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First of all, cool your jets.
This blog isn’t going porno at least until I can set it up so I can accept credit cards, lose weight and do some ab work.
This is about writing sex scenes in non-erotic fiction.
BTW, have you read the stuff called “erotic romance”. These books are found in Barnes and Noble in the romance section and they have covers that are a tad more suggestive than the usual romance covers.
Inside they read like a Penthouse letter. (I would know this only from what I’ve read in clinical journals and trade magazines about pornography, having never opened a magazine of that ilk.)
I guess because they are marketed to women they aren’t sealed in plastic and put way high up on the shelf of shame next to the sign that says “STORE IS MONITORED BY SECURITY CAMERAS.”
I’ll leave the discussion of that inequity for another day (and wait for Jen Forbus’s reply.)
Anyway, what about the sex scenes in non-erotic books? Have your read Stuart Woods and seen how happy he gets writing embarrassingly explicit scenes? Apparently Stone Barrington got his nickname for good reason.
Then there’s authors who get so flowery I can’t even tell what the people are doing–which is probably fine. Great authors who can put you right in the middle the action suddenly forget how to write when it comes to the narrative about the beast with two backs.
There’s also the issue of realism. I guess if novels were focused on being real we wouldn’t want to read them. I mean we read to take us away from our boring drudgery. At the same time I get a little annoyed at sex partners who can do it 26 times in one evening, standing up, swinging from a trapeze and in a scuba suit. Twenty-six times? Really? That’s like twice what I can do! (I can write this because my wife never reads my blog.)
So what makes for a good bumpin’ uglies scene? Here’s what I think:
1. It shouldn’t be graphic but it shouldn’t be so obtuse you can’t tell what the hell is happening.
2. It helps if the people are ah…how do I say this.. built realistically.
3. Chill out with the extent of the bliss the two parties experience.
4. Don’t go crazy with the lovey-dovey stuff or the over-the-top gritty porn-like stuff.
5. Throw in some anxiety, apprehension and insecurity because I’ve read some people (though certainly not successful authors of dog-related mysteries) some times experience these emotions.
6. Make sure it has at least something tangentially related to the story line. Don’t throw in a sex scene every 112 pages to keep the reader’s attention.