1. hrdoyle3
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    hrdoyle3 Member

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    Sex Scenes....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by hrdoyle3, Dec 10, 2012.

    I feel that a sex scene is inevitable for my two main characters... I want it to provide support to the seriousness of their relationship and the bond they share. The scene would only be constructive if it helped the reader feel the tie between the two grow stronger. any suggestions on how goint about writing a sex scene without it being too raunchy??
     
  2. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    You can just imply what's happening if you don't want to show the full squelchy detail. Show one of them going into the other's room at night, the door closing, and them still being there the next morning.

    I think the best sex scene I ever read was from Thomas Wharton's Salamander, and that was just a list of the clothing the woman took off. With a bit of dialogue in the middle: "You do this every evening?" "Yes. And every morning, in reverse." It was set in the 18th century, I think, so there were a few more layers than are usually worn today.
     
  3. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read a lot of sex scenes in my fiction class this semester and I can't say any of them were any good. I suppose you need to ask yourself what the purpose of this scene is. How much do we really need to see?
     
  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Where do try outs for this role line up?

    On a serious note (one of the most overly used cliches of all-time), there is a fine line between whatever genre you are writing, and a romance novel. Don't fall into that trap.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    The best sex scenes I've read are the ones that concentrate on the thoughts and emotions. Even if describing part of the physical, do it in terms of how the character feels about what's happening. Just remember most readers know what the mechanics are, so trying to find some clever or sexy or romantic way of describing that is like window-dressing an oil change.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Skip the sex scenes. They don't advance the plot and don't develop character. They're pretty much just pornography. Put it this way: If you delete the sex scene, does your story suffer? If not, it doesn't belong there in the first place.
     
  7. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I have to agree. You can start the scene with their embrace, or even the character carrying the woman to bed, then cut to the morning and the aftermath. Just my two-cents. Of course two-cents doesn't matter much these days does it?
     
  8. MindTheGap
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    MindTheGap Member

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    I would have to disagree, especially considering things such as genre and characters. Who's to say a sexual encounter wouldn't advance the plot by either cementing two characters' feelings or driving them apart, thus setting off a whole new plot segment for the author to consider.

    There are tasteful ways to write such scenes. When done tastefully, they can reveal a lot of emotional and even physical characteristics about the characters. As someone who writes primarily in the romance genre, I do employ the use of sexual encounters in my work. Are they graphic? No. Do they convey something regarding plot or characterisation that I'm trying to show the readers? Most likely so.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Sex is a major driving force among vertebrates. In humans, it can draw people together or tear them asunder.

    But you don't have to go into boom-chicka-wow-wow detail either. You can show one character snuggling close to the other, then they intertwine fingers and exchange looks. Next thing the reader knows, they're waking up to too bright a sunrise and awkward regrets (for example).

    It's not the mechanics of the coupling that makes the story (usually), it's how it changes the relationship or reveals where each person is emotionally.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I believe in what a lot of others have said in this thread including me. The best sex can be achieved through the ear than any other part of the body, but I'm still trying to figure out what goes in the ear because its an awfully small hole.
     
  11. GazingAbyss
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    GazingAbyss Member

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    I'm with everyone else who said to describe their feelings and not the details of what's actually happening. We all know how it works, and too much description makes it a bit Ikea (Insert tab A into slot B).
     
  12. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with a little monkeying around though...(I hope at least one other person gets this)
     
  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    As Shadow said, focus on the thoughts, feelings and emotions of the characters and what happens before and after.
    They just gave out the Bad Sex in Fiction award -- google it. It is hilarious to read and very instructive on what not to do.

    I have a book called The Joy of Writing Sex and have found it to be very helpful on this issue.
     
  14. Thumpalumpacus
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    Thumpalumpacus Contributing Member

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    This biggest sexual organ in the human anatomy is the brain. Write accordingly.
     
