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View Full Version : Is it me or has sex faded away?


Bealeblast
07-06-2007, 10:52 PM
hi all, haven't been to this genre board yet, but I do write erotica, what I would call literary erotica, or women's fiction, just because it's not genre romance ....and I've noticed that in a lot of women's fiction there's this big blip that happens between the begining of a love scene and the end...so I say, where did all the sex go? I mean between two (or more, I don't really care) as long as they're consenting adults and there's some fun and foreplay involved?????

I'm trying to come up with good examples of current women's fiction titles with good sex in them. I've heard Jane Smiley's latest has some...

Cheers!

veinglory
07-07-2007, 04:13 AM
I agree. Even in what is meant to be erotic romance there are a *lot* of books that give a few pages of 'kiss, ephemisms about missionary penetration, immaculate orgasm'. It's sex Jim, but not as I know it.

MMcC
07-07-2007, 07:45 AM
I haven't found this in mainstream romance, but it seems to me that since the big move was made about ten years ago to include (gasp) scenes including oral sex, many writers have been phoning it in and have gotten boring.

I read a much-hyped "dark erotic romance" last weekend that included one identical scene after another with plottyness between. There was a total of one unique scene among perhaps half a dozen others that read distinctly similar... nearly indistinguishable.

It's almost as though the lure of the taboo being eliminated left everyone with nothing to hint at, and destroyed creativity.

They can't all be good, but do NEARLY all have to be mediocre?

Sean D. Schaffer
07-09-2007, 12:20 AM
I haven't found this in mainstream romance, but it seems to me that since the big move was made about ten years ago to include (gasp) scenes including oral sex, many writers have been phoning it in and have gotten boring.

I read a much-hyped "dark erotic romance" last weekend that included one identical scene after another with plottyness between. There was a total of one unique scene among perhaps half a dozen others that read distinctly similar... nearly indistinguishable.

It's almost as though the lure of the taboo being eliminated left everyone with nothing to hint at, and destroyed creativity.

They can't all be good, but do NEARLY all have to be mediocre?


Hmmm,

Now I think I understand something a little bit better than I did before. I'm not sure exactly what just yet but, as I'm fairly new to the genre, I don't think I know what words, exactly, I can use to describe what I'm saying.

But to put it as best I can, I think I've learned that not mentioning things flat-out in Erotica is just as important as having good sex in a story. In other words, being creative is not about being blunt in one's wording, but rather about being suggestive.

So this is what Erotica really is? I have some serious thinking to do.

Thanks for pointing this out.

:)

kristie911
07-09-2007, 12:51 AM
But to put it as best I can, I think I've learned that not mentioning things flat-out in Erotica is just as important as having good sex in a story. In other words, being creative is not about being blunt in one's wording, but rather about being suggestive.


I think it depends on your market and your target audience. Some may want more suggestive writing. I, on the other hand, read erotica because I'm looking for something more raunchy than just a romance novel. I can read Nora Roberts (or just about any other romance novel) and get suggestive and flowery wording. But if I pay for Jaid Black (or whoever) I want something more straightforward. I want something that is more like porn than romance.

Again, I'm just one reader...I think we're all looking for something different. :)

kristie911
07-09-2007, 12:53 AM
I read a much-hyped "dark erotic romance" last weekend that included one identical scene after another with plottyness between. There was a total of one unique scene among perhaps half a dozen others that read distinctly similar... nearly indistinguishable.


But that doesn't mean I don't want it to be creative!

(Sorry, I should have multi-quoted this but I forgot!)

veinglory
07-09-2007, 01:10 AM
I see absolutley no reason not to flat out mention every little thing, which can be donr just as beautifully as glossing over--or more so--and despite what others might say is typically far hotter and more exciting. I hate coy 'erotica'. I don't want it left to my imagination, thank you--I can imagine without reading a book, when I read a book I want to enjoy the writer's imagination in full and in detail.

