Whether in movies or in books, sex scenes are always tricky. Going too far may scare people away, while keeping it too tame will start a contagion of yawning.
When it comes to fiction, particularly romance, writers are in grave danger of using silly words and cheesy euphemisms to sound more poetic. Let’s face it, saying penis, vagina, and mammary glands is not very romantic. Bad descriptions of private parts and how they interact are also the result of trying desperately to avoid ‘dirty’ words: most notably the ‘p’ word or ‘c’ word for women, the ‘c’ word or ‘d’ word for men, and the ‘f’ word for the deed itself.
Examples of euphemisms overused in romance novels
So what to do?
Should a romance writer use clinical terms? Go for vulgarity? Try to rock euphemisms? Or just set up the scene for love and then fade out?
Most would say it’s up to the reader. Some readers like when a writer simply tells it like it is; the penis goes in the vagina and that’s about all there is too it.
Other readers like more descriptive and less direct terms like the literary nuggets listed above.
If the writer succeeds at creating enough tension between the characters, it may be possible to skip over the sex scene altogether and leave it to the imagination, but this would take great skill in order not to disappoint the reader.
There are all kinds of tastes and preferences, and it’s probably safe to say that writers should write their sex scenes in the way that feels most comfortable for them.
So how do you like your sex scenes? Blunt, flowery, or implied?
What are the worst sex scenes you’ve watched in movies or read in books?
What are the worst terms you’ve seen used to refer to sex and sexual parts?
Leave your comments below!