1. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Casual Female Sexuality

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by zoupskim, Jan 11, 2015.

    Hello writers.

    I am writing a story about a group of bodyguards and the people they have to protect. I have a good grasp on my characters motivations and attitudes, but am struggling with the sexual aspect of my female characters. Specifically, how they talk and joke about sex. The setting is a few decades in the in the future, where men and women are treated equally in every way in all but the most underdeveloped countries. There is no stigma attached to being Gay, Straight, Bi, etc.

    As I have been writing I have noticed that whenever my female characters joke about sex, or talk about sex, or act in a sexually suggestive manner, it always conforms to my rather bland tastes of female sexuality. I am a straight man who likes hips and breasts. Woohoo. Especially with one of the bodyguards, who is female, I have noticed that whenever she talks about sex she devolves into this boring, breast flashing stereotype. In the rest of the story I have established her character, through her actions and interactions with others, as a violent professional. I don't want to simply remove all female sexual content. Women talk about sex just like men, and in my setting the lack of bias between the genders is supposed to be one of the main themes. Women are treated like equals in my story, but I can't seem to get them to talk like equals.

    I was wondering if anyone had any insights? How and why do women joke about sex? Are there any good books you have read that depict women talking about sex or flirting casually? How do I put myself in the shoes of a woman flirting with a man just as a joke or to play with him?

    Thanks in advance! Write everyday!
     
  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Well, it's all about innuendo, euphemisms, and suggestive word choices that constitute flirting and initiating sex.
    So, girls would talk the same way guys do in that sense.

    Also, if they are actually talking about sex-sex and stuff, maybe watch some videos where women speak about what they like and stuff to have a more personal point of view from a woman rather than just your own.
     
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  3. Glasswindows
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    Glasswindows Member

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    "Women talk about sex just like men, and in my setting the lack of bias between the genders is supposed to be one of the main themes. Women are treated like equals in my story, but I can't seem to get them to talk like equals."
    Equals or not do you want to remove the fact that they are of a different sex? Women may talk about sex as well as men, but they do talk about it differently. If everyone is still an indvidual, there wouldn't be a need to remove all differences. It sounds like you just want to make them more bold than what they may appear to you these days. You can still practically decide how's it going to be, some women do talk about sex like men, bold and unshameful. Some don't talk at all, like some men don't. But if you've never witnessed such talk it could be hard to come up with.
     
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  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, it seems reasonable that ONE female character might choose to comply with male stereotypes of women, when flirting with men. There should be some reason for this, at least in your own mind, but it doesn't seem implausible. Maybe she has a self-esteem issue and is complying with what the man wants. Maybe she's not interested in revealing her true self, and is just putting on a front to keep him at a distance.

    I realize that this isn't a general answer.
     
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  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Obviously this is the future, and attitudes have changed. I'd say just use your imagination and write what you think women's attitudes would be like in this new world. Nobody has been there yet, so your view is as valid as anybody else's. Whatever most women would say or do now is probably not terribly relevant. I'd expect, the farther we get from Victorian mores and attitudes, the more straighforward and less coy both sexes will become. Possibly the 'bawdy or tee-hee, naughty-naughty' attitudes will disappear as sex is seen as perfectly normal behaviour. Of course if religion enters the picture, or if there is some other reactionary element that enters the picture, that won't necessarily occur. But it's your story. Don't be afraid to go with what you think will happen.
     
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  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are you talking about women flirting, like with people to whom they're attracted, or women just chitchatting and joking about sex with their friends?

    At least in the current culture, I'd say these are two very different conversation styles.
     
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  7. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    Sometimes when women talk with each about sex, it's to bring up funny stories. And sometimes it's to recommend their favorite, um, vibrating device.
     
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  8. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My thoughts exactly. OP, are you possible asking both?

    I also think @jannert makes a good point. Your women might flirt differently than we do if there's no stigma in being sexually aggressive or no conventions of e.g. letting the guy take the lead (even though, really, he's in your leash the whole time).

    It also depends on your characters. I'm sure there're women here who are good at flirting. Then there're women like me who suck at it and are likely to say or do something awkward (this is why I refrained from flirting altogether when I was single. And, really, there was no need 'cause it's not like getting laid is difficult if you're cute).

    I've also understood women flirt differently with other women, but even this might be different in your society.

    As for talking about sex with other women. I never really had such close female friends we would've talked about intimate stuff, unless drunk. Sure, we'd joke about hot guys, sometimes very raunchily (and no, rape jokes weren't beyond us. I remember joking about knocking out the guy, kidnapping him, the works, but this was when I was like 18). How your characters talk about it depends on their personalities and how good friends they are.

    If you're a straight guy, you might struggle to find the female POV there, just like I've struggled to portray straight male sexuality. Girls look at different things in a guy (seriously, there's even research on this), so most of us aren't checking out the package right away (it's not like you can tell much anyway by looking), although a lot of us do enjoy ogling at male butts. Even in a futuristic super equal society, there are men and women who are also less sexually abrasive or joke about it less, so, like I said, a lot comes down to what your characters personalities are like.
     
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  9. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    Watching a few episodes of Sex and the City would not hurt.
     
  10. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    From my experience the women are worse, and more crass!
     
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  11. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for all the advice! I'll try to hone in on my dilemma and address everyone's questions so I can get more!

    For the moment, I'm going to stop saying woman, man, female, male. I'll instead use the terms masculine and feminine.

