Why do so many men want to write erotica as women?

Image by the talented Stuart F Taylor

“I know I’m a man, but this story is written from a woman’s perspective, and I’d like you to publish it as my alter-ago Candy Sexpot please!” – I receive a fair few guest post pitches along these lines. These stories are usually written from a cis woman’s perspective, but composed entirely in the headspace of a straight man. I don’t publish these posts, and in case you’re thinking of pitching me one, here’s why.

Before I begin I need to stress that I am not talking about trans people. I understand that trans people can write erotica to explore their gender, or might want to publish it under a pseudonym rather than their legal name. I am talking about men. While I obviously don’t check everyone’s genitals before they write for me, I feel confident in saying that I’m talking about straight, cis men.

A man writing as a woman – how can you tell?

These stories tend to have a few things in common. Firstly, they are usually about a cisgender, heterosexual couple, written from the woman’s perspective. Think: “I’m a horny slut and I wanna tell you a story about how I fucked this guy in a pub toilet.” Occasionally they’ll be stories about cisgender lesbians, though that’s rarer.

They also tend to feature one or more of these issues:

  • The author focuses almost exclusively on how the woman in the story looks and behaves. Where he describes the body/actions of the man it is only to highlight those things in relation to the woman’s body. e.g. “He fingered my tight pussy till I was dripping wet.”
  • The woman is usually hypersexualised to the point of being one-dimensional: everything she does, even the non-sexual things, are usually framed in relation to sex. “We had a couple drinks because I knew that would get me feeling sluttier.”
  • The woman who is narrating the story often says things that ring alarm bells: she is willing to put herself in extreme danger in order to get the sex she wants. e.g. “I wondered why he’d agree to meet me, a stranger, but I figured ‘fuck it, so what if I die? At least I’ll have had a good fuck!'” or “I was being naughty that day so I gave him my house key and told him I’d be face down ass up when he let himself in, and he could fuck me in pussy or ass however he liked. Without lube, if that’s what he wanted.”
  • The woman is extremely orgasmic, liable to come from the simplest of things.
  • The guy in the story has a ginormous cock, and she mentions it. A lot.

But this isn’t a question of whether I can ‘tell’ if someone’s a dude writing as a woman. To be blunt: I cannot tell what someone’s gender is unless they tell me, and it’s not my place to guess. If someone just emailed me one of these stories from an address which read [email protected] I wouldn’t question their gender, I’d just say ‘I don’t think this is a great fit for my site’ because the points above add up to bad erotica which I’d prefer not to publish.

On top of this, I’m extremely wary of taking one or two of these points and using them to call bullshit on someone’s life: a-ha! You’re a man! I can tell! You couldn’t possibly write this way about sex if you were a woman! People used to do this to me when I first started blogging, and it was tedious as fuck.

I don’t need to guess, though: the guys who send me these stories are up front about the fact that they’re men, and they want to write and publish as a woman.

My question to you dudes is… why?

Bad erotica versus good erotica

There are loads of different ways to write good erotica, and even more ways to write bad stuff. But personally I think what makes a story really hot is truth. Honesty. That doesn’t mean you can’t write erotic fiction, but it means when you write fiction you still have to tap into something that rings true – something other people can read and think ‘ohhhhh yeah, I find that sexy too.’

When you’re writing ‘as’ a cisgender woman, but you’re actually a straight, cis man, what you’re doing is projecting your own fantasies about women into their heads, and the whole thing comes out quite muddled. In reality, women aren’t one-dimensional characters who neatly fit your fantasies, we’re rounded people with thoughts and beliefs and desires that can be surprising.

Personally, I find it extremely difficult to write in the headspace of a man. I’ve done it before a few times, but I don’t think I do it very well. I had a go on Sunday, in a post about a guy sharing his girlfriend, and as you can see – even when I’m cheating by writing it as pure speech (so I don’t have to paint a detailed internal life for the character) – it’s not brilliant. I wouldn’t give myself anything higher than a D minus. generally my ‘dude headspace’ tends towards men who are one-dimension dominant and often outright cruel. Why? I don’t know. I have issues with men, clearly, and that bleeds into my writing. I like to think there’s at least a bit of honesty to them, because I’m still writing ‘as’ GOTN. I don’t tell you ‘this is a guest blog from Joe Bloggs’ but ‘here’s a fiction story that I, a horny lady, wrote myself.’ And from that, as you read the story, you can sense notes of the kinds of things that I enjoy (being used, for instance, or treated like trash – this is likely why so many of my fictional men are arseholes).

