Writing a Sex Scene to Remember

I’m sure it’s a huge surprise to all of you, my dearest readers, but I write romance novels. 

I know, usually on here I’m talking about a television show or #BenedictCumberbatch ‘s thighs, but today I decided to be different and actually talk about my process.  This came to mind earlier in the week when I was trying to write a sex scene and failing miserably.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write it, I just felt like I was retreading the same soil over and over.  I mean, how many times can you write “put tab A into slot B”?  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  In case you didn’t know– this is a SERIOUS handicap for an author of erotic romance. 

So how can you make your sex scenes properly smoldering?  I’ve compiled a short list—

1.  The sex must be essential to moving the plot forward.  The difference between a romance novel and any other sort of book is that the center of the plot hinges on the relationship between your protagonists.  External factors must contribute to the growth of their relationship.  Sex is one of those external factors.  Think about it this way– compare Titanic with Debbie Does Dallas.  In Titanic, when Jack and Rose are gettin’ busy in the car, it’s sealing their relationship and essentially setting us all up for a good cry when Jack dies at the end (sorry… spoilers for all you people that have been living under a rock for the last 15 years).  That relationship changes Rose’s life by giving her the strength to follow her dreams.  In Debbie Does Dallas, there is no relationship.  The main characters’ impetus for having sex is well… to drive them toward the next sex scene.  Remember, if you want to write a memorable sex scene, go for Titanic, not Debbie Does Dallas.  There has to be something at stake.

2.  Vocabulary.  In my sex scenes, I tend to have a lot of inner dialogue from my POV character.  It’s not all about describing the act itself, though that’s part of it.  Taking a cue from Anais Nin, I always find that using decadent language sparingly adds some heat without having to say a lot.  No purple prose, mind you, but words and phrases that tumble from the tongue.  I always have the gravelly baritone of my muse reading aloud in my ear as I write.  If it doesn’t sound good to my ear, I rephrase. 

3.  Coarse language should be used sparingly.  Consider the mood you’re wanting to project.  You want your readers to be titillated, enticed and wishing that they were the characters in the story having this magnificent experience.  At no time have I ever wanted my lover to say “show me your dripping wet love hole.”  Eeeewwwww…. Sex and love is beautiful, not gross.  No gaping maws of love or meat daggers, please. 

4.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that erotica is the same thing as pornography.  They can have the same affect, but they are NOT the same thing.  So here’s the Jeff Foxworthy portion of the blog post. Presenting: You might be pornography…

*  If “butt blasting” is in the title of your story, you might be pornography.

* If your characters’ names are Daddy, Mom, or First Cousin, you might be pornography.

*  If your book has a woman in a leash sucking a riding crop on the cover, you might be pornography.

*  If your heroine is pursued, captured and ravaged by a dinosaur, you might be pornography.

Just some food for thought, kids!  Happy writing!

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We’re Mad as Hell!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6671-1374245679-42_previewIt always seems that I’m blogging when I’m pissed off about something.  And usually, it’s something that might seem pretty trivial in retrospect, but tonight I saw something that not only angered me, but disturbed me as well.  The truth is, we all tend to think that we live in a modern world where everyone is given basic human rights regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation– whatever.  We hear stories about minorities being extremely oppressed, but it always seems that these happenings are in backward countries with medieval sensibilities.  Not in modern, advanced societies where everyone has televisions, computers and the internet.  Right?  WRONG.

I read a story on Buzzfeed tonight.  It was brought to my attention by my writer friend, Selah Janel, whom I met a long time ago when we were just kids writing Moulin Rouge fan fiction.  Well, she was a kid, I was already married.  Yeah, I’m old. But I did marry young!  Anyway, I digress.  The two of us have been sisters in fan fiction for a whole and so this story floored us both.  Apparently, the Chinese government is on a witch hunt to prosecute WOMEN who write erotic fiction.  Worse, they seem to really be targeting slash fiction writers (if you don’t know, slash fiction is m/m erotic romance written primarily by female writers for female readers).  This tells me two things, kittens:  the Chinese government is discriminating against women and the Chinese government is discriminating against homosexuality.  Now, those are broad generalizations, so do let me elaborate.

Erotic fiction online is very popular in China, apparently.  So popular, in fact, that readers are willing to pay subscriptions for serial novels.  Some are fan fiction based, others are original.  For the most part, these sites do not have any explicit images or video, its merely the written word.  The Chinese government has shut down many sites already and arrested their staff.  They’ve also managed to track down authors and arrest them in their homes.  They claim that what these girls are writing is indecent and corrupting the minds of Chinese youth (paging Mr. Socrates!).  That the stories advocate violence and promiscuity and give youth a distorted image of what healthy sexuality is.  Lemme give you an image of the average female arrested for these stories.  Young, between 18-25.  Socially awkward (some, not all).  Many of them isolated and living at home with their parents. Shy.  Sexually inexperienced.  Clearly we’re not talking about Larry Flint or Bob Guccione (editors of Hustler and Penthouse, respectively) or Pauline Reage (author of The Story of O).  These are young girls who are desperately trying to express themselves and for, most likely, the FIRST time feeling that they have talent and worth.  That they can do something that no one else can do.  That they have a voice that others might be interested in.  And ultimately, that’s what the Chinese government is afraid of.  Once women learn to read, write and discover their vaginas, they become dangerous.  And Heaven forbid if they express the thought that homosexuality is OK.

