Posts Tagged ‘writing tasteful sex’

Now we broach the extremely delicate, not to mention, difficult art of writing good sex. Because, of course, if you’re writing about real people, they will, at some point perform the S act. (Unless, of course you’re writing about Indians in which case you will show them act with propriety in public and molest girls/children later. Rape scenes are easy to write – chhod do mujhe! Bhagwan ke liye chhod do!)


But I digress. Coming back to the point, there’s good sex and there’s bad sex. Even notables like Tarun Tejpal (remember him? He of Tehelka fame), Gabriel Garcia Mraquez and Salman Rushdie haven’t been spared criticism for writing bad sex. Check out the following for more details:



Coming to Bollywood, we’re bad at showing sex. And I mean BAD. Remember Mallika Sherawat in Murder? And that’s just one instance. I mean what’s with the heaving bosoms? Do heroines look like they’re shaving fun? Or that they need emergency CPR?


So how do you write sex scenes without offending reader’s/viewers sensibilities or making them cringe?


1.     Keep it to the minimum: There’s no set formula for writing good sex. What one finds explicit, the other may find offensive. So, unless it’s absolutely vital to your story, it’s always a good idea to keep it to the minimum. Sex is overused as a gimmick to keep a reader’s/viewer’s attention. The best stories are the ones where the plot is so riveting we don’t notice the lack of sex scenes. Writers complain that without sex their product may no be racy enough. Here’s they’re in for a surprise. Contrary to popular belief that viewers/readers want sex, they do not. They feel that sex only drags the plot.


2.     Know your target audience: If you’re writing a book/film that will be sold to social conservatives or families, keep the sex muted or “off-camera.” Just show the couple going into the bedroom and closing the door. We all know what happens behind the door, and if those details are not crucial to the plot then they really don’t need to be discussed. Show a bit, then leave the rest to the reader’s imagination. They can fill in the gaps just fine. On the other hand, if your market is teenage and young men, you probably don’t have many limits, either in imagination or prose.


That is still the don’ts. So how do we write? More on that tomorrow.








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