In a genre that is notably void of coitus, I have been researching and formulating ideas on how to incorporate the [the quote Maude Lebowski] natural, zesty enterprise in writing.
We all do it [most of us anyway]
Sex is the driving force behind much of early adult life. If you’re honest with yourself, it’s probably the only reason you ever take a shower. Erotica is also building steam as a genre in itself, and is no longer the home-base of freaks and lonely house-wives.
With fifty shades of grey’s incredible popularity, fetish has been vaulted into the mainstream, and really shaken up how people look at sex in in fiction. What are your thoughts on the topic? For or against?
If the fore-mentioned title is anything to go on then this adage is very much the case. Adding sex to your novel or short story gives your writing selling power. Some people get squeamish but by and large, we like to read about it. We live vicariously through characters in fiction and romance and the act of sex, are integral driving factors in a persons life.
Off Camera Vs. On
There is a fine line between erotica and sex in fiction, so where, as writers should we draw the line? Should sex between characters be implied? Or should it be a full throttle, passionate thrill ride? It’s really hard to know, and I think it depends heavily on who is actually having sex.
If it is your protagonist then, I believe, it needs to be a little more than, ‘and then they went into the bedroom, wink.’ I would be more inclined to build up to a fade out, if you want to avoid writing about the actual act.
Some aspects will need to be off-camera. If you are writing from one character’s perspective, and they are not involved, then why would they know the intimate details? Although you could communicate these details through dialogue at a later stage.
Personally I keep erotic scenes in my writing quite light hearted. Sex isn’t a monumental thing any more. It’s just not that big of a deal. In the early days of a relationship it can actually be quite awkward, even for experienced participants, so there are lots of little details that you can add to a sex-scene to make it interesting and a little bit amusing. Like teeth knocking, tangled sheets.
Be comfortable with it
Probably the most important thing about writing sex into your fiction is you need to be comfortable doing it. If you feel dirty writing it (aside from the fact you really shouldn’t), you need to keep going, keep practising until you are happy to let the scene play out. Alternatively, you could include your own writer’s thoughts into the scene. If you feel uncomfortable writing it, perhaps your protagonist is anxious also.
The fade out
This is a technique I will be going into more detail with in a post of its own. If you are writing Y.A. Or even adult fiction, the fade out can be a great way to build an erotic scene without making it erotic. You leave the actual act to the imagination of the reader, but give no illusions as to exactly what’s going on.
All in all, sex is something we’re going to see more and more of in writing. Coitus in mainstream fiction has been a long time coming, and, in my opinion it’s good. Love between a man and a woman, or a woman and a woman, or a man and a man, really isn’t anything to get upset about. We all do it (in one way or another) and is something that adds an extra layer of realism to your writing.
This won’t be the last I talk about sex in fiction, that’s for sure. I actually haven’t read any medieval fantasies that have sex scenes in them, any recommendations? What do you think about the trend of sex as a story telling element as opposed to a genre?
Thanks for reading,