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View Full Version : Can virgins write accurate sex scenes?



gwendy85
08-14-2006, 12:41 PM
This is just a question that popped out of my bored mind. But do you think virgins can accurately describe sex scenes that make the reader feel the heat? Or do experienced ones fare better?

gwendy85
08-14-2006, 12:52 PM
A little out of topic, but can anyone help me edit the poll? I wanna delete choices 1 & 2. Sorry, but it's my first time to make a poll.

triceretops
08-14-2006, 01:39 PM
Oh, you better believe that virgins can write explicit and accurate sex scenes. Just ask the Bronte sisters, three women, it was rumored, who never had the chance, but wrote the hottest, most controversial best selling books, with sex scenes, in the mid 1800s. Wuthering Heights comes to mind, and I forget the others.

Tri

aruna
08-14-2006, 01:49 PM
Can't remember Wuthrering Heights having any explicit sex scenes. Jane Eyre certainly doesn't have as much as a kiss!
The thing about Charlotte Bronte - I know far less about Emily and - is that she is able to create an incredible frisson without any actual action. The lack of sex actually makes the love story stronger.

Mayor of Moronia
08-14-2006, 03:59 PM
No way.

Marlys
08-14-2006, 04:20 PM
I think anybody can write anything, with the right combination of experience, research, and imagination. For instance, I bet most virgins know what an orgasm feels like, so they can draw on that. They can do research by reading other writers' erotic scenes and sex manuals, and talking to their sexually-experienced friends. And then use their imagination to give it all emotion and texture.

Given that many of them will be more preoccupied with sex than the rest of us, they might end up producing something even better.

alleycat
08-14-2006, 04:21 PM
I've read a few sex scenes written by teens (young "forum buddies"). They were rather . . . odd.

Quiller
08-14-2006, 05:33 PM
Industry insiders state that 2/3rd of published hard-core pornography is written by women. No conjectures are made as to whether or not some percentage of those women are virgins, but most certainly quite a few of them write sex scenes from a male point of view that not only are physically impossible but would be damn painful to attempt.

But virgins writing of a sexual experience? Why not. Clive Cussler wrote of an airplane being piloted at "165 knots per hour". And Sebastian Junger wrote of the anxious crew cleaning the spark plugs of the ill-fated fishing vessel's diesel engine in his novel "The Perfect Storm".

aruna
08-14-2006, 05:38 PM
For instance, I bet most virgins know what an orgasm feels like, so they can draw on that. ....
quote]

Male virgins, perhaps....

[QUOTE]Given that many of them will be more preoccupied with sex than the rest of us, they might end up producing something even better.[/
And why assume they are more preoccuoied with sex? Not necessarily. I think it all depends on the person and his or her imagination and writing skills. Like everything else. I can imagine myself into a milliion situations I've never been in.

Mayor of Moronia
08-14-2006, 05:45 PM
Quiller

Yeh. I come across stuff like what you cite. I recently read a Vietnam War memoir where the author says he was drafted into the army at the Moronia By The Bay Induction Center. There never was an induction center here. And he cited some restaurants that never existed, either. BS

Mayor of Moronia
08-14-2006, 05:50 PM
Aruna

If I write about what happens after you shoot someone in the heart with a shotgun, the details will be real. If I write about getting a fractured skull and a mouth full of broken teeth, the details will be real.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
08-14-2006, 06:03 PM
there is no reason to my mind as to why virgins can't write accurate sex scenes.
obviously, it wouldn't be accurate to real life for them, as they have no real life 'sex' to reflect it to, but that doesn't mean it can't be accurate for anyone who has had sex.

i'm not sure if accurate is that important when it comes to these kind of scenes. i mean, people know how 'it' happens (eg, the specifc parts involved - assuming its a heterosexual encounter). there is an awful lot of freedom as to how the lovers might be using those parts - as a result i'd say that your accuracy in a sex scene depends not on your experience of sex but on your ability to relate the characters without greatly contradicting what the reader has been told to expect from these characters thus far.
then it seems realistic for the characters, and they are the ones having the sex after all.

Nicholas S.H.J.M Woodhouse
08-14-2006, 06:06 PM
if you want to be more accurate - research it. you don't have to do it. you coul read an erotic book or two. you could ask jeeves what sex is. search google etc.

Mark Haddon wrote a book a few years ago about an autistic boy. Now, he wasn't an autistic boy but he researched and came away with great realism from it, according to some authorities on the subject.

Shaded Mazoku
08-14-2006, 06:35 PM
At the risk of being TMI...

I certainly have never had a complaint about erotic scenes I've written...

aruna
08-14-2006, 06:53 PM
Aruna

If I write about what happens after you shoot someone in the heart with a shotgun, the details will be real. If I write about getting a fractured skull and a mouth full of broken teeth, the details will be real.

I'm assuming with "real" you mean you know it first hand. But that doesn't mean you can necessarily write those scenes better than a writer who only imagines them. It all depends, like I said, on imagination and writing skill. A good writer makes it real - for the reader.

