As erotica writers, our primary goal is to convey raw emotion and connect with our readers on a deeper level by immersing them in our characters’ innermost desires and vulnerabilities. However, portraying insecurity in our writing can be a difficult task. Insecurity is a complex emotion that can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from shy body language to awkward conversations. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to master describing insecurity in erotic writing to connect with your readers effectively.
Outward signs of insecurity
Body language plays a crucial role in conveying emotions, including insecurity. Insecurity is a complex emotional state whose physical signals can vary from person to person. These signals are often the result of the body’s stress response, as insecurity is closely associated with feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy, and vulnerability. Some common physical signals of insecurity include:
Body language: insecure people avoid direct eye contact or constantly look away when interacting with others.
They may pull their shoulders in, cross their arms, or let their shoulders droop, which can make them appear smaller and less confident.
Nervous movements such as tapping their fingers, shifting weight from one foot to the other, or playing with hair or clothing can also be signs of insecurity.
Facial expression: insecure people often show facial tension, such as a clenched jaw or furrowed brow.
Nervous smile: Their smile may appear forced or insincere, reflecting their discomfort.
Voice and speech patterns: insecure people sometimes speak in a soft or shaky tone. They end sentences with an upward inflection, as if they expect confirmation or approval from others.
Touching the face or neck: Insecurity may lead to frequent touching of the face, neck, or throat area as an unconscious attempt to reassure or soothe oneself.
Sweating: Increased sweating, especially on the palms, forehead, or armpits, may be a physical expression of nervousness combined with insecurity.
Avoidance of social situations: People who feel insecure may try to avoid social situations, preferring solitude or smaller, familiar groups.
Difficulty sustaining conversations: Insecure people often have difficulty maintaining a coherent, fluid conversation, which is often interrupted by nervous pauses or self-criticism.
Excessive apologizing or self-deprecation: being overly apologetic or downplaying one’s accomplishments and qualities can be a sign of insecurity.
Over-grooming or adjusting clothes: Constantly correcting one’s hair, clothes, or accessories can be a sign of insecurity because the person feels he or she must look perfect in order to receive approval.
Excessive self-comparison: constantly comparing yourself to others and seeking validation is a common sign of insecurity.
These signals do not always have to indicate insecurity, as they can also be caused by other factors such as stress, shyness, or introversion. In addition, the extent to which these signals occur can vary greatly from person to person.
Sensations and feelings
Insecurity often goes beyond visible external signs; it also includes a range of internal sensations and feelings. These internal sensations can be very intense and distressing and contribute to a person’s overall feeling of insecurity. Here are some common internal feelings of insecurity:
Doubt: Insecurity often brings with it a persistent feeling of doubt about one’s own abilities, judgments, or decisions. This self-doubt can undermine self-esteem and self-confidence.
Fear and anxiety: Insecurity is often associated with fear and anxiety. People fear judgment, rejection, or failure, and these fears can lead to increased levels of stress and worry.
Self-criticism: Insecure people tend to criticize themselves and engage in negative self-talk. They constantly berate themselves and focus on their perceived faults or shortcomings.
Thinking things through: when feeling insecure, situations, conversations, and interactions are often overanalyzed. Sufferers replay scenarios in their heads, trying to figure out what went wrong or what others think about them.
Hypersensitivity to criticism: Insecure people are often very sensitive to criticism, even constructive feedback. They can take criticism personally and feel deeply affected by it.
Imposter syndrome: Many insecure people suffer from imposter syndrome, in which they feel like a fraud or believe they don’t deserve their accomplishments. They are afraid of being portrayed as inadequate.
Physical Discomfort: Insecurity can manifest as physical discomfort, such as a tight chest, upset stomach, or tension headaches. The body’s stress response may contribute to these sensations.
Isolation: in response to insecurity, people may isolate themselves emotionally or physically. They may withdraw from social situations to avoid potential sources of insecurity.
Inadequacy: Insecurity is often accompanied by feelings of inadequacy. People feel that they are no match for others, no matter how successful or accomplished they are.
Comparison with others: Insecure people often compare themselves to others in unhealthy ways, leading to feelings of envy, jealousy, and low self-worth.
Craving for validation: There is often a strong desire for external validation and reassurance from others to temporarily relieve feelings of insecurity.
Decision-making difficulties: Insecurity can lead to decision-making difficulties as individuals doubt themselves and worry about making the wrong decision.
These internal feelings of insecurity can be difficult to manage and often require self-awareness and personal development to address.
Another way to show insecurity in text is through proxemics, which refers to the personal space between two or more people. A person who feels insecure may tend to stay away from others or seek comfort in physical touch, such as hugging or holding hands. Conversely, others prefer to keep their distance or avoid touch altogether when they feel insecure. Paying attention to these nuances of human behavior can help you realistically portray insecurity in your writing.
