Plot vs Sexy

So I do this thing in my stories where I set up my characters quite a bit. I kind of enjoy when a story takes time to establish its characters so we can clearly see the change they go through, even in short stories.

But I sometimes go a little overboard and end up cutting a quarter of the plot stuff down so that it doesn’t meander, because that’s also a bit of a pet peeve whenever I read others stories, is when it gets a little rambly. So I guess my question is, how much fluff is too much, or do you guys enjoy when the author goes more in depth to talk about its world and characters? And when I say fluff I mean like, backstory, history between characters, maybe talk about the world if it’s like, a different time or alternate universe etc.

Or is it more important to get to the sexy parts as quick as possible?

This is a question basically for stories on this site of course, I ask because I think it’s interesting that I even consider how to balance my stories in this aspect.


I think everyone’s answer to that will be a bit different. As both a writer and a reader, I like to put in a lot of detail and make things seem as true-to-life as possible. People don’t randomly do things for no good reason, particularly not agreeing to be someone’s hypno-slave or whatever. So, I build a situation around how they got to that point, which usually includes what their lives were like before, as well as what they think about the changes during and afterwards.

But, even within a very short story that has little purpose other than “stimulation”, you can establish your characters within a couple of paragraphs, if you’re careful, so it’s not mutually exclusive to have both establishment and getting to the sexy stuff quickly. I’ve written both styles, and they each have their advantages. Taking longer to develop characters makes your story more immersive, while moving more quickly can leave the focus almost entirely on the domination and sex, if that’s where you want that story to go.


Yours is a good question. To me it depends on the author and depends on the story. Usually “set up” means content that establishes the narrative, generally at the beginning of a story. As you say, if the story involves physical changes, that could be justification for more of a lengthy description of how the character appears. I’ve read very artful authors here who don’t lump all the description in a single long paragraph at the beginning, but spread it out, summoning description only when it was needed in service to the narrative.

I have read a couple of stories on here where the author was obsessed with how all the characters appeared, interrupting the narrative flow in the middle of the story to describe all these sexy attributes. When a reader is in the middle of a plot, having lots of description of physical attributes can be an unwanted distraction that can kill the narrative pacing.

I think some authors forget the important point that the reader is the one who supplies the characters with attributes missing in the text. Even in cases where the author can’t resist grabbing an image off the web, those pictures never are what I have in mind when I read a text. (I never look at the pics. I plead guilty to being a purist, but I feel that an illustration should supply something that is not in the text or that clarifies a difficult point in the text. If that’s not the purpose, then no function is served by having an illustration. Each person reading a story will have a different concept of what is a “sexy” person.)

Then again, it could be that you’re writing a story where the narrative is not the main thing but something else is, such as description. In such a case, it could be that the plot is minimal but the transformation/mind control aspect is more subtle, as if looking at an object from a different angle or perspective. In such cases, maybe more description is warranted. YMMV = Your mileage may vary depending on your needs and skill. Some description is pedestrian, some of it is good, and some of it is very enjoyable, depending on the author’s literary talents. I don’t think I’m giving away any spoilers to mention that at the end of the seven volumes of Marcel Proust’s “À la recherche du temps perdu” (Remembrance of Things Past) the narrator finally admits that his talent lies in his uncanny powers of description. (Of course, readers knows this intuitively, as they have been confronted with enormously long sentences already in volume 1 page 1.)

1 Like

It’s a tough balancing act.

I suppose I try to write as “fast as possible” so the imagery is there, but only what is needed. After all, you need to paint a picture or else the sex will be meaningless.
Then on top of that, some readers prefer detail, and some don’t care.

you gotta find your style, master it as fairly as you can, and trust your own judgement.

So if you’re someone who does like to set up quite a bit, stay true to that, but don’t take the piss either. does that make sense?

1 Like

I don’t know that I always setup my characters very much in the text, but I always have a very clear idea of who the characters are.

For example, I just wrote ‘Never Had I Ever’, and though I never mention that Nick is a heavily closeted gay dude and Will is a bicurious guy who likes to play around with him, it’s implied in the dialog and the bits of history that characters reference. I don’t know if any of the readers picked up on those two character’s sexuality, but I don’t really care, it’s just important to me that there’s a reason why they act the way they do and can reference the experiences they’ve had. It makes their actions flow from who they are, rather than because the plot demanded them.

Same story, I established early on that Peter was a year younger than everyone else and had been having a hard time with the isolation. That meant when he suggested playing the game, the other characters got on board with it not because the plot needed it to happen, but because they felt sorry for their buddy and wanted to cheer him up by doing something he suggested. Less than 10% of the way into the story, they’re playing the game and involved in the mechanic of the transformation, but they’re doing it in a way that seems plausible.

