Does someone know how to describe sex in a book?


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Thread: Does someone know how to describe sex in a book?

  1. #1

    Does someone know how to describe sex in a book?

    Hey, everyone.
    I have completed almost my book and I want to end it with sex. I just don't know how to describe it.
    A friend of my gave as a advice to not get to much into the details. But still it's the first time for my two main characters.
    Does anyone have any tips or advice to this?

  2. #2
    Less is more, implication is better than expression. George slowly pulled out of Angela, and in rolling over lit a post-coital cigarette... tells the reader all they need to know.
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  3. #3
    I can only speak from experience here.

    1. Begin with begging and pleading.
    2. The act itself, oh, about 30 seconds give or take.
    3. follow up with crying and a heartfelt apology.
    4. wait a year until your Birthday rolls around again, then repeat step 1.

    Hope that helps!


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  4. #4
    A lot depends on what story you're telling and what kind of book you expect to end up with.

  5. #5
    Bloggsworth is probably right . . . I'm being cautious because of Foxee's insight. Who ARE the participants? If they are coarse, low-life louts who grunt and thrash through 'the act' sloppy drunk . . . a coarse description might be essential. In a novel I'm writing, there is a lengthy 'sex scene' in which a high-class hooker describes in detail a 'nasty fuck' she just had with a lout known to the man she's speaking with. Then she tries to seduce him. The detail is essential to our sense of the (very different) evolving characters of the two men. At least, I very much hope that's the case!!

    The judge who ruled that Lady Chatterley's Lover was neither pornographic nor a gratuitous attack on community standards, used two broad criteria in arriving at his judgment: 1) was the sexual description designed primarily to arouse prurient desires/reactions? (ie, was it a "one-handed" book ). 2) did the sexual descriptions consistently contribute to the literary development of the characters and their situation (ie, did the sex have literary merit?) He concluded "no" for 1) and "yes" for 2). I think 1) is really all you need as a rough guide. Sex can be a powerful index of character. On the other hand (hyuck--hyuck) in a pornographic 'novel', the plot and characters are just an excuse to get the reader from one graphically described sex scene to the next. I'm sure that excellent writing and intricate character/plot development would doom your ms to the cutting-room floor,



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    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

  6. #6
    The prevailing wisdom on this is exactly what Bloggs said: less is more.

    Unless, of course, you're writing something that as a rule requires and employs more, i.e. romance, erotica, etcetera.
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  7. #7
    Read D.H. Lawrence. Specifically, Lady Chatterley's Lover. I am very serious.

  8. #8
    I'd go with Bloggsworth's general sentiment, but not the cigarette, that's cliche. You say it is their first time and at the end of the book, so it obviously is not a book that is sex obsessed, I'd avoid as much physical description as you can, "The ensuing encounter was a satisfying climax for both.", for example, no need to even call it a 'physical encounter'.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by clark View Post
    Bloggsworth is probably right . . . I'm being cautious because of Foxee's insight. Who ARE the participants? If they are coarse, low-life louts who grunt and thrash through 'the act' sloppy drunk . . . a coarse description might be essential. In a novel I'm writing, there is a lengthy 'sex scene' in which a high-class hooker describes in detail a 'nasty fuck' she just had with a lout known to the man she's speaking with. Then she tries to seduce him. The detail is essential to our sense of the (very different) evolving characters of the two men. At least, I very much hope that's the case!!

    The judge who ruled that Lady Chatterley's Lover was neither pornographic nor a gratuitous attack on community standards, used two broad criteria in arriving at his judgment: 1) was the sexual description designed primarily to arouse prurient desires/reactions? (ie, was it a "one-handed" book ). 2) did the sexual descriptions consistently contribute to the literary development of the characters and their situation (ie, did the sex have literary merit?) He concluded "no" for 1) and "yes" for 2). I think 1) is really all you need as a rough guide. Sex can be a powerful index of character. On the other hand (hyuck--hyuck) in a pornographic 'novel', the plot and characters are just an excuse to get the reader from one graphically described sex scene to the next. I'm sure that excellent writing and intricate character/plot development would doom your ms to the cutting-room floor,
    Actually, it was the jury who made the decision, not the judge. It was probably the words of the befrocked 19 Century prosecution barrister which tipped the balance - Waving the book around he asked the jury:

    "Would you want your wife or servant to read this book..."
    A man in possession of a wooden spoon must be in want of a pot to stir.

  10. #10
    Bloggsworth -- Quite correct. I was being far too picky. The jury, yes, arrived at its decision. It was instructed, however, as to the essentially moral parameters it was to observe in its deliberations. I was thinking more along the lines that an actual sentence is the judge's exclusive purview. Under the British system, followed for the most part in Canadian jurisprudence, a judge CAN set aside a jury's decision. It is VERY rare, but has been done. In my comment I tried too hard to underline that the power of changing social standards resided in that one figure, the judge.



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

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