Friday, March 7, 2008

“What’s another word for engorged?”

I thought about calling this “To sex or not to sex”, but then I flashed on a scene in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You where the guidance counselor is doing her damnedest to get through appointments so that she can return to writing her romance novel. Struggling with her narrative and unable to find a suitable adjective to describe Reginald’s “member” she shouts out to her secretary, “What’s another word for engorged?”


Someone asked me recently why I include sex scenes in my novels. Michelle Lauren talked a bit about the mechanics of writing a good love scene and gave out some great tips. I thought I’d write a post addressing why I include love scenes and specifically, why I choose to include graphic love scenes in my books. Why mention Reginald’s “member” engorged or otherwise?
First I will say, for those that aren’t familiar with my work, I don’t claim to write erotica. I would say that I primarily write cross-genre paranormal romance/urban fantasy with erotic content. I love my sexy vamps and yummy werewolves. And, because I love them, I strive to make them as real to the reader as they are to me and…for the most part…real people in healthy relationships have sex.


Could I skip over the sex? Gloss over the sex? Have it occur behind a closed door or embed it in cleverly disguised prose that would make you wonder what the heck was going on? Sure. But why would I want to when I’m writing a story for adults about two adults that are falling in love, discovering one another, and will be making or have made a commitment to live “happily-ever-after together”?


Call me an old fashioned naughty girl, but I just can’t imagine my husband and I living happily-ever-after voluntarily skipping over the sex.


Samantha Sommersby

5 comments:

Minx Malone said...

I hear you. I don't think my hubby would consider that much of a happy ending either!!

Minx

Beth said...

"Call me an old fashioned naughty girl, but I just can’t imagine my husband and I living happily-ever-after voluntarily skipping over the sex."

Amen sister!

Michelle Lauren said...

This was a very funny post. (Plus, I love the allusions to 10 Things I Hate About You, one of my favorite movies. I think it's possible to sometimes tell too much in a love scene, but at the opposite end of the scale, it's possible for a writer to tell so little it leaves the readers wondering what happened-if anything. For anyone who's read William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, they know what I mean --he had a sex scene in there that most people didn't catch until reading the Cliff's Notes. Even then, it was so vague as to be ridiculous. Thanks for sharing Samantha!

Eden Rivers said...

I'm with you on this one! Plus, so much of the psychology of a relationship happens behind closed doors, and a lot of times I don't think you can really get into your characters heads without going there...

Jill Hansen said...

As a reader, it's just more fun when the sex gets detailed. :D

Anyone ever watched "Emergency!" as a kid? (yeah, I'm really dating myself here!) Michelle's comments reminded me of a scene where DeSoto tells Gage that the innocent movie he thought he was watching was actually a porno flick. Gage replies, "So THAT's what they were doing behind the car! I thought they were just changing a tire." Sometimes subtlty doesn't pay off...