Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Awkward Sex Scene: You're Doing It Wrong!

Hello, hi!

I'm fully aware that it it is after 6 o'clock in the morning; other obvious things include my gender, age, social-security number, and the fact that I should probably be sleeping. But never mind that- this post is about the lost art of awkward moments, particularly those of the (semi) erotic persuasion.

Before I start rattling off random things, I should probably mention that I'm no stranger to erotic fiction- in fact, my 2007 NaNo project was probably the raunchiest thing I've written to date, even more so than the poems that I wrote (which I won't post here, since my mother reads this blog) before I had any idea what I was doing. Here are two very important tips for avoiding (or embracing) those awkward moments:

1. Erotic scenes involving new or unfamiliar characters are (usually) quite awkward. 

In the novel's early days, I once tried to write a love-scene between M. (the emo genius) and his girlfriend. I remember cringing, staring awkwardly at the page, because I just couldn't picture him in that kind of scene, no matter how hard I tried! I got used to the idea, but not until years later, when I'd gained a better understanding of that character and his personality.

Writing such an emotionally-charged scene (especially with a new set of characters) is, in my opinion, akin to going on a blind date with some random person you've just met on the internet. In other words, you really don't know what to expect- it's hard to tell how much chemistry (if any) there will be between the two of you, whether or not you're well-suited to one another, or if there's any long-term potential... The first meeting will likely involve a lot of awkward pauses, stuttering, and uncertainty, and the same holds true for the writing process, especially if you're inexperienced or new to the genre, which brings me to my next point.

#2: Awkward moments are totally normal!

To this day, I still curse the silver screen. If you've ever watched a romantic movie, then you've probably noticed that the racy bits are very formulaic: virgin/inexperienced couple gets it on in the most-unlikely of circumstances, complete with symphonies, fireworks, and the almighty O... Hate to break it to you, but the hot-shot directors behind these films are setting you up for disappointment.

The writing process does not work this way.  Most of us fail to realize that real first times are rarely (if ever) that perfect, and it's nearly impossible to hit the ground running, sans awkwardness and first-time jitters, unless you know your characters- inside and out. It can be overwhelming, especially if this is your first foray into the erotic-fiction jungle; but, as with the real thing, the kinks usually work themselves out (bad pun intended).


My point here is, you should own those awkward moments- enjoy them, make them yours, and let your imagination run wild, for you never know what ashes may rise from the dust... even if that dust is horrible and awkward, you'll probably find something in it worth keeping (don't quote me on that, lest you end up disappointed).

Uncomfortable writerly love always,
El Veeb.

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