This is another edit and rewrite of a previous article from the old blogs.
So what’s to talk about with boobs you ask? We all have them and everybody loves to play with them. What else is there to know? You might be surprised. What inspired the original article was a combination of past real life experiences, writing efforts and verbal near-brawl on Twitter two years ago.
Back when I had an account on Twitter and had first decided to try to make a go of writing erotica to sell, I ran into a boatload of opinionated people. On Twitter? Shocking, right? The most annoying group was a gaggle of busybody would-be erotica authors that constantly trashed others’ writing. Men got it really bad from them, so did any women who disagreed with them. There’s a lesson there however:
Don’t Alienate Potential Customers:
Stephen King can afford to come off as an ass on social media. He’s already hugely successful as a writer. You and I don’t have that luxury however. Alienate men, you’ve lost 49% of your potential audience. Attack that other political party, and you’re losing another half of your potential readership. Politics + Opposite sex both alienated, you’ve lost at least 75% of your audience and sales. THAT assumes you ALSO didn’t alienate any of the growing number of people who are just sick of the toxicity from all sides.
That brief side trip into the bigger issue of alienating readers aside, lets get back to how it specifically applies to boobs. Primarily what we need to consider is gender differences in your potential readership.
Men, at least when dealing with erotica, tend to want specific details such as our daring yet alluring heroine’s specific bra size, the shape of her breasts, how big her nipples are, etc… They want to know how tall and muscular a hero is in any story, etc… In short, men are highly visual creatures, and also frequently highly competitive / comparison focused.
Women, on the other hand, are typically more interested in the emotion of the moment in the story, and sometimes prefer to be able to visualize the characters more on their own. Big, small, perky or heavy is enough to know about that same heroine’s breasts for that type of female reader. What that gaggle of vicious writers on Twitter missed though is that neither option is invalid, it’s just different. Since I TRY to write in a way to appeal to both genders, let me offer some advice on how to split the difference here. You’ll get the larger base of middle ground readers while losing out on the extremists on either end who will never be happy with your writing efforts anyway.
Directly giving a specific bra size should generally be frowned upon. Keep in mind that some people, and by extension characters, are good at visually measuring and sizing. Women in general are good at visually estimating each others’ bra size (despite denials on Twitter). Foremost among other examples would be somebody that works as a tailor or seamstress, or in a lingerie store. Any career or hobby that requires alot of measuring provides some suspension of disbelief however.
Likewise, the character can have a ex girlfriend or friend or roommate, maybe even a sister with very similar bra size, allowing the character to guess. The sister thing is a little creepy though if not explained away via seeing a size tag while doing laundry or something like that. Bottom line just stop, think and rationalize how you can give the reader an exact or approximate size IF you feel the need to do so.
There are also options like the guy sneaking a look in her dresser or laundry hamper. That can come off as creepy though unless the relationship is already pretty far along.
Another option would be to have the character just ask the woman. Again, interject a little reality here. Don’t just have the guy walk up to a stranger and ask her how big her tits are. That’d get him slapped, pepper sprayed or worse in real life, so that should be the case in the story also. If the flirting has gotten hot and heavy, then he can usually get away with teasingly asking, or betting her he can guess.
You don’t need to go full on total hardcore reality. Sexy scenes can give a little suspension of disbelief, but make sure it’s all grounded in reality
I’m tempted to do a long section on how to properly size a bra as well, but that deserves it’s own post to really do it justice.
Dealing with Boob Shapes:
This is a little more straight forward. Guys, did you know that quite a few women don’t like having their girls compared to fruit? Stick with more generalized descriptors; full and round instead of melon shaped shaped. Talk about the sloping curve of her breasts if they’re more “pear shaped”. It comes off classier and more creative.
As an alternative, you can also make a character the “bad guy” in this scenario. Character A turns to his buddy characters B and says “Would you look at her? I’ve never seen pear shaped tits that big before.” Hopefully worded with a little more class unless the character is supposed to make an overall bad impression on the reader, such as a villain’s henchman, etc…
Injecting a Little More Realism Regarding Breasts:
Here’s a few more fine points regarding boobs in stories. It’s popular in any sort of sexy writing to have one or more of the female characters go braless. While sexy sometimes trumps reality, especially in erotica, keep in mind that going braless is often uncomfortable for women with bigger breasts (a C cup or bigger). Forget action scenes like running or gymnastics also if you want realism. The girls shifting all around while trying to do back flips throws your balance all kinds of off.
Even foregoing a bra due to a low cut evening gown could require our heroine to use boob tape for some degree of support, and or two sided tape to keep the dress in place.
Instead of thinking of something like that as a stumbling block, think of it as another layer of undressing when you get to a sexy scene.
The only genre where you get a free pass on this sort of thing is Superhero stories. Comic book physics never work anything like the real world, be it Captain America’s shield ricochets or heroines never having their boobs pop out of their costumes. Characters like Red Sonja can make a similar argument for that type of fantasy setting as well, I suppose.
Handle With Care:
OK, let’s be real guys; it’s your story and you can (and likely will) do whatever you want here. However, if you want to score more female readers, it’s important to understand a few points regarding boobs.
First and foremost, the vast majority of them don’t like to be handled roughly, at least not at first. If you write a character that pushes his date up against the wall, then grabs her boobs, and twists and pulls on them, you’re going to lose the female readers. Same thing that would happen if you read a story about a girl grabbing a guy’s nuts, and doing the squeeze, twist and pull routine. Not sexy. Your protagonist can be heated and passionate, just don’t mangle.
Breasts are a major nerve center. After enough arousal however, increased blood flow will cause the breasts to swell s little and make them less sensitive due to the nerves being spread out. The exception there will be the nipples. In terms of size vs sensitivity, all those nerves generally mean that smaller breasts are more responsive, but genetics plays a bigger role due to proximity of the nerves to the breast surface, etc… One old friend was quite busty and had insanely sensitive breasts.
I wrote an lengthy article about giving women orgasms strictly from breast play. Warning though, that page is definitely NSFW.
Regardless of all that, your character doesn’t have to be the perfect gentle lover. He or she can be assertive, be passionate, just have them be artful instead of a pitbull with a new rubber ball to chew on
Dealing with Boob Related Stereotypes in Writing:
There’s ALOT to deal with here; the idea that women with big boobs are dumb and slutty, the reverse situation with small breasted women being seen as unfeminine, cold, having lower sex drive, etc… Throw all of that out the window if you want realism and female readers.
Yes, some big breasted women have learned to use their assets to help get what they want, either because they’re manipulative, or they’ve just never been taken seriously otherwise. By the same token there are some highly sexual ladies with smaller boobs out there. In neither case does breast size have any relationship to IQ though. You do have an opportunity to inject some depth into your character by having her have some issues over those stereotypes though. Personal advice though; do NOT oversell it like another angst filled episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There’s a difference between adding character depth and having social issues override the plot. It’s OK for fiction to have a message but not at the expense of plot and entertainment value.