From whence springs our horny needs? Sometimes my impulses feel as random as the breeze itself. Like my recent passion for men in 70s knits and high-waisted pants; what is happening with that? What kind of Brady Bunch Freudian sex fantasy has taken over my vagina?
I cannot explain away my “little problem” with chunky knits, but I can certainly analyze a trend that I’ve found in both porn and erotic literature which seems to ring my bell with great consistency.
I’m calling it “The Underdog Fantasy”
An Underdog Fantasy is when you root for a particular character in the porn/erotica to get laid. It’s this strange sort of phenomenon that substitutes character development in scenarios when the goal is to get off. If the purpose of erotica is to arouse the reader, the other side of that Oreo cookie is the arousal of the main character.
Maybe your main character hasn’t had sex in years because of intense social anxiety. Maybe they’ve been lusting for their roommate but unable to make the first move. A good Underdog Fantasy creates a logical reason why they can’t/haven’t/shouldn’t have sex, and then gives readers the chance to see if their wishes are fulfilled or not.
It’s like Rudy but with dicks and butts.
One of my favorite porn directors, Samuel Shanahoy, created a film (Queen Bee Empire) with a beautifully done orgy. One of the characters, a non-binary female, was anxious to be included and sort of played this “creeper” watching the whole event before she is pulled into the group and, of course, fucked into oblivion.
It’s so hard to create and develop character within a short format like a porn/erotica. Giving a character an “underdog” desire helps to create a bond between the consumer and the character. I love to see someone fucked when they’ve been so anxiously waiting on the bench to be brought into the game.
You could, of course, be a cruel writer and not allow the Underdog to get any action. A cuckold, anyone? It’s just important that the expectation exists, and that the audience gets to see the outcome no matter how short your piece is.
As briefly mentioned in my post about completely deleting pieces you aren’t happy with, I recently pressed the “back” key on a short about a housewife who keeps breaking things in her home in order to seduce repairman. The problem was that I didn’t care about her. She kind of stunk, and I didn’t want to see her get laid. The whole thing felt too “cheesy porn” to me, and thus, I deleted it.
My revision takes the Underdog perspective in mind. I deleted other repairmen from the picture and left a single plumber who she feels an emotional connection to. I made her lonely and horny and neglected by her husband, which increased the stakes for her to get off with this hunk plumber. The story isn’t complete (so who knows if my heavy-handed backspace will happen), but it does feel a lot stronger. The housewife is the Underdog now, vs. just a hot predator trying to seduce men without a clear motivation.
I think this translates in longer fiction and film to questions of desire and larger questions of “does the character deserve a happy ending?” But in short format erotica, the results are so much more immediate and thus, even more difficult to make into a compelling work. A good erotica should have you cheering “Ru-dy! Ru-dy!” with each cock thrust.