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Old 01-13-2013, 08:59 AM   #1
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Multiple POV characters - which to use for the sex scenes??

Ok, so I've got an MMC and an FMC, and they're both important POV characters. The MMC is the main POV character in the main plot, the FMC pretty much runs the subplot.

Problem is, when they're together I generally only show the FMC's POV. I guess this is because I'm more familiar with the female perspective when it comes to romance. I can get in her head and know what she's thinking and feeling.

Men, on the other hand, are somewhat of a mystery to me when it comes to romantic feelings. I know they have feelings, I just don't really know where they come from (don't be obvious, I don't mean there) or how their mental process goes. My characterisation of men's thought processes during sex scenes seems to veer between the extremes of 'Ooh yeah, I'm so gonna enjoy tapping that...' and 'Oh gods, I can't stand it any longer! I must make sweet love to you...'

Both icky.

So, firstly, if I just stay with my FMC's POV throughout the love scenes, and don't show the thoughts of the MMC (who is the main character in the novel) at all, will that look like a glaring omission?

Secondly, if I was to dip into the MMC's thoughts during these scenes, WTF do guys think about in those situations???
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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I always go for the one, for whom, the act is more important. And, for me, that's typically the FMC.

I do have to voice that male and female thoughts of sex are very similar. Women can be just as perverted as some men, and men can be just as shy and reserved as some women.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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I think if you are using her POV when they are together, then it would make sense for sex scenes to be in the same POV. And I agree that I think staying with one POV would probably be best for those scenes, though ultimately it would depend on the flow of your story.

Also, if you decide to go with the male POV, I would suggest popping into the erotica forum. IIRC, there is a thread in the protected section about questions to the male writers on the board (I would check this but my computer has forgotten the password so I should probably re-request it).
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Consistency is always good. So I don't think it'll look like a glaring omission. And especially not if the love story is part of the subplot and she's ruling the subplot.

I personally love writing scenes like that from a male perspective, it's a little easier for me because I don't feel like I have to include all the emotional stuff. But if I need deep emotional stuff I can go with anyone because my male characters are just cool and in touch with their emotions like that. ^_^

Seriously though, people watching is great for writing. When I was in college, I would sit on a bench with a notebook sometimes and write short bios of all the people that walked by.

And I second paint the sky's suggestion of checking out some of the other boards.

At the end of the day though, if you're not comfortable don't do it. But I would try one scene out for fun anyway, stretch yourself. You may find a diamond in the rough. ^_^
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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I agree that it won't look like a big omission especially if the relationship has been looked at from her POV.

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Old 01-13-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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I alternate them in mine, because each brings something different to it. If you go for thecmale perspective have you a male beta who can look at it?
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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I second the suggestion that you get the password for the erotica SYW section. Also read books with scenes from a man's POV. And just have a crack at it.
I had never written a sex scene from a man's POV before answering a challenge thread in Erotica SYW. Now that's all I write.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Seriously though, people watching is great for writing.
That might be a bit of a problem in this case....


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WTF do guys think about in those situations???
The big game. The hot waitress at the restaurant. Where's everyone hanging out on Friday night? I hope she likes *this*. Crap, she didn't like that!

In all seriousness, I think what a guy is thinking about in this case may not be all that different from what a woman thinks about. And what he's thinking about may vary depending on his level of interest/commitment with the woman, whether he's prone to performance anxiety, how long it's been since he last had any, what's going on in his life outside of the romance, etc., etc.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:16 PM   #9
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Men, like women, are concerned with the basics: happiness, security, health, and finding love. Men aren't all "slam, bam, thank you, Ma'am" jerks.

Some men make their primary goal in lovemaking to maximize the pleasure of their partner. Other men are selfish in that regard. But the same can be said of women. Some people of either gender are experienced, and some are inexperienced, which can create anything from comfort to awkwardness.

What you need to do is look back at how you developed the characterization of your male MC and tailor his involvement in lovemaking along those same lines. If you have established him as a selfish jerk, that can be amplified in the love scene. If he is a caring individual, that can be played out as well. If he has any specific hang-ups, they can impact his mental state in the bedroom. Presumably you've spent significant ink to make him a 3-D character, so you have a good background to formulate his attitudes and actions in a love scene.

