Sunday, 11 June 2017

Writing Sex Scenes

How have you all been?
My literati group and I try to do this thing where we report in each day on our state of mental, physical, emotional and psychological health. It's very helpful especially when you're having a bad day. Y'all should try it.
I've been swamped with work and that's why I've been kind of MIA but I will try to do better.
Today I want to talk about writing sex scenes.
What is the most favorite sex scene you've ever read or watched or written?
For me, both reading and watching? The wedding night scene between Jamie and Claire is my number one. Slow burn, minimal description of the mechanics, just putting the reader in Claire's head and making you feel like you were right there with her.
Seeing what she sees.
Hearing what she hears.
Feeling what she feels.
That's what a good sex scene is about to me.I've been reading a lot of fanfiction lately because it's usually less than 10k words that I can read on the matatu or on my work breaks or in between prescribing drugs at my locum (I todja, I been busy). So the nature of fan fiction being what it is, there is usually a lot of sex between the characters because apparently when 'fans' see actors fighting on TV what they visualize is them having sex with each other. My tendency to be judgemental aside, the point is that I've read plenty of sex scenes. The thing is, mostly I just skim through it because this is how most people write:
His leg moved up and circled around his partner's neck as his partner leaned in and licked his penis. He gasped and his partner stopped, glancing up at him with a smirk.
"You're just a slut for it right? You love it when I fuck you. Slut."
And he shuddered with ecstasy at being called a slut and got even wetter and couldn't wait for his partner to breach him and fuck him into the mattress twenty times.

What is this fixation with calling people you're having sex with 'slut'? It's not realistic. Do YOU like being called a slut in the middle of sex? It's just stupid, puritan bullshit that is now spreading like wildfire and infecting other people. Hi, Amerikkka.
In order to understand the purpose of a sex scene, it's imperative to know why sex scenes are written or portrayed.
1. To advance the story.
This is of course, the most compelling reason to write a sex scene. For example, Child of Destiny begins with a sex scene of dubious consent. This act sets up a domino effect for the rest of the book. I wrote it from both the point of view of the guy and the girl. Here's an excerpt:

Her lips are so soft. He wasn’t expecting that; almost unconsciously, his lips pressed down on hers. Now their tongues were intertwined, it was difficult to know whose tongue was whose.
She felt dizzy with shock and dismay like all the blood had left her head; she leaned into him to keep some sort of balance and her breast pressed against his chest.
Bigger than they look…was his incoherent thought as his hands rose of their own accord and circled her surprisingly tiny waist. Apparently underneath all the grandma sweaters was the body of a seventeen-year-old girl.
A hot seventeen-year-old girl’
The blood in his body was pooling a little lower than his head as he sank his teeth gently into her lower lip, pulling it into his mouth and sucking with lips gone suddenly hot. “I want her! “ He thought with surprise.’ how did that happen?’

‘This is crazy’ was her last coherent thought before she was surrounded by madness. She felt a sudden draft across her chest and realized that her dress was unbuttoned all the way down to the waist and Leo’s hands were everywhere – touching, caressing, squeezing, and pinching. Her nipples were painfully erect and seemed to cry out for his mouth without bothering to consult her. As if he heard their silent cry, his lips moved from hers and fastened themselves on her left breast. She felt dizzy and confused, as she pressed his head tight to her breast. She tried to control her breathing but it was impossible, and she was gasping like there was not enough oxygen in the whole world for a fortifying breath. Leo was making a low growling sound deep in his throat like a cat purring over a succulent piece of meat. Suddenly he picked her up and threw her onto her bed. A few seconds later, she was divested of her dress and the covering that her embarrassingly huge granny panties had afforded her vagina was replaced by his hot mouth. She froze in shock at the action and the sensation. She was torn between wanting to push him away and wanting to pull him even deeper into her. She compromised by moaning out loud.

The point is to follow the feelings and not the mechanics of sex. Because the mechanics are always the same. Point A goes in slot B. The rest is semantics. So to keep your reader engaged it's necessary to give them something more.

2. Gratuitous Gratification a.k.a porn without plot or PWP
Ah, erotica....what would we do without it? Men watch porn, women read erotica. So the purpose of writing this type of sex scene is to get people as hot and bothered as possible. Some do that by using explicit language.
Not only that but by describing privates in a barbified, fantastical manner.
"His huge dick."
"Her wet warm pussy."
"His raging cock rammed into her warm wet center."
Describing sensation; taste, hearing, touch, sound, sight. Make the reader feel every thrust.
Sometimes you're writing about a sex scenario which the reader cannot relate to.
For example, the dom/sub scenario might be incomprehensible to some (me) and if you manage to describe what the participants are going through in a way that will make me 'get it' then you can tick the 'expert' box on the writing sex scenes questionnaire. Haven't yet come across a writer who has done that but maybe that is because y'all don't get that we don't need to know that 'he whipped her thirty times until the welts were apparent on her skin and she was wet and ready for him.'
Okay then...
This is what I visualize when I read that stuff.
Other people prefer euphemisms to describe sex.
He touched her centre of venus with his strobe of fire and she felt her whole body yield to his onslaught. Sounds vaguely historian or British but it gets enough panties wet to be persistently popular. I'm pretty sure it's - again - the puritan crowd that influences this style of writing.

Personally I like to try this new thing where the description of sex scenes is based on reality where the sounds aren't always sexy, sometimes someone farts...the bodies aren't perfect and neither are the people involved. However, the feelings are real as fuck.

Whatever reason that you're writing your sex scene, you have to remember that the emotional connection is the key. Whether it's love, hate, lust, desire, neediness...You need to find a way to bring that out. Make your audience feel that connection, and get invested in it. That's how you draw them in.

Speaking of fanfiction, I just recently finished the third part of my War of the Winchesters fanfic. I'm so proud of how it turned out. Exceeded all my expectations. Go read it.

1 comment:

charity wakini said... it