Wednesday 25 January 2012

Writing the Sex in the Text

Shall we talk about sex? Oh OK - if you really want me to. I write Romance. Well - love and sex actually. In "Knockout" there is a story but it is a story about a sexy woman going headlong into a passionate sexathon with a beautiful guy. They do it in her bed. She does it all on her own. They do it in his bed, in Paris, several other places and they do it on a boat. They kiss and caress the burning totality of each other's lips. They adore each other's skin and musk. She craves the untiring hard knot of his controlling, urgent muscles. He longs for her abandon, surrender and softness They eat highly flavoured food and breathe the garlic of shared ecstasy. They drink champagne and lie naked in the warm open air almost as a sacrifice on the altar of lust. Oooh....if I don't stop tweaking the knobs I'll have to jump in a cold bath. And just think - it was me, a middle aged working woman who wrote it.

self portrait
 The basic reason why I write this kinda stuff is that I love it in life and I love it in fantasy. I know it may be a brazen to say that, but it's true and if I'm honest then in my writing about sex I'm not short changing my readers. When I write a sex scene I am there and willing it on. Actually, it's writing itself.

There are technical problems in writing about sex. The big one (Oooh steady on) is the line between artistic, pornographic, anatomical, purple and naff. Different generations and cultures have different levels of frankness and taste. In the supermarket today I noted that I could present myself for chlamydia venereal disease testing while I was waiting for a new batch of granary wholemeal bread to reach the shelves. All those intimate swabs quite put me off the idea of a nice buttered crust.  I was reading some supermarket Romance where the young lady presented her sexual arousal by way of her "dampened swath". That brought me out in a fit of the giggles. I figured if things didn't gel with the guy at least she could wipe down the kitchen worktops. In another similar epic, the young lady exposed her "creamy crevice" - so far this is the worst image I have ever encountered. Well, at least there is some classy alliteration. Finding the words, the euphemisms and the poetic passion of human juice is not always easy. Just this morning I encountered a curly triangle of love. Well, I suppose if your car broke down you could prop it up in the road to warn other drivers of an obstruction. It's all about context is it not?

knobs and shafts
When it comes to the male side of the park, obviously a female can only guess and ask a lot of questions. My lover man is never shy. His only complaint is that males only get to ride one wave while  females can stay in surfing all day. - (Hmmm - depends on the quality of the water). Males provide more vocabulary problems. I have a few dislikes - such as swollen manhoods. It always makes me think of those old naval war films where they wear 10 layers of clothing under a duffle coat.. Luckily, my readers are mostly female and factors such as size of hands, width of shoulders and tone of voice can excite more response than shafts, lengths and pulsating needs. For fun I googled "knobs and shafts". Not quite what I had in mind. With males it's just so easy to get lost in engineering. 

But here is the core of the issue. People like sex. Even people who do not want actual full contact sex are interested in it. Sex is us. We are born what we are and half the world has the opposite set of bits. 

And then, of course there is love. Oh Love, oh love, love, love. This purest thing, rejoicing in the pollution of its own sense, losing focus so as to see nothing but the other. It is where the ego both asserts its power to give and shrivels in a humility of powerless longing. Our love finds expression and escape in physical sex. Cold sex is what my friend the poet Oscar Sparrow describes as the "gaping gash of loveless love". Getting this blend right is the work of the humble hack Romance writer. 

"Knockout!" my romance novel on Kindle is FREE on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th January if you want to check out how I deal with these tender literary parts.

Amazon USA
Amazon UK

Emma thinx: Love me - love my love.


  1. I read this three times before referring it to my wife for an opinion. I have made a mashup of romance and revolution but left the sex to my reader's imagination. Am I a prude? Maybe, but I did get excited just reading this...

    1. Bravo Jack! You have distinguished yourself by having the balls (pardon the explicit expression) to comment on this post - I am getting lots of hits but nobody wants to be the first.

      If you think this post is hot... remember the book is FREE this weekend!

  2. Wow, me started, then cracked me up!
    Thanks for introducing me to a few new terms..."chlamydia venereal disease" and "granary wholemeal bread" and "dampened swath" being only three...LOL, seriously I was laughing out loud! My next book is YA fiction, so I don't think I will be using any of these terms while I'm thinking of my 13 yo son's life, but who knows what the next book will be. Bookmarks, here we come! Ooops, spelled it wrong.

  3. Emma,
    This is so well stated - and, for me, timely. I know the power of sex, in books. I haven't seen a copy of Peyton Place in fifty years, or more, and I'll bet I can find the top six sex scenes in under 90 seconds. Why timely for me? I'm working on a love story that needs some sex to go with the love and thanks to you, it's going to have it.
    I appreciate your words - as always,

  4. Is it hot in here or what? I've had to fan myself a few times! Good, good writing! :)

  5. Brilliant! Funny and oh so true. I guess you just have to find your comfort zone and that of your readers. I think the days of saying "he pressed his urgent manhood to her womanhood and lost himself in her" probably won't cut it with readers of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Not that I have read that you understand.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Always so happy to get your feedback. Emma x