On the other hand, since making love is one of the most intense emotional activities going, you have the opportunity to introduce new challenges to that character through the level of intimacy he perceives and the level of intimacy he is able to give.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:24 PM   #10
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Seriously though, people watching is great for writing.
That might be a bit of a problem in this case....
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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I show the scene from the perspective of the character for whom the act holds the most character-development significance, and I try to alternate characters through the story, unless the character development and plot make it important to show the other side.

As for guys... they are people too. They feel tenderness, protectiveness, affection, same as we do. They also enjoy the mechanics of making a woman respond, so I put in more of his actions and her reactions.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:02 PM   #12
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What you need to do is look back at how you developed the characterization of your male MC and tailor his involvement in lovemaking along those same lines. If you have established him as a selfish jerk, that can be amplified in the love scene. If he is a caring individual, that can be played out as well. If he has any specific hang-ups, they can impact his mental state in the bedroom. Presumably you've spent significant ink to make him a 3-D character, so you have a good background to formulate his attitudes and actions in a love scene.
Neuro hit the point, depends on the character personality, some guys like it rough others slow grinding. Use it to develope your character in emotional level. Just doing the FMC will actually alienate the female readers, im sure they would like to read from the MMC pov.
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:31 PM   #13
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:40 PM   #14
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Aside from issues about his specific character--which are of course the most important thing when writing--what do you want a man to think when he's in bed with you? What sorts of things do you think when you're in bed with a man?

Personally I think the most important thing (and this is assuming he's into her and not just getting laid for the fun of it) is that he's paying attention to her. Her reactions, how she moves, what she seems to like or not like. He's watching her (and don't forget, too, that men often "look" more than women, if for no other reason that that it's easier for them to do so). He's probably focusing on the parts of her body he likes best. He's probably looking down to watch what's happening. Maybe he's wondering what she's thinking, if she's enjoying it, if it means to her what it does to him.

I usually use "what you want a man to be thinking" as a starting point, and modify from there.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Hey guys, thanks so much for all your comments. So many good points and suggestions. I'll try to answer as many as I can - you guys are great

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Also, if you decide to go with the male POV, I would suggest popping into the erotica forum. IIRC, there is a thread in the protected section about questions to the male writers on the board
Thanks IPTS - I've popped my head into the erotica forum once or twice, but it doesn't interest me that much. The scene I'm talking about isn't erotica, but I think it is important to show the sex scene as part of the development of their relationship.

I'll check out the questions to male writers though, as that sounds useful. Thanks

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Seriously though, people watching is great for writing.
Thanks for the advice! I did sneak into my neighbours' bedroom once when I heard them having sex, got out my notebook and told them not to mind me, just carry on and pretend I wasn't there. Oddyly enough, didn't go down too well....

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But I would try one scene out for fun anyway, stretch yourself. You may find a diamond in the rough. ^_^
I have tried writing the scene from his POV once, but it went somewhere COMPLETELY unexpected and made me blush. It also made him look like a jerk. Maybe I think all men are jerks? Hehe, not really. I've just probably shagged a bunch of jerks - LOL!

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I alternate them in mine, because each brings something different to it. If you go for thecmale perspective have you a male beta who can look at it?
I was about to say no, but then I remembered that I do have a male friend who has read my first few chapters, and is asking for the next. I haven't sent it to him yet because it's where the romance subplot gets going, and I'm a bit... embarrassed....

He's like, a lawyer though, so I'm also a bit worried he'd be going through and looking for loopholes and illegalities

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Also read books with scenes from a man's POV.
Oooh, now that is a good suggestion. Can't think of that many books I've read with a male POV sex scene. Know any? And preferrably hetro, so I don't accidentally have my MC fantasising about his brother in law while he's supposed to be boinking the poor slave girl

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In all seriousness, I think what a guy is thinking about in this case may not be all that different from what a woman thinks about. And what he's thinking about may vary depending on his level of interest/commitment with the woman, whether he's prone to performance anxiety, how long it's been since he last had any, what's going on in his life outside of the romance, etc., etc.
Thanks for that, Jeff. I guess I know my MC's thoughts when it comes to his wife, but I've never really disentangled his exact feelings and anxieties when it comes to his One True LoveTM.

He's just spent a week away from her, in which time he's come to realise he can't stop thinking about her. Part of it is unresolved sexual tension, because he was just about to get it on with her when he got interrupted by the urgent message that called him away. But something else happens when he gets back that makes him reevaluate his feelings - she dances naked at his welcome home banquet, and instead of being aroused he is mad as hell. He drags her out and sends her to her room. When he comes back to the banquet, one of his guests makes a lewd comment about her, and he nearly takes the guy's head off. The scene I'm writing occurs later, when he calls her to his room to have it out with her.

