I’m going through an inner battle about my opinion of sex in books.
On the one hand, there’s the firm Christian in me who believes intimacy is a sacred union between husband and wife that should be kept private.
On the other hand, there’s the writer in me who wants to get into every aspect of my characters’ lives and minds, no matter how gritty, and can accept that people aren’t perfect.
I often put down books that I feel are too explicit or vulgar. At the same time, I don’t believe it’s okay to ignore a character’s sexuality. It’s an important part of life, and it defines us.
I get irritated when an author is too squeamish to include important details. It’s not enough to just draw the curtains and move on to the next scene because I want to know what happened. Not all sexual experiences are the same.
For example, sometimes it feels like you’ve achieved the highest level of Nirvana. Other times, it’s not worth the time it took to take off your clothes.
I also hate it when the character all of a sudden starts talking about something completely unrelated, like a cloud. People having sex do not think about clouds. Also, when a good character does something bad, have you noticed writers often say “he didn’t know what he was doing”? Come on. He knows exactly what he’s doing.
So, what am I comfortable with, and what goes against my standards? I have no idea.
I do believe, however, that when I find the right balance I can use my Christian roots to help me write better sex scenes. Everything I wrote would be deliberate, necessary to the plot, tasteful, and will focus more on emotion than sensations. I just have to decide what’s necessary and tasteful.
How do you decide the best way to write your sex scenes (if you write them at all)?