What Is Soft Core Erotica

by silverhawk

You may have noticed there is a new category of story on iccustom-capital.ru named “soft core”. What is “soft core”, how did it originate, and why is it a category on an erotic story site?

We all understand what “soft core porn” is. Those are the movies on cable television late at night where you see breasts and butts, but few, if any, views of the “naughty bits”. They’re the movies where you know the people are having sex, but because of careful positioning of camera angles, clothing, and other parts of the set, you don’t actually see any intimate contact.

In some cases the effort to avoid an “X” rating can be almost comical. It’s probably possible for a couple to have sex while the girl is wearing granny panties and the guy is wearing jockey shorts, but it would be a real challenge and probably not as pleasant as all the grunts, groans, moans, and panting would indicate.

Soft core photography is what made up the photographic content of the so-called “men’s magazines” in publication from after World War Two up until the 1970’s. There were many such magazines, most of which are now just memories. “Adam”, “Argosy”, and “Stag” are a few I remember. They featured pictures of women who were mostly dressed and any skin was revealed by “accidental clothing malfunctions” such as a sweater with a neckline that gaped open if the woman bent over, or a shot taken from overhead and looking down her blouse.

In the early days it was rare to see all of even one breast or nipple. As the years progressed, much of the photography did show breasts and nipples, but never, ever, were genitals revealed. Such photography was referred to in those days as “cheesecake” or “pinup art”. It was also featured on the calendars distributed by tool and equipment companies before women burned their bras in protest.

That changed when Playboy fired the first shot of the “Pubic Wars” between Playboy and Penthouse with Miss July of 1968 by showing a glimpse of her pubic hair. The competition continued with both magazines showing slightly more and then even more pubic hair in their centerfolds until Playboy published the first full-frontal nude picture for the centerfold of Miss January, 1972. Even that picture would be considered soft core today since she has her thighs partially overlapped and the only thing really visible is the dark triangle of her pubic hair.

The Pubic Wars basically ended when Hustler magazine launched in 1974 and published pictures of female genitals in explicit detail, often with models sans pubic hair. In order to compete, Playboy and Penthouse initially followed with what some would argue a more tasteful approach, but “hard core” photography was now the norm and the soft-core magazine was dead. Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler were soon competing with a host of other magazines that displayed female genitalia up close and in minute detail. Playboy opted to retain much of the original intent and concentrated more on the beauty of women rather than explicit detail. Penthouse and the others followed the path blazed by Hustler.

Along with the soft core photographs in men’s magazines until they went extinct were fictional short stories, some written by fairly well-known authors. Those stories were of several genres – adventure, war, and crime were popular – and all involved sex. The main character of the story, usually a manly man, managed to find the girl in the story, usually well endowed and wearing clothing that highlighted that endowment, in the midst of fighting off wild animals or surviving some other catastrophe. In most, the guy saves the girl from some similar fate and they end up having sex. The sex wasn’t described in explicit detail. The words used to describe the act were “soft”, like these examples.

He entered her gently when she was ready to accept him.

Her softness enveloped him and caused him to gasp.

She clawed at his shirt and breathlessly whispered, “I need you”.

Even when magazines began publishing full nudity, most of the fiction that accompanied those photographs was still relatively soft core.

Those magazines may have been consigned to the paper shredder of journalism, but soft core erotica lives on in the romance novel. Publishers of romance novels figured out long ago that many, if not most, women like reading about sex more than viewing it, and encouraged their writers to include sex in their plots. The covers of romance novels typically feature artwork that is reminiscent of that of the now-defunct men’s magazines. The beautiful heroine will be pictured with partially bared breasts and in the arms of a very strong and handsome man. It is easy to tell by their facial expressions what they intend upon doing.

The publishers also know their readers pretty well and are fairly selective in what they will and will not publish. A lot of women don’t want to read the guy had a ten inch cock that he rammed into the girls pussy because she was screaming “Fuck me hard and fuck me fast”, or that she sucked his cock and swallowed every drop when he came in her mouth. They’d rather read words like these.

She felt the forceful thrust of his masculinity opening her for both their pleasures. Her body craved that, to be taken and taken as only he could take her, quickly and roughly.

His essence filled her mouth as he groaned. Her desire to take in all his essence seemed insatiable, and she didn’t stop until he gasped and gently pushed her away.

Soft core erotica uses words and sentences that may seem to dance around the actions of the characters without actually describing those actions, but that’s the point. Not describing in great detail is more erotic to some readers than relating the dimensions of every body part and the minute description of what is taking place. The reason is the reader can fill in the details as he or she imagines them.

It’s sort of like what happens when an art teacher asks students to paint a tree. Each student knows what a tree looks like, but when they put the brush to the canvas, each tree will be different. Some will paint leafy oaks, some tall pines, and some will paint fruit trees. What the students paint all depends upon their varied experiences and what they like.

Get out the Thesaurus and give writing soft core erotica a try. It’s more difficult than you might imagine to keep it from going from erotic to comic, but it can be fun to dream up euphemisms and oblique wording to describe what’s going on in your scene. It’s also rewarding to know you’ve given the reader a sketch they can finish painting with as much detail and in as many colors as they wish. You’ll probably be surprised at how many readers enjoy painting that sketch themselves.


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