I guess there are a lot of complex feelings going on in his head, and I find it easier to describe the way he acts on them from her POV rather than to try and make sense of them from his POV. Does you know what I mean?

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Men, like women, are concerned with the basics: happiness, security, health, and finding love. Men aren't all "slam, bam, thank you, Ma'am" jerks.
Hehe, I know. My MMC's motivation in the subplot is finding a woman who makes him happy because his wife is a harridan (in his eyes).

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Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
Some men make their primary goal in lovemaking to maximize the pleasure of their partner. Other men are selfish in that regard. But the same can be said of women. Some people of either gender are experienced, and some are inexperienced, which can create anything from comfort to awkwardness.
Yep, too true. In this case I have a 28 year old uber macho male MC who has been bedding women left right and centre whenever he pleases, being as selfish as he likes, and an inexperienced girl of 16. He feels very possessive and protective towards her, and is drawn to her innocence and artlessness. I guess I have a bit of a Mr Rochester/Jane Eyre set up going...

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Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
If he has any specific hang-ups, they can impact his mental state in the bedroom.
I guess I never thought about this, but... if her innocence is the thing that draws him to her, could he be worried that bedding her will ruin the quality he finds so attractive? Or maybe that's the aim - bed her, get it out of his system, move on. Stop letting her mess up his head.

Obviously doesn't work though

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Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
On the other hand, since making love is one of the most intense emotional activities going, you have the opportunity to introduce new challenges to that character through the level of intimacy he perceives and the level of intimacy he is able to give.
This, I think, is where I'm struggling. Somehow I can't seem to shake the idea that male intimacy = soppy, and this is inconsistent with his uber macho character. I think I use the female POV as a way of putting up a wall around his thoughts, so I don't have to deal with them and he can still appear macho, lol

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Originally Posted by VoireyLinger View Post
I show the scene from the perspective of the character for whom the act holds the most character-development significance, and I try to alternate characters through the story, unless the character development and plot make it important to show the other side.
Hmm. I think they're both important, but for her this romance is kinda the main plot, whereas to him its a subplot. He has other things to deal with in the story, and his feelings for her are just a distraction - the significance being that they distract him so much he drops the ball in the main plot

hmmm.

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Originally Posted by NeuroFizz View Post
As for guys... they are people too. They feel tenderness, protectiveness, affection, same as we do. They also enjoy the mechanics of making a woman respond, so I put in more of his actions and her reactions.
Lol, yes, I'm ok with the technical actions part This sex scene is the first time in a while he's actually been bothered about the woman's pleasure, because he's used to being with experienced girls who know what he likes, but this one is.... *gasp*.... a virgin. I guess there is a whole new text book on how guys behave when they know it's their partner's first time, huh?

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Just doing the FMC will actually alienate the female readers, im sure they would like to read from the MMC pov.
Wow, really? Coz I've found the opposite to be true - most women are fine with it all being from her POV, but the few men who've read the story want more of the male's perspective.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #16
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Hey guys, thanks so much for all your comments. So many good points and suggestions. I'll try to answer as many as I can - you guys are great



Thanks IPTS - I've popped my head into the erotica forum once or twice, but it doesn't interest me that much. The scene I'm talking about isn't erotica, but I think it is important to show the sex scene as part of the development of their relationship.

I'll check out the questions to male writers though, as that sounds useful. Thanks



Thanks for the advice! I did sneak into my neighbours' bedroom once when I heard them having sex, got out my notebook and told them not to mind me, just carry on and pretend I wasn't there. Oddyly enough, didn't go down too well....

Commenting on technique, that's just rude imo.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:46 PM   #17
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I usually go by who has the most to gain/lose in the situation. If your sex isn't moving the storyline along neither will be gaining or losing anything, they'll just be scrumping. There has to be something at stake each time they get together and you need to decide who the reader needs more insight on. If it's a romance, making your audience fall in love with your hero is in some ways more important than empathizing with your leading lady, and most women won't fall in love with someone who is there as a masturbatory device for the leading lady. PS- Watch free 'couples' amateur porn. You'll have to go through tons of shitty OMG bleach my eyes porn to find it, but when you do take note of how the man treats his woman.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:51 PM   #18
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Wow, I took like, an hour to post, and in the meantime Corny and Stacia chimed in.