Chasing the Horizon
07-09-2007, 01:18 AM
I haven't found this in mainstream romance, but it seems to me that since the big move was made about ten years ago to include (gasp) scenes including oral sex, many writers have been phoning it in and have gotten boring.

I read a much-hyped "dark erotic romance" last weekend that included one identical scene after another with plottyness between. There was a total of one unique scene among perhaps half a dozen others that read distinctly similar... nearly indistinguishable.

It's almost as though the lure of the taboo being eliminated left everyone with nothing to hint at, and destroyed creativity.

They can't all be good, but do NEARLY all have to be mediocre?
I've found sex scenes to be by far the hardest scenes to keep interesting. I don't write scenes as explicitly as erotica, and haven't found that this 'hinting' makes it any easier. I've read many books which also failed at keeping sex interesting, both in erotica and romance.

I went back and reread the sex scenes in the books I could recall having multiple sex scenes without getting repetitive a little while back and discovered that the main thing they had in common was detail. The sex scenes were long and very detailed, thus probably giving the writer more elements to change around in order to avoid repetition. Some (particularly the better erotica) had a mixture of long detailed scenes and short to-the-point scenes as well, which also seemed to help keep the sex interesting.

I think some erotic writers also forget that even in erotica the sex scenes must still advance the plot and/or characters, and not just be gratuitous. Sex that doesn't further the story certainly gets boring very fast. The best erotica I've read had the plot and sex so intertwined that the story couldn't have stood without explicit sex.

veinglory
07-09-2007, 01:29 AM
The actions may be repetitive, although in erotica it is more the normal to mix up the action of who does what t whom tio avoid this. But as with any scene what it does for the story also changes. The sex is expressing something, a change in the plot of development of character. So it shouldn't sound that same-y IMHO.

MMcC
07-09-2007, 01:35 AM
I suppose it should really follow the same rules as our actual sex lives. If my husband came home and did the exact same thing on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday that he did last Sunday I'd whack him in the head as he was doing it just to switch things up.

I'm not saying every sex scene in an erotic novel must be completely unique, but it should have a certain individuality. I'm not saying there have to be huge changes. But this is CREATIVE. Writing should be an exercise in exploring the power of a moment like that. If they all read the same the writer is doing something wrong, imho... hopefully only on the page.

Sean D. Schaffer
07-09-2007, 02:14 AM
I see absolutley no reason not to flat out mention every little thing, which can be donr just as beautifully as glossing over--or more so--and despite what others might say is typically far hotter and more exciting. I hate coy 'erotica'. I don't want it left to my imagination, thank you--I can imagine without reading a book, when I read a book I want to enjoy the writer's imagination in full and in detail.


I feel kinda strange saying this, but I had to look up the word 'coy' before responding to this post. Some writer, huh?

Anyway, I simply worried about being too strong with my descriptions and stuff. Like I said in my earlier post, I didn't really know how to put my thoughts on this subject into words.

I don't want to be overly coy in my writing; I don't think that's what Erotica writing is for. But I remember you saying my descriptions in one of my short stories were too strong. Basically, I'm trying to find a balance between too strong and too soft ... and perhaps I'm committing the atrocity of trying to please all readers all the time, something I know I cannot do.

Maybe that's my own issue, in that I really don't know what I'm doing. I mean, I know how to write a good sex scene, but at the same time, I wonder if I'm being too blatant in my words to the detriment of my own creativity.

I like this thread. It's very thought-provoking.

:)

veinglory
07-09-2007, 02:43 AM
I didn't mean they were too explicit, I felt they were overblown which is more to doing with being metaphorical or overly modified than specific. I think you may be confusing different issues here.

Sean D. Schaffer
07-09-2007, 04:09 AM
I didn't mean they were too explicit, I felt they were overblown which is more to doing with being metaphorical or overly modified than specific. I think you may be confusing different issues here.



