Let’s talk about sex, baby

let’s talk about tab a and slot b, let’s talk about all the good things

and the bad things writing smut can be,

let’s talk about sex….

Saturday night instead of going to the masquerade, I kept on at panels. I wanted the most writing advice one human could absorb in 3 short days. But I have to be honest “Beyond Insert Tab A into Slot B” was pure entertainment. And to ice this highly amusing panel I got the pleasure of coaxing my very sweet friend, who was mildly embarrassed the whole time but willing to suffer on the off chance she might someday need to write a sex scene, into coming along with me.

Like almost every other panel I went to at Norwescon these writers all brought something unique to their craft. They were all well versed in the ins and outs (pun intended) of publishing porn. They were all just smart and very comfortable with their subject matter.

This was also the one panel where I actually asked a question in session. (I am not big on attention and so mostly snagged panelists afterwards for a quick question.) I prefaced my question like this, “Having been previously told I had too much plot in my porn…” (the looks on their faces at this moment could not have been more horrified than if a man in a balaclava and an AK had just burst into the room) “How do I make sure I don’t have too much porn in my plot? How much is too much? How long should a scene go on?”

Of course I got two answers to this question.

Answer A: Look at publications by the publishing house you want to pick up your book and match your smut content percentage those books because that is clearly what that publisher is comfortable with.

Answer B: Sure you could do that but if you change your sex scenes to match a publisher your audience will know. Your sex scenes will not feel authentic to them. Write until you feel it’s done. Write what you think the book needs.

Guess which answer resonated with me? Thanks, Elliot Kay.

(if you want to check Elliot out here’s his blog. http://elliottkay.blogspot.com/)

But back to Authentic. For some reason this word has been peppering my life for months. I will definitely touch more on this in the coming days. But for now I will leave you with the one piece of standard advice I wrote down at this panel. Nothing is as dull as too much detail when writing sex.

6 thoughts on “Let’s talk about sex, baby

  1. Yes…good image…lol! Detail, yes, less is more. But I was also struck by something all panelists agreed on. In writing porn it is about how the sex affects the characters and/or their relationship. Even the panelist who seemed almost all about the flash considered the emotion-power relation-motivation to be the governor of when to write sex, how to write it, how long the scene should be, and how to tell when it’s ‘done’.
    As the intrepid friend, I will tell you I was mildly embarrassed to attend the panel, but once I got there I found the subject matter very worthwhile. As you say, they were are smart and knew their craft and the dynamics of their business (pleasure?) well. And, it was all out fun!


  2. It’s important to remember that there’s nothing wrong writing sex just for the sake of it if that’s something you want as a characteristic of your books and/or if you’re writing specifically for erotica as a genre. However, that’s an important choice you have to make for yourself. Typically, every gratuitous fight scene in an action movie still advances the plot somehow, even though the whole movie is really just a vehicle for fight scenes.

    Also, I’m totally flattered to be included on your blog post. And I think the advice that contradicts mine is still pretty good advice. It all depends on your goals. 🙂


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