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Thread: MC/LI Gender Change (Sex discussion warning)

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Samantha Lane's Avatar
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    MC/LI Gender Change (Sex discussion warning)

    (I don't know for sure if I need this warning because I don't get graphic, but this is a discussion about writing a sex scene, so it doesn't hurt, right?)

    Edit: As a preamble, let me just mention that my story is told from the first person perspective of my (mostly) female MC.

    As many of you know since you helped me identify my genre, I'm revising my paranormal romantic fantasy about angels who become demons. After reading the uber-helpful "How to be a Sex Writing Strumpet" series, I realized that I need to work on my sex scene. That scene is the first time my MC and LI sleep together after MC becomes a demon.

    I was shying away from really writing a graphic scene because of the usual "Onoz, what if my dad reads this?" problems. But after reading the series, I realized that 1) I like writing sex scenes and 2) the story calls for it.

    I then realized that the story calls for a second sex scene. Since I don't want to regale you with every last plot detail, for the moment, take my word for this -- The scene would fit best if I switched my MC and LI's genders. My MC is a female through most of the book and my LI is a male; however, for this scene, it would fit the story perfectly for them to make love (and yes, it is a love-making scene) if the MC is the man and the LI is the woman. It fits the world as I've told it (i.e. angels/demons are sexless until they choose not to be).

    Assuming that I've suspended my readers' disbelief as to the mechanics of said plot development, I'm curious as to how this would be received in the paranormal romance reader community. Personally, I think it's FABULOUS and something I would want to read. But of course, that doesn't mean everyone is like that.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Smutty McTitters Ann_Mayburn's Avatar
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    Sounds very interesting and you seem passionate about it so I say go for it! You never, ever know what will be a hit and what will be a miss so make yourself happy and do what you love regardless.

  3. #3
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
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    This is something I would enjoy reading...and possibly doing a critical analysis of what it says about gender roles...which tells you right there that I'm sort of strange in my romance reading habits. Not that romance readers don't do critical analysis of gender roles, but I don't think the vast majority of any readership does that. You will be switching things up, for sure. Some people will really enjoy the added twist. It will throw some people, too, almost certainly. On the other hand, if it's what *you* want to write, I think you'll have more in common and be better able to reach that first audience, of people who'll find it refreshing and interesting.

    If the story demands it, go for it. I guarentee there's an audience for such a thing somewhere. You'll be able to find it best once you have a finished manuscript.
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  4. #4
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If this is genre-romance, I can see some readers not being totally on board if they have thought of the MC as female (regardless of being told s/he is androgynous). I mean, you yourself describer him/her as as "female". Genre romance is rarely gender fluid.

  5. #5
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Belinda McBride handled it neatly in The Bacchi. One MC was a hermaphrodite identifying as male, and the other MC was a male identifying as bisexual (and with some interesting physical adaptations.) Both characters thought of themselves as male - even in the scene where MC1 was technically the female partner.

    I also saw a similar situation in Amanda Downum's The Bone Palace (fantasy, not romance) where a transgender female character thinks of herself as only female, in spite of parts. There's a love scene with another female involving penetration, and it reads very smoothly as lesbian.

    If you can do it well without derailing the scene, I'd say try anything.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW Samantha Lane's Avatar
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    Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I'm going to go ahead and do it, because I want to, and see how it turns out. I was going to whatever the response was, but I'm always curious what other people think. It doesn't seem that controversial to me, but I don't know how normal I am.
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  7. #7
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    Normal? On this board? (Thanks for making me grin.)

  8. #8
    Impractical Fantasy Animal sunandshadow's Avatar
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    I'd probably like it unless it came out of nowhere. Also, I kinda wonder why it matters who is what gender, I don't really want to see a message that males aren't allowed to take a submissive role or something like that. Not accusing or anything, I just currently have no idea why a sex scene would work better with genders one way or the other.

  9. #9
    Gina gcsalamon's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how I would feel about it as a reader, but then, I don't read fantasy. I do read some paranormal romance, but it's pretty light, i.e., Jayne Ann Krentz, for instance. That said, I think if it fits the story line and the characters, you should be fine.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW Samantha Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow View Post
    I'd probably like it unless it came out of nowhere. Also, I kinda wonder why it matters who is what gender, I don't really want to see a message that males aren't allowed to take a submissive role or something like that. Not accusing or anything, I just currently have no idea why a sex scene would work better with genders one way or the other.
    In both scenarios, my "female" MC is the initiator. In the story, the LI is being manipulated by a demon, who only "uses" him (her) in female form. The scene that I'm considering would be him finally opening up to my MC to allow her to experience "his" "female" side.

    ... Hope that made sense.
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  11. #11
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunandshadow View Post
    I'd probably like it unless it came out of nowhere. Also, I kinda wonder why it matters who is what gender, I don't really want to see a message that males aren't allowed to take a submissive role or something like that. Not accusing or anything, I just currently have no idea why a sex scene would work better with genders one way or the other.
    NGL, this was what I was thinking when I wrote 'critical analysis of what it says about gender roles'. But it looks like there's a compelling in-story reason for it, so all's well.
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  12. #12
    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Lane View Post
    In both scenarios, my "female" MC is the initiator. In the story, the LI is being manipulated by a demon, who only "uses" him (her) in female form. The scene that I'm considering would be him finally opening up to my MC to allow her to experience "his" "female" side.

    ... Hope that made sense.
    My initial reaction was "erm...I don't think that would work..."

    But after reading this explanation, I can see why you want to change genders, and it seems necessary to the development of their relationship. Very cool. Good luck writing!
    NA contemporary romance coming June 2014 from William Morrow/Harper Collins

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  13. #13
    Friendly Neighborhood Mustelidae The Otter's Avatar
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    Sounds like something I'd be interested in reading, and very original. I can't think of any stories where I've seen this done (though I'm sure they exist.) Of course it won't be for everyone, but then, what is?

  14. #14
    Impractical Fantasy Animal sunandshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha Lane View Post
    In both scenarios, my "female" MC is the initiator. In the story, the LI is being manipulated by a demon, who only "uses" him (her) in female form. The scene that I'm considering would be him finally opening up to my MC to allow her to experience "his" "female" side.

    ... Hope that made sense.
    Ah, then it sounds like the reader is already familiar with the idea of the LI being in female form for sex, so it seems like it would be a natural progression for the LI to share that with the MC. And a gesture of reclaiming the self or self-affirmation for the LI. *thumbs up*

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