Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sex Ed for Lapsed Catholics

Apparently, I'm more of a fighter than a lover. Give me some catty dialogue to pen or a breakup scene to scratch onto the page and I'm your girl. Sex scenes, however, well... ewww. But because I'm a girl and a book is not a real book without a bit of snogging (what? Canada's part of the Commonwealth -- I can use that word) I knew I would eventually have to write one into my manuscript. And (as has been previously established), since I'm a masochist, I actually wrote two. But doing so made me very very uncomfortable. I didn't know where to start. I mean, I know where to start, but... ugh... See? Even writing about writing about it makes me squirm.

Before I even tried to write these scenes, and because procrastination is important, I searched the internet for legitimate sexy writing toolkits. This is harder (tee hee!) than you might think. I thought I struck gold when I came across Harlequin's "How to write the perfect romance!" guidelines. I was sadly mistaken. This is a sample of their best bits of advice:

I ♥ my characters: At the heart of all great romances are two strong, appealing, sympathetic and three-dimensional characters.

I ♥ my conflict: Emotional, character-driven conflict is the foundation of a satisfying romance. Conflict spawns tension and excitement.

I :( secondary characters. Use with caution! You’re writing a romance—readers are interested in your hero and heroine so keep the focus on them.

While the cutesy hearts and frowny faces were appreciated, all I could really think was "What the eff? Where is the dirty thesaurus?"

So here's a sneak peek at what I wrote on my own. It's pretty tame compared to the other one that's in my manuscript, which my Catholic guilt (however lapsed it may be) will not permit me to post. But it's a start:

He kissed me again, desperately this time, and we fell back onto the carpet. He bumbled with my pants and didn’t bother to take off my shirt. I could tell that he hadn’t been with a woman in some time because once I undid his fly and he climbed on top of me, it was already over. This wasn’t quite as I’d fantasized things—in a four-poster bed. On a boat. Floating across the Nile. After a tornado had torn both of our clothes off—and I felt awkward as hell. But it was enough to get me even more attached to him, to stake some sort of superior claim over his body.

There. Now let's never speak of this again.


  1. That was meant for your Grandpa's diary post, but I love this one too.

  2. Ha! Great posts to get mixed up! Gramps would love that! Thx Amanda.