Mayor of Moronia
08-14-2006, 07:31 PM
Aruna

Too much of the imagination crap will break the spell for the reader, unless the reader is also virginal and has no idea which way 'up' is. You can get away with it doing Sci-Fi and some Horror because no one has any experiences living on Mars or being a cannibal; but most readers have played Hokey Pokey, and they know a little about shaking things all about. Writers who rely on imagination lose rapport with their readers, because the readers are thinking "this is BS."

Medievalist
08-14-2006, 07:35 PM
Given the number of non-virgins who get sex hopeless anatomically wrong, I don't think this is a major worry.

aruna
08-14-2006, 08:18 PM
Aruna

Too much of the imagination crap will break the spell for the reader, unless the reader is also virginal and has no idea which way 'up' is. You can get away with it doing Sci-Fi and some Horror because no one has any experiences living on Mars or being a cannibal; but most readers have played Hokey Pokey, and they know a little about shaking things all about. Writers who rely on imagination lose rapport with their readers, because the readers are thinking "this is BS."

Well, I don't think it's the problem you seem to think it is.

aruna
08-14-2006, 08:21 PM
Given the number of non-virgins who get sex hopeless anatomically wrong, I don't think this is a major worry.

:ROFL: I can't tell you the number of ridiculous sex scenes I've read that totally and completely threw me out - written by non-virgins. Whereas the virginal, never-been-kissed Charlotte Bronte has managed to beguile readers for centuries with her ewonderful love stpries.

veinglory
08-14-2006, 08:45 PM
If you believe me to be any judge of 'accurate' (I assure you I have some experience of the real thing) the answer is clearly a resounding yes. I have read some very hot stuff from virgins but won't name names here ;) I don't think any writer necessarily wants their sex life bandied about forums.

For a start, virgins have bodies and don't need a partner to use them. So they can easily write POV for their own gender. As a follow up most of you will know I write male/male material and am not male--I have some of the parts and not others. I had no way to be totally sure my imagination was sufficient (hell, I even have dreams where I am a man having sex) until I corresponded with gay male readers--and they had no complaints at all. In fact they seemed bemused that I was concerned about the issue.

Popeyesays
08-14-2006, 08:59 PM
I don't think any writer (other than maybe Ted Mark) has ever written an accurate sex scene. Accurate sex scenes are what we live, not what we write. A reader wants perfect sex scenes, where everything fits perfectly and there's never a fumble or a slip--a story where every climax is simultaneous.

Sex between two people requires a certain amount of practice and repetition to acheive a shadow of perfection. I think that is the reason that we as a species tend to court each other and "pair off" rather than breed by instinct where propagation is the only issue.

Regards,
Scott

Medievalist
08-14-2006, 09:00 PM
Oh, yeah writers have written accurate sex scenes; but you don't see them in fiction.

Popeyesays
08-14-2006, 09:07 PM
At risk of being too graphic:
Ted Mark wrote an oral sex scene where the young woman had lost her real teeth to illness. The dentures lock in mid act.

Now that's a real sex scene, pre-dating Something about Mary by decades.

Regards,
Scott

Marlys
08-14-2006, 09:11 PM
For instance, I bet most virgins know what an orgasm feels like, so they can draw on that.
Male virgins, perhaps....Huh? Scratching my head raw over this one.

eldragon
08-14-2006, 09:18 PM
I started to say no, but I guess it's yes.

I'm not interested in reading either, though.

I've lived it, don't need to read it.

veinglory
08-14-2006, 09:48 PM
Huh? Scratching my head raw over this one.

Ditto--especially re any female interested enough in the subject to write erotica.

aruna
08-14-2006, 10:52 PM
Huh? Scratching my head raw over this one.

I am pretty sure that MOST female virgins don't know what orgasm feels like. MOST being the operative word.

aruna
08-14-2006, 10:54 PM
Ditto--especially re any female interested enough in the subject to write erotica.

But we werem't talking about virgin readers of erotica. We were talking about virgins in general. That was my assumption.

veinglory
08-14-2006, 11:02 PM
I would put the most on thr other foot, no idea how we would find out for sure. I thought there was an implicit assumption of a virgin who had done so--even in the hypotheitical it wouldn't, um, 'come up' otherwise ;)

aruna
08-14-2006, 11:05 PM
I thought there was an implicit assumption of a virgin who had done so--even in the hypotheitical it wouldn't, um, 'come up' otherwise ;)

???Don't quite get this... though I'm sure itls something naughty!

Medievalist
08-14-2006, 11:07 PM
I am pretty sure that MOST female virgins don't know what orgasm feels like. MOST being the operative word.

I think that's no longer true, at least in North America.

aruna
08-14-2006, 11:48 PM
I think that's no longer true, at least in North America.

Possibly. But I was not narrowing it down to North Americans. Though I suppose to return to the subject of this thread it is relevant.

Marlys
08-15-2006, 12:02 AM
I am pretty sure that MOST female virgins don't know what orgasm feels like. MOST being the operative word.This would really surprise me, if it were true. Certainly doesn't reflect my experience, or that of my peer group.

But I can't find statistics either way (just try Googling any combination of "virgin," "orgasm," "masturbation" and see what you have to wade through). Although there are reports that the average age women begin to masturbate is 14 to 15, and the average age they have intercourse is 17. What the heck are they doing working at it for 2-3 years if they aren't getting any results?