In fantasy, it can be fun to explore the idea of ‘your perfect partner/shag’, but it’s always going to be hotter if you’re up-front about what it is you’re doing. Not saying ‘I am Candy, sex kitten extraordinaire, and here’s a fuck I had once,’ but saying ‘I am Bill, a horny writer, and here’s the kind of sex I’d love.’

It’s more believable, because it’s more real.

Injecting truth into your erotic fiction

My advice to you, if you’re a straight dude who wants to write erotica, is to ask yourself first: why do I want to write this as a woman? What am I hoping to achieve? What does the story lose if I pretend it comes from a woman’s headspace, and what could it gain instead if I tried to write it from my own?

I have a theory as to why you might want to do this: you have been taught by society that your desires are shameful. And often, especially in a sexual scenario which involves rough sex (as so many do) and male dominance, you may be worried that you’ll be shamed for fantasising about a woman who is extremely compliant to those desires. A woman who doesn’t behave the way most people who experience misogyny have learned over a lifetime dealing with men: she won’t say ‘no’ to a stranger fuck, she won’t insist on communication before you gag her with your cock, and she will always, always be enthusiastic about the size of your dick.

I get it. It’s not something to be ashamed of, it’s interesting. It’s an insight into who you are and what you want and your genuine, honest desires. But it can only be interesting for me because I know. I know you actually aren’t ‘Candy’, a 23-year-old sex kitten, but Joe Bloggs, a guy who wants to step into her headspace for a while. The insight and honesty and hotness here doesn’t come from Candy’s words, but from the fact that those words give me a glimpse of what you, Joe, actually want.

So before you pitch me a guest blog written under a pseudonym you picked because you want people to believe a woman is writing, consider first sitting down and writing something that feels real. Ask yourself what you want and why you want it. Which fucks have you enjoyed most, and why? What fantasies run around your head? How can you translate those to the page and give readers a shot of you – the real you. Not you as seen through the eyes of a one-dimensional character who will never talk back, but really actually you – in all your honest and fucked-up glory.



Big thanks to the fabulous Quinn Rhodes, who has been doing some kickass work in the sex blogging community to educate us on being more trans inclusive. He was an enormous help in editing this blog post, and if you’re looking for someone to do the same with your work do support him on Patreon and hire him for your own projects. As well as providing lots of info on his educational site What’s In Your Pants, he also writes an incredible blog over On Queer Street. Thank you Quinn!


  • A says:

    This has sparked all sorts of thoughts:

    1) When I’ve written my guest blog posts, I’ve seen people on twitter question the realness. It’s not exactly the same obviously but it made me think of that
    2) I’d much rather know the dark side of a man through his words than through a “female” fantasy
    3) The image by Stuart Taylor… I love that you can choose how to spell cum/come
    4) I feel like I should email you again since I had a 5 month period of being anal only

  • Aaron says:

    There are a coiuple of things that occur to me about this post – both great!

    The first (only because my eye caught it first) is that the picture for this post is truly excellent. I’m no sort of art critic, but while I have always liked the visual ‘brushstrokes’ of Stuart’s images, this one in particular combines very good technical work, with wit and humour. The image made me want to look back at his previous work, to see if I had missed satire or insight, the first time round, so to speak.

    The second, is that having read GOTN’s insights into why men might want to write porn as a woman, has made me wonder about the names of the authors on all the other porn I’ve read – not every single story, but in broad terms. I wonder, how many of the names I’ve seen, and attributed a gender to on the basis of that name, might have led me to see the author very differently from how they see themselves.

    In particular, I’m thinking about the ‘Best American Erotica’ series, and whether any of the ‘female’ authors’ names, might have been male authors writing from a female perspective. And if so, why? Because of GOTN’s proposal, or perhaps – and I think this is somehow a ‘healthier’ reason – in the same spirit as JK Rowling wrote in the name of JK Galbraith, in an attempt to test the strength of the writing, as opposed to the strength of the name?

  • Pangolin says:

    I’m now wondering if there’s something analogous to the Bechdel test for erotic writing, and if so what would it be?

  • Shoey says:

    I suppose it depends on your writing style, I tend to narrate in 3rd person omniscient , takes a lot of research to (hopefully) get authentic female responses! I find writing in 1st or 2nd person restrictive and lacking full dimension; can be done well, each to their own just not my style.

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