Stuck for a Valentine's Day gift? Try writing an erotic poem

If you find yourself scrambling for that perfect romantic gift this Valentine's Day, why not take a crack at some erotic writing?

Windsor, Ont. writer Vanessa Shields offers tips to sensual writing

Erotica writing can be as sensual as you want it to be, explains Windsor writer Vanessa Shields. (CBC)

If you find yourself scrambling for that perfect romantic gift this Valentine's Day, take a crack at some erotic writing.

That's the suggestion of Windsor writer Vanessa Shields who is holding an adults-only workshop Saturday about how to write a sexy poem, letter or story.

"We're going to be thinking about trying to write about pleasure and sensuality," said Shields. "I'm going to be giving people things to write about based on the five senses — so sensuality and senses really will guide the workshop."

The class will learn from early erotic writers, such as the Greek poet Sappho, whose work dates back to 580 BC. Then writers receive prompts and learn how to use descriptive writing based on the five senses.

"One of the senses is touch so I'm going to give them each something to touch," she said. "They don't know what it is — it could be a feather for example or a piece of leather and then just thinking about how it feels in their hands."

Windsor writer Vanessa Shields holds an adults-only workshop to teach how to write erotica. (Kaitie Fraser/CBC)

Shields said these prompts and finding the language to use around them will help writers create some erotic language for their works.

"It can be explicit but for the purpose of our workshop we're not going to be really reaching into those realms," she said. "We're going to be writing using central words and thinking about sensuality more than sex."

On CBC's Windsor Morning, Shields read one of her own poems as an example of erotic writing:


It wasn't the way the black dress fit her full body like a love song

It wasn't the way the red lipstick clung to her plump mouth like a poem

It wasn't the way the silver stilettos embraced her slender feet like a promise


It was the unfinished story in her eyes

The yearning blue dappled with specks of yellow hope

It was the soft sounds of my name creating themselves in her heart

I went to her 

The erotic writing workshop will be held Saturday at Gertrude's Writing Room, located in the Coach House at Willistead Park.