Good sex, bad sex and frankly quite ugly sex

tango in black by zabaraorg, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  zabaraorg 

I made another attempt at writing a sex scene. I know I said this was going to be a sweet romance, but it felt weird, with all that tension, to end the book on a handshake. I don’t know what I think about it yet. I’ll just leave it and get on with the side story so I can finish the first draft. Maybe this scene will be cut like the first one; maybe I can keep it, salvage it. I’ll have to beta-test it to know if it’s working or not.
That the winner of this year’s Bad Sex Awards were announced this week didn’t help boost my confidence, that’s for sure. I’m pretty sure that the line between good sex writing and bad sex writing is both blurred and all over the place. What turns one person on can make another person throw up in their mouth and leave a third person completely indifferent. All these authors that were nominated probably thought that their most intimate scenes were really intense. It must be devastating to be ridiculed like that. Note to self: A pseudonym is a girl’s best friend!
Just taking a sentence or two completely out of context can make anyone’s writing look ridiculous. The nominated excerpts might fit perfectly in with the rest of the story, what do I know? Maybe this is a perfectly realistic description of what it would be like if these two (or more) characters had sex. One sex scene does not fit all. Sometimes sex is absolutely ridiculous. Some positions are not the most flattering poses a person can strike (but they might be totally worth it anyway). Sometimes people say the weirdest things when they’re in bed (or up against a wall) with someone.
There can’t  be one sex scene that works for every reader; I refuse to believe that. So my goal is not to write the perfect sex scene, one that is guaranteed never to get me a Bad Sex Award nomination. My goal has to be to be true to my characters. To depict their interactions in bed as realistically as I write about their first meeting, their shared meals, their fights, their lies.
Their falling in love.
It’s not as easy as it looks, folks. But go ahead. DO try this at home. Write some really cheesy sex scenes. What’s the worst thing that could happen? That you hurt yourself when you fall off the chair laughing?

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