Posts Tagged ‘sex in books’

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If you’re not writing porn, and we’ve established that we aren’t; and if you’ve absolutely determined that it’s required in your writing, identify your target audience.

If you’re writing B grade pulp (Jonathan Black) go right ahead and don’t shy from using offensive P/D words and C words for body parts. Degrade it as much as possible. Have deviant sex. Only your imagination (or sanity) is the limit.

If you’re writing romance for women, try and focus on feelings and sensations rather than bludgeoning ahead with offensive slang and gory details. Just pick up a romance or two. It’s a pretty set formula and M&B, Harlequin, Silhouette etc have got it down pat.

“Every movement he made, drove her higher and higher till she stood just over the edge of the precipice. She wanted him to stop, knowing that if she gave in she would be lost forever, then contrarily willed him to go on, knowing that she was lost anyway. And then he ground against her in a frantic final burst that took them both flying, up and away, higher and higher.”  See what I mean?

Cheesy? You bet!

Unrealistic? YOU BET!

But part of becoming a writer is finding new imagery for the same old same old and trying to be realistic at the same time. And the good thing about taking this route is that even if you don’t manage to find new metaphors to equal or surpass, “He took her higher and higher in a swirling cloud of emotions and sensations till they both shattered into a million ecstatic pieces,” you won’t be in any danger of being offensive either.

About the unrealistic bit, picture this: A rich dude (who’s not married or gay) falls in love with a frumpy waitress, when he has perfectly good eye candy on his arm already? Puh-lease!

If your book/film is targeted at mass market, try and use similes and metaphors for the act of making love. Similar to the one above but less, well, feminine.

Though, come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I read an explicit sex scene in a Jeffrey Archer or a Robert Ludlum. You know why they don’t write sex? It’s because they know the secret to good, pacy writing.

1.      Make your plots so riveting that people don’t miss, or even realise the absence of, sex.

2.      Don’t write unnecessary sex. It only drags the action and makes readers impatient.

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