The debate about what constitutes plain ol' erotica still haunts internet erotica sites. We know what smut or porn is; the erotic eludes us.
So here: the erotic is manifest in the electric pulses that ply the path between brain and genitals. It is the stuff of the good, social life. It is hot fun, and some of it arrives as catharsis, the letting out of the bung, the relief of the sexual tensions found in just societies that choose not to imprison their auburn-haired beauties in clothing that makes them virtually invisible.
Smut/porn? That's where there is sexual pistoning, licking and sucking all the time. All the time. Them's the rules. It's simple; you don't take twelve paragraphs to explain your motivation for having sex all the time, because, well, that's what porn is.
So what is Literary Smut?
Ok then, it's not what you think. It's not pretentious I mean.
Think about your literature class. What makes a story compelling? Something happens. That's what makes a story a story. That's what gives it structure. The characters are heading for an exceedingly normal day and wham! Something happens--usually a complication. The characters deal with it. If we are lucky, in literary porn, how they deal with it makes the story all the more erotic.
(The something can't be fucking, by the way. We know that happens. That's the porn part of literary porn.)
What Literary Smut is Not
The typical bit of written porn has a template that should have been abandoned by the middle ages. It starts:
"I really want to tell you about the great sex I had last night."
Well, why don't you then.
"But first, I will describe each and every one of my lover's body parts"
Oh, great. I'll go get a beer. Signal when done.
"My school sweetheart I lusted after for twelve years has ample breasts..."
Ample breasts? Can you picture that? If you can't make me picture that, then stuff it--and don't make me tell you again. Why not let the discovery of these body parts happen as part of the story, not as a boring laundry list. It's not bad to tell of your surprise upon learning that she shaves her nether parts as your fingers start exploring under that diaphanous gown, you know. It's all part of "show, don't tell," the exhibitionist writer's credo.
After the laundry list and the ample breasts comes the pounding, thrusting and all that. And guess what? Nobody says a word!
How 'bout a nice, "Oh God, honey, you're mom is at the door!"
Now there's a complication. An exceedingly interesting one if she's not as angry looking as you might expect.
In any case, dialog breaks up the past and puts us smack in the present. It puts our eyeballs in the scene. That's where we want to be, not in someone else's recollection of the scene. No, we wanna stick our noses in it. We want to smell, hear, and feel it.
So, dammit, grind away. Give some life to your porn. Let your imagination loose. Feel that tingle run up and down your spine delivering useful and pleasurable impulses to your brain and to your genitals. It's that erotic imagination you're developing and nurturing that separates the normally sex-healthy mind from the sexual emptiness of the sex criminal's mind. Really.
Now go read some literary smut: Erotica Index.