Wednesday, April 27, 2011

X is for...


I figured since I was posting early, I could help people out with a list of X-words:

X is also for...


I'm pretty sure I've never written a sex scene, so far. If I did, I blocked it for my mental health. I know that some day I will have to, as I have plenty of ideas that involve non-YA Fantasy (saying adult fantasy sounds wrong when the label is x-rated). For now, I have a hard time writing sweet, emotional scenes that involve a kiss or that kind of thing. I suddenly turn into a nervous 13-year old, who peeks around her to make sure no one is looking over her shoulder as she writes that kind of scene. It's incredibly silly, but it's also the way it is.

As I've gone around reading blogs, I've found that there are two basic groups: 1. People who enjoy writing love scenes and 2. People who feel uncomfortable doing so. I'm not sure if there's an in-between there; at least, I haven't found one yet.

Why is it so tricky for those of us in group two? What is it about a love scene that can turn us into giggly, quivering piles of jelly? I could write horrific gore if it called for it, so why do I feel so silly about a smooch or an intimate moment? I've had my share. I mean, I've been married for nearly fifteen years now. I certainly don't feel silly when it's real.

Is it worrying about my parents reading it? No. Maybe a hot and heavy sex scene, but it's not like I'll be sitting there narrating it to them.

Maybe it simply boils down to fearing that people will see I'm a sham when it comes to romance. I'm not a romantic person. I don't know if the other people I've found to be nervous about the same thing are romantic or not, so my hypothesis cannot be duly tested.

How do you feel about writing love scenes, whether they be sweet and romantic or hot and sex-laden? Do you have a theory as to why it's tricky for some to write them?

Happy Writing!


  1. Great minds think alike :P I went straight for x-rated as well!

    I think the problem for me is that I feel as if I'm exposing myself when I write a sex scene. When I write anything people always assume I'm writing for the characters, but I think if I did a sex scene everyone would transform into giggling kids and start assuming I talk about 'throbbing lengths' and 'heaving bosoms' when I'm in the bedroom...not that my fictional love scenes are that cheesy...*shifty eyes*

    Oh and I am totally in group two!

    Steven Chapman (writer)

  2. My sex scenes tend to devolve into comedy (more often in fiction than in real life, although sometimes in real life, too). Definitely can't handle the word "throbbing." It's right up there with "engorged" on my list of non-sexy sex words.

  3. I LOVE writing love scenes and sex scenes!! And I have never ever used the word "throbbing!" I think people who don't like writing scenes have a huge misconception longer do writers use such corny dialogue. The trick is finding the balance between corny and clinical. Sex is a part of life and to make our stories true to life, sometimes there needs to be sex in them. You'll find your own way of adding it in when it's time without it feeling weird.

  4. I am suddenly reminded of watching Romeo and Juliet in my freshman year of high school. Before the teacher started the movie, she warned us about the sex scene and the brief nudity and threatened us that any laughter would result in the immediate turning off of the movie. You could actually feel all of us holding our collective breath during that scene. Almost all of us. One girl, coincidentally a girl named Shannon, lost it and started giggling up a storm. The teacher, of course, did not stop the movie.

  5. Stephen, I think that is part of the problem with me, as well. It sort of makes me open myself up to become vulnerable, and that's never something I'm good at.

    Elizabeth, I agree that those terms are terribly lacking in sexiness. All by themselves, they would take it all right to comedy.

    Stephanie, I think it's awesome that you enjoy writing them! You make really good points, and I hope when the time comes I will be able to write a compelling scene that people enjoy.

    Andrew, was it the Romeo and Juliet with Oliva Hussey? I'm pretty sure my class giggled as soon as her name popped up. I'm also pretty sure we watched it freshman year, as well. Who knew that was required freshman viewing?

  6. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's the one. I was going to start it up on netflix, today, to verify, but I haven't had time.
    And, heh, yeah... Romeo and Juliet is, I think, pretty standard for freshman English. And Caesar for sophomore.