And that's leaving out the girls who don't have intercourse, and thus are technically virgins, but indulge in digital or oral sex. There were lots of those in my high school--have things changed so much?

aruna
08-15-2006, 12:13 AM
This would really surprise me, if it were true. Certainly doesn't reflect my experience, or that of my peer group.

I suppose we al take our own experience to be valis for everyone. That's why I said it. I never masturbated nor felt the urge to, and as far as I know my peer group didn't either.

Perhaps as Medievalist said it's a cultural thing. I would be very surprised to learn that all women in all countries throughout all ages fit that profile!

And no, I am NOT going to google it!;)

davids
08-15-2006, 12:17 AM
Can a Catholic priest give a man and a wife valid helpful tips on leading a fullfilling marriage which includes the occasional flash in the pan-once in a while-if you keep throwing stuff against the wall something is bound to stick-imagination is the king and queen of writing-if it is interesting and well written I for one could not care less regarding the experience sexually or otherwise of the author

JulesJones
08-15-2006, 02:31 AM
A good writer can write about all sorts of experiences without having personal experience to draw from. That's what research is for.

Of course, this is one of the standard problems of being an erotica writer -- other people assume that your work must be autobiographical, when they would never assume that a crime writer is drawing on personal experience to describe what it feels like to kill someone.

I would say that the real problem is people who write about something without bothering to do the research, whether that be by personal experience or by checking it out with other people. I'm vanilla in real life, but my BDSM romances are sufficiently convincing that I've had BDSM folk assume I'm in the scene.

gwendy85
08-15-2006, 05:21 AM
Wow! I've been gone only a day and already this! This forum sure has a lotta peeps who like to post!

Anyway, though I started this thread, I do believe virgins can write the love scenes as accurate (if not more accurate in some cases) than those with experience. It's like a super delectable looking ice cream. You look at it and imagine how glorious it would taste like. Then, you eat it and its either your imagination goes out the window or broadened.

Myself? That's for me to know :)

aruna
08-15-2006, 10:26 AM
As far as the technical side of it is concerned, inexperience is no less a drawback than inexperience in any subject we writers write about. Factual information about what happens in sex is not hard to come by. And feelings are easy to imagine, if you are given to imagination.

I maintain that a good writer can write well and accurately about anything under the sun, given research and imagination.

sunandshadow
08-15-2006, 11:18 AM
I want to vote: depends on how much research they do by reading other erotica and understanding sexual anatomy and biology.

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 11:54 AM
Followed this thread since the beginning (hey, can ya blame me with such a title!) and after some serious thought, no kidding, serious thought I would like to add my two cents....

There are three separate things that occured to me while reading the posts here all of which were incredibly interesting from a certain perspective.

1. The main question was I think: Can a virgin "write" about a sex scene?
"Write" being the operative word here. We all assume (and perhaps correctly) that then we must question if a "virgin" can have a "real" orgasm. (Aruna as well made this point). It was of course assumed that a male virgin can have it though for some mysterious reason (perhaps I am naive here) the female virgin orgasm is up for debate. But the original question was can they "write" about it.

I do not know if that question can be answered by anyone except the person writing. Do they have the talent and imagination, the knowledge, the emotional depth to portray a scene of sex and an orgasm? Can the person, male or female, describe in depth the touching, tasting, carressing - the body in liquid movement, the feeling of need for the male to be inside his lover or the woman's need, her muscles clenching, her legs arching and shaking, the tremors that come with it? Can that writer understand that orgasm is the end result of other activities?

If the answer is Yes, then the description of sex coupled with an orgasm coupled with some imagination and understanding could be mind-bending. I think, it depends on the writer not on whether she or he is a virgin or not.

2. This may be a sensitive point, so please understand I am just discussing it from a writer/philosophical point of view. I have met and talked with more than just a few women who have in serious conversations (which I sometimes tend to have though rarely) told me that they have never experienced orgasm during sex, or never had an orgasm during oral sex. Some of these women had children as well. This is not the place to say "she just had horrible lovers" or "she needs therapy" or whatever reaction that one may think. Simply put, since the question would be, if one of these women were writers, would they too have a problem wriiting about something they never experienced? They did experience sex, but they never experienced its expected culmination in the "natural" setting. I think not, but I could be wrong. And if you google away, you will find that it is not an uncommon complaint amoung women that they cannot or never have had an orgasm during sex, but require either mastrubation or some other means, (toys etc.) afterwards or beforehand.

Oh to make one thing clear. I am talking about gay lovers as well. Since my leaning is hetero I tend to use the normative descriptions that apply to my world. So this is not in any way discounting the gay population.

Okay I am getting too graphic even for myself.

3. To describe an act, any act, one must understand the act, what led up to it and the consequences of it.
So here I will contradict what I said in point #1.
A person who say, writes about war, and never has been in a war, can do a great job. It can be exciting, horrible, awesome, full of pathos.
HOWEVER, and this at least for me is something I have checked, the writer who has experienced war and then wrote about it, has a depth, an understanding that no other writer no matter how good they are can convey to the readers. (Hemmingway is a good example here.)

That could be the situation in regard to the question of this thread. You may be able to write a great great scene, BUT no matter how good it is, will it convey that "utter ring of truth" to the readers as say the example of a war scene?

