Writing For Sex Markets

Many professional freelancers will go their entire career without ever once writing a story about sex. Oh, they may craft a racy scene or two in the course of writing the next Great American Novel, or they might someday write an article about the latest in sexual research, but that's about as far as many writers will ever take the concept.

Then there are those freelancers who, for a variety of different reasons, have actually chosen to write (and publish) in the sex genre. Societal notions of perversity aside, these writers are of the same ilk as those who write about horses or gardening or education, it's just that their subject matter is often more controversial. Still, the act of writing as a profession is the same no matter what the genre, although sex writing does require more of an open mind and is not, as a rule, for the more prudish among us.

But the basics - a bit of skill, a professional attitude, plenty of perseverance and a whole lot of research - are the same as for any genre.

Sex markets offer great opportunities for writers at all different levels of experience. For the fledgling writer there are many digest magazines that buy a lot of fairly well-written (but rather formulaic) stories. The pay for these pieces is, of course, lower than for other, higher-quality, markets but they do give the beginner a chance to earn money while honing his or her craft.

On the higher end of the scale are markets that demand excellence in plot structure and characterization. These magazines usually pay fairly well and are for writers who are experienced at more advanced techniques like dialogue, subtle humor and deftly nuanced characters.

In addition, the sub-classifications of the genre - letters, articles, stories and personal accounts - offer plenty of wiggle room when it comes to a writer's ability and/or experience. Letters and essays are more of a train-of-thought process, and thus much easier for the beginner to write (and sell) than full-length stories or non-fiction.

This means that in sex markets, as in no other genre, a writer really can earn as she learns, starting at the lower paying markets and working her way up to the higher paying (and higher quality) fiction and non-fiction articles.

But don't make the mistake of thinking that, because the level of "quality" varies, you can be more lax in presentation and attitude when submitting to sex markets. Most of these editors appreciate professionalism just as much as their mainstream counterparts. Writers wanting to break into this market need to make sure that manuscripts are presented professionally and that phone calls (or emails) are returned promptly.

There are, however, some markets that operate in a more "casual" fashion. While this can occasionally work in your favor - a query for an article, for example, can be as simple as a one-sentence email - it can also be frustrating. You'll have to get used to the idea that not all of your submissions, queries and requests for guidelines will be acknowledged. Perseverance, so useful when writing in any genre, is even more of a requirement when writing for sex markets.

Another requirement is an exhaustive knowledge of your market and your audience. Sex markets tend to be even more specialized than mainstream markets; each magazine often targets a very specific personality as well as predilection. What this means is that in order to sell you have to do your research; you'll need to study the magazine cover to cover and yes, that means the pictures, too. (Of course, some sex writers look at that as a perk of their profession rather than a hardship, but that's another story.) It's also imperative to request guidelines when possible because sex markets often are very specific as to style, point of view and word count; it's important that you know exactly what they're looking for before you submit.

Of course, the most important requirement when it comes to sex writing is that you enjoy doing it. It's an excellent choice for those writers who relish a challenge as well as those who enjoy stretching their imagination. Yes, it's a job, as is writing for mainstream markets, and it requires the utmost in professionalism and commitment.

But writing about sex is also a whole lot of fun. Getting paid to do it, well, that's even better.


You are free to reprint this article on your website or in your e-zine, hardcopy newsletter or other publication, provided the following rules are met:

  • Bio and resources must be included and the links activated

  • Only minor corrections or formatting changes are allowed.

  • May only be used for opt-in email, not spam.

  • Courtesy notification is requested.

    About The Author

    Katy Terrega edits a free newsletter for sex writers - http://www.katyterrega.com/newsletter.html - as well as a paid subscriber site for same, Sex-Writer.com - http://www.sex-writer.com. Both feature articles, market listings, reviews, calls for submission and more, all geared toward fledgling as well as professional sex-writers. She is also a successful sex writer and her credits include Gallery, Swank, Playgirl, Penthouse Forum and many others.


  • 12 Copywriting Tips to Make Your Advertising More Profitable

    Year after year people make the same mistakes in direct-response copy and advertising. You can... Read More

    Want a Sticky Site That Sells? Forget Content!

    An interesting debate is currently raging among copywriters, web designers and content developers about the... Read More

    Copywriting Goldmine: One of 20 Insider Secrets to Great Copywriting

    Each weekday during my Red Hot Copywriting Bootcamp, attendees (or recruits) get a daily drill... Read More

    Freelance Copywriters on the Internet: How to Tell the Difference Between Heaven-sent and Hack

    If you're hunting for a good freelance copywriter and have never done it before, or... Read More

    Its Time To Start That Swipe File

    Just as great fiction is an art, so is great copywriting. Beneath the art, however,... Read More

    Copywriting for the Web: Do You Have What It Takes?

    In the world of web copywriters, many will try, but few will succeed. What category... Read More

    A Free Lesson On How To Easily Write Ads That Are Guaranteed To Make You Money

    COPYWRITINGAfter determining what we are going to sell, the next task is to effectively convey... Read More

    10 Things You Should Expect From Your IT Copywriter

    Anyone who's ever tried marketing IT products or services knows that it's... Read More

    3 Keys to Better Online Copywriting

    Doing the copywriting for your own website without the proper knowledge and tools is pretty... Read More

    Freelance Technical Writers - How Much Are You Worth?

