Sex is an interesting human past time. It helps make babies, make people smile or start wars. It’s a delicate balance between two people that can either end in an awkward “was that good for you?” or pure nirvana and stained sheets. In the sphere of writing, sex has been used to accomplish all of the above. In my writing I use it as a tool to show the intimate side of my characters. Unlike some books that close the door on the reader before the sexy time happens (or whip out sex scenes that feel rehearsed), I keep the door open, let readers walk inside and live the moment with the characters. So much can be said in a kiss, an embrace or the lack of both.
Right now, as you might’ve guessed I’m in the midst of editing a sex scene for my new work on the EPA Agent. Whenever I write/rewrite/edit sex scenes I usually piss n’ moan about it (not in a golden showers orgasmic sort of piss n’ moan) like I did back in 2010 when I was editing The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. (here’s that post: Birds and the Bees) The reason being is that my first drafts of sex scenes are horrible. They are literally like being a virgin again, everything is awkward and funny. Here’s a sample (names have been changed to protect the innocent… and spoilers):
“Ooh, I’m not debating that. I am debating that I’d lie to you about passing along your message.” She said sliding onto the bed, “After your promise, I’ve been looking for a way to get you to catch me fraternizing with them. This is much better. Do your bidding get tossed onto my back? I get my cake and eat it too.” She said toasting him with her beer.
“Something tells me I’m being too careful.” She said taking a sip as she kept eye contact, challenging him.
John accepted the challenge. Placing his bottle on the table next to him he reached down with one hand and undid the laces of his boots. Carefully and deliberately he slipped them off, placing them in a row against the wall in a military style fashion. With the same methodical determination he removed his socks and folded them in half before tucking them into his boots….
He takes his socks off??? Aaawkward…
Socks, albeit necessary to remove for hot passionate, non-business time, erotic and manly romance novel sex, does not need to be notated. (Though as a writing exercise I’m thinking that maybe I issue a challenge: Can socks be hot?)
In the EPA Agent we have two sex scenes. The one above, is quick and purposefully distant and the other takes up eight pages (yeah, your welcome). As I sit here at my desk and tear apart the quick and distant scene I’m hit with the oddity that everything is about timing (and not socks…). When do his shoes come off, his shirt? Is there a more erotic time than another to have them come off or is it better just to go in the normal order of a thing. i.e. – take your shoes off before your pants – we don’t need him hopping around the room trying to fit his pant legs over his military issue black leather boots. And in this case, how to we keep it dry and distant, yet still carry the complexity that these two characters bring when together?
Now that I’ve put a satisfying (read: scary) amount of pressure for this sex scene to perform, I’ll leave you now with the deleted sex scene from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, posted on my girlfriend Amy’s blog. Lady Reader’s Bookstuff : click here (and you’d better not be at work reading this! *scandalous*)