Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Why chick lit sex scenes scare the pants off me

Sex scenes, who’d have ‘em? My next book is going to be raunchier than Working from home, purely because of character development - it’s true! So I’ve been reading some books that are just a tad on the racy side as well as some more mainstream contemporary romance.

This random selection of books had a disturbing pattern of behaviour.In amongst the passionate kisses, animal-like groans and pebbling nipples (who knew?) it became obvious that author's view of men was a little bit short of realistic.

These men can bring their ladies close to their orgasmic plateau just by kissing them for the first time. Their tongues are weapons of mass seduction. They have ‘expert’ fingers that somehow know just how to tease and turn their new lover on with minimum effort - strictly no fumbling allowed.

When it comes to intercourse there is no trace of a wham-bam thank you ma’am. They have endless endurance, are well-equipped and never climax before their partner. In fact, a couple of foreplay orgasms seems to be mandatory before these men would ever consider introducing his penis to her ‘sex’.

So why am I complaining?

I know it is a just story but if anything seems too far-fetched I ‘fall out’ of the story. In this case it makes the sex scene less compelling or erotic.

But do people want to read a more honest account of the first time a couple have sex? The fumbles, the spare arm syndrome and little insecurities that lie under that wonderful tide of passion. The fact that despite his best efforts the man is almost certainly destined to come first. Or maybe that if he does exactly what drove his previous partner wild it will probably not work at all with this new lady.

It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom though. The first sex of a relationship has lots of comic possibilities. However, is it possible to mix laugh-out-loud comedy with the necessary release of sexual tension that the sex scene provides?

The characters in my new book seem to think so. I let them take me where they wanted to go and this was the end result. I’m just not sure how readers who might be expecting confident Casanovas will react if they find themselves laughing rather than melting into second-hand sexual pleasure.

My challenge is to allow the sexual tension to build and be released without being compromised by the humour in the situation.

What do you think?

Answers on this blog post (below), or if Blogger is being an arse again and won’t let you leave a comment, you can leave wise words on my Twitter account @Russwrites or on the Working from home Facebook page. Thank you!

As has been pointed out by Julie Cohen in the comments below these observations should not be applied to chick lit in general!


  1. I think it's great to have some realism in sex scenes, and there's certainly room for humour...though I disagree that 'chick lit' sex scenes are all the same, nor that most of them involve pebbled nipples or orgasms brought on by just kissing!

    Good luck with your raunch, Russ!

  2. Thanks for pointing this out Julie - have changed the article to reflect the books I read rather than Chick lit in general. *hangs head in shame*

  3. Started writing exactly for this reason. Though I have to say I try to write sex both as amazingly mindblowingly orgasmic (my readers aren't after something too realistic, they want the fantasy) but also refreshingly grounded. Not everything goes right with sex, but its easier to laugh it off when you farted at a crucial moment in real life. In a book, that fart has to have a purpose, move the story on or something, or else it doesn't help the story (it is, after all, just a story) So, I leave out the farts, but I leave in the struggles to undo that awkward bra or accidentally falling off the bed mid snog... because at its best, sex is fun and funny as well as hot and steamy.

  4. Completely agree that sex should be fun and funny Daized! ;O)