Did you blink a few times before your brain figured out what I did, or are you still wondering what the hell a Harsy is? If you’re brain isn’t willing to go there, then you’re not going to get it. You sure as shit won’t find it funny.
That’s how writing sex scenes is for me. If my brain isn’t there, if it’s not in the moment, if it’s busy wondering if the knot in my nose is a crusty booger or a clump of snorted dog hair, no sex is going to happen.
Just like real life.
Any lover worth rug-burn knows that the brain has to be seduced first. Any writer worth reading knows it’s his/her job to make sure the reader is seduced before characters ever swap or smear spit. So, if the writer isn’t in the heady moment with the characters, then he/she needs to get there before the first squeezed breast; otherwise, it’s a dry hump.
Nobody wants to be a part of that.
Now, contrary to what all our lusty blog readers may be thinking, the Word Whores don’t walk around in a perpetual state of sexual arousal. Nay, nay. Some of us may rise (or tumble) to the occasion with greater ease than others, but someone or something has to lure our brains out of the realm of propriety and decorum.
Go ahead. Let the snort fly.
“Decorum” might not be the first word that leaps to mind when thinking of me, but I do have to function in the real world. How do I get my brain to shift gears? How do I, as a writer, seduce myself?
I’m only half kidding. A good seduction engages the senses. The sort of smexy I’m afixin’ to write defines how I seduce myself. Is it a contest of wills, a physical game of control? There’s a shelf or three of fetish-focused fiction and non-fiction. The iPod has the BDSM playlist ready and waiting. The left-most side-table has the collection of clove and bergamot scented candles. The closet awaits with a choice of costumes.
Yeah. I go all the way there.
Wherever the minds of the characters are at that moment in the story defines the sort of sex they’re about to have. After all, a protagonist in need of succor after a tragedy might not respond well to an up-against-the-wall pawing fest. He/she might crave something slow, calm, yet very deliberate. Characters celebrating a victory might indulge in a playful bout of bumpin’ fuzzies or they might dare each other to push boundaries. Protagonists narrowly escaping death might be high on survival and ready for a buck-wild ride.
In short, writing good sex for a book is a lot like having good sex in real life.
Both begin in the mind.
Image: from http://picture-book.com/content/book-worm Artist: Jim Caputo