The first round of Smut Marathon has been played and juried, and the results have been announced! What a fantastic start! I love finding out the results…seeing if I know any of the writers I’ve so carefully voted for. This round, I only recognized to of the names on my jury list. Below are the pieces (in order from first to last) that I voted for. To read all of the pieces, head HERE.


80) HUMIDITY – Mr. Ruby

Their entry mixed smoke from the dance floor with the hallway light, illuminating a steaming mass of beating, breathing, bodies in the orgy room.

78) THE WHIP – Dioscurus

Naked as a new-born I stand, eyes bound, anticipation and anxiety in equal measure, waiting for the kiss of that well-worn whip.

102) SULTRY CONFINEMENT – Jenby

As she crouched on the scant cushions, seeking respite from the cold, the cage clicked closed, and she prayed it would be a short sentence.

34) FANTASIES – Stella Kiink

He stood in the open doorway, wordless, eyes wide with wonder, watching his wife fuck the man at the centre of his own forbidden fantasies.

88) AURAL SEX – Tits McFadden

His tongue shimmies around my ear, sending a whispered shiver through my thighs, ending in sizzling surrender at his insistence: Scream for me.

15) SUMMER SEDUCTION – Stephanie Scissom

Sultry, coconut-scented skin prickles as he strokes between shaking thighs, then tugs her swimsuit top aside with his teeth and sucks her until she shatters.

105) LUNCH BREAK – Kristine Lynn

Martin’s hands wrapped tight around her wrists, warmth flooding her fleshy folds as the tip of his tongue teased, tempted, tore her open.

60) SPUNKY SPREE – Carolyna Luna

Katerina’s coquettish curtsy was her very own poetic punctuation to the resplendent recollection of having conquered such a cacophony of cocks in one evening.

56) LIP SERVICE – Bella Spelunked

Pedro sways above me, sweet cock easing past my pursed lips; I grasp his shaft and suck greedily, eager to swallow his salty release.


My Feedback

(I reference pieces by number, without title or author. If you’d like to see the pieces, please visit THIS SITE.)

As a poet, I do love a bit of well-placed and powerful alliteration. But when overused or poorly done, it can ruin a piece of writing. Too much alliteration, and you run the risk of creating a tongue twister, which is jarring and can feel out of place to a reader, unless it is purposefully crafted for humor (5, 12, and 60 are good examples of this). It also has a habit of turning a sentence into purple prose – overly sentimental…reminiscent of early bodice-rippers (#75 and #40). If you can say it with fewer words, you usually should. And if you can say it in plainer terms, that’s usually the way to go.

I’m not saying we should strip it down to nothing, but making our language ornate without purpose takes away from the image and from the story. It draws the reader away from the content and drowns them in the language for language’s sake. There are times when this is necessary, but for most writers, especially of fiction, this is a craft mistake to avoid at all costs.

That said, this assignment asked writers to “write one sentence including alliteration.” Some people took this as an unspoken challenge to create a tongue twister. And I’ll be honest, anyone who did that was instantly stricken from my list of potential choices (i.e. 20, 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 50, 54, 81, 83, 84, 92, 94, 95, 96…to name a few). Alliteration is a tool, and it shouldn’t be abused as such. Tongue twisters do just that — take a tool and use it to stab the sentence to death, draining it of meaning and drawing the reader’s attention to the blood left behind rather than the image or story being crafted (if there was a story there at all.)

Also…I realize it is only a sentence…but it is possible to plant the seeds of a story, stand out as unique among the plain roses, and employ a literary device successfully. These writers did just that:

#34 “Fantasies” – The alliteration isn’t so overplayed that it draws my attention away from the action, which intrigued me…his wife fucking his own fantasy man. This one made me want to know more, and that is successful writing. The alliteration just makes the writing tighter (wordless, wide, wonder, watching, fuck, forbidden, fantasies). Also, this writer didn’t sound like they’d opened the thesaurus and tried on a multitude of new vocabulary words. None of them jarred or seemed ill-used or out of place.

#80 “Humidity” – Another sentence that creates a complete and erotic image. Every word is necessary and tight. Nothing seems overused or out of place. It makes me want more, and that is the goal of good sex writing: make the reader want. Great title, too.

Other sentences had grammatical or word choice issues that left me confused or disconcerted. I try not to be the grammar police with these things, but when it comes down to a choice between two equally good pieces of writing, grammar can become the deciding factor. Also, when you’ve only got ONE sentence to show your best effort, every single word and punctuation mark counts. Numbers 1, 6, 7, and 13 are not complete sentences. Number 10 is a run-on sentence (comma splice to be specific).

I liked #3 – but the word “mostly” jarred. If that had been left out, I think this one would have worked for me, because even though “onomatopoeic” could be a little over the top, it actually fit the scene quite nicely, and I appreciate a stretched vocabulary, when not overdone.

#5 is a tongue-twister…but it’s funny enough, I can almost overlook that or accept it as necessary to creating the humor….same thing for #12.

