Author Topic: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing  (Read 430 times)

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« on: September 24, 2020, 12:07:25 PM »
This is here, obviously, because I wasn’t sure where else to put it!

These are my thoughts on some of the tropes and stereotypes that are prevalent in erotic writing. Any of your thoughts on these subjects are more than welcome. Most, but not all, stereotypes are based on truth; small amounts of facts do not make stereotypes a reality. Many of the stereotypes of black people are totally false. Laziness has no color, not all Asians are whip-smart, not all white men have small dicks, not all blacks are BBC (from my personal experiences BBC and tiny white are a myth). I’m sure in the general population, the size of an individual person’s penis falls in the relative norm.

First, let me express a few thoughts on color. I hate certain things which are common in erotic writing, and the population as a whole. Dark Chocolate brother or sister, coffee with cream complexion, a mocha delight in the flesh, these statements make cringe. I think because I am not food, it offends me to be so compared. Her skin was the color of homemade vanilla ice cream. There are many more of these examples. Again, people described as food is a turn off to me. Yet, in writing, I often fall into the stereotypical descriptions. I think, and it is only my opinion, it’s easier.

Continuing with color for a few more moments, not all white people are racist, not all black people are good, and indeed, no one race has a monopoly on evil. Racism can be viewed as a bi-product of Darwinian thought. You know, the survival of the fittest. It predates Darwinian. It could be as old as when the first distinction about race came about. Whoever won the war, their side was superior.

Europe colonized the rest of the world. In their mind, this made the superior. They had superior technology, they conquered everyone else, they were the fittest. Again, this was from the perspective. Those beliefs were handed down from one generation to next. This did not make everyone who thought this way an evil person. Of course, some were; there are always those that are shitty people in every group.

Now in writing erotica, I find that many of the tropes are solidly based on the stereotype. I understand this, I use it, but often feel guilty doing so. Is it lazy on my part for the bull to be black and cuck to be white? Yeah, probably. In my writing world, aggressive men have big cock. Whether they are bad or good. Wimps are always tiny dicked, (usually white), submissive, with some femininity about them, or at least a desire to be fem.

What do you guys think? What are the tropes based on stereotypes that you hate or love?
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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2020, 03:55:15 PM »
Using stereotypes is an easy way of convey to your reader a sharp easy image, you might not like the description of a skin as vanilla ice cream, but it quickly puts the reader in a mindset how this person appears. Actually using description that rely heavily on stereotypes allows me as writer to get away with less description, especially in erotic fiction I want my reader to put as much of his favorite type into the characters I create. That way the person almost certainly resonates with the reader. There might be no need to describe somebody differently than that cute young woman with the head of long flaming red hair, I challenge you to say now that you didn’t manage to picture her un much greater detail than I described her.

Racism is something I don’t like to use, the story can slip to fast into a territory were people become uncomfortable. I wouldn’t use the young black driver being stopped at night by a bigot redneck sheriff, even if that story would write itself mich easier, but using the aforementioned redhead, things go easier for me.

A trope I hate is the victim of rape giving willingly a blow job, perhaps I imagine my victims as to spirited to give in so easily or I wouldn’t just dare putting my own dick into the only armed orifice. Pulling if oral sex in a rape scenario requires some very good story reasons, eg somebody trying to save their beloved jacket.
What I do use, and certainly overuse are pantygag, but this is more of a fetish than trope thing, and as oral rape isn’t on the menu anyhow, they might as well chew on their own undies.

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 06:10:16 PM »
The truth is much of the racism is implied, and the one that is doing the implying doesn't know they are. A black involved in crime, as an example, who is the only criminal in the story and no average normal black person that isn't a criminal is implied bigotry. The same holdes for having a mafia character and no plain old average Italians. That's just one small example. I hadn't even considered such things in my writing until I read a blog by another writer.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 06:51:35 PM by 90lbsofdynamite »
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Offline LtBroccoli

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 10:18:03 PM »
I'll be the first to admit I use some of these tropes.  I try to avoid the "skin color as food" trope but I'm guilty of it and I used it because it uses a common point of reference.  Part of the issue is that people aren't crayons.  There is a lot of variation between skin colors even within subgroup.  Let's take 'light-skinned black girl.'  This could be anything from Hilary on Fresh Prince to Zendaya to Jasmine Sanders to Beyonce. 

