Inviting innuendo

Teasing is fun, it can be light and friendly or mean. No matter what, it should be a part of a story at some point. At least in my opinion, why? Because people tease, they joke and they banter. It is in human nature to want to laugh or improve our environment by introducing joviality.

Fun and light friendly banter is a great way to knit relationships together a bit more but what about flirtatious teasing? Or even sexually charged banter? Between strangers it can be challenging or come across as “tacky pick-ups” or between two pre-sexual relationship it can make for some fun chemistry and tension building. For a sexual couple it can spark a lot more than just a giggle when teasing becomes innuendo.

Anne looked up from the menu at the nurse who swept her off the very feet he helped her on to when she sprained her ankle. Since then, Tony had pursued her like a man plucked out of a historical romance novel.

“How was your day?” Anne set the menu down carefully.

“Pure hell until about ten minutes ago.” Tony looked at her through his extraordinary dark lashes from across the small intimate table setting. “And yours?”

“Oh.” She licked her lips and straightened the fork and knife on the napkin. “Boring and predictable as always.”

“Maybe we can change that.”

She stopped fidgeting and looked at his lips then finally his steel-blue eyes. “It would have to be something very out of the ordinary.”

“I can be unconventional Anne.”

“I bet.” Anne tucked a strand of auburn hair behind her ear. “But it would take a lot to shake my day up.”

“Hmm.” Tony eyed her flushed cheeks as he sipped his water.

….

Valery sighed heavily, plopping her chin in her hand and resting her elbow on the table. He hunger was sated, but not her appetite.

Jackson glanced at her pretty pouty face as she drummed her manicured fingers on her lips. “What’s eating you Val?”

“Nothing.” She smiled through her fingers. “Or rather no one.”

“Naughty woman.”

“I can be.” She giggled and stood to put the plates in the sink.

“You make it too easy.” Jackson got up and stopped in the doorway to the hall.

“I can play hard to get.” Valery’s sultry smile made him chuckle low in his throat.

“So can I.” He looked down then back up as she followed his gaze, her mouth opened as her tongue darted out to wet her lips.

It is easy to make conversation stiff and boring, so I steam it up with some heated banter. From simple flirting to outright suggestion getting the right chemistry is key. Finding the right balance is key, too much and someones going to come across as slutty or creepy. Too little and it might be missed. I make sure I know the characters and work within their parameters.

My advice about innuendo.
Find a good balance and don’t overdo it. Oh and it doesn’t have to lead to sex, they could be interrupted by drama or danger or it could be just plain old-fashioned flirting.

-Sheryl

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She’s a person not a cake

One thing that I learned that makes all the difference, is to make my characters real through details instead of the long dry head to toe description. People are going to imagine them their own way anyway so describing every single aspect is tedious and unnecessary. A girl who twirls her hair or a man who cracks his knuckles will be more memorable.

Cal is an attractive successful man, he sees two women at a bar, both pretty, one flirtatious and the other awkward. I want to show that Cal knows about style and quality. At this point Cal has already been introduced so there is no need to mention his appearance. BTW he is well dressed, tall and handsome. Typical for this type of interlude.

For example:

Cal watched the two attractive fit women at the bar. They were young pretty and an odd couple. The brunette had a bob cut and dark blue eyes. She wore too much dark eye makeup and ruby-red lipstick. She had a firm athletic body. Her long legs below her hiked up black Saint Laurent miniskirt, exposed her red lace underwear when she moved.

The other, the Blonde, wore sensible Dolce & Gabbana outfit and applied minimal makeup. Her tight pink shirt and casual black flair skirt fit her like a glove and she tugged at them awkwardly. She had pretty brown eyes and a small nose. Slim long legs and soft features. By far prettier than the brunette friend. She was dragged out tonight, the awkward smart friend too work driven to have fun.

The friend isn’t the only awkward thing there. Everyone knows what a woman looks like and if he’s interested there is a good chance they are attractive. Let me try that again.

Cal leaned casually on the wall as he watched the odd couple at the bar. The brunette looked over at him with dark blue eyes. The corner of her ruby-red lips curled as she tongued the straw in her drink and brushed the bottom of her short bob cut with her fingers. Too easy, with her black Saint Laurent miniskirt hiked up, proving her lace panties matched the over-applied lipstick. She was on the hunt.

Her modest friend however, the long-haired blonde in Dolce & Gabbana, would be worth the challenge. Again, she tugged on her tight pink shirt then adjusted her flared black skirt drawing attention to her strong legs. She frowned at her friend, following her gaze over to Cal. Her pretty brown eyes met his briefly before dropping to the drink in her hand. She was dragged out tonight, the overworked over achievers were bound to have something interesting to say and Cal was tired of boring easy women.

That may not be perfect, but it’s a lot better than the list of features before it. Believe it or not I recently read a book that did just that. The story stopped dead in its tracks for a paragraph checklist description of someone’s appearance. I try to avoid doing that.

My advice about describing physical features.
Try to work it into the scene instead of brow beating the reader with a dried up awkward list of ingredients. She’s a person not a cake.

 -Sheryl

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