The other day, I rebutted (politely) someone calling erotica "porn masquerading as romance." I took a great deal of offense to that statement, one, being a writer of said "porn" and also because lots of great real romances have, well, SEX in them. At least my own personal Great Romance has a lot of really fabulous sex in it, and since we've been married 20 years tomorrow, I'm guessing what we've got going is working okay.
But still, a certain segment (a big segment, actually) would simply call any graphic sex Porn. It makes me wonder if they ever see R rated movies with sprays of blood and trains full of people getting blown up and such. Because fuck me, people will clamor for violence and yet shy away at sex. That disconnect between sex and violence (that sex is shameful but violence is honorable) is the most fucked up thing I know.
There's a great quote from this blog I've been reading:
The funny thing is, we tend to be a lot more comfortable with violence in this country than we do with sex. We’re a flock of Puritanical gas-bags who beg and scream and wheedle to see the bullet-scalped bodies of Al Qaeda terrorists but if we see two dudes smooch on Glee half of America takes a collective panic-poop and pulls out clumps of hair like they were clods of grass.
First, does this guy have absolute and utter command of the language? He has made English his crawling, sniveling bitch.
Secondly, it's something I've noticed for a long, long time.
And then I got to thinking more about how I sometimes refer to my erotica as "inappropriate" novels, as if the sex in them is less appropriate than demons ripping each other up and eating humans for bedtimes snacks in my "mainstream" urban fantasy series. And I thought to myself, Self, who's being hypocritical now?
I mean, seriously? And then most mainstream novels don't have graphic sex but very well might have bad violence (think thrillers), even though, in my experience, in Real Life, sex is a whole hell of a lot more mainstream than violence, for most people in the US anyway.
I'm about to launch into a big fight scene in the WIP (Sentinel: Archive of Earth). Without giving away spoilers, it's between two people who have had plenty of opportunity to fight but haven't, mostly because one of them makes a point of submitting, which lets the other one walk away without doing too much damage. This time it's submit and die, and the one who tends to pick the fights is going to realize a bit too late just how evenly matched they actually are. It's a HUGE moment between these two characters, a sort of consummation of their very long, deep relationship.
But it's not always that way. I sort of just wrote the sex scenes in LOST PRINCE, not really thinking much about them. I figured I'd get the logistics down (there's a lot of logistics in sex, and it goes all exponential on your ass when there's more than two people). Then I reckoned I'd work out the character nuances later. But they were there, definitely there. Each scene brings them both closer and further apart, figuratively, and together they map the evolution of the relationship. (I mean, that's the intention. If they don't then, you know, flame me here or on FB or whatever. Just, for the love of God, buy the book and read it.)
In the past six weeks I have written A LOT OF SEX. (all good practice) And I've found it definitely has an evolution within the relationships. For instance: at one point, this guy ejaculates before he means to--before they actually do the Deed. This is a guy who is a super control freak, so his submission, his losing control is a HUGE thing to his wife. And so it was sort of an icky, messy moment (lets be honest, that just makes a sticky mess) and radically accidental, but still really a big deal to the relationship. And it demonstrated perfectly to me how writing sex and violence is like writing any other scene; it has to BE characterization, setting, and plot.
I know, rambling and such, with no real conclusion or any great insights.
Turkish tea is super good.
That is all.