    I am talking specifically about the motivation for feminine people to joke or talk about sexual things. I can wrap my head around the motivation for feminine people flirting and how they go about it. They want sex, like masculine people want sex. I am more curious about what feminine people accomplish socially by joking about sex. What fundamental urge is it fulfilling? I feel masculine people joke about sex to shock and entertain each other, claiming unrealistic exploits and whatnot sometimes for no reason other than bravado or attention.

    So, why do feminine people joke about sex? Is it bravado and shock value as well? Or is there a different motivation? I understand it is the future in my story and I can make up whatever I want. But, I want whatever fictional ideal I spout to be based on real life.

    I look forward to the knowledge.
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why does anybody joke about anything? Often to ease tension, get people to relax, jump start some more serious discussion, etc.
    For some people it is bravado and shock value.

    It's hard to assess without seeing what you're really talking about. If you want to send me an excerpt in a PM, I'd be happy to take a look.
     
  13. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think calling people "feminine" and "masculine" is really going to help you out, because there's just as much, if not more ambiguity in those words as in male/female or man/woman.

    For example, I would assume that "feminine" people would be just as interested in sex as "masculine" people... are you doubting this?
     
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  14. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I'd quit while you're ahead. The community consensus here is that the only meaningful difference between men and women is genitalia, and they're grim death on anyone who dares to suggest otherwise.
     
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  15. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tried once and was very swiftly trying to poke out my eyes and ears with the nearest implement I could find. Anything to make the horror stop. Fortunately I only had a mug handy so it didn't do too much damage. In my distressed state I couldn't find the remote control, but I ran for the door and managed to shut out the noise. I was unable to re-enter my lounge for several days and I am still overcome by an uncontrollable shaking when I go near the room.
     
  16. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, there is absolutely no difference and I am going to put my fingers in my ears and sing "lalalalala" until you agree.
     
  17. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    Unfortunately true and a sad negative to most rational discussions we have here.

    I'd say Sex and the City offers an amplified window into the thoughts of women. My wife watched every episode and enjoyed them immensely. I found it somewhere between amusing and tolerable.

    I've written two books thus far with strong female characters. The first hints and nods at sex in coversation; it's apparent she likes and wants sex but is only flirtatious and pokes around the edges of her desire. She's funny and clever but also a little frustrated because she still carries a torch for a dead boyfriend that she can't shake. She is written as a 'good girl' who safely acknowledges her sexual appetite when it's clear nothing will happen.

    My other female lead is almost a stereotype: once a stripper, sexually overt, foul-mouthed and humorless. She talks about sex like she is discussing a TV show; she has no shame about it and is very comfortable with her high sex drive. As we learn more about her we discover she is actually a sexual compulsive and is quite screwed up. She does not seek help until (an as yet unwritten) Book Three.

    What's the point of sharing this? I'm offering that each character is an individual and will have their own unique perspective on sex, how they talk about it, how freely they discuss it and so on. It sounds like your character is trying to be something and you are trying to restrain her. My sexual compulsive character was originally 'designed' to be more like the first character but as I wrote she became something entirely different. She demanded that I make her nearly unsavory in regards to sex and as a result she is a far more interesting and complex character than I had first conceived. Perhaps you should allow your bodyguard some freedom; you may surprise yourself at how much more interesting she becomes.
     
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  18. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I just think about this quote from Coupling whenever I portray male sexuality:

    "Do you know what would be the best way to wipe out all of human kind if you were a space alien with a special kind of mind ray? Make all women telepathic. Because if they suddenly found out about the kind of stuff that goes on in our heads, they would kill us all on the spot. Men are not people; we are disgustoids in human form.”
    -Jeffrey Murdock

    :D
     
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  19. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Meh. Lots of women are pretty crude, too.
     
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  20. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You can't really get that impression unless you haven't really read what people have been saying, or at the very least aren't capable of following nuances of the discussion.

    In any event, the OP said the lack of cultural bias between sexes is important to this particular story.
     
  21. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    And disturbing.
     
  22. RachHP
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    My experience has been that women are motivated to talk about sex in order to

    a) compete [this happens when among casual acquaintances AND close friends]
    b) compare [for the purpose of clarifying problems/talking through their own interests/responses/experiences to see if they're perceived as 'weird' and just for reassurance in general]
    c) vent ['crisis' points in particular only really get discussed after a lot of alcohol or in intimate discussion between very close friends. Sometimes, venting is bragging in disguise...]
    d) join in [so they may overly share/get graphic in order to keep up with whoever else is sharing intimate details - ultimately, nobody likes feeling pushed out!]

    x
     
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  23. kburns421
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    If you're asking why women discuss it with friends, one reason is that it's a way of bonding. A lot of times it's just socializing with no more motivation than talking about, say, the new phone we just bought or the trip we just went on. The closer you are to someone, the more intimate things you share, and vice versa (sharing more intimate things can bring you closer). And the more excited you are about something, the more likely you are to share it. But, as others have said, every woman is different with different motivations, and some women are more closed/open than others.

    Just for the record, I've heard men talk about sex. I don't think women are more crude, haha. The things that men and women focus on and the way they talk about it tend to be pretty different in my experiences.
     
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  24. chicagoliz
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    I've been pretty surprised by some of the things my husband's male friends have disclosed to him about their sex lives (which my husband told me about.)
     
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  25. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    There's also bound to be women in your story who don't discuss their sex lives or make rude jokes. Not because they're prudes, but they might feel protective over that part of their life. They can still laugh along with others, of course.
     
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