Monday, June 19, 2006

Character Physicality

Yeah. Sex. *snickering*

Birds do it. Bees do it. And my characters do it. Depending on which story I'm writing, it could be sweet, sultry, or OMG!

Much has been written about sex scenes. Some people skip over them. Some people become engrossed in them.
But one thing is certain. They are pivotal. I don't care if you close the doors or leave them wide open.
Sex matters.

And readers' and authors' predilections are varied. NO ONE will ever write the sex scene that satisfies all. So a reader must know the author and the author must know his/her reader. If I'm partial to writing the explicit scenes (naughty C'ann. You know how she is.) then my readers know what to expect.
If I'm writing a traditional Contemporary Romance, things are less certain. What I think of as fairly tame as been called "extremely sensual."

So for everyone who reads the sex scenes...would anything (other than the obvious no-no's...Sexual deviations which I will not mention.) make you throw the book against the wall? Does a good sex scene MAKE a good book? Or do you skim through?
Should the sex scene be used like any other device? Or should there always be an emotional thread attached?


Bryan said...

I don't think a sex scene can ever MAKE a book. I do think it can BREAK one however.

I've read books where the entire book builds and builds like foreplay and the scene in the end is glossed over as "Oh, and then they had sex." I'm like, what the fuck? That's it? If you are going to get me emotionally invested in the foreplay, I'd damn well better be emotionally invested in the release.

Likewise, if the foreplay is "Yada, yada, yada, oh, and here's the fantastic sex part, yada, yada" then I'm like who cares, I don't even like these people. Why would I care if they had great sex?

Dawnyal said...

Bryan said it best. :) I'll also add that it depends on my mood whether I skim or not. If I'm not feeling very sexy, I don't care if they are having OMG You're making my toes curl sex or hohum, I don't want any part of it. :)

Gina said...

I like reading the sex scenes, but if the scene doesn't fit with the rest of the story and I'm not wanting it to happen or I'm wanting it to happen and it falls short then it can ruin the story for me. I've read some scenes that can be downright laughable too.

Lyvvie said...

Of course there needs to be the sex! And as Bryan says, it can be a the high point of the story and if it flops - big disappointment.

I love to read them, hate to write them - I suddenly feel my Mom and Dad's presence over my shoulder reading every word. The spirits of my grandmothers tutting in the corner. I all of a sudden feel very exposed as if my tit popped out of my shirt and I hadn't noticed. It's just me and the computer - but you know as soon you type up a sex scene someone pops in and says "What are you writing?! OMG does that say cock?"

I hate that moment.

Bryan said...

Ah Lyvvie,

You slay me. That is exactly what go through every time I write a sex scene. I'm thinking, my God, my mother's going to read this. I've already had concerns over a few blog entries after I found out she was reading my blog.

Now, I don't have to worry about people popping in unexpectedly or tits popping out unexpectedly, but I think I know how you feel.

Rene said...

I love hot sex scenes as long as they are well written. Angela Knight has always written slightly raunch sex scenes that can go into the the most explicit detail and I love them. However, I've read a couple of authors (one very prominent at EC) and I wasn't grossed out or offended, just bored. Too often authors forget about sensuality. They are focused on kink and mechanics rather than the sensual affect these acts have on the characters.

chryscat said...

Bryan: I seem to recall a certain police officer and a part of your anatomy saying "hello." *grins*
As far as the sex scenes go...I have no problem reading them in front of whomever. But writing them? I play the minimize/maximize game when the kids are home.

Bryan said...

Speaking of posts that you want to go back and censor...


I'm just hoping my mother is wondering who Mr. Johnson is and why he's so enamoured with Toy Story.