In which I talk about sex, or to be more accurate, writing sex.
This is inspired by my reading an actual romance, one that came highly recommended and intrigued me because it was about a woman composer in the late Georgian period. In her afterword the author mentioned that she was inspired by the life and works of Fanny Mendelssohn, Felix’s smarter older sister. The best bits of the book were about music–what it feels like to listen, or to play or create.
The luurve business and the Hessian bumping business, not so much. One was a lazy fall back to some truly awful cliches such as her womanly core and the juncture of her thighs and I’ve spent so long complaining about the use of such dreadful terminology I’m beginning to bore myself as well as the rest of us. Truly, those terms are like iffy extended family members who slurp gravy and get mashed potatoes stuck in their knitting. We know what they are but somehow we can’t get rid of them and keep inviting them for Thanksgiving anyway.
But one thing this writer did get right was that h/h talked to each other–about what they wanted to do, what they were doing now, and could they … uh, have a bit more breast meat. And pass the gravy.
Which brings me to the other writing sex inspiration–a presentation for my local RWA chapter by a former dominatrix who is now a counselor for the LGBT community. She was extremely funny and brought the tools of the trade with her, a collection of whips and other items. But never mind that. And guess what she said–the problem with most fictional depictions of BDSM or polyamorous relationships is that participants don’t talk enough. That’s talking before you do anything. In fact, with threesomes etc. it’s a wonder people don’t wear themselves out with preliminary discussions and collapse in chaste and total exhaustion.
And unless not talking is part of the game–you could, for instance, have a drumstick (or something) wedged in your mouth–chances are these verbal folks would keep right on talking. Because the communication doesn’t stop once the action starts, although in romance it’s far too often all this teeth-gritted, grimacing, straining stuff which reads like a bad case of constipation, even if minutes before h/h have been chatting away.
So, my conclusion with writing sex scenes is nothing new–it’s all about communication. Or possibly the lack of it. Or a yearning to communicate, meld, belong, love as a physical expression. What do you think? And what makes a sex scene work for you?