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Talk Dirty to Me: What phone sex work taught me about writing romance

Written by Charlie Beauvoir

11/2/2021




I was horrible at it when I started. One man hung up after a minute into the call. I was devastated. I called my boss and owner of the company. She had spent years in the field and managed to carve out a successful niche in the market. She was true inspiration for my feminist heart.


What she told me stuck and has influenced how I see sexuality since. I started reading and researching and along the way learned about my own sexuality in turn. What follows are the most important take aways I have that can help anyone write a good sex scene.


Yes And

My boss was an actress and the first things you learn in acting are the improv skill of "yes and". I had to learn to say yes to whatever my clients brought to the table. Our characters can sometimes take the reigns. In this case, saying yes can lead to deeper insights into those characters. And when it came to my work, it turned out it makes the work a lot more fun, and in some ways mutual. I ended up gaining some regulars, and ones that I vibed with. This started a passion for understanding what was behind what my clients wanted.


Shame and Sex Don't Mix

The next thing I learned is that shame and guilt don't mix (unless that's your kink, (we'll get into that later). When a person is developing their sexuality, they generally have some hang-ups about it. I shouldn't be so sexual, I'm not sexual enough, no one wants to see me naked, What if everyone wants to see me naked? Think about the thing that pops into your head that stops the arousal, what is the thing that nags at you?


Our fantasies are a way to help mitigate those little shames. A person enjoys being tied up

might think they are too big and lumbering to be seen as sexy. Ropes help them feel dainty, secured, declawed. A person who feels they might not be able to meet the needs of their partner, might be into orgies where there are plenty of people to help pick up the slack. This goes on and on and it's different for everyone. What motivates a kink is very personal. And more importantly, you cannot judge a kink from the outside.



Explore Kinks- What is the Need

This leads to the next realization. Kinks that are specific and rigid, are ones where the shame runs deep and the fear around looking deeply and understanding it is great. For instance a woman who needs to be humiliated to get aroused, might not understand that they have a deep belief that men are interior. By being lowered to a man's she can then feel aroused.


She might struggle with the conflict of the acts of humiliation and feel more shame around wanting this. Until she explores the need, to be equals, she cannot challenge the belief, that men are not equals. The kink will get more and more specific as time goes on in an attempt to try and mitigate the conflict.


Once a need is understood, a kink broadens. The man with the same kink might find that there are other ways they can get that feeling of humiliation, instead of a heal on their chest, they might enjoy being thrown into trash, laughed at while preforming and more. Kinks are wonderful expressions of a persons creativity. Kinks are a way to mitigate shame around sex, and they are important and healthy. The moment I discovered the needs of my clients, was when the whole world opened up. We played together and learned together.


So, what does this have to do with writing a sex scene? We need to understand WHY the kink is what it is. What is the NEED of the character. Judging a kink from the outside serves no one. When you understand the need, you tell your readers they are seen and understood. Through your writing, they learn about themselves. Sex can be transformative and insightful. In a way romance writers are sex workers lite. A true form of being sex positive, and feminist, is for women to embrace their sexuality. To write it, revel in it and yes, profit from it.





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