Monday, December 3, 2018

Serving Sex: Only if it makes a difference.

Okay so I was raised in a household where sex was something that happened but was not widely discussed. Not exactly prudish, we certainly had conversations, but most of them were of the Birds and the Bees nature.

One of the very first things I heard with any regularity in the writing field was simply that sex sells. Cool beans and more power to you, but I decided early on that unless the scene mattered tot he story, I probably wasn't gong to mention it,

Most of my dirty scenes are a couple of sentences long.

Which rather amuses me. I happen to be extremely fond of sex. I make mention of it with regularity in my writings. But you know what? I also mention that sometimes characters have to pee.

It's a biological function and I will mention it. But unless the sex A) pushes the story forward, B) has a serious impact on the story or C) proves something I don't find a need to go into details.

Examples: In UNDER THE OVERTREE a character is raped. I mention that she was raped. I deal with the consequences of the situation. I felt no need to write a seen to titilate, so I didn't. As far as I'm concerned rape is an act of violence and shouldn't be used to stimulate anyone. There are consequences to the action and they are far ranging.

In BLOOD RED one of the main characters is literally paid as a prostitute to seduce every member of the religious clergy she can get in contact with. She does an excellent job. It isn't as thanks for all the good deeds. it's set up by a vampire who wants to generate as many crisis of faith as he can in order to weaken the religious faith in the community. She is rather successful in causing multiple crisis of faith. Completely unaware as to why she has been hired and not willing to ruin the cash flow coming her way the character never examines the reasons, but she DOES discover that seducing the people who should be above seduction is a powerful rush.  There are a few MODERATELY descriptive scenes. There are a few VERY descriptive sex scenes I have more sexual actions in this book than in anything else Ive ever written because they are pertinent to the story.

In SEVEN FORGES one of the male characters runs after Swech, a foreigner that he is watching over, in order t make sure that she is not sexually assaulted when she heads for the wrong part of town. What he finds when he chases after her is that Swech is capable of defending herself. She either maims or kills the six men that decide she would make an excellent victim. They are very mistaken in their beliefs.

Swech later "seduces" Merros, the man who went to save her. By seduce, what I mean is she basically jumps his bnes. Not that he's objecting. the entire purpose of these scenes is to make certain that A) Merros sees Swech first and foremost as a warrior and at the every least an equal. And second to show the very strong differences in cultures. Merros comes from a place where the only women who sleep with a man when unmarried are either foolish or prostitutes. Swech comes from a place where, if both parties agree, sex happens. Should pregnancy occur it's the will of the gods and deemed perfectly acceptable. The sex is mentioned. it is not something that is graphically described aside from the fact that Merros admires her shape a few times.

The lack of description has more to do with the fact that I likely will never be able to put into words the complex situations that happen between and man and a woman, and from the simple notion that sometimes less is more. I can describe a sexual act in detail. I can also describe a violent beheading in detail. I rarely feel the need to go far with either event.