My current muse
When it comes to writing sex scenes involving your characters, how far do you dare to go while knowing that a written work containing anything that might be considered vaguely pornographic, is seriously frowned upon by all reputable publishers?
Read on to find out how I’m currently dealing with this dilemma.
In my previous novella – Cataclysm, I alluded to the way the hero Gilbert Briggs and the beautiful transexual he fell in love with, Arianna, made love by simply saying just that, even though it doesn’t take much imagination on the part of the more intelligent among you to realise how they went about it. But precisely because of the transexual element, no lurid details were employed. I agonised over it for several weeks, and I freely admit that I was seriously tempted to spice it up at the time of writing it last year.
But this time, my current science fiction WIP The Guardian demands that I go a stage further. In this particular instance I’m currently dealing with the love affair between my principal characters, Lynne Crawford and Adler Stevens. The other characters, some of whom have already been involved in an orgy, are a lesbian Bayla and a bi-sexual Karin, plus two of the five other males – Anatole, Moshe, Philippe, Brett and Cliff, all of them perfectly normal individuals.
Thinking about it, who or what is considered normal these days, especially when it comes to the often thorny subject of sex? It’s weird how some people become totally prudish when confronted with the subject in a novel or novella, yet see nothing wrong in engaging in what after all is a perfectly natural act between two people, no matter their gender preference or indeed their preferred way of making love. A clear case of double standards if ever I saw one…
Getting back to Lynne and Adler, so far I’ve involved them in just two scenes together that can either be described as erotic or voyeuristic, depending on your point of view. Now I’m engaged in writing their first no holds barred love scene. Well, that’s not strictly true. I wrote the original seriously filthy version several weeks ago. In fact ever since then I’ve been returning to it from time to time to tone it down, first of all by gradually downgrading it from extremely to moderately pornographic, through to highly suggestive. At long last by yesterday lunchtime it had finally become merely suggestive, the state it will remain in until I take another look at it at a later date. Hopefully it will end up being a suggestive erotic love scene, not an easy task to achieve as some of you may think, believe me.
Remember this – while one person might consider a love scene like the one I’ve been working on to be erotic, to someone else, namely those of the prudish persuasion, it will always be nothing but unadulterated pornographic filth. The funny thing is that I bet the latter will re-read the particular passage several times, while uttering the imortal words – “utterly disgusting!” to alleviate their hypocritical moral outlook.
Face it folks, as writers you just can’t win. You are either damned if you do or damned if you don’t. In the end all you can do is leave it up to your readers to decide, always providing of course that it gets past your publisher first.
More later if you are good.