Sex Scenes (because it’s the only appropriate title there is)

I was going to watch Once Upon a Time tonight, but seeing as I forgot I had workstudy, I’m sitting in the library instead. Oh well. On the plus side that means that I can type away while waiting for someone to maybe come up to the library desk for a test or book or what have you.

I came across an article/blog post recently that had gotten me thinking. It was about if people prefer more erotic scenes in their stories, or if they just like the ‘fade-to-black’ tool most authors nowadays employ. Now, I cannot talk for romance novels, which is what the article seemed to hone in on, since I do not read those. They bore me to tears most often. (Even though some friends are determined to get me to read ones they count as good, I doubt it’ll make me like the books) But this is still something that interests me, for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons being something that makes me debate putting it on this blog, or one connected to the thing more closely. I think, though, it belongs more over here since I don’t think I’ll focus on that bit but so much. Maybe. We’ll see.

I know I’ve read two books that really hit me with the fading bits, and I was kind of sitting there with the thought ‘but…but…please?’ No, not because I enjoy reading such thing,s but because I think it would’ve added something oh so wonderful. One was in the Bloodlines series and another in the Infernal Devices series. In the former, I really think it would have added this elusive something if, and I cannot remember if she had started with Adrian POVs by that point, if she had put that bit in his POV and maybe had something with him trying to not bite her. Not sure if that temptation was there or not, but it may have been. The not knowing is why the scene needed more! I don’t know, I’m just spewing ideas. With the latter, Will and Tessa…oh, so many things with that series is amazing but, while like the Bloodlines book, it went on to pretty much ending with him on top of her before fading, it still could have been…more. I will take what I can get of both of those couples, and I would not have objected to reading on each’s first times together. Of course that would have had the books bump from young adult to adult, but still.

The thing with having sex scenes in books, if done correctly, is that it can be so wonderful an addition. If done correctly. Okay, if you suck at writing about sex, use the fade tool, if not…give it a shot. If you’re not aiming at a younger audience, go for it. Granted, teens form thirteen on are very ‘educated’ about such matters, but that doesn’t seem to matter much to publishing industries. Not that I’m saying thirteen year olds need to be reading about sex; they really, really, REALLY don’t.

If I was better at writing on sex, I would probably put it in my WIP books in the right context; mostly the first time a couple is together, if they’ve been separated a long time, if I never showed how they work (or don’t) together in that context. It would really depend on a few factors, but I wouldn’t do it all the time because that would make it…sex heavy and, unless you are wishing to write erotica, that’s not needed. You don’t even really need to go into detail, just give a hint as to how whoever’s POV your writing in is feeling with this, what they think

And as I think about it, I take back what I said earlier; both Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare did fabulous with their fading. They didn’t need more detail with how they did it, though Mead’s could have used maybe a hint more since it didn’t stick with me as much as Clare’s. Clare’s, while still a FTB, was…perfect. It had Tessa describing how she saw Will in this light, how much love there was, and…I don’t know. I still can vaguely remember a few of the lines and the scene in my head. Mead’s…I can remember it to an extent, so maybe a hint more in there would have made it stick. Either way, they did both well with what they did, and it worked for the targeted age group especially.

Now, like I said, I suck at writing sex scenes. I can do it to a certain point, but then it just…drops. But with that said, I may or may not prefer/dabble with writing certain types of scenes in roleplay. ONLY because I am comfortable with the person who I write such things with, else it would never, never, never happen in a million years. It also helps that he’s fucking (no pun intended) amazing at writing that kind of thing. Seriously, just thinking of the wonderful writing makes me all sorts of happy. While I cannot match the skill level, I try, and when we’ve the time for it/I convince him I’m really happy. Why? No, not because of what you might be thinking, but because of the fact those scenes really add something. Especially when you are writing for a character, those scenes just…add something I cannot name. Even if there’s a fade that happens way later on, after clothes and all that is gone, or if there’s a short summation of it all, it makes it have something more. Going full out makes it all the better (sometimes), but there are ways to work around that if you can write well; which said writing ‘partner’ is. I’m really happy I met him and became comfortable even for that with him, too. Really. I hate asking to not fade scenes because I’m shy and, again, awful at writing those scenes (but I’m working on it), but still happy I’m able to from time to time.

