How to Write Sex like Shakespeare!
Guys, today I have one of my best friends guest posting here. Welcome, Carina!
Her blog is honestly INCREDIBLE. Give it a look: https://storytellingcarina.com
Thank you for that, babe!
How to Write Sex like Shakespeare!
Have you ever wondered how to make a brilliant sexual innuendo when you are writing? Or perhaps you just want to add a sense of “clever” to your sex/ sexual scenes? Or how about just searching for inspiration? Well, when it comes to sex and writing there is no one better to ask than Shakespeare. Seriously, he’s not the old boring dude English class can sometimes make him out to be – in fact most of his plays are riddled with sex. He once wrote an entire sonnet about having a boner.
Now, I know looking through all his plays and sonnets can seem daunting (I have been in love with his writings for almost 10 years now and I haven’t gotten through all the plays yet), and finding the sex in there can be a challenge too. Therefore, for your convenience, here’s a list of some of his best sex lines and a few tips and tricks to how you can write your own brilliant lines. If you enjoy this article check out my other one about Shakespeare insults on my own blog [https://storytellingcarina.com/2020/01/03/how-to-write-insults-like-shakespeare-five-step-guide/]
1: a single word
One word can carry a lot of meaning, something which Shakespeare knew and took advantage of. For example “Cunt” (= vagina).
Yes, in both these examples the word “cunt” is hidden within the line, and it is in the performance they were made clear. (“Her CUnTs, and that is how she Pees”, and “COUNTry matters”). I include these examples here because the “subtlety hidden” innuendo adds both a sense of clever and removes some of the vulgarity.
2: Metaphors and misunderstandings
Okay, the first one is pretty vulgar in and of its own, he is literally syaing he is tonguing her ass. This gets really fun though, if you take the context into account.
Petruchio: Come, come, you wasp. I’ faith, you are too angry.
Katherine: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
Petruchio: My remedy is then to pluck it out.
Katherine: Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies.
Petruchio: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
Katherine: In his tongue.
Petruchio: Whose tongue?
Katherine: Your’s, if you talk of tales. And so farewell.
Petruchio: What, with my tongue in your tail? Nay, come again, Good Kate. I am a gentleman.
The Taming of the Shrew, Act II scene I
So here Petruchio begins the analogy of wasps, and Katherine turns it around to to fit her needs, and then Petruchio turns it around again – and with each change of speaker the meaning changes.
What starts out as an insult is turned into a defense and then in the end a sex joke, which means that while the joke is on Katherine she was an accomplish in the making of it.
If this does not prove that sexual references cannot have both wit and personality, and be made all the greater for it, then I give up.
The second image is the opposite, in this instance it is a lack of wit that become the ridicule of the speaker.
Falstaff: Why, an otter.
Prince Henry: An otter, Sir John. Why an otter?
Falstaff: Why, she is neither fish nor flesh; a man knows not where to have her.
Mistress Quickly: Thou art an unjust man in saying so. Thou or any man knows where to have me, thou knave, thou.
Henry IV part I, Act III scene III
Falstaff and Mistress Quickly are calling each other out in front of the prince, and so Falstaff calls her an otter, saying that a man knows not where to have her, and she, perceiving the insult though not understanding it fully, replies that any man would know how to have her (=any man could locate her vagina – and possibly that it has been put to the test).
3: Double meaning in that
“To die” pretty means to come, which makes this seemingly deep and romantic (boarderline cheesy) decleration a little funnier and lends a whole new meaning to the scene.
Modern language has a ton of these words too, it’s just about finding them and using them. The beauty here is that the context makes sense both sexually and romantically – leaving both types of audiences satisfied, and (depending on how you use it) making it a little internal joke for the less represented audience. It is kind of a “how dirty is your mind” type game. If you like it romantic and heartfelt, you can have that, if you like it dirty and playful you can have that too. Like those dural images where you can see either-or.
4: Clear though unspecific
Descriptions that are too specific can sometimes seem a little clinical, which is where metaphors come in good use. “Graze on my lips” makes the images flow, makes the heart beat faster, makes the skin tingle, none of which “kiss my lips” do – or even once “put your lips against mine” (unless you are aiming for humor, then go for it).
By this I mean both using nature metaphors when describing sex, but also talking about sex as a natural part of life.
Even a mother can still desire sex (even if that is incredibly awkward for the fully grown child), of whether it is having a boner. Shakespeare doesn’t try to hide these things away and paint the world in only romance, he allows the physical its place too, even if its place is sometimes cleverly disguised within a cleverly constructed sentence in a romance.
And that is it, five steps to writing sexual lines like Shakespeare did. If you are interested in more like this check out my post on my own blog about Shakespeare insults [https://storytellingcarina.com/2020/01/03/how-to-write-insults-like-shakespeare-five-step-guide/ ].
Honestly, such a nice post! Visit her on https://storytellingcarina.com