Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blog Chain - Money Shot

It seems we've gone from favorite literary couples to what literary couples do in the dark.  This blog chain is Kat's and she wants to know:

How do you feel about love scenes? As a reader, are you put off by the gratuitous? As a writer, do you shy away from spelling out the down-and-dirty? Or do you write until your computer lights a cigarette?

Kat, Kat, Kat.  Sigh.  You've managed to tap into my single greatest writing fear.  So how do I feel about love scenes?  I don't like them.  As a reader, I'm not into them.  I'm not a prude, I simply find them mostly unnecessary.  Unless they show us something vital to the characters, then I think they're gratuitous.  But the truth, and I believe this, is that anything you can reveal during a sex scene, you can reveal somewhere else.

The other reason I'm not for them is because sex is inherently funny.  If you objectively look at the mechanics of it all, sex is a cosmic joke. So from a writing perspective, I think that most sex scenes either turn out laughably flowery, overly mechanical, or vulgar and porny.  If my characters talk about sex, I usually approach it with humor.  Sex is a difficult thing to take seriously.  Especially for guys.  They seriously want it, but can barely buy condoms without breaking into a giggle fit.

In my current book, I have to deal with two characters who do have sex.  They're a couple, in love, but decide to have sex.  It's an important step in their relationship.  However, I feel no need to let readers peek under the covers.  The scene cuts before clothes come off and returns to those characters in the aftermath.

I think it's especially important in YA that love/sex scenes, if they are shown, NOT be gratuitous or titillating.  Teens have sex and no amount of denying it will make it otherwise.  But I feel no need to glorify it.

And that's it for me!  Take a jaunt over to Laura's blog to see how steamy her books get, and then tomorrow find out what Sarah has to say!


  1. Interesting to hear a guys POV. Romantic tension is a part of life, so I don't mind love scenes in books.

    BTW, cool picture.

  2. Sex is a cosmic joke, LOL! Good point.

    I agree, it's important not to glorify it for YA.

    Nice post1

  3. Good post. It is hard to write sex scenes well, and sometimes they seem to interrupt the plot of the book.

  4. Interesting post. Re sex in YA, I think, too, teens may know lots about it, like basic mechanics but to actually describe in detail, play-by-play, I think it might throw them off and not be titillating to them AT ALL. So, yeah, no need for graphic details.

  5. Great answer - and like you, I have no need to point out the raphics of it all!

  6. Great post. It's interesting to get a guy's perspective of it. There's certain genres where it's almost seems a requirement, but not necessary to make a story.

  7. Shaun, Shaun, Shaun. Sigh...What ARE we going to do with you?

    Okay, I just had to say that. Not that I really feel that way, but it just sounded funny. Actually, this is a great post and I completely agree with you. I particularly like how you touch on not glorifying sex and teenagers. Great point, buddy!

  8. LOL! This movie scene popped into my head while reading your post:

    Bethany: What's he like?

    Metatron: God? Lonely. But funny. He's got a great sense of humor. Take sex for example. There's nothing funnier than the ridiculous faces you people make mid-coitus.

    Bethany: Sex is a joke in heaven?

    Metatron: The way I understand it, it's mostly a joke down here, too.

    -- Dogma, 1999

  9. lol great post - and yeah, it's just funny :D Yes I love a good love scene but I agree that they really aren't necessary most of the time - and if they are, like you said, you certainly don't need to go into the graphics of it all. Esp in YA.

  10. Ha! This is great and I couldn't agree more. It's also surprising to me how many YA books I've come across lately that are using sex for shock value. Ugh.


Keep it clean, keep it classy, and jokes are always appreciated.