Now this may not be your goal in writing a sex and orgasm scene if you are a virgin or even if you are not. You may just want to convey it in a graphic way. And btw, for me, conveying the sex and orgasm of a female is much more difficult than that of a male. But will it have that "unique special ingrediant" that will make the reader gasp, sit back in awe, or just plain turned on? Will the reader believe you? I have no answer to this question.

War books written by people who have never been in it, are great for a read. They do not ring of truth to me, simply because I have experienced war. Sex on the other hand....

I just thougt I would bring these points up in a serious manner. (I know it is against my grain, but sometimes even I get serious).

aruna
08-15-2006, 02:22 PM
Remember too, teddy, that some, in fact, globally speaking, many, women, have never have an orgasm at all...

For me, the writing ability itself is far, far, FAR more important than to have had the actual experience. If writing ability happens to coincide with experience, fair enough. But I've read enough BAD, ludicrous, execrable sex scenes from people who have had sex to know that that is not the main criteria. I'd much prefer a well-written and sensitive scene by a virgin who is also a talented writer with imagination...
The same goes for war scenes, of course. Writing ability trumps everything.

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 03:55 PM
Yes Aruna... I really did not want to mention the non-orgasm thing being a male, and thought it was not correct for that to come from me. However, you are correct. The fact is that judging just from the ability of the fact if the woman has had sex and an orgasm or has not, (and a male as well) I don't think should be a criterea in writing. It is the ability to write, to feel, to let your readers feel. Now what you have personally experienced. Then again, there possibliy are some inner moments and feelings, some inner physical reactions that one would miss unless one has experienced it or has done enough reading and understanding of the subject.

rhymegirl
08-15-2006, 04:32 PM
Okay, I vote no. If I had tried to write a sex scene when I was a virgin, I'd have had no clue of what I was talking about. Yes, I could have done some research, read some books, looked at pictures, but in essence I'm sure my descriptions would have come across as phony and possibly inaccurate.

aruna
08-15-2006, 04:36 PM
Then again, there possibliy are some inner moments and feelings, some inner physical reactions that one would miss unless one has experienced it or has done enough reading and understanding of the subject.

For sure. Personal experience can add a lot of verity to a description, adding nuances or simply quirky stuff someone who hasn't been there and done that would think of. An example is writing about foreign places and people. I do think it's possible to write a wonderful story set in a country you've never been to, or write in the voice of a person from a culture foreign to you. A good writer CAN do this. But a good writer with the personal experience is even better.

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 04:38 PM
ears perk ... did the warrior Princess mention pics?

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 04:44 PM
Why use an example out of the realm..hell this thread is graphic enough...
Male Perspective:
Can a male virgin describe in all its incredibly awesome beauty what it feels to be inside of a woman?
Female Perspective:
Can a female who is a virgin desciibe the sensation of feeling someone move inside of her?

(and that is just the beggining)

I think they may use words very well, but there will always be a ring of should I say "scratching the surface" it will lack depth me thinks (no pun intended).

There are just some things that in order to write, perhaps with the total ring of truth one must have somehow somewhere experienced. Though, and again I backtrack, a good writer may just pull it off, or one that is so enconsed within the act itself but has never experienced it may just pull it off.

I simply do not know.

aruna
08-15-2006, 04:57 PM
A virgin woman can very well imagine and even know what it is like to love. To give herself to someone. To feel herself melting into him. She does not have to describe anything physical or graphic at all, and still write an exquisite scene. It's the feeling a writer brings across that makes the difference between it being flat or alive.

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 05:00 PM
Well since I am not a woman :D
I could not say yes or no.
However I tend to doubt one could say the same thing for a male, in the actual physical description of the act.

aruna
08-15-2006, 05:09 PM
Well since I am not a woman :D
I could not say yes or no.
However I tend to doubt one could say the same thing for a male, in the actual physical description of the act.

Wel, I happen to think the less physical description the better! :tongue

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 05:11 PM
Wel, I happen to think the less physical description the better! :tongue

Thus speaks the Speed Demon of the roads!
Teddy will err on the side of silence to that post!

Stacia Kane
08-15-2006, 05:50 PM
It isn't the physical aspects that disturb me, it's the emotional ones. Despite so many people's attempts to deny it, the fact is that having sex effects us emotionally and mentally--at least, having the type of romantic sex usually described in a romance, even an erotic romance, does. I wouldn't be sure someone who'd never experienced that could accurately depict it.

I'm not saying absolutely not, and I certainly would never suggest to anyone that they run out and lose their virginity so they can write good sex scenes (just like how Marjorie Morningstar finally became qualified to accurately portray emotion on stage).

I just think it's an additional challenge.


(And by the way, Teddy, something like 70% of women never have orgasms through penetration alone. It's just not the way most of us are built.)

aruna
08-15-2006, 06:06 PM
It isn't the physical aspects that disturb me, it's the emotional ones. Despite so many people's attempts to deny it, the fact is that having sex effects us emotionally and mentally--at least, having the type of romantic sex usually described in a romance, even an erotic romance, does. I wouldn't be sure someone who'd never experienced that could accurately depict it.



