Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sex should be sexy

Have you ever read a romance novel and absolutely cringed when you got to the sex scenes? I'm sure everyone has at some point. Either it was offensive or as I call it "clinical." I'm by no means perfect. However, I keep in mind as I craft a story, what is sexy and what isn't. Sure, this is a matter of personal taste to some extent.

I constantly ask myself and my writing partner, "Is this sexy or is it stupid?" Other people may disagree with the end result, but I don't put anything into my books that I don't think is hot. Ha. Ha.

I was just reading another blog where they asked the question what makes a book a "good read."

http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/2012/09/what-makes-good-read.html

Sex is the only thing I could add to the discussion. Wow. That sounded bad. You know what I mean. Yes, sex sells. It is also important in most romance stories, whether highly erotic or not. It's just like real life. If the sex is bad, why continue the relationship? In the case of a book, why keep reading?

For those unfamiliar with the romance genre, it's not all about the sex. But, like my example of a real relationship, it is very important.

I've started reading a few books by very well-known authors and had to put them down because the sex was so awful. One I recall had sex with no emotion in one of the opening scenes of the book. Um, what was the point? This guy hated someone so he wanted to have anal sex with her? What? Okay, so there was emotion, just not a good emotion involved.

Another that stands out as horrific (in my opinion) was a shifter story where the "hero" was obsessed with the way the herione's female parts smelled. Nasty, right? This was constantly on his mind AND he continuously said it out loud. I don't know about anyone else, but if a man had to announce how I smelled every time I walked into a room, I would slap the living shit out of him. That is gross! Every time we got a glimpse into this guy's mind he was breathing her in like he was snorting cocaine, and I might add, not even listening to her. All he could think was some crap along the lines of, "Ah, that sweet, hot, p***y." No, I'm not kidding. It was that bad. To make matters worse, he used this "sweet, hot" phrase over and over again. I had to stop reading because not only did I not find him attractive, but I wanted to murder him with an axe.

I kept thinking, "This is a NY Times Best Selling author? The whole book is about this woman's vagina. Is it actually a character?"

I never want anyone to feel that way when they read my books! As far as what is truly "sexy" I realize that is a matter of taste. However, some things are obviously NOT.

Another thing I can't stand to read is what I call a clinical description. I'm okay with the occasional use of words like vagina and labia. (However, using "vagina" in the middle of a love scene can only be pulled off by a few people and even then on rare occasions.) Those, I don't find off putting in any way. However, reading the word "penis" anywhere in a love/sex scene immediately takes me out of the moment. This word (to me) is cold and clinical. If a medical examiner is making note of someone's dead body and for any reason mentions genitalia, they would use the word penis. A doctor of any kind would use the word penis. But in the heat of the moment to hear a character say "penis" makes me laugh. I'm sorry, penis is a funny word. And to be perfectly honest, the clinical term (in my opinion) makes the hero sound less well-endowed. That's never a good thing, right? Ha. Ha. Ha.

I'm not suggesting that descriptions should be "flowery" by any means. Use frank language, just don't make it sound like your doctor is writing the scene.

I also think that getting overly descriptive with bodily functions is gross, whether during a sex scene or not. A mention once or twice, fine. But all the time? The stand-out example of this is a book I borrowed from a friend. The main character steals people's souls through sex by "swallowing" their essence. She later vomits them back up and stores them in a bottle. You heard me right. It was disgusting! Especially, since there was lots of kissing immediately after the whole vomiting up someone's essence part. No thank you. Oh, and a friend of hers dissolved into a squishy blob immediately after having sex with her. BLEH!

Okay, I'm done. Ha. Ha. Ha. I need to think about something else now or I won't be able to eat breakfast.








5 comments:

anny cook said...

Interesting. I would rather read penis than cock. Cock always brings to mind a rooster--not a sexy thing to my mind...

I suspect what words/euphemisms we are comfortable with is directly related to the era we grew up.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

That's a good possibility. :) When I was in school, cock was a dirty word, not a rooster. LOL

I can't even hear someone talk about the football team, Game Cocks without bursting out laughing. It's just so wrong.

Hildred said...

Yeah, I'm essentially the opposite. Give me "labia" and "vulva" (I think those are gorgeous words) over "honey pot" and "cunt" (UGH) any day. Euphemisms can go away forever. I do slightly agree about "penis". It's just such an unfortunate word. It doesn't even sound like a "clinical" (I hate that word, imo) word, it sounds like something a 12yo made up to call a girl he secretly likes but is gonna pretend he hates. Thankfully for me, I mostly write about lesbians going at it and it's usually a non-issue for me.. Yay!

I'm aware lots of people will think my word choices "cold". I have a couple POVs that call vaginas "pussy", but for the most part, they don't.

And wow, that one story just sounds awful. Was the vagina a character? Did it have a name? Do I even want to know what book this was?

Tracey H. Kitts said...

I'm in agreement with you on the terms for female parts. I personally think the word "cunt" should only be used as an insult. And I wouldn't be caught dead saying "honey pot." LOL

I try to use language that I find direct without being vulgar. I realize that this is also subjective. (My most often used words of this type are pussy, clit, cock, and labia. I do think that labia is a sexy word.)

Yes, the story I mentioned was awful. LOL I wouldn't want to call anyone out by mentioning title or anything, but it is on my list of all-time worst novels.

Since I stopped reading before the halfway mark in the story, I'm not sure if her vagina was a full-blown character. HA! But it should've been. I kid you not there was at least 2 references to her crotch on EVERY page. It was either her focusing on her body's responses, or him focusing on her smell. I found it so gross. Plus, she hated him. He was pushy, rude, and overly possessive of a woman he'd just met. He was even jealous of her male cousin standing close to her. Good grief.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

I forgot to add that whatever words I use to describe someone's anatomy, I try not to overuse.

The wonderful thing about a well-written scene is, most any language can work for the right author.

You can tell when someone uses language they are comfortable with. It shows in the quality of the work and how the scene pulls you in. At least, that's what I think. :)

Then again, I've got insomnia and may be talking out of my ass. In which case, I should have my own TV show. LOL Sorry. I've been too long without sleep.