Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Writing Sex

Okay, so the big anxiety about my book is that it has sex in it. Graphic sex. Between girls.
It was challenging to write because it had to be how my characters would do "it." I really had to get in their heads and have sex as them. Okay, I admit, it was fun and a little arousing, even for this old bird.

But the thing that bothers me is that family members and mere acquaintances will read this ditty, including the sexual passages. I voiced my concern to Jude the other day because her parents will read the book. She said we just have to hold our heads up and move on. She's not nearly as worried as I am.

In writing a sex scene, I had to straddle the line between porn and yawn. I'm sure some elements of society will see it as porn but few would yawn. I also realized sex has to be written the same way an action scene is constructed....no serial compound-complex sentences. Snapshots and close-ups, not panoramas.

And then there is the placing of sex scenes. If the protagonist has sex too soon with the main love interest, the tension is broken and the reader gets bored. If sex happens too late, some readers will throw in the towel. If they do have to wait, then it had better be good and not a wimpy and dry they-closed-the-bedroom-door-and-loved-each-other-until-dawn.

I've read scads of lesbian romances to learn the best flow of the plot....and I think I have the sex timing down. But, damn, I've had to read some really bad stuff along the way. I've come to believe that soft-soaping the sex is just plain chicken shit. I know there are readers who skip the sex scenes, and that's their option. But there are also readers who read just for those scenes. Those are the readers I wrote for....they'll get their wet pages from me. Why not?

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