But I think being a writer is also about understanding others, how their minds work, what they go through in various situations? In one of my books I have a young girl sold into the brothels of Bombay. Now, I have never been sold into prostitution (though I HAVE visited Bombay;s red light district) but I can very well put myself into the mind of someone who has to go through this. I tried very hard to relive this for my readers. I don't know how well I succeeded and of course my reliving of it is nothing near to the horror of the actual experience. (there's no graphic sex in the book; it's all about the emotional effects) But it's my job to do my best to bring that to paper. So that readers can feel it too.

(Phew! This is the second time in two days I've been accused of livingin denial! Must be true!)

rhymegirl
08-15-2006, 06:31 PM
A similar question would be: Can a woman describe what it is like to be pregnant and give birth if she has never experienced it?

Years ago, a single woman, in her twenties at the time, the older sister of one of my girlfriends, wrote a poem about giving birth. She herself had never gone through the experience. I didn't read the poem, but I was told that she had captured it very well. This was said by a woman who had given birth. Personally, I don't think I could describe childbirth very accurately had I not experienced it myself.

aruna
08-15-2006, 07:23 PM
Good example. Pregnancy and childbirth - at least for me - are/were a hundred times more emotionally intensive and fulfilling than sex. But the same applies - it depends on the writer. It has been done - even by men.

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 07:24 PM
Good example. Pregnancy and Childbirth - at least for me - are a hundred times more intensive than sex.

Aruna...sheesh...we have to talk!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Stacia Kane
08-15-2006, 07:31 PM
But I think being a writer is also about understanding others, how their minds work, what they go through in various situations? In one of my books I have a young girl sold into the brothels of Bombay. Now, I have never been sold into prostitution (though I HAVE visited Bombay;s red light district) but I can very well put myself into the mind of someone who has to go through this. I tried very hard to relive this for my readers. I don't know how well I succeeded and of course my reliving of it is nothing near to the horror of the actual experience. (there's no graphic sex in the book; it's all about the emotional effects) But it's my job to do my best to bring that to paper. So that readers can feel it too.

(Phew! This is the second time in two days I've been accused of livingin denial! Must be true!)


And I do agree, which is why I didn't say it was impossible. I think the problem is a lot of people have very definite ideas about what sex is or is not like before they have it, and those may not ring true.

At least that was the case for me. I still have a sex scene I wrote as a virgin. It's a piece of crap. Not too terribly written (although I was only 16) but really crap. I'd seen pornographic films at that point in time so definitely knew the mechanics, but I have no idea what I actually thought I was writing.

So perhaps I should say, "Virgins more talented and insightful than me can do it." ;)

aruna
08-15-2006, 07:50 PM
Aruna...sheesh...we have to talk!!!!!!!!!!! :D

:D What is sex but nature's way of getting us to do the REAL stuff!;)

TeddyG
08-15-2006, 07:52 PM
:D What is sex but nature's way of getting us to do the REAL stuff!;)

True..true...but one can enjoy the ride too....:D

Popeyesays
08-15-2006, 08:24 PM
A virgin woman can very well imagine and even know what it is like to love. To give herself to someone. To feel herself melting into him. She does not have to describe anything physical or graphic at all, and still write an exquisite scene. It's the feeling a writer brings across that makes the difference between it being flat or alive.

This is the Yin and the Yang personified. Man and woman have different viewpoints inflicted by gender and plumbing. I read somewhere authoritatively that 70% of "porn" writing is done by women, and even higher percentages of women write "erotica".

The difference between porn and erotica is NOT a fine line; it's a matter of perception and that perception is blurred by gender. There is something very mysterious that goes on in the womb as a person with a "Y" chromosome transforms from female to male morphologically. At that point in development we are all 'female'. It's only when the fetus produces testoserone and REACTS to it that stimulus that physical gender differentiates.

Heck some XY chromosomal individuals are not reactive to testosterone and they develop morphologically as female. They have vaginas, develop breasts in adolescence, but there is no womb and testes are usually found where ovaries should be.

These individuals will never know they are genetically male until some problem develops--usually no menstruation, or testicular cancer.

So, in the 6th to 8th week of fetal development we are ALL female. Gender is therefore the interplay of chemicals on our bodies throughout our lives starting in the womb.

It's bound to be confusing.

Regards,
Scott

Writer2011
08-16-2006, 07:56 AM
I think Virgins can write sex scenes.... I remember the first time I ever wrote a sex-scene..(this was when I first tried writing erotica) then put it on the back burner for a while... My point is... I was a virgin then and used my imagination... :)

aruna
08-16-2006, 10:53 AM
I think the secret is not to write in every single detail, every single twitch, ever move; but to evoke something in the reader so that he/she can see the scene unfolding and fill in all the details. I know that when I'm writing about stuff I don't know enough about I bluff: I concentrate on one little detail so that it sounds as if I know a lot, an dleave the rest to the reader.

Gillhoughly
08-16-2006, 06:47 PM
I never could write nookie scenes until dropping my cherry. Now I'm pretty good at them. Nothing like hands-on research! :D

Some virgins can get away with it, but I can tell who they are.

Ditto for writers who are uncomfortable with such scenes. It comes through in the writing.