A big part of it for me is how specific I feel like I need to get.  Some stories and characters just need a rough description.  Others, I go into more detail, and that's when the tropes come out to play.  When I write novellas or long form short stories, I go into more specifics than I do for a screenplay, even though I know exactly in my mind what I'm writing.  It's just that with screenplays it's not cool to write that much detail.  I might write a screenplay imagining that Meryl Streep will play a certain role, but what if I can't get her but I wrote this character so specifically that anyone but her wouldn't work?  I've just killed any chances of the story getting made.  Instead, that character will be described as an older white woman with a fiery temper and a take-no-prisoners attitude.  That opens up the door to many others.

Another trope that I use is racism.  There's a good chance that if one of my characters is being racist, they're the bad guy.  One of the stories I recently wrapped up used both of those tropes.  I had a character who was a light-skinned black guy based off of an old friend of mine.  His dad was black and his mom was white, and in both the real version and character the dad died when the character was a little boy.  I was very specific in describing him because I felt that he needed it.  I had to look up coffee colors because I never get cream in my coffee, it's always black with sweetener.  When the attack took place in the story, the rapists (whom he was secretly working with) were horribly racist to him in front of his stepsister and her best friend, who were the rape targets.  Conversely, my good guys are either black, have black friends, or work with blacks, or other minorities.  Not that there are many good guys in the genre of rape erotica.

When I do use racism, I put a tag in the story.  It's not everyone's cup of tea. 

Aside from the ones mentioned, in this genre I don't care for the "girl gets raped then sold to slavery or sent to a much worse fate" stories.  I expect that in the Extreme section, but it kind of takes me out of the world.  I always wonder what the next part of the story is, but those endings really don't work for me.  Sometimes I get invested in the characters and start rooting for them to pull through and live another day.  Seeing them end up sold to a bunch of bikers (a bit overused in my opinion) crushes that.  Then there's the monster cock trope.  Why does every rapist in these stories seem to be hung like a horse?  Dicks range in sizes from tiny to 'Oh, Hell No!'  But it's like every story has at least a 9 inch minimum to ride.  I can understand the fantasy, but when every dick is huge, then no dick is huge.  The story mentioned above had 5 guys with dick sizes from 5-10 inches. I try to add a little bit of randomness and realism, and the only dick that was massive was based on a person I knew who had a dick that big.
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Offline SoftGameHunter

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2020, 11:49:43 PM »
Hmm, a story about a support group for men who are literally too well hung to have normal sex with a women. Not only are they rejected, but always at the last possible second. They decide on a rampage of revenge.

Sorry, just thinking aloud there. Yeah, tropes, can't write without them, can't shoot them. Most of my story eggheads talk like me, though none of my professional colleagues do. All of my fat chicks have the same neuroses even though the BBW I married does not. My girls always cry, but they almost never get mad.

I like the TV Tropes website, and what they say about tropes. Without looking it up, tropes aren't good or bad, they just exist as a natural way to convey thought patterns quickly and familiarly. Like any literary tool they can be used well or poorly. That seems as useful as anything else to me.
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Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 10:05:20 AM »
If the characters are racist, their views are racist. This isn't what I'm talking about (don't sweat the food thing, I'm black and probably more sensitive because of it), and in erotic fiction there is a necessity to perpetuate the BBC concept. It's part of the story, however dehumanizing it may be the monster cock is just a thing for the story. I feel guilty about, I don't like cocks of any size, shape, or color. I'm just looking at how many of the characters in the books I'm ghostwriting have these subtle racist shades to them. I don't write my outlines, then the books would be my books not theirs. I have had black drug lords, who have black minions, who have angry black wives and these are the only blacks in the book. It's driving me insane, and this isn't the only racist issues. White messiahs saving the black woman from her life in the ghetto, dozens of instances where the whites are proven to far more moral than the blacks. I told my authors, and believe me I don't think they are actually racist, but they tell me it sells. In the end, that is what interest them, not the message they are sending.

I have thought about quitting, but that paycheck keeps me writing. Bad use of tropes and stereotypes or not not, I like the money I make. I make a far better living writing for two established successful erotic authors than I can writing my own stories. My stores can't be put up for money on most sites. To be honesty, I have used the racist tropes in my writing here, racist white people as bad guys, no biggie deal, racist blacks as rapist, again not much damage from that, but the more subtle usage, Jesus, I'm guilty. I have a cuckold series I'm laying out for the humiliation thread, it plays on the stereotypical cuckold tropes to the max.

I could go on and on, but I won't. LOL I will as the thread advances, but I won't for now.