I also liked #8 as a sentence and image, but I don’t think just plugging in the word “orgasm” makes this erotic. Also, there needs to be a comma before “too.”

#9: How do you betroth a bond?

#15: Nicely done. It’s a good sentence with very carefully chosen words. Hot, too. The alliteration doesn’t slap me in the face.

#16: This also reads as a poem: sighed, thigh, inside, aside. But neither the rhymes or alliteration are especially “in your face.”

#17: I do love a correctly-used semicolon…and the added internal rhyme of thighs/sighs.

#18: Shouldn’t it be “standing”?

#19: Tries too hard with the rhyming, focusing more on that than the alliteration of front sounds. Maybe this writer confused consonance with alliteration?

#21: I’m intrigued by this one. It’s a nice image/story seed, but maybe too little alliteration to meet the demands of the assignment? (rod/rain/roof, sounds/sex) I don’t know…I’m torn.

#22: Pick one tool…alliteration OR rhyme. Too much is happening with the language, and I have to wade through them to get to the image. That’s too much work for one sentence.

#28: I’m not sure what’s happening here. What is the indolent weight?

#36: But is hunger really hunted? Don’t you hunt with hunger or because of hunger? Shouldn’t it just be “unspoken hunger”?

#56: Nice image. I like the title.

#61: Almost too much alliteration…but I like some of the words enough to overlook it. I like the image of flexed fingers feathering…but is it really “curious” that they find their way to her folds? I think not.

#65: Shouldn’t it be “swell”? And how does a sex swell with song?

#68: I like the idea of a chemise “sighing.” If it weren’t for that word…this one would have been relegated to the “unmemorable” pile, because, ultimately, a girl’s robe falling off isn’t unique enough to stand out among so many other pieces of writing.

#69: “Got” is a jarring word.

#71: “To” should be “for.”

#72: What did the baron believe boorish? The bauble or his own staring? I’m confused by the structure of this sentence.

#73: How do you forfeit your fate? Is that even possible?

#76: Edging toward purple prose.

#78: A tight image…cracks as crisply as that “well-worn whip.”

#82: This one tries hard to create a story, but I’m not sure it quite works. And shouldn’t it be “instrumental in” instead of “instrumental for”? There is something off in the construction of this sentence.

#85: This doesn’t make sense. How is an ass apparent? And “reveals” is not the right word here.

#87: What? A “blessing of suck and fuck”? Um…no.

#88: The alliteration may have been too much here, but for that ending! It pulled me out of it and focused me on the dialogue, rather than the literary device.

#89: How can you smell your character?

#93: “Freak out” is a jarring term.

#97: The last word pushes it too far. If you’d left it off, I think this one would have worked for me. It would have been a stronger finish to a decent image.

#100: This is consonance, not alliteration.

#102: Very nice. The alliteration forced me to slow down at just the right point…the cage clicked closed… That is the point of utilizing a device like alliteration — to focus a reader’s attention to a specific thing and to add emphasis. You have employed the device perfectly! I don’t love the title, though. Is this really a “passionate” consequence? I’m not sure it’s the right word choice, but I could be wrong.

#103: What is even going on here?

#105: Very hot! And I don’t think you’ve over-indulged on alliteration here…it builds momentum toward that final word – “tore.” It adds emphasis right where you want it.

#106: Who has the heightened awareness? It isn’t clear.

#108: Who’s breath?

And others just didn’t stand out as being particularly memorable, good or bad (2, 4, 11, 14, 23, 24, 30, 31, 38, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 70, 74, 77, 86, 90, 91, 98, 99, 101, 104, 107, 109). It’s hard to do when there are over a hundred writers, but it’s imperative for survival in a challenge of this sort.

This was a tough decision. And as you can see from my comments, it took hours for me to whittle it down to my top choices. I applaud everyone’s efforts! This first assignment is a perfect introduction of what’s to come for both the writers and the judges! I hope I haven’t come across as too nit-picky or harsh.

I ended up making my final choices from 3, 15, 21, 34, 56, 60, 78, 80, 88, 102, and 105.

I let go of 3. I really wanted to know what the “one whispered word” was and couldn’t, ultimately, get past my dislike of that word “mostly. Also, when two words (in this case a noun and verb) are fused to create an adjective, there needs to be a hyphen between them (“sweat-soaked). These little things begin to matter when it comes down to my final decisions and I have little else to use as a disqualifier.

And I decided that 21 just didn’t have enough alliteration to be a contender, though I really liked the sentence. It was a hard parting.

56, the description of a blow job, was the least original of my final choices, so it floated to the bottom. 60 overdid it a bit with the alliteration, so it also sunk a little (though I do like the idea of a “cacophony of cocks” – that’s quite original!) This one entailed some intense linguistic gymnastics. Maybe too much. But it made me laugh.


No writers are lost during this first round, but they have accumulated points going into the second. I’m excited to see what they do next!

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