I'd suggest if a writer is in either catagory, then either get over it or avoid nookie in the booky.

Oh, writing tip: When you're working on such a scene for goodness sake DON'T think about how some uptight relative might react to it. Write for yourself!

"The first time I had sex I was utterly terrified. Good thing I was alone at the time." -- one of my friends.

aruna
08-16-2006, 06:51 PM
Some virgins can get away with it, but I can tell who they are.

.

How do you know you can tell who they are? Do you ask them?;)

Mayor of Moronia
08-16-2006, 07:04 PM
aruna and decemberquinn

I dont buy, for a moment, the notion that any of us can ever understand what happens inside another person's head. We have appetites and traits, and that's about as close as we can get. Too much of human intercourse is spell-casting.

veinglory
08-16-2006, 09:05 PM
But we don't need to get in a real person's head--just fake it in writing.

Mayor of Moronia
08-16-2006, 09:14 PM
veinglory

I think you can make assumptions from conduct. My daughter owns a restaurant. Two guys at the bar go to the restroom. My daughter waits a few minutes and sends staff into the bathrrom. The guys are in one stall doing the Hokey Pokey, "You put your (blank) in, and then you shake it all about." She kicked them out. "It was a drug deal or they were playing Hokey Pokey, and kids cant be walking in on that sort of #$%^&."

Gillhoughly
08-16-2006, 10:46 PM
How do you know you can tell who they are? Do you ask them?;)

No need, theirs is usually a self-confession in the tone of the writing, choice of words, or even utter ignorance about basic anatomy. (Lord save us from the writer who thought sexually active women got an orgasm every time they took a leak. I'm not kidding. Wish I was. Though it might be a cool thing. We wouldn't get much work done, but women would be drinking a LOT more water...)

I've read & edited enough to pick up on the sad vibe of inexperience --and in some cases revulsion for the act, so why are they writing sex? :Shrug:

I had to stop reading a romance writer because her nookie scenes were (for me) too violent. An alpha male is a great concept, but hers threw women around too roughly for my taste. In one case the woman was a recovered rape victim who might have preferred some TLC but the hero was, again, rough and too quick, which threw me out of the story. I got the impression the writer wanted to get the scene out of the way and only put it in because it was expected. (That or her own partner needs to tone up his technique.)

One of my favorite male writers has a big, solid, wholly masculine guy for the hero, yet the character varies his style to suit the lady's needs/desires. Playful, serious, gentle or a hormones-over-the-top-tumble, the dude has it--um--"nailed." :D

There's a young fella in one of my writing groups who clearly NEEDS to divest himself of that pesky virginity problem. He puts a lot of sex into his stories and it's downright awkward for the group to critique any of them. If he doesn't solve it himself pretty soon we may take up a collection and rent him a nice professional in the trade to sort him out.

On the other hand there was one writer (a pretty BIG name about 2 decades back) who hacked out a 20-page tab-A, slot-B scene which called into question whether she & her spouse had EVER done it. It was the first time I ever fell asleep reading a sex scene.

On the other, other hand another BIG name (who could really write) had a single line in one of his books that was so romantic, longing, and grab-at-the-heart for his character that was so touching and sweet that I dropped the book and set about seducing my then-spouse.

Now THAT'S writing! :D

veinglory
08-17-2006, 02:18 AM
But that means you can spot naive (possible virgin, possibly just inept) write who *don't* pull it off--not those who do and are thus indistinguishable from their sexually active peers? It's like a friend of mine who declare old people shouldnlt be able to drive because they are dangerous. He saw a few who were, not the 99% who weren't (old, to him, being over 50).

Mayor, what comment of mine were you responding to? I'm confused.

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 02:32 AM
veinglory

Dont fuss about being confused.

Medievalist
08-17-2006, 03:09 AM
I am annoyed by writers who seem to think that the hymen is industrial strength steel (it varies in type and thickness, and in some virgins is essentially absent) that's located over the cervix.

I am annoyed by writers who refer to the phallus entering inside the cervix or the womb or uterus.

And I am really really annoyed by writers who refer to nipples having an aureola

http://www.bartleby.com/61/36/A0523600.html

rather than an areola

http://www.bartleby.com/61/52/A0415200.html

veinglory
08-17-2006, 03:12 AM
LOL I think we need a new thread on bad erotica--I will start one.

Medievalist
08-17-2006, 03:14 AM
Feel free to move my post if you want Veinglory.

Or I'll post an even longer rant, if you'd like ;)

rtilryarms
08-17-2006, 04:22 AM
Good writers research well and write just as well. Others do not and don't.

To make a statement that a virgin cannot write a good sex scene is absurd.

Would you expand the argument that anyone who had sex can write about it? I doubt you would agree with that.

maestrowork
08-17-2006, 04:44 AM
We are writers. We can write anything without experiencing it first-hand. It may require some research to get it right/real, though. I mean Stephen King doesn't have to be a cop to write about cops, but he sure spends a lot of time researching/talking to them. And imagination (paired with the right amount of research/knowledge) could compensate the lack of experience.

Popeyesays
08-17-2006, 04:48 AM
Stephen Crane wrote Red Badge of Courage without ever having any military experience.