    Where can you find out about freelance technical writing pay? Is there a place where... Read More

    Making a Living as a Copywriter; Freelancing Versus Agency

    So You Want To be A Copywriter?Wannabe copywriters often check out my site for information... Read More

    Sowing the Seeds of Opportunity: How to Multiply Your Freelance (Writing) Work

    You can turn your $200 fee to write a press release into $2,000 to carry... Read More

    Hooks, Lines & Sinkers

    Hands up if the title to this article made you think that you'd strayed into... Read More

    3 Ways to Increase Conversion Rates

    In a previous article I talked about a few similarities between writing direct mail packages... Read More

    Be That Copywriter Everyone Wants to Work With

    So many copywriters think that it's enough to be a stellar writer and grammatical genius.... Read More

    How To Write Headlines That Grab Your Prospects Attention

    It doesn't matter if you're writing an article, a newspaper or magazine ad, a web... Read More

    How Not to Write a Press Release

    Several years ago, when I was working for an agency, I was fired from an... Read More

    Writing for People and Search Engines

    Writing for the search engines is much different than writing in any other medium. Search... Read More

    Custom Writing Services: Market Overview

    Market identification Custom writing services market is a sector of the e-commerce industry. Custom writing... Read More

    How To Get Started With A Career In Copywriting

    Careers in copywriting are booming. Could it be that the new and ever growing market... Read More

    How to Build Benefits from Features Fast and Easy with the Solution Approach

    Every salesperson and fledgling copywriter hears the harangue: DON'T SELL the FEATURES of a product... Read More

    Keeping It Real: The Only Copywriting Trick That Works

    Much of today's accepted copywriting wisdom comes from old books written for... Read More

    On Copying and Stealing Designs

    The notion on the great artist, Pablo Picasso's quote, "Bad artists copy. Good artists steal"... Read More

    Writing Great Website Sales Copy

    Many small businesses fail because their owners don't pay enough attention to marketing and... Read More

    Common Mistakes That Can Kill Your Web Copy

    Sometimes learning what not to do is as important as learning what to do. Copywriting... Read More

    Cause and Effect

    "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Ralph Waldo EmersonWhat... Read More

    How to Write for a Paper or Magazine

    l. Introduce yourself to the editor of your local newspaper. (Or, if you do business... Read More

    The Power of Saying You Can

    If you have children, you will doubtless remember saying to them, "You can do it."It's... Read More

    9 Tips for Great Design of Your Marketing Materials

    1) Don't just hire a good designer. Hire someone who has had plenty of experience... Read More

    Grammatical Mistakes DONT Sell

    When you receive a sales letter with typos or grammar mistakes in it, do you... Read More

    Working on the Internet: Role of Proofreading and Copy editing OnLine

    When one is in a creative state, rarely can one also be in a detail... Read More

    Copywriting Tricks: Nailing the Voice

    Professional copywriters are well-familiar with what's commonly referred to as "the voice." What is this... Read More

    Copywriting: Drafting Rules for Professionals

    As a professional contractor who wears many hats, you owe it to yourself and your... Read More

    Be Contagious... Spread The Word!

    "Melissa" invaded our computers in late 1999, then "I Love You" in 2000. A year... Read More

    Writing Tips for Your Website

    Now that your website is up and running, it's time to add content. Fresh content... Read More

    Dont Forget The Copywriting

    Copywriting And Content CreationOne of the most important, but often overlooked aspects of marketing... Read More

    Why Copywriting Is The Secret To Your Online Success

    Over the last decade, the number of companies selling their products and services on the... Read More

    Business Writing: When Not To Be Professional

    It's time to write your next ad or brochure. Maybe some web content. You've done... Read More

    5 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Copy

    1. Isolation technique It doesn't matter how good your copy is if they don't... Read More

    Advice for Copywriters: How to Win the Freelance Bidding War

    Are you a freelance copywriter working from home? If so, you've probably been on the... Read More

    3 Steps To Better Sales Copywriting

    Whether you're wet-behind-the-ears or a seasoned copywriter, your craft will benefit by remembering one thing:You're... Read More

    8 Reasons to Outsource Your Copywriting

    Thinking of hiring a staff writer? Think again. Below, I will give you eight geat... Read More

    Why Is FREE The Most Powerful Marketing Word You Can Use?

    As the famous cowboy Will Rogers once said, "Even if you're on the right track,... Read More

    Step One for Copywriters: Understand WHAT to Say

    Find a passage of poorly written copy, and chances are you will have found a... Read More

    Give Me $1 And Ill Have A Powerful Marketing Weapon

    One of my most powerful marketing weapons costs me less than $1. I buy... Read More

    How To Test The Body Of Your Sales Copy For Weaknesses

    Your sales copy is the life source of your business. If your sales copy isn't... Read More

    How Ghost Writing Articles And Booklets Can Earn You Big Money!

    Do you want to make $5000, $10,000 or more every month as a freelancer? Does... Read More

    Three Tips For Magnetizing Your Copy

    The difference between good copy and great copy is the number of actions it generates.... Read More

    Better Copy: The Interview is the Key

    Most of us spend our days persuading others to buy our service, product or idea.... Read More

    Impulse Writing for Better Ad Headings

    Writing headlines for your ads is the most important part of your online presence.When posting... Read More