  15. Mikewritesfic
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    Mikewritesfic Senior Member

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    I have nothing against sex scenes, as long as they're done in good taste. Nothing too deviant like midget bukakke or a recreation of two girls one cup. Keep it more on the romantic side rather than pure lust and overly descriptive scenes
     
  16. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I can vouch for the readers feeling squeamish about it. I put what I still feel to this day was a valid sex scene in my second novel, and all who read it said it didn't really work. They said it felt either like a Mills & Boon novel for that section, or just like an obligatory sex scene. I did a whole load of emotional interaction within it, but that wasn't enough. So for the second edition of the novel (which is the project I'm working on at the moment) the scene will be re-imagined. I'm not entirely sure how yet, though I have an idea of what I will do. So the moral is, even though you as a writer might feel the scene is OK, your readers probably won't.
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think you can say this. "Probably" is too strong a word. It's more correct to say that your readers *might not.* Not having read Ian's story, it is impossible to speculate why his sex scene didn't work. It could be for any number of reasons.

    I really don't think the OP had anything like this in mind, and this advice is obvious. There are lots of sites where you can contribute pornographic short stories. Otherwise, it is unlikely that scenes such as these would have a place in serious literature.

    I suspect that a sex scene of some sort probably is needed in this story, precisely because the OP thinks that it is. The "rule" about scenes of sex and violence is that they should not be gratuitous. From the OP's question, it does not seem like the scene would be gratuitous -- on the contrary, it may be very necessary, if the story contains a large focus on or is even entirely about the relationship between these two characters. Again, a sex scene doesn't need to be pornographic or a description of the author's sex fantasies. A lot can be implied.
     
  18. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I have to agree with Minstrel. It isn't the sex that's important, it's the relationship, except possibly in various coming-of-age tales. And even then, it's all about the decision, not the act.

    What I find interesting about this topic, though, is that it's one that many aspiring writers struggle with. It's one of those topics that pops up fairly regularly, like POV questions.
     
  19. svartalfheim
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    svartalfheim Member

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    In good taste it can make a reader's love for the bonded characters grow. I personally do not like long paragraphs on sex scenes, I find it pointless. A short verse getting the required emotions across will do perfectly.
     
  20. IndigoAir
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    IndigoAir New Member

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    I agree with the general sentiment that it's the characters' relationship that is important, but I think having a sex scene in there can actually be productive. Maybe not critically necessary, but at the very least fitting and not too disruptive. I recently read a book series that had a few sex scenes across the three books (I think two in the first, one in the third) and once my initial shock wore off I didn't really mind (it wasn't what I was expecting when I bought it, is all). Could it have done without it? Yes, probably. Did it ruin the book? Not in the slightest.

    Another point I want to reference is how someone said don't make it a thing of lust - and this I disagree with wholeheartedly. An act of lust can change the relationship between two characters just as much as an act of love.
     
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    degree of detail depends on genre and what market you're writing for, plus the needs of the story... check out some of the bestselling novels in your genre and see how the pros handle sex in their works...
     
  22. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maia is right that the answer is partially dependent on genre. This information, however, can be difficult to obtain -- just try doing a google search ;-) I was looking for this info a while ago, and happened upon some, uh, very interesting sites. I found out about some things I didn't know about before, but it wasn't very helpful in terms of finding books that had literary sex scenes.

    You might try asking for suggestions of books in the genre you want to write. The genre where there exists the most advice and the largest number of examples is Romance. But if you're not writing Romance, but more literary fiction, it's harder to find good examples. But some of the sites that give advice on this issue in the Romance genre can be helpful.
     
  23. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both in Romance and in Literary genres sex scenes can be important. The whole of Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach was a sex scene, in a way, and every word was necessary. And when you get romantic novels off a library, or even a bookstore shelf, they fall open at the sex scenes--what's wrong with them?
     
  24. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    If it can be done in a romantic manner i think a sex scene in a story can be useful it just has to be done in a romantic manner.
     
  25. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ or it can be great for humour...
     

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