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Date Posted: 05:27:50 07/17/20 Fri
Author: River Acheron
Subject: (E) Sex in stories
Sex In Stories
This is somewhat more of a broad topic, in that there are many questions that I ask myself. Even in stories about love and romance, are sex scenes needed to flesh out the characters and/or advance the plot? Does sex undermine the story? At which point does the sex scenes turn the story into eroticism/pornography? Do the ages of the characters matter? Should authors be offended if fans and readers skip the sex scenes?
Let me begin by saying I am far from a prude...I have a Pornhub account like many red-blooded Americans, and when I feel like being titillated, I check out "slash" fanfics on various story sites. However, (and this is just me personally), when I read a story for the plot, I usually skip through the sex scenes, or at the very least skim though them very fast. This is less of an issue with movies, because, despite what the MPAA would have you believe, there are actually very few non-"porn" movies with GRAPHIC ~real~ sex scenes in them (Caligula, Nymphomaniac, A Serbian Film, Short Bus, Salo, Crusing, Kids, are really the only ones that come to mind right now..I'm not talking about 3 second simulated fake sex scenes in say, the Friday the 13th movies). This may sound a bit weird, but the more I read a favorite story series, and the more I grow to really like and care about the characters, the less I want to read about them in graphic sex scenes. In the same way, I personally do not write sex within my stories. It's almost as if I do not want to see my characters in that way. It's not their age, because I tend to write a bit older, around 17 to 22-ish. It also has to do with the fact that I'd rather imply than show. (Kind of akin to horror in which what you don't see, is infinitely more scary than all the blood and gore that can be thrown at you.) In my HOMETOWN series, of course I know Donnie and Andrew had tons of kinky, fetish-filled sex in the brief 9 months that they were together. Donnie has a dominating alpha personality and Andrew was punk rock all the way. However, I do not want to write those scenes out. First, because I don't want to see my characters like that, and second I truly believe that the reader can imagine those scenes far better and steamier than I can write them. I guess I am wondering is, where is the line between art and pornography? I love both within their own realms, but I often wonder where one begins and the other ends. You can have a straight up hardcore porn scene with zero plot. You can have a plot/set-up for hardcore porn (The "cable guy" coming to the bored housewife's home), sometimes the plot goes a bit deeper (If any of you are familiar with Twinklight, a gay parody of the Twilight series, and further towards the art category, you have a movie like Caligula, with graphic real sex in it, yet it's a high budget "porn"/"real" movie staring Malcolm McDowell and Peter O'Toole!
For my fellow writers out there: I am curious from both vantage points. Those of you who do not write erotic scenes within your stories, why not? For the same reasons I listed above, or do you have your own reasons for not including them? For those that do include sex peppered throughout your stories....again, why? Does it make your characters romantic interludes more realistic? Does it help advance your plot in some way? Are you trying to steam-up the story and titillate your readers? There's absolutely nothing wrong with any of this, by the way. We all have our writing styles and our reasons for including or omitting sex scenes within our tales. Every single reason is valid! Our stories are very personal to us.
For me, I just do not prefer my genres mixed, I suppose. Kind of like I don't much care for horror/comedy. Also, As stated, when reading or watching a romantic coming-of-age story, I like to leave it to my imagination. Just like I prefer an absence of gore in horror when I want to truly be frightened/horrified. The imagination can do so much more! Think of a movie like Texas Chainsaw Massacre. (The original 1974 one.) To this DAY, fans swear it was the goriest movie they ever saw. The truth is though, there is hardly even any blood in it! Toby Hooper filmed it in such a way that the mind actually puts the graphic scenes in there. The atmosphere, the camera angels, the implication, the EXTREMELY disturbing set, the bat-shit insane characters, the way it's almost shot like a snuff-film documentary. So...when viewers think back to that movie, they thought it was a lot gorier than it really was! I feel the same way about sex in romance stories. That said, when I want to be turned on, I will watch or read porn of course. When I am in the mood for blood and gore, sure, I will turn on a movie like Susperia, Cannibal Holocaust, or Tokyo Gore Police. I love gore (in movies!), but it's not SCARY. I love graphic descriptive sex, but it's not ROMANTIC in and of itself.
To finalize, I guess what I am saying is...when it comes to graphic sex in what I watch or read, it depends on my mood. When I am caught up in a sci-fi plot in a story, I'm usually not in the mood to be turned-in. That's not to say that there have not been times where I read a sex scene or two that was absolutely vital to advance the story in some meaningful way. However, if a sex scene comes out of nowhere and goes on for multiple paragraphs, I do tend to skip those. (MOST of the time. I'm still human after all!)
I would love your thoughts on this
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