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Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 11:34:02 AM »
I will just add, that unless you actually know Ebonics ... Don't use it for your characters, the occasional dis and dat is okay, but there are rules that are followed. I know, to people that haven't been around it, it just sounds like bad English and grammar, however, if you use it and a black that has been around it or spoken it reads it, you just look the fool. I mean, "Imma whip out mah motha fuckin' glock on choo if y'all don' shut yo mouth." If you can't tell me if that is correct or not, don't use it, just don't. Likewise, if you can, then still, you know, don't use it.
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Offline Grumpy

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2020, 12:48:12 PM »
I mean, if you're going to objectify someone as a sex object to be raped, describing them as stereotypes or in stereotypical ways is sometimes exactly what you want. You don't want to say that "she had hair like a dark forest river and an enigmatic personality both extroverted and demure, hiding nothing and everything at the same time". You want her to have big tits and sexy eyes. In regular fiction, or if the intention is not to objectify, it's a different story, but can't really blame people for going there in the context of this site.

It's also completely impossible to not use tropes, even if you try your best not to. No one is that original.

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2020, 01:34:51 PM »
No grumpy, we use tropes not because that's the way it is, but because that's how we need to make it push the plot. You have a hard time doing a western story set in a town that doesn't have a saloon, the girls that go with it, the square faced hero, and the beady eyed villain. LOL ... I was interested in the racist things that most don't realize are racist. But ... everything here is fair game in the stories. I just cringe at some of the stuff I read and worse have to write as ghostwriter. It's like, "Yo! dat's lahke, choo thahnk dat boo-boo." As if every black, really talks that way. Got a little secret, not even that many out there in the ghetto do, unless someone like you will be upset is listening. I bet most people think the Spanish speakers that also speak English are talking in Spanish because they are talking about you. No, they just are more comfortable that way, or maybe they want you to think they are talking about you... That's the thing, you just never know on some of it. 
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Offline Petite99S

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2020, 07:36:18 PM »
You make great points here 90lbsofdynamite. Just wanted to thank you for your thread. Some of my fantasies are racially-based exactly because of those tropes I have to admit. You made me conscious of it and I had to ask myself if it was really necessary in my story and I deleted a word. Reminds me of Freeman's interview (forgot where, I watched it on YouTube) about 'stop calling each other about our colours and start calling each other by name'. That said, I'm struggling with absolutely not adding anything...   Like I'm Asian...  I haven't always liked it though and have experienced some of the stereotyping that bugged me but that has influenced my experience and fantasies...  Just was interesting introspection as I was preparing for dinner today.

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2020, 12:38:53 PM »
As long as interracial is taboo to a large segment of society, there will be rich writing tropes to mine. I know that many in the reading public find the tropes to be interesting to explore. The current climate in the country makes the tropes even more compelling.

Stereotypes are born, not out of reality, but from perceived reality. Lazy blacks come from the slave days when to get blacks to work harder, the boss beat them, or worse. In those days, the fear wasn’t that blacks were inferior; the intense held fear was, they were the same as the whites, or worse, the blacks were better than their masters.

For this reason, it was against the law to teach coloreds to read. It was a primary reason for selling family members to other owners, to prevent a strong family bond. The white men were afraid the blacks were better lovers than they were.

Racist, no matter their color, fear they are less than those they hate. That’s why they hate them. The thought that someone is your better drives hate. Why would anyone hate some group that is inherently inferior to them? They wouldn’t. No, they’ll never admit this, but as long as these fears exist, bigotry will hang in there.

All the talk about skin color, laziness, or black men fucking white women, is a smokescreen for their own self-doubts.

It would be nice if we could all just acknowledge another person as a person, not a white person, a black person, a red person, brown, or yellow. But, as long as we use the tropes, it makes the writing somewhat easier. I'm guilty as the next person.
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Offline Petite99S

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2020, 07:12:37 AM »
I can see how reading those cliches time and again when editing/ghostwriting can grind you down and why you started the thread.

Was hesitating to share more because my experience absolutely cannot be compared to yours but wanted to open up a little...  

I come at racial issues from an inferiority angle. I saw myself and my... ethnicity as literally inferior. Like growing up in N. America, I so wish I was Caucasian, hearing about friends going to their cabins, having actual turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner (my parents worked as first gen immigrants and ours was always Asian food and white rice....). Yes...  Disney movies were also part of that and I watched The Little Mermaid and her "part of your world" song endlessly (as inauthentic as she is from the original story).

