Interesting article about writing sex scenes.

Very interesting article on writing sex scenes, emotion versus description. Thought some would like it. (nsfw language)


http://www.salon.com/2014/10/09/what_i_learned_from_teaching_a_sex_writing_class/


That is interesting.


Honestly, I tend to avoid sex scenes in my stories, and not for any moralistic reason--I have zero objection to erotica. I find, in kind of things I write, that they end up being simply extraneous.


I try to reduce a story to its necessities and not make readers sit through excess wordiness, to get the story in front of them and moving along. The question becomes: what do the readers need to know to follow the narrative, to feel the emotion? If I have proper time to review and edit myself, I often end up killing a lot that proves, in hindsight, unnecessary. It's one of the things I struggle with most, writing on a schedule. I feel like I'm inadvertently leaving in extra stuff that I don't need.


Sex scenes are usually the first thing on the cutting room floor, for me. When it comes to sex, in pretty much every case I've found, all the audience needs to know is that it happened and between whom. Other details may be relevant depending on the situation but I've never had my characters in a place where the story benefited from a play-by-play. Ultimately, I feel like erotica is a distinct and separate art form, because in almost any other kind of story, a graphic sexual exchange is slowing down the narrative for the sake of titillation. There are times when you want to slow the narrative... I just haven't found one where I felt like the titillation was a good tradeoff for it.


Good erotica is its own thing, and benefits from pacing, plot, characterization and a lot of other things that it often isn't given. I can't say I think the reverse is true.


Most of my writing of sex scenes has basically been in the form of pornography, to put it politely. I know I toss in comedy, superheroes, and graphic violence, but I felt sex would make it seem less serious. It occurs to me there was a flaw in that way of thinking. Plus, with it being somewhat escapist in nature, I knew I'd be tempted to go a little far with it. Also, Gecko's had a bit of Foe Yay and that really wouldn't turn into something. "Oh my god, it's the sociopath who drugged me, beat me up, killed my boyfriend, and bugged my cell phone! I just have to jump on that dick!"


Plus, someone suggested early on that the character needed a woman to help fix him. 1. I find it ridiculous that anyone thinks you can cure mental illness with a liberal application of poon, and 2. it sets a bad precedent to suggest that women should get with men who are emotionally unstable and physically violent out of a mistaken belief that they can change them for the better. It holds just as true with guys too.


I don't think Psycho Gecko having sex would end well. I also think that it means something about the character that, no matter the excuses he gives, he doesn't indulge in that. Sometimes what's left out of a story is also part of the story.


Psycho, complete agreement.


DD, I disagree. Sex is an emotional thing, as much if not moreso than physical. Defenss are down, people are often themselves. Actions, words, phrases, desires, doubts, all these come bursting to the surface during lovemaking in ways that you would never see in other circumstances. You dont HAVE to be openly erotic about it, the exercise in the article was to be over teh top about it as a way of freeing yourself to then also write the story, character, and connection without all the other stuff getting in the way. But you can absolutely make a sex scene an integral moving part of the plot.


I agree with Alexander, it just depends on the tone of the story and the intended audience.


It can cause whiplash if it's out of the blue, but properly set up it can reveal character, titillate the audience, or it can be just a sweet thing to show how much two people care, or it can convey some other mood you want it to. It's a tool; sometimes poorly employed, sometimes skillfully wielded.


I wouldn't contend that sex is never appropriate to a story, but I've never personally found a point where a graphic depiction is necessary. Some where it would have worked, but ultimately, I've always found upon contemplation that the needs of the story were better served by moving it along.


But that's just me.


Yeah, definitely, it's up to the conviction of the individual author in the end.


True, but teh point of the exercise, imo, was to get them to write corny purple prose so that was expected, to LET them then not worry about that, and let everything else come through without that worry about hitting a line. I think it might be a good exercise when hit with a sex scene, even if you dont intend for it to be erotica, to write like that, and then reread it for gems of a non sexual nature that you can move over.