Melville never shipped out on a whaling ship.

Joseph Conrad never went up the Congo searching for The Heart of Darkness.

The Brontes were old maids, I believe.

Writers observe and write about observations. Sometimes it is themselves they observe, many times it is not.

Regards,
Scott

veinglory
08-17-2006, 05:09 AM
I would agree with that sentiment. Sex is no different from any other life experience, really. I have never parachuted out of an airplane and being afraid of both heights and planes I never will, but given a little research I could probably write a character that jumped and loved it. (I choose that examples as having intense, specific physically sensations and emotional responses involved in it). And hell, Melville showed that you can even lose some naccuracy and still write a convincing story ;)

aruna
08-17-2006, 10:57 AM
No need, theirs is usually a self-confession in the tone of the writing, choice of words, or even utter ignorance about basic anatomy.

Gilloughy, I think the problems you mention have to do with these people being bad writers, not with them being vigins. I don't understand what it is about sex that makes it so difficult to write, as compared with other life experiences. Surely if you've read several sex scenes, as I assume our hypothetical virgin writer has, it's as possible to write a convincing one yourself without any huge contortions (no pun intended!). The terms are fairly standard; she writhes, she arches. He did this, did that, put his hand there, here, and so on. The rest you can make up, just in any other life experience you haven't gone through yourself but have read about or witnessed. You put yourself in the protag's skin; you become the protag, you feel it, you write about it. Voila. That's writing.

PS: just wanted to add: virgin is NOT synonymous with teenager or idiot.

aruna
08-17-2006, 01:35 PM
aruna and decemberquinn

I dont buy, for a moment, the notion that any of us can ever understand what happens inside another person's head. We have appetites and traits, and that's about as close as we can get. Too much of human intercourse is spell-casting.

I can indeed and absolutely and 100% get inside the minds of my characters. And THAT is what it takes to write a good scene of any kind, sex or otherwise.

aruna
08-17-2006, 01:39 PM
To illustrate the idea that it's the writing talent that counts and not the experience itself: imagine Charolotte or Emily Bronte or Jane Austen had been allowed, in their day and age, to write sex scenes into their novels, and decided to do so - but still being virgins themselves. Do you really think these would have been like the clumsy offerings of a 16 year old? You bet they'd have been good, better, a WHOLE lot better than most stuff out today written by non-virgins. That's what good writers DO for heaven's sake!

Zannie
08-17-2006, 05:46 PM
PS: just wanted to add: virgin is NOT synonymous with teenager or idiot.

Amen. There are plenty of mature, adult virgins around, and, with appropriate writing skills and enough research, a virgin could certainly write a good sex scene. Not every good writer can necessarily write good erotica, but having had sex isn't what determines the ability.

I think, in most cases, a writer needs to have a degree of sexual maturity to write good sex scenes. But having sex doesn't necessarily make one sexually mature. Nor does it make someone less self-conscious about sex. (I do agree with Gillhoughly that people who are self-conscious about it shouldn't try to write sex, since it's often evident in the writing).

I've never been pregnant or given birth, but last year I wrote a very detailed fictional account of pregnancy and child-birth. I had to do a lot of research and get a number of personal experiences from other women, but the result was accurate and realistic (at least, according to responses I got from readers). I can't imagine that writing sex without the relevant experience would be any more difficult.

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 05:56 PM
I can indeed and absolutely and 100% get inside the minds of my characters. And THAT is what it takes to write a good scene of any kind, sex or otherwise.

Cannot.

aruna
08-17-2006, 06:02 PM
Cannot.

who cannot?

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 06:02 PM
Zannie

Familiar with cross-dressers? Virgin sex is in the same class of activity.

My bride has the same attitude about war. I served in Vietnam yet she believed our son should have talked to her about Iraq before he went. He talked to me. I told her "What in hell are you going to share with him?"

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 06:03 PM
aruna

I didnt stutter.

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 06:06 PM
aruna

No one can. It's a delusion. Characters arent real. There's no mind to get inside.

aruna
08-17-2006, 06:07 PM
Zannie



My bride has the same attitude about war. I served in Vietnam yet she believed our son should have talked to her about Iraq before he went. He talked to me. I told her "What in hell are you going to share with him?"

I have never been to war but if my son had to go there is a lot I'd have to tell him about where and how to find strength and courage. I don't have to have lived through a war to help him in those areas.

Popeyesays
08-17-2006, 06:08 PM
I would posit this: Characters are not people, never will be. They are but "a bag of bones" which we twich about as best we can. A writer sees into his character's head 100% accurately, that is never possible with another living person.

Every human is indeed an island with but tenuous contact with other islands.

Regards,
Scott

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 06:09 PM
aruna

Have a nice day.

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 06:11 PM
Scott

No. I wont even concede that any of us know our own minds. Epistemologically you and Aruna are skating on quicksand.

aruna
08-17-2006, 06:26 PM
Scott

No. I wont even concede that any of us know our own minds. Epistemologically you and Aruna are skating on quicksand.

For someone who claims there are only three legitimate emotions a man may have - lust, anger, and what was the third? I can understand that the concept of knowing one's characters is foreign to you. Good luck with your writing.

