1. diamonds overun
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    diamonds overun Member

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    non mills and boons sex scenes

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by diamonds overun, Jun 11, 2009.

    i was trying to write a sex scene and all that came out was a few mills and boons type of paragrahs. :(

    So here is my question. Is it ok to use the basic words like erection instrad of dodgy ones like bulging manhood when you have to use them a few times within a few scentences instead of changing it up and using all sorts of dodgy ones.

    Also, apart from pace, language and action how do you get across what is happening with out being too obvious and having to explain it all.

    Just looking for ideas on how other people write sex scenes so i can improve my own without trawling through all the erotic fiction sites.
     
  2. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't see why it wouldn't be wrong to use straightforward words as long as it suits the tone. I think one of the reasons people use those phrases is because they think it's more romantic or poetic. It's not something I read very much, so I couldn't really venture an opinion on whether or not it really is effective.
     
  3. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    I completely agree in terms of tone. Using straight forward words seems fine, and i would stray away from the phrases used in erotic fiction as that's the main emphasis of their pieces and if your novel is not a romance novel nor a piece of erotic fiction, you don't want the sex scene to overshadow other important parts.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    No, nothing wrong at all. I think that a lot of the ookiness one feels in the writing of a sex scene with explicit or semi-explicit language is the unspoken concern of, "Is this porn? Am I a porn writer? NOOOooooo!!!"

    I have a story I am working on which is rather adult in nature. This forum is not the kind of forum where this work is appropriate (at all), but there are writing forums where it is and where you may well get good critique on your delivery and style. There is as much skill in the writing of a good sex scene as there is in the writing of anything else.
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Since I always keep my writing so as someone who didn't previously know about sex couldn't figure out what went on, I can't really add much here. But it makes more sense to use the basic words. As this is a sex scene and not an entire novel, you don't need to go into too much detail about the exact size of your character's (enter anything here, this is fiction), do you?
     
  6. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Depends on what your writing...I've read sex scenes that happen fully in the space of two sentences, and I've read sex scenes that go for 3-4 pages in very explicit detail (both in very highly regarded literary fiction)...so is your narrator the kind of person who would savour every explicit detail, or the person who would hint at having sex and leave the rest to your imagination. If your own discomfort is the only thing stopping you writing it, you need to get over it for the sake of the story. And just because it is a "sex scene", don't feel that it doesn't deserve as much attention as any other part of your novel - it needs to be just as well written as your introduction or any other part of your book for that matter.
     
  7. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Read a lot of romances. I don't think you will find medical terms like erection used often.

    You will see things like, manhood, stiffness, bulge.

    I guess use what works.
     
  8. Sayso
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    Sayso Contributing Member

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    I know which words I'd rather see written down but the next person may be completely different. So I'd go with whatever you feel most comfortable writing and keep it in context with your story.
     
  9. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't tried writing sex scenes for ages - I know my limits, this is one of them - but the best sex scene I ever read was in Salamander, by Thomas Wharton. That one skipped the sex entirely, just listing the clothes the man took off the woman, broken up with:

    "Do you have to do this every evening?"
    "And every morning, in reverse."

    It managed to get everything across perfectly, just by leaving the reader to fill in all the actual sex for themselves.
     
  10. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    It depends greatly on the scene, the characters, the point of view character's personality, the genre, and my mood.

    I've read erotica, and romance novels (though the writing is almost so bad in them they are hard to finish), and general fiction with romantic real-life situations. Some use technical terms like penis, erection, vagina and anus, but most times our other slang type words are used, such as hard-on, dick, cock,rod, member, peter, sausage, Bratwurst, slit, pussy, hallway to heaven, back-door, twat(though that tends to be a dirty one--as is ****) humping, hand-jobs, blow-jobs, cunnilingus, licking the lollipop, clit, and a whole slew of other more exotic descriptions, even ones made up that the author creates.

    I don't have a problem with using any of those terms, or writing a detailed sex scene. I often find that a well placed sex scene can show a lot about the way the character thinks and reacts to things. I opened my book with the second scene as a sex scene between my MC and her husband, but it works because it tells a lot about the couple's current relationship without giving the reader a full info dump.

    I always ask myself if the scene is just a gratuitous sex scene thrown in there for the sake of being able to write it, or does it move the story along and show something important about the main characters and their situation. If it doesn't really do much, except show a lapse in time, then I cut it down to the bare minimum that shows enough to move time along.
     
