Sex in writing… makes me think of Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” when he re-discovers his text adventure games. He said something along the lines of “it uses the most powerful graphics chip ever made: the human imagination.”
That’s how I feel whenever I read a sex scene in writing. Actually it’s like that with all writing, but it’s somehow different with sex scenes. Writing them is also somehow different from writing other R18 scenes, be they murder scenes or scenes with foul language.
Sex isn’t something we should be ashamed of. It’s one of our core functions as human beings. Keep that population up. But it’s more than that. Most swear words out there are based in or around it, Fuck, Dick, Cunt, Motherfucker, Asshole (for some anyway)… you get the idea.
Yet despite this, most people get nervous when speaking about it. Some books that I have read use descriptions of genitalia that actually just show how uncomfortable the writer was with the scene, and this makes the whole thing seem awkward somehow.
Admittedly talking about it makes me blush a bit at times, but I haven’t really ever struggled with talking about it. Sometimes I take things a bit too far… but rather that than feel that it is something to be ashamed of. Please don’t mistake this for being rude or crass about it. I just feel comfortable (mostly) talking about it.
I’ve practiced writing a few sex scenes, during my morning pages, for the 12 weeks of “The Artist’s Way“. Some of them were just downright dirty, dirty enough to go into Playboy or Hustler actually, and others were actually pretty decent. I had a few in my NaNoWriMo novel last year as well. Nothing more than a few pages, but it was a lot of building up to the act.
One thing that I feel pretty strong about is that sex, even more so when writing about it is that it is more than just the act itself. It’s the building up of the tension between the two lovers, the little moments that make you wanna scream out “Fuck me now!”, the teasing, the… you get the point. If all you’re gonna do is describe the actual scene, you’ve got it all wrong and shouldn’t even bother. You have to get inside their heads. The reader needs to be the character and feel what they are feeling for it to be an effective scene.
I can’t recall which book it was, but about a hundred pages in, the author had written three sex scenes that just described the room and talked about penetrating rods and such nonsense, without actually making it seem erotic at all. It’s like the partner that just lies there, it just doesn’t work.
In my epic novel series, mentioned in the previous Katalina Challenge, I intend to have some pretty mindblowing sex scenes; to go along with the massacres of humans, zombies, aliens, cyborgs and many other strange and wonderful scenes. Until then, practice makes perfect 🙂
If you aren’t sure how to proceed with a sex scene, Google it, Google is your friend. There are plenty of guides out there.
- The Katalina Blog Challenge #6: My Writing Self (myconflictedself.wordpress.com)
- Michael Fassbender Talks “Awkward” Sex Scenes and Not Wanting to Get a “Free Feel” (popsugar.com)
- Script Tease (musingbymoonlight.com)
- I shoot a sex scene, and a hetero man invades my queer life. (bisexperiment.wordpress.com)