When writing a sex scene, I first try to discard any self-consciousness about what others might conclude. I work out where on the sliding scale between laughter and seriousness I want the activity to take place. What is the level of trustingness, and on whose side does power lie?
Each generation will mock the previous one because each generation tends to imagine that its attitude to sex strikes just about the right balance; that by comparison its predecessors were prim and embarrassed, its successors sex-obsessed and pornified.
And so writing about sex contains an additional anxiety on top of all the usual ones: that the writer might be giving him- or herself away, that readers may conclude, when you describe a sexual act, that it must already have happened to you in pretty much the manner described.
Technology moves at lightning speed, putting the world (of dating) at our fingertips and giving suitors a more efficient means of getting ROI on their efforts. Just think of the effort it takes to call someone and set up a date — getting up the balls, figuring out what you are going to say, doing it, then following through on the plan. Or you can group text 3 people you are “talking to” simultaneously and see who’s up for a night cap at your place…
And with new apps and social services like Bang with Friends, Tinder and MeetMoi, the technology that facilitates getting laid is getting more efficient.
On one side: excitement, excess, stimulation, mystery. On the other: safety, security, comfort, familiarity. Sex, romance, intimacy—all the things promised by finding the right match on an online dating site—drink from both. And so does the very experience of online dating. On the one hand finding a match and getting a lovely email from someone with a hot picture and an intriguing profile provides only a squirt of exitement, however much you may think you want a torrent. But on the other, well, there’s not a whole lot at risk. Sitting in your pj-s at your computer in the solitary comfort of your own home is pretty comfortable. You’re able to get a charge that is worth it because you are not really put that much on the line.
– From an article on Psychology Today about why online dating sites are designed to be play with our search for love by creating a “sweet spot” where the possibilities are endless while browsing in the comfort of our own home.
Similar read: Are We Wired to Love Google, Twitter and Grindr?
…a truly satisfying sex scene is as challenging to achieve in writing as it is in real life. Keeping it run-of-the-mill might get the job done but having it be a little, um, “too freaky” can be misconstrued as a necessity to quell what has become the boredom of the act itself.
Take Philip Roth’s Bad Sex in Fiction-nominated “green dildo” scene, for instance. Unlike porn/erotica writers, a novelist has the pressure of making this sex scene “mean something.”
On top (ha) of that, the novelist must consider keeping this scene in the same voice and on par with the rest of the novel despite it being about a topic that usually renders the human mind useless for however long it lasts.
Strangely enough, it’s the latter half of the challenge that usually lands these poor writers a nomination. The Literary Review cites Roth’s desire to give the sex scene any more insight than a sex scene can stand to give on its own the reason behind his nod for Bad Sex in Fiction. The award has been described as a way to “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
But then golly, you say – if you know how challenging it is to write a sex scene, then why would you challenge and risk discouraging the authors of these already-written sex scenes? After all, anyone who’s ever taken a glance at a romance novel can sympathize with the author’s struggle of finding as many synonyms as possible for an aroused penis (that’s how we get gems like, “throbbing member”).
Alright, so earlier today you had to sit through me being a total sap cause of Valentine’s Day. What I neglected to mention is that one of the best things about gay love is that it comes with lots and lots of gay sex. So let me also share all the naughty x-rated photos of couples going at it, finally released from the vault of my very dirty fantasies.
My posts are rarely NSFW, but when I do unleash that beast I try to make it worth getting fired over. May you Valentine’s Day after-party be filled with many mangasms.