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Sex Scenes

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143465.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:39 am Reply with quote

In reading what is supposed to be a serious novel, I have had the misfortune to encounter several sex scenes.

I find these embarrassing, gratuitous, self-conscious, fantasisory, unnecessary, incongruous, irrelevant and unintentionally humorous.

Except in literature aimed at satisfying particular tastes, no other bodily function is described so minutely and lovingly in mainstream fiction (Eating = they had a meal. Sorted. Excretion = usually never, er, dwelt upon at all).

And writers of this kind of stuff aren't even given pause by being ruthlessly teased by such events as the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, one of whose winners is my Dr Fell (q.v. at post 143178).


143479.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:51 am Reply with quote

The Liar...? or does that focus on homosexuality too much to fall into this category?

143482.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:59 am Reply with quote

I'm thinking more of novels one of whose main themes isn't sex - I could avoid the ones where it is.

The one I'm reading is about a woman trying to find out more about her grandfather who died in WW1, but that hasn't stopped the (female) author peppering the work with lurid and protracted descriptions of what I believe Stephen F. might at some time have called 'moist activities'.

In one passage, the young soldier is on leave from the front line, and thrashes about with his sweetheart, and the following happens:


He entered her, and she was as wet as the Flanders trenches.

I mean. Really.

143484.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:01 am Reply with quote

Yes, I must admit that's slighty out of whack. I've read a few books with seemingly random sex scenes in them, but if they're handled tastefully I can usually cope. A comparison to the Flanders trenches does seem to be going slightly too far!

143486.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:03 am Reply with quote

Too many dead horses for my particular tastes.

143489.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:08 am Reply with quote

Heh. You might also get 'trenchfoot', though the last four letters may have to be changed.

143492.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:09 am Reply with quote

Would it be possible to write a sex scene in a book if you thought your mother was going to read it? I reckon not, so my theory is that sex writers are always either pseudonymous or people whose mothers have died.

143495.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:15 am Reply with quote

Or Jade Goody.

143497.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:16 am Reply with quote

My father had an epic 450-page novel published which included one short sex scene couched in the kind of non-anatomical terminology favoured by writers of yore ('he exploded within her' etc. - not that that hilarious expression was used by my Dad).

When the book came out he apologised to the whole family that the scene was in there, expressing the hope that he had done it 'tastefully'.

We were teenagers at the time, and, true to form, were appalled at the idea that our father knew anything about the sexual act, let alone that he might actually have, er, done it.

143517.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:57 am Reply with quote

The only book i've ever read with a good sex scene is This Other Eden with a chapter entitled "Gratuitous Sex Scene".

There, feel free to mock me, I've read a Ben Elton book

143563.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:09 am Reply with quote

Several Christmasses ago somebody brought out an anthology of all the sex scenes from well-known books, ie one page from The Godfather, one from Slaughterhouse Five, etc etc. The anthology was called The Dirty Bits and subtitled "The book that falls open at every page".

143669.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:12 pm Reply with quote

Mommy and daddy, what's sex? and what does it have to do with moistness?

143674.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:22 pm Reply with quote

It's a special kind of tennis, that doesn't have to stop when iot's raining. That's what I was told, anyway.

143683.  Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:55 pm Reply with quote

I wrote a fairly graphic sex scene in a story and it wasn't accepted. I've no reason to think that that was the reason but when I read it again I was appalled and immediately re-wrote the scene far more, I hope, tastefully.
Now I expect you are thinking 'here comes the happy ending, the story was published'.
Well, you'd be wrong, I haven't sent it to anyone else. That's me all over, I write stuff, then let it mature for several years.

1259242.  Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:29 am Reply with quote

Sex sells


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