I see what you're saying now ... I think. Sometimes I take a while to actually get the meaning of people's words. It's no fault of your own; it's rather that I am slow to understand some things.

Thank you kindly for clarifying your words. I appreciate it highly.

:)

Bealeblast
07-09-2007, 04:39 AM
Getting back to my original question...what about women's fiction? Where is the sex in these books...the kind book groups chat about? I know there is a lot more explicit sex in different categories of romance fiction in the genre sense ...which I guess as was suggested, is a recent phenomena of ten years or so...

When I first wrote the sex scenes for the novel I just finished, there were a lot more names of things (body parts, specific actions) but on another pass I moved the focus to the feelings being experienced (not leaving action out) just moving the emphasis... it felt more interesting and moved the characters' stories (plot) along ....as we all know sex is often the place where unexpressed emotions get acted out...like anger in men seems to sometimes produce very hot sex, if the woman is up for that kind of sex...in one scene I have the woman put that together, that her partner is pissed off (about the stock market) and it ironically produces very passionate hot sex, which she likes.

Very interesting the way this thread is going...

MelodyO
07-09-2007, 04:56 AM
Good thread! I think that if a book is going to have a sex scene, it should have it. None of this pussyfooting around (no pun intended). Having said that, I think a lot of writers mistake graphic for explicit. I'm sorry, but I don't want to know about the noise, consistency, or trajectory of any bodily fluid, and believe me, there are some authors who are dying to tell you about it. I want to know and how heart-stoppingly exciting every act is for all involved, including the person watching from the chair across the room.

Most abbreviated sex scene I ever read was a novel that said, "He grabbed her hips as she went by." Fade to black. Well...I guess the author knew his limitations. :0)

MelodyO
07-09-2007, 05:03 AM
Getting back to my original question...what about women's fiction? Where is the sex in these books...the kind book groups chat about?

I think there are a lot of people who are completely grossed out by sex scenes in books. I know! How crazy is that?! Heh. So I guess the more mainstream the book, the less the editor will want to spring a bathroom counter sex scene on some unsuspecting reader who's trying to eat a tuna sandwich whilst reading on her lunch hour at work. And I can understand that.

veinglory
07-09-2007, 05:38 AM
I agree, a lot of women's fiction wouldn't suit having explicit scenes. It is an genre that includes a lot of cozy or inspirational books. But I think erotic scenes could be used more in the more wry and humorous books.

san_remo_ave
07-09-2007, 08:23 AM
Good thread! I think that if a book is going to have a sex scene, it should have it. None of this pussyfooting around (no pun intended). Having said that, I think a lot of writers mistake graphic for explicit. I'm sorry, but I don't want to know about the noise, consistency, or trajectory of any bodily fluid, and believe me, there are some authors who are dying to tell you about it. I want to know and how heart-stoppingly exciting every act is for all involved, including the person watching from the chair across the room.

:ROFL:

Agreed. I like explicit, but details about trajectory I can do without.

This thread is very thought provoking As an avid romance reader/writer, eroticism and the sex scene have varying levels of play. Now, I'll admit I haven't yet written such a scene myself (too distracted with character development issues so far), but I agree on the overuse of coy euphemisms and predictability. There's nothing better than finding an author who writes these scenes with realism and tact.

Chasing the Horizon
07-09-2007, 10:34 AM
Bealeblast, if the answer you're looking for specifically relates to mainstream women's fiction, you may have better luck asking over in romance & women's fiction or novel writing. When I wanted to know the generally accepted heat level in fantasy I asked over in the SF&F sub forum and got exactly what I was looking for. A lot of the people familiar with mainstream women's fiction probably don't wander into this sub forum often.

I'm just pointing this out because I'm not sure you're getting the answers you were looking for here. If you are, then just ignore me. :)

gingerwoman
07-09-2007, 04:15 PM
While describing what they do, describe how they feel. The reason each thing turns them on and how and why it makes them hot .