So, yes, when done well and not overly so that the work of writing spills over into erotica, I like ‘racier’ scenes in novels instead of ‘simple’ FTB scenes; more developed FTB scenes (seriously, read Infernal Devices, I forget which book. But read them all because all are wonderful anyway.) sure, but simple and stopping soon as someone looses a shirt, no. This is something I’m not ashamed to admit, because it isn’t as if I’m looking for such scenes for my own sexual gratification, but more for the so beautiful addition they can be. The bit about if you can’t write sex scenes stick to FTB still applies, seriously. If you can’t write that kind of stuff, don’t hurt us with publishing a book with a long, bad sex scene in it. All the readers will skip it.

I really do find this topic interesting, and am truly curious as to what others think if they are for such scenes, or if ‘cleaner’ is more their style. I think the like and dislike of these scenes tells a bit about a person in terms of how much they prefer privacy or if they may be open about the sex life. That’s speculation, but it’s still a possibility.

And because I found the post again, here’s what got me thinking (and the except in that post is something along the lines of what makes me happy in books, it doesn’t need to be but so detailed to make it work):  http://jezebel.com/steamy-sexxxy-raunchy-books-are-you-pro-or-con-1624591921

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ntdc
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:22:40

    that´s a long blog for ‘ No, not because I enjoy reading such thing,s ‘ 😛
    right, it´s interesting, I read the linked blog and comments too, and even sacrificing my lunch break while trying to dampen my headache with coffee. sex scenes, yes please. if they aren´t really dumb, where they belong, if I like the book/characters enough to read it anyway, sex or no. I don´t really read sex scenes that often, probably because most books I read are non-fiction and much of the rest is written by authors who don´t…bother with it? but of course I´m curious and browse and scan all kinds of stuff to see if I might like it. the books/series that focus on sex scenes tend to be short and, well, (partly -incredibly-) dumb, and even if I might appreciate the scene if it was in some good book, those books and characters tend to be -that- kind of incredibly dumb and stereotypical, that it really hurts to read, unless probably they are the more ‘artsy-literature’ kind (but those unfortunately tend to bore me on a whole). I´m completely fine too though with hints or FTB and the tension build-up or the sex -not- happening can be better than if it would, too. if I like a book in general and there would be sex scenes of characters of that book that -don´t- interest me, I´d skip it just like I skip POVs of chars that annoy me in books that have many chars and POVs and I like enough to still read, if characters I find interesting/identify with get a hot scene, great, sure! not too many though, I want the story to move on! let me see, rather a good story with no sex or FTB than a good story with bad sex or a crap story with good sex – but a good story -and- some -good- sex scenes? who the hell wouldn´t want that 😛
    an author should of course decide themselves if a sex scene is appropriate and if they want to write it out, or if they want to leave it up to their readers, what exactly happens (for any kind of reasons, including that they are smart enough to know they can´t pull it off). if I´d write a book myself, say with my char A. as main male char, and, somehow, had just gotten the inspiration for a hot scene where he walks into a library with a sexy librarian sitting at her desk, I´d have several options, an explicit sex scene, a FTB, an explicit sex scene but only happening in his head 😉 , just building up major tension which might or might not be released during the rest of the book, starting out hot and explicitly but ending with a cold shower (again, several reasons possible) or ending with a really surprising twist (hm, yes, I think this one 😛 ) …hey, authors have a good life, eh. but what I actually wanted to get at is a scene like that would work because A. is a character who´d take or make that opportunity happen, while it would be complete bs with some other character of mine, so better leave it out there and focus on just charming the nice librarian enough to help with the research on a topic that the char is invested in and which will drive the plot on. a pity maybe for the possible sex scene, but if the char already has a romantic interest in some other char in the book and isn´t the kind to conveniently ignore that, it would sacrifice the integrity of a character for a hot scene, that can´t work in a ‘real book’ which isn´t just written around the sex scenes. explicit or FTB then, where sex fits in or belongs in the first place, that I´d leave to the circumstances, probably as author I´d try for an element of surprise, fade out where people would expect an explicit scene and throw one in where it might come as a ‘wow! didn´t see that coming along!’. also, from the POV of an author I guess it´s a lot of internal pressure, you might want to rather be accused of a boring book than a boring sex scene by your readers 😛 so no sex scene or FTB is the safe way to go. and then, of course, if you or your manager are aiming at a target audience including underage readers I guess that´s already a big factor explaining missing explicit sex scenes 😉