This scares me, kids.  I’m afraid for these girls.  I’m afraid for the youth of China.  I’m afraid for what this could mean for the rest of the world.  I’m afraid of the sins of our past being revisited over and over.  Freedom of speech and expression is the cornerstone of our society.  We may not like what people say all the time, but most of us would fight to defend their right to say it.  It bothers me that the citizens of other countries don’t enjoy these basic human rights.  That’s not geocentrism, its truth.  So the next time we decide to get our panties in wad because we’re being FORCED to have medical insurance or FORCED to register our guns or FORCED to go to school, just remember, kiddos– it could always be worse.

The Buzzfeed Article, if you’re interested:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/inside-chinas-insane-witch-hunt-for-slash-fiction-writers

 

In the Spotlight: Siobhan Kincade

Happy Thursday, boys n’ girls!  And welcome to the inaugural post of The Belle’s Spotlight Thursdays!  Each week I’ll be spotlighting some naughty writer chick or kinky writer dude and subjecting them to the third degree.  This week, the spotlight shines on my best friend in the world, writer Siobhan Kincade.  Siobhan has published 2 stories with Sugar and Spice Press, the latest of which, “She-Wolf” should be coming out this fall.  She’s also self-published one of the most intense horror stories I’ve ever read, “Haunted” (check it out on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble) under her other name, S.H. Roddey.  Not to mention, she’s my ever-faithful and long-suffering writing partner.  Without further ado….

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Erotica, Smut Peddling, and Pornography

Lexxx told me I had to be interesting today, so I sat downand made a list of all of the things I could possibly talk about.  I’m not interesting, though… I swear I’mnot.  A few witty comments and theoccasional cheap shot do not an interesting read make.

So I worried over it. I pondered and I struggled and whined and whimpered.  I thought about playing the sexy vixen (I soam not that girl), or maybe the Grammar Nazi that slaps everyone’s wrists forimproper punctuation (yeah, I’ve done that), or even the shameless plugger thatlists strings of things for everyone to OMGGOBUYITRIGHTNOW…

No.

Seeing as how we’re all eroticists here, I decided to pullout the taboo topic of “porn vs. erotica” and run with it.  It’s only fitting, because there are many,many, many people out there who don’t understand their sad misconceptions.

Yes, erotica is a form of pornography.  Or rather, I choose to think of pornographyas a form of erotica.  Pornography is thedepiction of a sex act, be it visual or verbal. It is the foreplay, the penetration, and the climax.  It’s what multitudes of people use to getoff.

Erotica is more than that. While erotica does involve the graphic depiction of the sex act, it

is almost always accompanied by an emotional entanglement, a scintillatinglead-up, and a “morning after” scenario.

Raise your hand if you have ever watched a porn video.  Don’t worry…nobody can see you but me.  And I’ll know if you’re lying.

Okay, put your hand down now.  No, not that far.  Keep them where I can see them, please.

So, since you’ve watched the porn flick, you know that itstarts with some corny intro, and concludes with a money shot.  Since you read erotica (and I know you do,otherwise you wouldn’t be trolling me on Lexxx’s blog), you know that it startslong before said corny intro, and ends well after the girl wipes the jizz offher boobs.

Erotic writing is more about the personal connection thanthe act itself.  It touches on the basichuman instinct to fornicate, but takes that instinct a step farther into thesubconscious need for personal connection. In erotic fiction, the sex very, very rarely comes without that spark, or some other catalyst thatpushes those two people toward each other.

Erotic writing doesn’t end when the guy blows his load allover his partner.  It follows on into thefallout of the characters’ actions.  Itgets into the female need to nest, or the male need to dominate.  It focuses on the drive of two people tocling to each other despite adversity. It gives fetishists a way to prove that they have emotions beyond thespankings and toe-sucking.  It givessame-sex couples the ability to showcase their love for each other in anon-judgmental environment.

Over all, it gives the people involved in the depicted sexact the ability to actually be people.

Most of us who write erotica have been called somethingnasty in the past.  Pornographers…smutpeddlers… Why yes, yes we are.  If we’regoing to be given the titles, I say we wear them proudly.  Consider them badges of honor.  Look the naysayers in the eye, hold our headshigh, and admit:

Yes, we enjoy sex. Yes, we want happy endings.  Yes we believe the two can mesh.

What of it?

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So there you have it, the ravings of a sex-crazed lunatic.  Also known as, my friend Siobhan Kincade.  But the fun doesn’t have to end here.  Siobhan can be found all over the internet:

WordPress (link: http://siobhankinkade.wordpress.com)
facebook (link: http://facebook.com/siobhan.kinkade)
twitter (link: http://www.twitter.com/siobhankinkade

I highly recommend checking her out.    Thanks for the post, Siobhan!!