writing prompts

Each month at the Listen To Your Skin erotic reader series + open mic, I will offer a new writing prompt based on the next month’s theme. Each previous month’s flyer appears below, in order of most recent first.

If you’re into generative, body-based writing prompts, sign up for one of my monthly generative workshops, wherein we usually complete 4-6 separate prompts. I often give an “experiential” option, something you can do, with/for your body, before/during/after you write. The prompts in the workshops (and also, the retreats) will be a little more involved than the general thematic prompts associated with the Listen To Your Skin open-mic series.

September’s theme: “sex & disability”

It’s often assumed that those with chronic pain or disability don’t have sex, or even want to. Ableist assumptions can increase feelings of isolation and shame. While it’s true that sex can be impacted negatively by chronic issues–lessened sensation or mobility, fatigue, and a greater chance of victimization–this is not the only truth. Cripping narratives of sexuality offers a way to improve self-image and re-envision sexual practice. We can imagine a broader palate for sex, one that includes less heteronormative acts or genital focus. And this could benefit everyone, not just those with disabilities.

August’s theme: “electric sex”

We’re amped for August’s theme: Electric Sex with the incredible Leah Noble Davidson. We’ll explore sexual electricity: that undeniable, cell-deep ZING of the perfect first kiss and the charge lovers conduct and pass between. The sweet shock of trying something new. Electro stim! Supercharged orgasms! Sex toys!

July’s theme: “original sin”

July’s theme is original sin, or religion’s effect on sexuality, and is a partnership with Take The Fruit, Flood The Desert, a new anthology, which seeks submissions of creative work related to religious trauma & spiritual abuse. What messages did the church give you about your relationship to your body, sex, relationships, and boundaries? Tell us about your experiences with purity culture and church-related sexual abuse. How have you healed and reclaimed your identity or pleasure after being told earthly delights come from sin? As always, open-mic readings welcome on any topic related to sexuality, but if you’ve experienced spiritual abuse, consider writing on theme, so your work can be considered for publication in the anthology!

June’s theme: “fairy-tale sex.”

10-line erotic fairy tale! Compose your own original, erotic flash fairy tale! Give this line-by-line writing exercise a try! Don’t think about it too hard, just write what comes as fast as you can. You can edit later!

LINE 1: Describe a detail of the magical setting (are you/is your character in a dale, a castle, a forest, etc.?)

LINE 2: Describe something about that setting (e.g., weather, temperature, the quality of the light, temperament of the people, etc.) that’s being controlled by a magical being or force (inside or outside you/your characters)

LINE 3: Have another character (or multiple characters) enter the scene; describe at least two concrete or specific sense details about them (only one can be sight-related)

LINE 4: Have someone do something with their or another character’s body

LINE 5: Line of dialogue (someone says something)

LINE 6: Someone else does something with their or another character’s body

LINE 7: Description of physical reaction and the emotion tied to it (use a metaphor, if you like)

LINE 8: Someone realizes something they desire/don’t desire

LINE 9: Same detail as in line 2 about the setting (weather, temperature, the quality of the light, temperament of the people), but different/evolved

LINE 10: Line of dialogue

May’s theme: “transaction.”

This month’s theme is “transaction.” They say you gotta give a little to get a little. What does it mean to give and get in erotic exchange? What, exactly, gets passed between lovers? Time is spent, maybe money. Spit is swapped, sometimes stories. We change hands, trade validation or flesh or hope toward a possible future. Where is the line between exploitation and agency? What remains after exchange?

April’s theme: “golden repair.”

This month’s theme is “golden repair,” referring to the ancient Japanese art of repairing pottery. Our features will offer unflinching expressions of the brutal, the broken, and also the beautiful, piecing together perspective with skilled poetic technique. Sexual vulnerability can be pleasurable and empowering, but also perilous. How do we make ourselves whole again after abuse, loss, or transition? How do we embrace our history, the scars and marks it’s made, as part of our overall design?

March’s theme: “kink.”

This month’s theme is “kink.” Do you/your characters have unconventional fantasies or practices? What pushes those buttons? Bondage, leather, group sex, role play, food, feet? What’s under the kink: intimacy, shame work, native curiosity?

February’s theme: “sexual superheroes.”

This month’s theme is “sexual superheroes.” Here we cum to save the day! With great passion comes great responsibility. Who’s your intimate champion? Your superhuman crush? What’s your kryptonite in bed? Have you ever been rescued, or rescued yourself, in a sensual way?

January’s theme: “self-sex as a practice.”

Writing is a practice. So is sex. January’s theme is “self-sex as a practice.” Has Covid changed the way you masturbate? How has your experience of arousal been affected by the pandemic?

Explore memories/fantasies you have of self-pleasure, disappointing or divine. Maybe you lack the drive toward self-touch? Write about that. Or write from the point of view of one of your body parts demanding more from you.