I almost never write with a plot fixed in my mind. I like to setup some characters, a situation, and a mechanic for transformation, and then I just follow it where it takes me. Of course, my brain takes it to areas that resonate with me, whether sexual or emotional.

I absolutely hate the paragraph’s that are like “Joe was a twenty-three year old white male, fresh out of business school and trying to do well at his stressful job as a lawyer. He was 5’10”, with a thin build that told you he rarely worked out. His hair was brown, his eyes were green, and his 7" dick was uncut. He wore a three piece blue suit which hung too large on his frame." It just feels hamfisted.

I have also been known to use paragraphs just like that, usually in the context where the character is almost breaking the fourth wall with an awareness of the fact that they’re in a story. I recall doing something like that in “Hey, you’re straight, right?” when the narrator describes himself and his friends before the transformation. I’m far from a saint when it comes to following my own rules.

I like when physical descriptions are mentioned in context. A character is watching someone from across a room, and admires their body. A character looks themselves over in a mirror. A character gets made fun of for a distinguishing feature. You know, the times in real life when he actually notice our physical attributes. I wouldn’t want to read a list of the characters measurements, but I could buy it if the character is a narcissist to loves checking themselves out in the gym mirrors.

I don’t like to include story that doesn’t directly support the sexy bits. Like I probably wouldn’t spend 500 words discussing how a character had a hard time with being bullied at school, unless the story is about him getting back at his bullies or becoming one himself. That sort of thing.


I try to be natural with the physical descriptions, but yeah I’ve definitely been guilty of the long appearance bio in the middle of stories. I kinda have to do them because I like writing stories about muscular guys or muscle growth. I think that’s partly why I have this problem, because the time it takes to visualize everything I want through text, I’m afraid it just comes across as long winded and disjointed. But at the same time I’m trying to write stories that fetishize the body itself. Talking about poses, muscles, how the body looks specifically is both the weakness and necessity of the kind of stories I’m going for. Like I do have a specific look for the character in mind I want to convey, but I guess at some point I’d have to learn to trust the reader with a few details.

Interesting to think about.

As a weirdo who likes tension in presentation more than sex the fluff needs to build to the action and the results reflect on the fluff.

If want post expanded on Tumblr or elsewhere

When im writing my stories im usually writing them according to my own satisfaction. I guess you could say im pretty self indulgent when im writing erotica. At least on the rough draft. Im not empathetic enough yet to think ahead about what other people enjoy about my stories or about erotica in general. I usually just wing it and trust that if your reading my stuff then your here for a reason.

That being said, my own personal tastes go back and forth. On one hand I love long winding narrative that gradually build up as you get to know characters and why they should come together and have sex in the first place, stories that have a little to a lot of investment involved. On the other hand I love reading stories that have a desperation to get to the sexy bits, especially when I am feeling desperate for release myself. When im writing there’s times where I get the setup and backstory out of the way as quickly as possible because I have an image in my head of a particular sexual act, or sexual interaction, that I just can’t stand being in my head any longer. I feel like the first one is very satisfying in the long run, but is more frustrating to write on a regular basis, and the other is so so so immediately satisfying to write, some of my favorite stories ive done I wrote in one or two really quick sessions, but they are easy to mess up and can turn people off if they arent into your particular thing.


Actually. Recently, me and a pen pal I’ve had for ages are using those short desperate stories to send to each other back and forth as rough drafts that we then bookmark to fit into our long more long form stories. It’s helpful when we have ideas that are perfect as a 2 or 3 page one-off that we right because its hot and we want to get it out of our system but we aren’t confident in as a publishable story. This way were always stockpiling sex scenes that we don’t have to get distracted by in our long form works.

1 Like

As a no-sex writer, I fall on the plot side of things. For me if the hypnosis/mind control is just about making someone into a sex object there’s nothing interesting about that. You have to have a reason for it for me. The mind control should be a part of the story and the world you’re creating for me to be interested.


I just write what feels good to write, and that changes from moment-to-moment. What emotion are you trying to express? I find that in my good works, starting from a place of passion and getting it out there is a good place to start, then go back and read it to yourself. Do you still feel that emotion? Great, now correct the grammar and spelling errors. Then add structure, plot, character development, etc. In my opinion, writing is supposed to convey emotions. To the extent it does that, it succeeds.


For me plot and motivation is king and I try to avoid getting lost in overly descriptive physical attributes unless they are absolutely integral to the narrative. Most readers are capable of creating their own internal imagery of what the characters look like and sometimes it’s easier for them if they don’t have to construct a very literal image based on the writing. Regarding sex most of what I write has very little sex because it’s not my strong point or what I’m particularly into when I’m writing so it’s definitely lower on my list that plot!