  11. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say the best idea is to not write it in the first place. The act itself is pretty standard and doesnt need any description. Just end it before it starts while of course pointing out to the reader what will be going unsaid.

    I cant stand sex scenes in books, and honestly, I dont know a lot of people who do like them. Boring, usually pretty cheesy, and --yeah, you hit it on the nail; the terms used are just ridiculous. Plus, the writer comes across to me as smutty and pornographic --I'm looking for literature; this is not what I ordered!

    Just putting the idea out there that hasnt been suggested yet. :) Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.
     
  12. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I have to disagree whole-heartedly. Sex is one of the few universals, one of the few things that all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexulity, etc etc etc can relate to. The idea that writing about sex is low-brow or shameful is totally misguided, and the idea that it can be left out or inferred in all cases is totally wrong. Some stories need sex, its simple, its not a big deal. If you wanna call it a penis, call it a penis. You wanna call it Bratwurst, call it that.

    Writing a sex scene is no different to writing anything else, and treating it as though it is is the reason that badly written sex is such a cliche. Its not porn, its not erotica, its a fact of life and something that is common to all people. If you can't write about it comfortably, maybe you have some growing up to do...
     
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  13. starseed
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    starseed Contributing Member

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    My book has a sex scene. It was fun as hell to write. And I became quite.. happy.. while writing it.. so I guess it accomplished what I was trying to. :)

    For me, it isn't so much about describing things in a poetic or romantic sounding way but rather honestly describing feelings. Sex can be a lot of things. Expressive, fun, crazy, dirty, raunchy, erotic, romantic, pure ecstasy, or even awkward or depressing. It depends on the scene. In my sex scene the two characters were both hot for each other and interested in each other but they also both have a bit of a wall up in a way, so it wasn't all "I love you's" and longing looks, but yet, there was still an element of vulnerable emotion and feeling there. I tried to convey it in realistic and non-cheesy way.

    It totally depends on the tone and style of your book. For me, I don't care if it comes across raunchy. My book has lots of cursing and drugs and other raunchy sorts of things, so the sex scene fits with the tone. If the book were to be more the rated PG-13 variety, a sex scene might have to be done completely different in order to fit.

    Wow I couldn't disagree more.. that made me a little sad to read, to be honest.. no offense.
    Sex is one of THE GREATEST and most pleasurable things in LIFE.
    I enjoy sex and sexuality in all forms and I highly disagree that most people feel the way you do.

    Sex SELLS. That is a fact. And there is a reason for that. Because people ENJOY IT.

    Amen to that. :)
     
  14. bluebell80
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    bluebell80 Contributing Member

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    Starseed, I agree with that. Sex does sell.

    I was reading this one book a few years ago (it's buried in a pile of books in my closet at the moment--so no clue who wrote it or what the name was.) It was about two brothers, written by a woman. For some reason it shocked me to see the F-bomb dropped a number of times in casual conversation during the book, but I got used to it as it became part of the characters.

    She has a sex scene in it, the younger brother loses his virginity with his girl friend, and the scene almost morphs into a rape scene. Though it wouldn't technically be rape, it had that quality of him just getting off on this poor girl. It was awkward and uncomfortable to read, which was the exact feeling of the whole situation the author was trying to show.

    I often find with novels where the characters are extremely flirtatious with each other, if there is no climax scene, it leaves me dissatisfied with the book overall.

    I don't care for pg-13 unless it is an action adventure or sci-fi type movie. X-Files being an exception to this, I wish they had shown Mulder and Scully actually falling in love, and actually doing the deed, not just implied it. After what, 9 years of foreplay, we didn't get the payoff. If there's going to be a lot of build up, I want some detail. Call me a card carrying member of the perverts club, but that's what I like.

    I like it if the story needs it. I like it to create different kind of emotions for me as the viewer or reader. I want it to connect me intimately with the characters. Because how much closer to our characters can we get, except to see them screw. How they do it, what they do, and how they feel about it, will get the reader right in the character's head and make them feel something about the character, which in the end is the end goal of any book. To make the reader feel.
     
  15. Maroon
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    Maroon Active Member

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    Also:

    Gotta love the thought of your parents reading your sex scenes.

