Re: Obligatory Sex Scene
See? Ripley illustrates what's wrong with the 'obligatory' sex scene. If she giggled writing it, chances are you'll giggle reading it, leading to another reader bored, embarassed, or just ready to throw up his/her hands and consider erotic scenes a lost art.
I agree with Bob that the sex has to advance the story--or in other words, the story comes first. My novel has two sex scenes that I think are absolutely essential. The first, about halfway through, shows clearly that the two lovers just aren't ready to be together yet--there's too much to be worked out between them. The second, near the end, illustrates how far they've traveled.
The reader would not just be cheated if I slammed the bedroom door at the crucial bits, they wouldn't fully understand what's going on with the characters, or the development of their relationship.
Here's to non-obligatory sex!
Can't have real jazz without.
I'm sorry - obligatory sax has just been the phrase spinning through my mind for awhile now. As you were on the post
All right Lisa...
Sax is one thing, but I draw the line at violins.
Re: All right Lisa...
I agree with Goliardeys...To me, an implied sexual encounter is much more puissant than one that is thoroughly graphic and spelled out in detail. I give some credit to the imagination of the author. There are exceptions contingent upon the intention of the author:
1. If one wishes to portray the absurdity of a sexual scene through lurid description in an effort to derive some satirical humour.
2. In portraying something not so much erotic but transgressive and perhaps severely disturbing (such as violation of the dead, rape, etc.)
3. If the effect is to evoke more of the "epistemic" qualities of the sexual act, the "metaphysical" or "mystic" in any encounter. I find this a lot in Bataille's writings.
If one wants to make cash, there is no end to the markets that will pay for pornography as such.--and even that does not always doom one's literary career. I think of Henry Miller's "Opus Pistorum" which he was paid a dollar a page for his porn prose, and is now considered a literary treasure...Not ot mention his other works that feature explicit sexual content juxtaposed against his musings on painting, philosophy and the urban layout of Paris. I have encountered intelligent and even rebellious means of portraying sexuality while still maintaining a solid literature core which evokes more serious contemplation than mere sensationalism. Mixtures in synthesis of the "high" and the "low" are jarring, but fascinating.
Was that a Gary Kessler sighting? Glad to see someone on here didn't assume he was gone for good.
Nice to see your name again Gary, and your words.
In 1953 a clod named Girodias started a little organization called the Olympia Press in Paris for the purpose of publishing dirty books.
So he assembled a stable of authors and started cranking them out.
The results were some of the most stunning, lush, incredible works of erotica I have ever seen.
Some of the authors that went through the Olympia press had names like Burroughs, Donleavy, Reage, Beckett and some clown named Nabokov.
I believe the Olympia Reader is out of print. More's the pity.
So here's to a good sex scene.
My favourite sex scene is in "Rachel's Wedding" by Marian Keyes, where Rachel meets Luke in a bar, gets closer to him, and then they race back in a taxi to her apartment and run up the stairs because they can't bear to wait for the lift, and he kicks the door shut, and wallop! It all rings true to me, and is the best account of lust I've come across, and perfectly paced. (I think the pacing of a sex scene is the most difficult aspect to get right.)
favourite written scene - I need to think about that one.
The suggestive imagery of Song of Solomon comes to mind. (no not the Toni Morrison book.)
I agree - Song of Solomon is just beautiful. And Bob, I agree - I have read so many sex scenes that sounded like a gynecologist's manual. Its amazing how boring those are to read. On the other hand, the "as they came together, the fire died and room turned black...Meanwhile, back at the police station..." doesn't work either. They are so hard to write! Every one I tried to write left me feeling either embarrassed or corny. For some reason, my sex scenes kept resembling some 1950s beach movie where the waves keep crashing into the couple as they're going at it in the sand. Somehow, if you can get the physical and emotional (whatever it is) to mesh, I thnk that's the secret. But, boy is it hard!