Let’s Talk about Sex… Scenes

I came across this post yesterday on Huffington Post and couldn’t help but be filled with glee to know that I’m not the only one who hates writing sex scenes!

There’s sex going on in thurr.

A couple of months back, I told you guys how I was having difficulty with one sex scene in Madness. Although I overcame that hurdle and the second sex scene wasn’t nearly as bad as the first, it’s still hard to tell if either scene was of high quality or not.  Just like the author in the Huffington Post article, the sex scene in question is a bit of a cheat.

Langston is about to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time after being raped. She really wants to but when he goes to get a condom, she starts to worry about how things will turn out. In the middle of the act, Langston has a flashback and starts freaking out. Her boyfriend immediately stops  and assures her that’s it okay. That he can wait until she’s ready to have sex again.

Although the scene is honest and emotional, it’s kind of a cheat because things aren’t fully consummated. The moment Langston starts worrying about how things will be is the moment you know that this whole sex thing isn’t going to happen. And if it does they’re both overly concerned about her boyfriend’s needs and satisfaction above her own. Not grounds for a healthy and loving relationship is it?

As much as we may hate to admit it, sex is a huge part of relationships and who we are as people. It would be dishonest and ignorant to ignore sexuality in real life and in works of literature. Even fictional characters have wants and desires.

The problem is that despite the huge role sex plays in our lives and relationships, it’s weird and awkward to write about. What’s distasteful? How nasty can or should be? Are you allowed to say she sucked his dick and or that he pulled her hair and slapped her ass while they were doing it doggystyle? And what do you call genitalia? Can you say dick or should you treat it like a sex ed book and call it a penis? Are they boobs or breasts?

All writers do it differently. There are some sex scenes that I really enjoyed reading (just open a random page in any Zane book) and some that I didn’t (a random scene I read of 50 Shades of Grey). But I guess as long as we’re actually talking about and trying to stop being so repressed, I guess it’s a good thing.

The thing is, despite how “free thinking” and “modern” people are, some of us are still too shy to serious talk about sex. If you hear sex talk it’s usually either funny or informative. Nowhere in between. It’s like we’re all kids who secretly want to bang our heads against the while listening to our parents give us “the talk.”

I will keep working and getting better at sex scenes because if I’m going to write the types of books I want to (you know, true life stuff for adults) I have to get used to it.

What do you guys think? Leave a comment!


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