When I was asked to provide a male perspective on sex in literature, I had to pause and think. I’ve never written a sex or love scene. It’s not because I don’t want to or because I don’t write about sex, it’s just that the opportunity has never come up. In my mind, men and women think of sex in different ways. From real world dating, lingerie, and pornography, sex is different between the sexes. I have always thought that from a woman’s view, sex is romance and feeling, while sex for men is almost purely visual. When we describe it, it is always about what the woman looked like, what she had on, how big/small her features are, what she did… it is almost exclusively physical, with no emotions, and that’s what I have found when reading men’s points of view of sex.
As a writer, I think sex should be used intelligently. What I mean by that is this: when there is a sex scene, there should be a purpose for it, as if it is the logical next step in the story. For example, if there is a romantic relationship, is it going to go to the next level? Or is there is a tense sexual moment? That I can understand. But if it is gratuitous and doesn't fit, then it throws the story off. I find that when some authors write about sex, they will put it in a scene or interject it into a story for shock value or to mask their writing deficiencies. When I read the scene for the first time, I am completely shocked like, “Wow, did I just read that?” But the thing about going that route is that once you play the tactic, it loses its value and runs the risk of becoming predictable.
Another point to make when writing about sex is you have to cater to what audience you are writing for. If the book or project is erotica, then you can slather all the sex scenes you want, be as graphic as you can, because that is what your audience expects. But even so, your literary skills have to come into play. When I've read erotica or different sex scenes, I can tell when they have been written by a woman. Everything is so detailed and there is so much leading up to the love making. The writer will describe the sheets, the scent in the air, the lighting, the passion between the two. But when a man writes the scene, he is most of the time just dominating the woman and it is all about the act. If you think about it, that comparison closely parallels how men and women view sex in real life.
In closing, no matter what audience or type of story you write, if it has sex in it, make it tasteful. Make it well-written. Make it matter to the story. Just don’t throw it in. In the right context, the sex scene can be powerful and add another element to the story.
|LeRon L. Barton is a writer from Kansas City, MO, who currently resides in San Francisco, CA. He has been writing poetry, screenplays, and short stories since he was way young. LeRon’s first book, Straight Dope: A 360 degree lookinto American drug culture, was released in February of 2013. His new book, All You Need Is Love, will be released in summer of 2014. Please visit him at MainlinePub.com and on Twitter and Facebook.|