Or do you genuinely just suck at sex? A word of advice: the vagina is flesh, not a brick wall. Save the slamming for a little bit later in the sexcapades, not at the start, unless you want to rip her in half.
Number 9: Billionaires
I understand erotica is a sexual fantasy. We're allowed to step outside reality. But hear me out! You guys are aware that billionaires make up the tiniest fraction of a percent of the world's population, right? Additionally, most billionaires inherit via good old-fashioned nepotism. They're not usually self-made like the standard erotica billionaire. They're also mostly crusty old men, not the perfect ten Adonis with abs of steel and loads of tattoos. And they've often done heinous, dehumanizing things to gain their financial status.
As a reader, I can't stop thinking about these things any time I see billionaire erotica. Why can't you just make him a multi-millionaire? It's a lot more believable. Plus, who needs a billion dollars? You can own a stupid flashy jet as a multi-millionaire. It's fine, I promise.
I guess I just don't vibe with this trope. It makes me think of elderly men with shriveled balls and zero ethics. But if that's your thing, have at it!
Number 10: “But I’ve Never Had an Orgasm!”
Let's get a couple things straight. I have no problem with fictional virgins. I've written a few myself. I also have no issues with characters who don't masturbate. Different strokes for different folks, literally!
It's just that this concept is usually handled so poorly in erotica, to the point where it doesn't even make sense. The character is a virgin. They've never so much as touched themselves, but they're choosing to explore their sexuality by getting pounded by a douchebag. I mean, I guess that happens? But it doesn't really sound like a good time.
Most people get nervous the first time they have sex. Especially if they've never even diddled themselves. I'm anticipating an awkward, bumbling mess, not euphoria from start to finish.
I've also read books where the character has never had an orgasm, even though they do masturbate. What is the point of masturbation if not to come? Am I missing something? Did you just lose something up there and you're trying to fish it out? I don't get it. Then again, what do I know? Allosexuals don't make sense to me.
So that's all I've got for you today!
Welp, that sums up my list of the worst erotica tropes I’ve had the distinct un-pleasure of reading.
If you could give erotica writers one tip, what would it be?
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