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    • Deidre
      Sep 30, 2014 @ 00:44:22

      Well that’s because I like it, just not for the reasons people would usually assume 😛
      What I got is tat you mostly agree with what I’ve said, but I’ll also be nice and reply to the stuff one by one 😛
      Yes, ‘those’ kinds of books do tend to be boring or annoying or whatever. I’ve looked them into them, too, figuring why not but…yea, I need story or I get bored. One reason why video games that lack a good story/relatable or likable chars bore me as well.
      And, yea, some people would prefer good book with no sex scenes than good book with some good sex scenes, cause…I don’t know, how they regard sexuality? *shrugs* But you’re right, sometimes it is unneeded, and putting sex in a book just for the sake of putting sex in it is…pointless and silly.
      And I actually read your comment earlier on my phone and I’ve a few things to say; one, now I’m curious as to what that that ‘twist’ would be as much as how you would make such a scene work…and my mind may have wandered during math class and I may have started writing such a thing from a woman’s POV *coughs* thank you for that, btw 😛
      But yes, that exactly all makes sense to me, like I said, sex for the sake of sex in a book is…eh, no.
      Black Dagger Brotherhood? hm, yea, not sure where that came from lol Never heard of it myself. And…if you mean young adult books (which are really for anyone, only from the POV of a teen around 16 or 17 usually, which is why it’s aimed at those ages even if others read it, too), I know of one at least who wrote the ‘Wildefire’ series by Karsten Knight. And I just checked and foudn there is in fact a third book in the series…which I am going to have to get lol But, even if done by a guy, the POV is from a female’s.
      And I hadn’t been thinking you only read the posts with sex in the title, if you did, I’d be worried…but clearly you had plenty to say to this one *grins*

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  2. ntdc
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:41:33

    oh right, and this made me look up the two series you mentioned and the ‘Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series mentioned somewhere in the linked blog or comments, but still not sure on that 😛 might be worth a read though for insight into the target audience´s mind 😉 and as inspiration for own writing, that kind of thing seems to sell very well 😛 actually, are there any series like those by male authors? that ‘scene’ seems to be completely dominated by female writers?

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  3. ntdc
    Sep 29, 2014 @ 12:44:43

    and yes, I read all posts, not only those with ‘sex’ in the title, I just…don´t have much to say to some posts 😛

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  4. ntdc
    Sep 30, 2014 @ 16:52:24

    hm, I see, well, I don´t think writing from the perspective of a 16 or 17 year old girl would be my best point eitherway, probably I better work on the dragon and draken encyclopedia again from a 14 year old boy now. well, once I´m done writing my tax and stuff papers -_-

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    • Deidre
      Oct 01, 2014 @ 18:11:38

      Well, I tend to lean more to young adult (not sure why, but my mom’s the same so it’s not jsut me 😛 ) and the two I mentioned are for the POV of a 18/19 year old, so really the genre covers any sort of teen years, including the 14 😛 And you could totally write form a guy’s POV, it’s jsut most often a girl’s because…not sure lol
      But yes, once you’re free from tax papers and all that, let your dragon and draken encyclopedia continue, is interesting 🙂

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      • ntdc
        Oct 01, 2014 @ 18:54:15

        I suspect the reader group of female teens, twens and moms prefers the female perspective, so my books wouldn’t sell well :p

        Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  5. Deidre
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 18:57:41

    Hm, no, there’s more adult women reading it than you’d think…and maybe they’d all like to read form a guy’s POV. I know I love when the books I read have a guy’s POV chapter(s) *nods*
    Ah, I was about to say ‘Warm Bodies’ is one, but that’s ‘technically’ an adult book, though it still hits the young adult readers, too, I think. Especially after that disgrace of a movie came out…

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