For a long time, I wouldn't write my real ethnicity into school forms and wrote my nationality..   just did not accept myself being Asian, wasn't interested in Asian friends or guys, looked down on "my people". Only when I learned about the concept of self-hate reading something in University did I get a word for it...   Again, it's not my intention to compare because mine was so relatively benign but more wanting to share a bit of me in return...   Also, I do acknowledge the meek, book-worm Asian girl stereotype did benefit me in many areas of my life (especially when I was younger)... Again, your comment about superiority and racial relations opened me to more possibilities than my own assumptions.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 07:18:40 AM by Sara.W »

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2020, 09:56:16 AM »
I can see how reading those cliches time and again when editing/ghostwriting can grind you down and why you started the thread.

Was hesitating to share more because my experience absolutely cannot be compared to yours but wanted to open up a little...  

I come at racial issues from an inferiority angle. I saw myself and my... ethnicity as literally inferior. Like growing up in N. America, I so wish I was Caucasian, hearing about friends going to their cabins, having actual turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner (my parents worked as first gen immigrants and ours was always Asian food and white rice....). Yes...  Disney movies were also part of that and I watched The Little Mermaid and her "part of your world" song endlessly (as inauthentic as she is from the original story).

For a long time, I wouldn't write my real ethnicity into school forms and wrote my nationality..   just did not accept myself being Asian, wasn't interested in Asian friends or guys, looked down on "my people". Only when I learned about the concept of self-hate reading something in University did I get a word for it...   Again, it's not my intention to compare because mine was so relatively benign but more wanting to share a bit of me in return...   Also, I do acknowledge the meek, book-worm Asian girl stereotype did benefit me in many areas of my life (especially when I was younger)... Again, your comment about superiority and racial relations opened me to more possibilities than my own assumptions.

Sara.W

I don’t believe in inferior races or individuals. Yes, some people are smarter than others. Yes, some people or groups are more advantaged by circumstance. But there is nothing superior about having better circumstances. I have studied some about the Asian culture, and I see nothing inferior in those peoples’ history. I see nothing inferior in my friends that are Asian. I know there is nothing inferior (outside of your own self-perception) about you.

You may want to explore this in your writing and help yourself work through those feelings. I’m confident your smart, talented, and can find your self-worth if you explore your own mind. In large part, we are what we think we are if we find that which we do well and do it often.

Everybody has their difficulties. Everyone has their doubts. We are all working our way through life, and we only have one shot at it. If you believe in reincarnation, you have several shots, but you don’t remember what you did before, so you are still going around unequipped for life.

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Offline Petite99S

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 03:13:31 PM »
Hi 90lbsofdynamite, I really appreciated your last note - thank you! I don't know what to say  :)

I'm less affected by them today (after more than 30 years, you start learning acceptance and dealing with problems properly) but do admit to lingering unresolved feelings. Just wanted to share my experience and how you opened up other possibilities in my mind.

Your advice about writing it out in stories (it's there...) still absolutely applies but I should probably clarify that my parents are from Hong Kong and that's where my negative emotions latch on to. I meant in my reply that I tried - all throughout school - not to associate myself with Hong Kong friends, culture/scene, foods, music.... I was trying not to say too much about myself but think I just ended up sounding odder than I had intended by writing "Asian". For whatever reason, I don't associate the same negative emotions for ANY other Asian cultures or even other "types" of Chinese...   Taiwan, Singapore, even China China. And of course, once I speak with the actual person and relate to them as a person, it goes away. Just weird...  

To answer your question though, the trope I have a little trouble with (wherever it shows up) is the country yokel. They may be there in real life but I spent 3 years in the prairies in a small town, after growing up on the coast, and I really miss my "family" and friends back there. Most of the people I met were just so warm and welcoming and they were so direct. They tell you upfront if they didn't like something you did and that was refreshing. There were some...  adventures of a sort I may write about one day but the "hillbilly on his farm" and the implied lack of relatability to modernity irks me. Maybe back in the 30s but it feels unreal in stories set in modern times.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 05:58:15 AM by Sara.W »

Offline 90lbsofdynamite

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Re: Writing Tropes and Stereotypes in Erotic Writing
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2020, 04:28:11 PM »
I agree, small towns, especially what you call Prairie small towns, get a bad rap. I won't go into it, not now, but I know that most people in those small communities are far more accepting than people in big cities. One reason, there are just so many more chances to run into rotten people in the big cities.  
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 12:21:06 PM by 90lbsofdynamite »
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