B is for ‘Boy he/she is hot!’ #atozchallenge


You can’t really get very far in erotica without talking about attraction.  So, I thought for my inaugural A-Z post, I’d talk about attraction.  Or ‘Boy he’s/she’s hot!’

Hotness on a scale

Part of the reason we, as a group, think it’s a great idea each to blog is we’ve got a different idea of what we’re turned on by.  Me, it’s eyes, and hands.  Expressive eyes, and just as expressive hands. Behind that, it’s the scent of a guy (or girl),  how they move, how they speak.  Intelligence is a huge turn-on for me.

Other people have other turn-ons – and the great thing about that is even if you write about something that doesn’t turn you on specifically, it will hit home with others.  It’s important though to remember a couple of things when talking about attraction, hottness and talking about hotties.

Pain is and isn’t a turn on

One of the rookie mistakes many writers make, when talking about BDSM is  assuming that the primary turn-on is pain.  And in a few rare cases, it is.  But a lot of the time, in my opinion at least, BDSM is about control, or lack of control.  So while there is an element of enjoying pain, and using it as an adrenaline surge, it’s important to remember that if your protagonist is into that sort of thing, it’s not actually all there is to it.
BDSM actually stands for Bondage and domination (BD), Dom/Sub (DS) and sadomasochism (SM), so pain falls into the very last category.  And while the endorphins generated are also part of it, the pain inflicted is all about trust – you trust your lover not to take it too far, and that’s why the pain is enjoyable.  There’s always the safe word.
A good post on this, although it mentions the dreaded book, is here. The two big keys here are that it’s not all about pain, and it’s not all about the dominant being in control.  Not always.

And that bottom line is where all erotica starts and ends.  Being safe, being in or out of control, being turned on.  It’s all about trust.  Your readers trust you, you can take them anywhere or everywhere.

It’s all about what it does in our head

Though I’ve listed some things about what I think are the ‘hottie’ factor, it’s actually all about what’s in your head.  It’s about what works for you.  Tapping that, as an erotica writer, is the key to success.  Finding what you think turns you and others on will make your fiction spark, sizzle and sell.

What do you think? What’s your turn-on?

Author: Fayth

Fayth is the lead administrator/managing editor of this site. She writes BDSM and erotica based stories that examine relationships, trust and freedom. She also runs The Switch's Guide to Erotica, a blog that talks about the best of the erotica community. Fayth is an alterego.

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  1. I completely agree, sensuality is cerebral as well as physical, and that ultimate turn-on is what filters through my own experience. If I wanted to read a list—inserting peg A into slot B—which is the dismal state of far too much erotica, I’d consult Grey’s Anatomy.
    Great post.

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    • B is for back….do you see the back on that man in the picture. Now that’s hot!!! Enjoyed the read.

      ~Sha’, fellow A to Z’er

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    • Yup.
      I think the main thing with all of this is you’ve got to engage the brain – like Pav says, it’s about erotica versus porn too.

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  2. I think this is a big point about the difference between Porn and Erotica. Erotica includes beauty (of the written word and body) as well as a cerebral component. Porn just makes you hard.

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    • Absolutely agree. It’s difficult to get excited about straight titiltation now, especially when I know there’s much better out there.

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  3. Hi Fayth .. I’ve come over from the A -Z .. Tina’s minion and helper .. I hope you meet other like-minded people .. it’s not for me .. but I’m sure others will appreciate learning more ..

    All the best and enjoy the Challenge – Hilary

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    • Thanks for stopping by and being a minion/helper! It’s most appreciated that there’s some dedicated people behind the A-Z Challenge!

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  4. While I would love to show you my hands as one of my kinks is sensual touch (I do amazing work with my hands, especially in the non-obvious places) and I’m told I have expressive eyes. As far intelligence…I’ll let you decide that.

    I agree and disagree with you on pain. Pain can also be a catalyst to gain something else from the experience, often invoking a cathartic embrace when all is said and done. In many ways, an impact scene is a lot like a deep tissue massage.

    Safewords is a very common attribute to play scenes, but I wouldn’t say that there is always a safeword and there are instances where experienced D/s couples will opt out safewords. This does require a high level of trust. Not something for beginning and often used by heavy bottoms.

    I do like that you address that physical appearances are not the only thing that attracts people together. That there are many other attributes than the obvious one that brings people in need of each other.

    Great post.


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    • LOL. I think the partner would object to people demonstrating their expressive hands on me. Part of the reason I *have* that turn-on is I have a man that ticked all of my boxes 😉
      RE: Pain. I guess the point I was making was that the sadomasochistic ‘classic’ BDSM view since *that book* is wrong. It’s only a part of the overall holistic whole.
      Other attributes – yup. We’ll all be talking about them in the coming days. It’s great doing a shared blog! Thanks for stopping by!

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      • All of the good girls are taken. 🙁

        I’m glad you have found someone to fulfill your needs, that is awesome.

        I can understand your point and fully agree to it, that the truth is far more complex than the stock sadomasochist who just wants to hurt people and get off on it. To that effect, we are both right.

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    • I thought you brought up an interesting point, Christopher. You’re exactly right about the impact play and massage. One of the things people don’t understand about play is that it does exactly what massage does – it releases endorphins AND toxins that are lodged in the system. Once that’s happened, flushing it all out with lots of water, a little rest, and other self-care methods make a difference. That’s exactly what aftercare is. Any good massage therapist will tell you to do that, but it’s not always addressed in aftercare.

      After all, a good massage brings about something very similar to subspace. And I think that anyone who’s ever had a good deep-tissue massage and then later experiences impact play would probably be looking for more! No wonder so many massage therapists get propositioned . . .

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  5. I guess turn ons and offs is an individual thing. Some like porn, some don’t. Most things are fine with me. I don’t judge. My turn ons? Don’t think I will write it here, but pain is not one of them >:)

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    • LOL.
      I don’t judge either (pretty much a needed outlook, running an erotica blog). Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Great post! I am big fan of lips and teeth. Give me a smile that shows perfect teeth and kissable lips and you have me imagining naughty things 🙂 I am also very attracted to clean shaven men. I just don’t like facial hair. A bit of scruff is one thing but knowing he will shave it all off is bonus.

    Love your blog name!
    Michelle Kelly

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  7. LOL at the dreaded book.

    It is an interesting topic. I read a lot of BDSM and have had some…herm…choice comments about pain and abuse because of it from those that don’t read on the subject or know what’s behind it.

    It’s fascinating to see what ‘does it’ for different people. Dominance is a huge turn on for me. In my regular life I have to make all of the decisions on…everything so nice to be able to let go and let someone else take over I guess 🙂 I love that tone. The command. Mmm. And a man that loves animals. Totally does it for me. I mean. Melt on the blasted spot. lol

    herding cats & burning soup.

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    • Yeah…the choice comments. I’m on the very edge of all of that, research wise, but I do have a lot of reference points, and I really REALLY hate it when someone starts taking about 50 shades, calling him a classic Dominant, and then looking really surprised when I say ‘no, sadomasochist’. It’s a bit of a simplification that he’s one or the other too, though. It’s difficult. Pithy one liner summaries, versus the depth and complication of what relationships actually are…

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  8. Thank you for this!
    For me, it’s eyes and a strong jawline. Something about those just do it for me.

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  9. Enjoyed the post, Fayth! I have this thing for wrists and forearms. I’ve never been able to explain it, but they’re the first thing I look at in a man. Then comes the eyes.

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  1. E for Enticement - #AtoZChallenge - […] people something to really get exicted about.  It’s not just about the physical thrills (as Pavarti pointed out in…

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