Saturday, 19 January 2013

Writing to tease

Doing live readings of my erotica as part of the successful show Wanton Words and Burlesque Bombshells got me thinking about the whole concept of tease.  Years ago, I had a striptease lesson with the wonderful Rebecca Drury of Seven Veils Productions, and I realised that although a good performer makes it all look effortless it is actually really difficult.  Doing everything slowly (when we are used to living in such a fast culture where instant results are now the norm) and peeling each item off carefully and deliberately, revealing a hint of flesh here, a tiny glimpse of stocking there, keeping the audience wondering what will happen next…..hard work!  It was all about the tease, the actual process.  The journey.  Not the end result.  A seduction in which the performer controls every second.   Extended foreplay.

A writer of erotica has to master a similar skill in many ways.  Setting the scene, handling the build-up and the pace of the action, so that the reader is literally gagging to make it to the end, to reach that climax.  Teasing the reader simply by using the most effective choice of words; psychological (and when read out loud) verbal foreplay.

I think the reason so many women enjoy those American detective shows in which a male and female cop/forensic expert/etc are paired unwillingly to work on a case and spar verbally and flirt constantly for weeks on end is because it is like extended foreplay.  The “will they, won’t they?” is far sexier than the moment they do actually get it together.  Maybe it’s our primal instincts that find the chase element in seduction and foreplay so exciting.   

I’ll come back to some of these ideas in a future post.  In the meantime, when I write the next story I will have in mind Rebecca’s words; “It’s all about the tease.”


  1. I agree that it's hard to take anything slowly in this fast, modern age and maybe this also applies to my writing! I'm going to look back and see if there's enough 'tease' in my WIP! Thanks Elizabeth!

  2. Thanks Linda - I'm fascinated by the art of tease and will explore this further in the next 2 posts - the next one being from the wonderful performer Miss Glory Pearl!