Corny, no. Just.... no. BAD Cornflake. Smacky wrist time.

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Aside from issues about his specific character--which are of course the most important thing when writing--what do you want a man to think when he's in bed with you? What sorts of things do you think when you're in bed with a man?
Oooooh, this is dangerous territory... if I do that I may end up exposing the entire scene as wish fulfillment fantasy, lol

I don't think my mental state in these situations is a very good template for a naive, inexperienced 16 year old girl. I'm probably more like the jaded, selfish and over sexed MMC, LOL

But I seriously would not know what to do with an inexperienced partner. EEK! I think I'd get my coat and finish up at home


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Personally I think the most important thing (and this is assuming he's into her and not just getting laid for the fun of it) is that he's paying attention to her. Her reactions, how she moves, what she seems to like or not like. He's watching her (and don't forget, too, that men often "look" more than women, if for no other reason that that it's easier for them to do so). He's probably focusing on the parts of her body he likes best. He's probably looking down to watch what's happening. Maybe he's wondering what she's thinking, if she's enjoying it, if it means to her what it does to him.
Ya see, if I focus on all that, putting myself in a guy's head thinking about a girl, I start to wonder if I'm a lesbian... or rather whether my mum will think I am when she reads it!

I'm only partly kidding.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:42 PM   #19
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What about the PoV of the vibrator or the cock ring?

Seriously, I would consider two things here... one is whose PoV would make the most interesting scene. After all, you do not shift to the character who is sitting on their arse doing nothing while someone else is off kicking butt somewhere (unless the tension on waiting is your drama...). The other is which do you feel most comfortable with, which is obviously the female PoV.

If you want his input how about them discussing it afterwards in some way? He can then tell her how he feels (or even during, people do talk during sex after all...) or you can show his responses in how he reacts to what she is doing.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:03 PM   #20
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If you want his input how about them discussing it afterwards in some way? He can then tell her how he feels (or even during, people do talk during sex after all...) or you can show his responses in how he reacts to what she is doing.
Good ideas. Unfortunately he falls asleep afterwards (so MALE! lol. But significance here is that he wants to do post coital schnuggling with her, whereas he kicks the others out when he's finished) and she leaves before he wakes up. Afterards he determines not to see her for a while because instead of 'getting it out of his system' as he intended, its just made it worse.

I guess I could have him discuss all this with his brother in law... they do have a buddy thing going, and they're work colleagues, so it would probably come up in the context of 'Oh man, did you seriously just throw the supreme commander of the armies out of your gaff over a SLAVE GIRL? you is crazy!'

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:09 PM   #21
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I have done sex scenes from both male and female POV. I think you need to get over the "this is icky, omg!" factor, especially if you plan on writing sex scenes again. Ever. Also, why does a man have to be so different? Things feel good for men. Men have some emotions involved as well. It's not all cheesy 80s porn dialogue. OH F*** YEAH! B**** YOU LIKE THAT. THIS IS SO DAMN HOT. I LOVE HER A***.

Really?
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #22
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I have done sex scenes from both male and female POV. I think you need to get over the "this is icky, omg!" factor, especially if you plan on writing sex scenes again. Ever.
Me think sex scenes icky? That's not it - god, no! I can write a sex scene from a female POV in all it's technicolour glory, and not blush once. I just don't know how to get in my male character's head without making him look like a total jerk or a soppy fool.

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Also, why does a man have to be so different? Things feel good for men. Men have some emotions involved as well. It's not all cheesy 80s porn dialogue. OH F*** YEAH! B**** YOU LIKE THAT. THIS IS SO DAMN HOT. I LOVE HER A***.

Really?
That's my problem - I think I've only ever known one extreme or the other. Guys are either totally filthy (love it, but not appropriate for my scene) or just really soppy and romantic, which quite frankly makes me cringe.

Trying to find a happy medium is proving problematic...
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #23
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Also read books with scenes from a man's POV.
I would add that the male POV scenes you read should ideally be written by a man.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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Is there no option to vote for perverted bunny narration?
How about from the POV of the bed? Does no one think of how the bed suffers from all this bouncing about??
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:08 PM   #25
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How about from the POV of the bed? Does no one think of how the bed suffers from all this bouncing about??
Who says they do it on a bed? The first part of this scene takes place in the bath
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