Zannie
08-17-2006, 06:44 PM
Zannie

Familiar with cross-dressers? Virgin sex is in the same class of activity.

Perhaps I'm just slow this morning, but I'm not following the significance or relevance of the analogy. But no matter.

The question is not about virgin sex, but about whether virgins can write accurate sex scenes. I have a casual acquaintance who is an excellent writer, is a virgin, and writes very good erotica. It may not be common, and I certainly don't think it would be easy, but my conclusion has to be that they can.

Popeyesays
08-17-2006, 07:48 PM
Scott

No. I wont even concede that any of us know our own minds. Epistemologically you and Aruna are skating on quicksand.

Read it again. Have parsed what I said? Find where I ever said we can see into our own heads? It's not there.

I said we can see into our own 'character's' head with 100% accuracy. There's a difference. We create our characters-who people our ficition-we know exactly what they see, feel, experience, remember, forget, lust after, run from--whatever. They are our creations and they are subservient to whatever we say.

My innerself is not a 'character' and it is not a self creation. I can see better into my own head than anyone else that lives and breathes, but that is not 100% accuracy--think of all the shrinks who would be on unemployment if we could.

Regards,

Scott

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 08:15 PM
Scott

I cant speak for you but I do a lot of thinking about my experiences and observations....mapping where I end and the world begins.

Not a character, you say? Read Eric Bern's SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE and get back with me.

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 08:21 PM
Zannie

Virgin sex is the whole issue! The reader soon senses who has the hat and who has the cattle.

veinglory
08-17-2006, 08:51 PM
Mayor, given that you ineed cannot speak for other people, I suggest you that you adopt a less adversarial tone. Some of your posts read as hostile to me and others are very difficult to understand (cross-dressers?)

Popeyesays
08-17-2006, 08:59 PM
Scott

I cant speak for you but I do a lot of thinking about my experiences and observations....mapping where I end and the world begins.

Not a character, you say? Read Eric Bern's SCRIPTS PEOPLE LIVE and get back with me.

I think I'd rather read Camus, Frankl, Sarte, Wittgenstein, Kirkegaard, Husserl, and other experientialists and existentialists.

I think you have a fan club of one.

Regards,
Scott

PODLINGMASTER
08-17-2006, 09:12 PM
I think anybody can write anything, with the right combination of experience, research, and imagination. For instance, I bet most virgins know what an orgasm feels like, so they can draw on that. They can do research by reading other writers' erotic scenes and sex manuals, and talking to their sexually-experienced friends. And then use their imagination to give it all emotion and texture.

Given that many of them will be more preoccupied with sex than the rest of us, they might end up producing something even better.

Sounds like they wouldn't remain pure for long, would they.

This discussion is a bit odd--and Marlys avatar is creeping me out.

Until then,

Podlingmaster

Mayor of Moronia
08-17-2006, 09:29 PM
Scott

Maybe not even one. It's a genetic problem, you understand. One of my ancestors was a member of the Florida Secession Convention in 1861. He opposed disunion and was greatly out-numbered in his views. But it didnt keep him from addressing the convention and making it clear to all that he thought they were "traitors and going to Hell." Another ancestor told the King of England to his face what sort of son-of-a-***** he thought he was. He was flogged 300 plus times.

I am never reticent when it behooves me to speak. And I learned a long time ago I dont need a mob to help me make my point. No one carrys my water for me.

aruna
08-17-2006, 10:23 PM
****(deleted by Nice-o-Meter™)****

Medievalist
08-17-2006, 11:31 PM
Don't feel too bad Aruna; I'm sure Mayor's oevre is superior in every respect to ours. It's genetics, you know. Publishers look for that.

Quiller
08-18-2006, 04:41 PM
I have never been to war but if my son had to go there is a lot I'd have to tell him about where and how to find strength and courage. I don't have to have lived through a war to help him in those areas.

but, your "help" would be wrong. trust me and trust me well, combat veterans are one whole lot different people from even veterans without combat experience, while civies -- firm in their belief they understand the realities of life -- get even the basics wrong. to this day, I can spot a fake no later than midway through his second sentence. If nothing else, the affect is different (very, very flat). Did you know that bullets going by your head at six inches make a different sound than bullets going by at twelve inches (and, you can't get any lower to the ground)? You're going to explain that to a nineteen year old boy who doesn't yet shave? Courage is not a bayonent in the teeth, a grenade in the left hand (pin pulled, ready to throw), a machine gun full out on the right hip, charging forward. No, let me tell you what courage in a combat situation is. Courage is doing **right this second** something that is more dangerous than not doing it BECAUSE it increases your total chances of still being alive thirty seconds and thirty minutes from now.

Fine, fine war novels have been written. Almost none written by combat veterans.

aruna
08-18-2006, 06:39 PM
What I meant was I'd teach him how to pray.

Maryn
08-18-2006, 11:10 PM
Don't feel too bad Aruna; I'm sure Mayor's oevre is superior in every respect to ours. It's genetics, you know. Publishers look for that.I know! That's why I always sign my query letters in blood...

Maryn, lightening the tone of the thread momentarily

veinglory
08-18-2006, 11:17 PM
Ah, but is it your blood or that of a sacrificial virgin? ;)