Friday, April 22, 2011

Sex Bombs Away!

When I was a teenager, I fell in love with Supertramp when they released Crime of the Century.  Before they exploded with Breakfast in America, when everybody decided they liked them.

I had a little bitty cassette player, and tapes (yes, this was in the Dark Ages,) and owned Crime of the Century, Crisis? What Crisis? and Even in the Quietest Moments.

When I discovered they'd released an album prior to Crime (actually, they released two, the very first one very rough), I had to special order it.  And then, it came, and was... this.

I loved the music, but felt horribly, horribly embarrassed by the sight of this woman's naked boobies.  Since I carried my tunes with me everywhere... people (meaning boys) were gonna see it.  And what would they think of me?  (Only a total slut would carry something like that around, right?)

I took the cover insert out of the plastic case and painted a nail-polish bandeau on her. Whew!

Cut to present-er day - When I wrote my first novel (not the one that scored me an agent, but my very first) it was, as many first novels are, highly autobiographical.  <groan, hiding face in shame here.>  I wrote it to relieve the pain of a failed love affair, and since sex and sexual attraction had been a big part of that relationship, they also had to be a big part of that novel.

I wrote it, it served the purpose of helping me exercise my writing muscles and exorcise my bad feelings, but  it hooked me on writing, and so, I decided to keep going.

Next novel - more of a chick lit thing, but sex and sexual attraction were still a big part of it.  So I had a decision to make.  Should I make the sex scenes as explicit and erotic as I possibly could, or should I go in the direction of euphemisms and lightly touching (no pun intended) on the subject?

I decided that if publishers wanted a change in the heat level, it would be easier for me to tone down already written sexy scenes, than to take a barely steamy scene, and try to make it hotter. 

So, that book scored me an agent (if not yet a publisher.)  I wrote another - more "good rejections," (Beverly is a a very good writer, but...)  Still, it seemed that whatever I was doing, worked.  I was near the target, if not yet hitting the bullseye.

On my current WIP (work-in-progress,) it's straight up erotica with a theme, as requested by my agent.  Will it work?  We'll see.  My agent has gotten me more good rejections <aargh!> on it as an unfinished WIP  and a few publishers are interested in the completed manuscript.  Which I am setting as my goal to have done by June.

I've gotten past being embarrassed by naked boobies, though it is still not easy for me to write sex, and I admit, I'm somewhat conservative in what I write.  A little bondage, perhaps a few menages a trois, voyeurism, but mostly straightforward male-female stuff.

I continue to read the other erotic material in the current market.  Some of it is similar to what I write, some is more subdued, and some of it, wow, it's "Release the Flying Monkeys" stuff that, frankly, scares me more than titillates.

To each their own trapeze, I guess.

I don't think every writer can or should try to write sex.  However, I do believe that since sex, sexual attraction, and just plain sensuality are such a big part of most people's lives, that it's dishonest not to acknowledge and deal with this factor in some way in our writing.

(You can order a Sex Bomb or other bath & shower delights at Lush.  I had to try my own, and yes, it really does fizz up this fast.)

For some readers, the sex bombs may be more figurative or sensual. For others, sex needs to be genuine, explicit, Part A into Slot B action complete with all the bells, whistles, and back strain.

Consider your audience when writing your novel, and make sure you offer them the level of heat they're expecting. Check out Sarah Allan's "E" is for Erotica A-Z post for some good insight into the differences between erotic romance, porn, and other types of  hot writing.

If you'd like to read one of my sexy (if not explicit) stories, it's online here:

So, what do you think about writing sex?
(Keep it PG, please, this is not an adults-only blog.)
What's hard (pun intended) or easy about it for you?