Not all characters will show their insecurity in obvious or conventional ways. An outwardly confident character may still feel insecure when it comes to certain desires or experiences, so they express their insecurity in more subtle ways. For example, a dominant character who has never been submissive may feel vulnerable when he discovers this side of himself, resulting in insecurity expressed in how he approaches the situation. Therefore, it is important to consider not only the overall personality of the characters but also how they express their vulnerability in different contexts.
To effectively convey insecurity, it’s important to reveal your character’s thought processes, as this gives the reader a glimpse into their inner conflicts. Through a character’s thought processes, for example, you can convey that she is aware of her perceived flaws or shortcomings, or that she is having a hard time letting go of past experiences that contribute to her insecurity. In this way, readers can connect with the character on a more personal level and find her sympathetic.
Of course, insecurity can elicit a variety of psychological reactions that reflect the cognitive and emotional aspects of this complex emotional state. These mental reactions are interrelated and often contribute to the overall experience of uncertainty. Here are some common mental reactions to insecurity:
Self-doubt: Insecure people often have strong self-doubt. They question their abilities, judgments, and decisions, leading to a lack of self-confidence.
Negative self-talk: Insecurity is often associated with negative self-talk, where individuals engage in critical and self-deprecating inner dialogue. They constantly focus on their perceived faults or shortcomings.
Cognitive distortions: Insecure people tend to engage in cognitive distortions such as all-or-nothing thinking (everything is good or bad), overgeneralization (general negative conclusions drawn from certain events), and catastrophizing (expecting the worst possible outcome).
Perfectionism: Some people respond to their insecurity by developing perfectionistic tendencies. They set impossibly high standards for themselves and are never satisfied with their performance, leading to chronic stress and dissatisfaction.
Brooding: Insecurity often leads to brooding, in which people repeatedly analyze past situations or interactions to figure out what went wrong or what others think of them.
Imposter Syndrome: Many people with insecurity suffer from imposter syndrome, in which they constantly fear being exposed as an imposter, even if they have made significant accomplishments. They believe they do not deserve their successes.
Hypervigilance: in response to their insecurity, people may become hypervigilant in social situations, constantly watching themselves and others for signs of judgment or criticism. This can be mentally exhausting.
Comparisons with others: Insecure people often compare themselves to others in unhealthy ways, leading to feelings of envy, jealousy, and a sense of falling short.
Avoidance behaviors: Insecurity can lead to avoidance behaviors, in which people avoid situations or opportunities that could trigger feelings of inadequacy. This can limit personal and professional growth.
Seeking external validation: People who feel insecure may rely heavily on external validation to bolster their self-esteem. This can be psychologically exhausting and cause them to depend on others for their self-worth.
Decision-making difficulties: Insecurity can interfere with decision-making as individuals question themselves and fear making mistakes or making the wrong decision.
Fear and anxiety: insecurity often generates fear and anxiety, which can lead to chronic worry about potential negative outcomes and social situations.
These mental reactions can create a cycle of self-reinforcing insecurity in which the cognitive and emotional aspects reinforce each other.
Insecurity in erotic literature.
The insecurity of novel characters plays an extremely important role in writing erotic literature, especially in New Adult. It is like a game between desire and fear, between inhibitions and the search for satisfaction. The insecurity of the characters brings an extra tension and intensity to the sexual encounters, and that’s what readers love so much.
When a character is insecure, it can heighten the sexual tension. It’s like a dance between desire and insecurity. The character may wonder if she’s good enough, if she can live up to her partner’s expectations, or if she’s even ready to engage in such intimate moments. This insecurity can lead to a veritable fireworks display of passion as the character overcomes her fears and plunges into the sensual world of erotic pleasure.
In my stories, I use the insecurity of the characters to show their inner conflicts and doubts. It’s about them discovering themselves and crossing their own boundaries. By overcoming their insecurity, they develop not only sexually but also personally.
I describe the insecurity of the characters with a mixture of sensual details and explicit expressions. I want readers to literally feel the insecurity as they immerse themselves in the sexual encounters. It’s about portraying the emotions and sensuality of the characters in a way that makes readers feel as if they are part of the story themselves.
My stories are not just about describing sexual scenes, but also about showing the characters in all their vulnerability and insecurity. That makes the stories authentic and lets readers connect with the characters.
The insecurity of the novel’s characters thus plays a crucial role in the creation of erotic literature, especially in the New Adult genre. It brings an additional tension and intensity to the stories and allows readers to identify with the characters and immerse themselves in their world of erotic pleasure.