Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Joy of (writing about) Sex

I must really be strange.

I don't like reading about sex.

It's not that I'm against sex, and I've never really considered myself a prude.  In fact, in some circles I've been known for having a wickedly adult sense of humor.  I'll even go so far as to admit to allowing my eyes to observe porn in my, um, younger days.  I only read the articles, and I only watched the movies for the scintillating plots, of course.  I won't even admit to knowing what might be included in the plot arc of, say, a movie titled Lesbian Spank Inferno...no, not me.  It's just that I don't go out of my way to read about sex. 

To me and my experience, there are two ways of describing sexual activity in prose.  One is lovemaking como la novela rom├íntica, and involves the use of delicate language alluding to acts without ever really getting down and dirty.  The second is porno porno, like what you find in the letters published in Penthouse...if, um, you open a Penthouse, which I won't admit to doing right now.  Still, I suspect that method uses cute little cliched terms (e.g., "one eyed trouser mouse") to graphically paint an X-rated image. 

Unfortunately, my linguistic talent may be described many ways, but I doubt "delicate" is one of those.  In prose, I'm about as delicate as a cruise missile.  That pretty much defaults me into #2 style of sex writing...bow chicka wow wow.  Even if I thought I could do the first relatively well, I don't like reading it, if for no other reason than its romance novel feel. 

What's really unfortunate, I think, is that I have to try.  I really appreciate the feedback I've gotten on Book #1 so far, but a common complaint is that it details the relationship of a man...the god of war, really...and his wife, but pretty much pretends they don't really have sex.  For example, at one point, my storytelling is detailed as hell on the couple's argument, and on the resolution of the argument...and then they go to bed, and then poof, it's morning.  Real couples have sex after an argument.  So does this couple.  Thus, I need to acknowledge that. 

I've tried already.  In the second book, I wrote a scene the night before Crystal starts her grand quest, and made them have sex.  I left it general-ish.  Definitely didn't describe any body fluids.  I also managed to avoid the "round mounds of love" (bow chicka) way of referring to any of it.  Nobody but me has read it yet, but I think I did a darn good job of tiptoeing through that literary tulip field.  We'll see, I guess.

Till then...g'night!

Word Count: 40,912

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