As they say, “it’s all about the motion of the ocean”, when it comes to sex, right? All the more reason to consider our verbs when writing those hot and sticky scenes. I often find it’s easy to be mindful of adjectives because so much of smut and erotica is about description, about taking the reader into the heat and intensity of the scene so they can almost feel it themselves and relate on a somatic level. Verbs, though, I have a harder time with. Even this list was a challenge to come up with, and quite frankly, not all the words on here are obscure or irregular but they do have a certain feel to them, whether it’s urgency, movement, fullness, or whatever else, they are action words that will be useful when you’re writing about getting some action.

This week’s words

undulate (verb) – to move with a smooth, wavelike motion

“She straddled his lap and the silk of her little shorts felt cool and soft as her hips undulated against him. It was hypnotic, so much so that he didn’t notice at first that his cock was stiffening against her.”

surge (verb) – a sudden powerful forward or upward movement, also a powerful rush of an emotion or feeling

“Grayson howled and with one primal surge of his pelvis, he filled Caleb’s hungry mouth, his hands still gripping the back of his head.”

pummel (verb) – to strike repeatedly, often, but not always, with a fist

“The club was heavy, made of gnarled maple, carved and polished to a mirror finish. Just looking at it in her hands, Chelsea knew that it was the perfect tool to pummel the leathered backside of her lover.”

gush (verb) – flow out in a rapid and plentiful stream, often suddenly

“The perfect punctures in her throat gushed with warm blood as he brought his lips away from her neck and watched her eyes grow glassy. All through him he could feel his body arousing, cell by cell, his muscles, his mind, his cock, it felt almost like being alive again.”

heave (verb) – to rise and fall rhythmically, to move with great effort

“She knew her body would betray her when he touched her face, she knew her chest would heave and her lip would quiver, and if he touched her thigh or waist, she’d be sopping wet, breathless and ready.”

engulf (verb) – to sweep over something so as to surround or cover it completely, to eat or swallow something whole

“The kiss was tentative at first, but the storm grew between them until both their tongues were jockeying to engulf the other and their lips were raw with desire and playful bite marks.”

saturate (verb) – to cause something to become thoroughly soaked with liquid so that no more can be absorbed

“She licked and suckled at the cotton of Miranda’s panties until the gusset was saturated and she was writhing, mewling desperately and pushing back at Charlotte’s mouth.”

wring (verb) – to squeeze and twist something, to extract all fluid through squeezing and twisting

“He could tell by the way she handled his balls and straining cock that she was going to be merciless. Not only had she promised to first deny him, he was absolutely sure she would wring him dry, spilling every drop of his tortured pleasure onto the cold concrete floor.”

plunge (verb) – to push or thrust quickly

“Over and over she plunged her bare bottom under the water to press against the hot tub’s jets, delighting in the pressure against her yet untouched hole. She pushed back and let the bubbling stream open her, filling her, giving her a fullness she had never known before.”

I hope these give you some inspiration to let verbs do more of the heavy lifting for your adjectives. The potency of an underused verb can bring a new dynamism to your writing and drive narrative away from static descriptions when you need to, allowing you to do more with your doing words.

Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.