    <shudder>
     
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  16. crashbang
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    crashbang Active Member

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    sex scenes would be fine if theyre used to portray something nessecary. if your using them to portray something, then great. if not, if you are just putting it in to increase the wow factor, then its just meh, it means nothing or little to me and i wouldnt write it myself. doesnt appeal when in a smutty 'bratwurst' format.
     
  17. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow, I've never felt so unfortunately overwhelmed and truly very criticized by simply an opinion before. :love: Gotta love that... Whether my advice is 'good' or 'bad' is totally subjective. If you dont like it, you can leave it, but I know I am not alone in my reasoning.

    I'm not saying that sex is something to be ashamed of or that sex scenes dont serve a purpose. After all, Bluebell pointed out several very good instances, and one of my favourite novels includes a sex scene for a very important purpose.

    Just like you wouldnt write any other scene or integrate a subplot unless necessary, if there is no reason to write a sex scene, my suggestion would be 'dont write it.' With any scene regardless of content, shouldnt you ask yourself that question?
    And as of recently, I'm finding that a lot of novelists are forgetting that, and writing sex scenes for the sake of writing sex scenes (because it sells; I'm well aware of the market around me). And if a sex scene is written without purpose, then I would call the author a pornographer. Now, the original poster gave nothing away as to whether a sex scene in her novel was necessary or not, and in the end, that is her decision to make anyway. I'm just pointing out that it is not, in fact, always necessary to write one in the first place.

    If you failed to understand my reasoning please reread my previous statement --or ask. :love:
     
  18. love2listen
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    sex scenes are really hard to write. (hee) its so difficult to capture the right tone.

    I once read a book of "erotica" that was absolutely digusting. the words made it so. it was obscene, and so far from sexy
     
  19. diamonds overun
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    diamonds overun Member

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    Hi All

    the sex scene is nesesarry, its not just there to sell, as i have no aspirations to publish.

    The answer to one of my questions was staring me in the face and i dont know why i didnt think of it before, bluebell touched on it. Use language the characters would.

    My character would not use the word erection, he would use the word boner or stiffy or maybe even woody depending in the situation.

    So i will use the language my characters would and that has taken some of the awkwardness out of it.

    I like a sex scene if it the natural progression in a story, i have read a few books with totally random sex scenes in them that make you wonder WTF.
     
  20. Apples
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    Apples Member

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    -Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses (Page 142)
     
  21. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    When it comes to sex scenes its better to use the everyday words, not the dodgy stuff because that tends to confuse the readers, either that or bores them until they
    a) don't feel like reading on
    or
    b) skip the sex scene and possibly miss something

    In my personal opinion, because I've written one scene once, it's better to use the everyday words. It makes it easier to describe and makes it feel more realistic.
     
  22. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    Statements like this bug me. You should write a sex scene no differently than you would write anything else because it is no different to anything else you write. Saying oyu should use everday words is lik saying you should only use everyday words for everything else you're writing.

    The only wrong way to write a sex scene is to treat it differently to the rest of the text, to make it something foreign and awkward. If you write it well, it will fit in perfectly with the rest of your writing. Using "everyday" words, or any other particular group of words to describe it is ridiculous - the words you need to use are the same ones you've been using for the rest of the piece. Don't change your style just because you're writing about sex.
     
  23. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agreed. It really gets to me an author changes their tone at a sex scene. I believe that the better sex scenes aren't those that suddenly begin to use poetic phrases or hard, vulgar language; rather they keep in with the general tone they've had going all along. If you're vague with descriptions, don't go on for pages writing about their every carress. If the rest of the piece is filled with fluffy prose and imagery, then don't all of a sudden use harsh language in attempt to make the scene seem hotter.
     
  24. starseed
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    I don't particularly want my parents reading my book at all. I mean, I won't stop them, but they've been warned.

    It's not like I'm going to avoid all topics which would be uncomfortable to talk about with my parents. That would be pretty limiting. I'm an experienced, sexual adult and I just feel that my parents are two people, and limiting my art because of two people vs all the other people who could hopefully enjoy my books doesn't make any sense.
     
  25. starseed
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    I understand what you're saying, but in my world, you don't need a "reason" for sex, since sex IS the reason. :cool::p Whether or not it's pornography, I don't know, but if it is, I'm all right with that too. I'm the worlds horniest girl so don't listen to me hahaha. ;)
     

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