Saturday, November 7, 2009

Writing about Sex pt 1

When I was in High School and College I took a lot of English classes; composition, creative writing, etc. I thought writing was definitely in my future, though whether it was being a novelist or blogging about being an immoral womanizer I had no idea.

One year a teacher brought in a female guest speaker. She specialized in Romance Novels. At first I thought it was a joke, but when I realized they were serious I seriously considered skipping to go get high with my friends. I didn't, and I'm glad I didn't.

What immediately surprised me about this author was how seriously she took her work. Basically, the first words out of her mouth were about how over-used and under-utilized sex scenes in books were. Sometimes authors would throw in a sex scene just to spice up a boring chapter, or conversely, skip out on a sex scene that could have added to the story.

Her point was that whether it is graphic or not, these scenes could add depth to characters. They could reaffirm a readers perception, or change that perception entirely. Writing is all about the interaction between characters, developing those characters, and making them believable.

She also explored word usage and when it was appropriate/inappropriate to use "his penis penetrated her vagina" or "his sword found it's way home into her sheath" or "the cock rammed into her wet hole". Depending on the word choice the scene could be scientifically accurate, euphemistic, shockingly dirty, erotic, awkward... the options were endless. And each option had it's use depending on what the author wanted to get across.

I was fascinated. Other than the occasional erotic story I read online to get off, I'd never really had any experience with written sex. Of course, in hindsight, there were dozens of books I'd read that had scenes, some a paragraph long, others pages, from authors that ranged from Stephen King to Shakespeare.

Then she handed out booklets on body parts and their various slang names. It was a dozen pages long with everything from "third leg" to "mushroom cap" to "honey pot", which caused the class to erupt into infantile laughter.

After she left we were told to choose an age, gender, place, and catalyst supposedly for a separate assignment. Being the smart-ass I was, I chose a 68 year old woman on the lawn with a lightning strike as the catalyst.

We were then told to write a sex scene about our choices. I'm sure you can imagine how well that went over when I had to read my story in class the next week.


  1. i'd love to read how you wove THAT into a sexy story.

  2. I think it was more humorous in the end than erotic but if I can find it I'll post it.