I have a special place in my heart for today’s guest bloggers—one of them is my alter ego, after all. Their first novel, Same Time Tomorrow, will be published early next year, and they can be found at their adults-only blog, Basking in the Afterglow. I give you Scarlett Martin and James Morgan!
Try to behave, you two.
“Literature is all, or mostly, about sex.” ~ Anthony Burgess
“If the sex scene doesn’t want to make you do it–whatever it is they’re doing–it hasn’t been written right.” ~ Sloan Wilson
“When in doubt, add in sex. And then some more sex. Mix in a pinch of sex. Add on a dash of oral pleasuring, followed by strenuous intercourse. Follow up with post coital cuddling.” ~ Julia Child’s Kama Sutra Recipes
James: We’d like to thank Norma for letting us play in her blog today. We’ll try not to get too out of control, and we swear, we’ll make the bed afterwards. Though we might have a problem finding all of the pillows. They tend to get scattered a lot when we get, well, frisky.
Scarlett: A lot of things get scattered. Starting with clothing! When we’re ready, we’re ready.
And we’re always ready. Aren’t we, darling?
James: Anytime, anywhere, goddess. Anyway, Scarlett and I are here to write about writing sex scenes in a novel. We’ve been busy writing Same Time Tomorrow, which is a romance-erotica hybrid. The book concerns itself with a woman and a man as they get to know each other, as their attraction gets slightly out of control (and by slightly we mean a lot). As you can imagine, there’s a whole lot of sex involved. They don’t even have to be in each other’s company for adult situations to ensue; we run the gauntlet early on from very pleasant dreams to phone sex. And when they’re around each other, Chloe and Gabriel just can’t resist each other.
Scarlett: And cybersex. Don’t forget the cybersex!
Actually, they meet online. They get into a bit of a debate over Barry Manilow on an entertainment site’s message boards. Chloe loves Manilow—Gabriel, not so much. So they start out having a friendly debate about the musical merits of Barry, and end up falling in love. The turning point, to me, is when Chloe faces a personal tragedy and Gabriel flies to Missouri to be with her. This is when they meet face-to-face for the first time.
James: I think that part of what makes these two characters work so well is the sense of humanity to them–they’re not perfect, but they come off as real to us. They’re both smart, a bit acerbic at times. Their issues and problems are grounded in things that can be related to by people in general; hope, loss, and finding the strength to let go, and to find someone to trust and be open with. Writing erotica does require you to write characters that the reader will care about–otherwise you’re just writing porn. And even before these two end up doing, well, the horizontal tango (look it up), even before Chloe and Gabriel have fallen in love, one of the things that makes them sexy is how much they like each other.
Scarlett: Unlike the characters in some erotic novels. (coughs) Fifty Shades of Grey (coughs). And no, we’re not jealous. Bestseller or not, that book is repulsive. If James did the things to me that Christian—isn’t that his name—does to Anastasia, I would have to castrate him!
Gabriel and Chloe aren’t perfect—they would be painfully boring if they were—but they aren’t mean. And I don’t find anything sexy about sadomasochism.
James: Neither do I… and that whole 50 Shades wave is a mystery to me. Come on, it’s a Twilight fanfic glossed over. That should tell you a lot!
As we went along, developing this relationship and bringing them to a point where Chloe and Gabriel would act on those feelings, we prepared ourselves for what was to come. Some extensive research, plotting out positions, and such other related matters were handled in between the sheets, by the fireplace, during a press conference by the Governor, out on the deck, on stage at the Met, behind home plate at a Yankees game. We might have tried doing so at a Cubs game, but we like an audience, and Cubs games don’t draw much of an audience.
Scarlett: Now, now, darling—we shouldn’t be dissing the Cubs. Some of our readers might turn out to be Cubs fans. A few, anyway.
Though if we were to make out behind home plate at Wrigley Field, then at least someone would be scoring!
James: If they’re Cubs fans, the poor souls must be delusional, or gluttons for punishment.
Actually getting to that point where our characters are engaged in very hands-on and amorous grappling between the sheets is, to put it mildly, an experience. Writing it out, sorting out what body part is going where at any given time (Chloe and Gabriel tend to like to outdo themselves)… well, it leads to getting aroused. For a guy like me, let’s just say that if you’re writing that in a public place, you do want to wait awhile before you… happen to stand up. Give yourself a chance to calm down, so to speak. At the very least, have something along that you can use for concealing. Know what I mean?
Scarlett:(winks) He has a very large backpack. And then there’s his coat.
I don’t have to worry about the visual aspects…but I do tend to make a bit of noise when I’m really getting into a sex scene. Remember that infamous scene in When Harry Met Sally? I’m not faking an orgasm. I actually have orgasms while writing these scenes. After all, the brain is an erogenous zone….
James: Especially your brain! One of the things in this genre that we’ve had to keep in mind has been variety. Sex scenes shouldn’t be like the last one. We’ve made use of numerous positions, locations, and techniques. We’ve had our characters getting off just by the sound of their voices. And we’ve even made use of having one of our pair getting tied up (Gabriel has problems following orders, just so you know).
Scarlett: He can be a very naughty boy sometimes! And occasionally, so can Gabriel!
James: Well, seeing as how he’s our creation, of course he’d be naughty at times!
And in the end, one of the elements we’ve brought into the mix, even during a sex scene, is a sense of humour about it. Our characters have a real playfulness about them when they’re together; they can laugh even during their most intimate moments– or when wildlife interrupts them during some up close and personal time.
Scarlett: I think a sense of humour is important, no matter what genre one is writing. Think about it. In real life, some people will react with humour, even in the most tense situations. It adds depth to our characters and we hope that makes them interesting to readers.
James: At the very least we should be turning our readers on.
Scarlett: I do hope so. And now, if you’ll excuse us, we have some research to do….