Sunday, June 25, 2006

Unromantic, unsexy sex

So I just finished reading an erotic romance from an author I've never read before, a very popular best-selling-type writer (whose name I will not reveal.)

Eh. It was okay, I guess. I had some issues with the idea of someone who'd time-travelled from the particular time and place using modern expressions. I had issues with some of the background because it was not historically accurate (not as bad as the person who thought medieval men's hose were actual pantyhose, and so put a waistband in them, and had the man wearing them under a kilt. But whatever. The inaccuracies weren't that bad. It's just that I don't think Dark Age Druids would use "For the love of Christ" as an expleteive. I'm just saying.)

But something really, really bothered me about this book. Once I got past the initial stuff anf the story moved to modern day, it was fine. I enjoyed it. I was getting a little tired of the way the H/h kept making out all over the place and never actually even getting to third base, but whatever. Sexual tension is just dandy, and it was perking along quite nicely.

Then we got to the Big Scene. The one where I, the Reader, knew we were in for one fantastic sex scene. I was ready to read this scene. I thought the hero was pretty sexy. The heroine had, like all good little romance heroines, been "saving herself" and so was a virgin (a fact the H/h discussed several times), but that didn't bother me. I don't mind the defloration so much.

So here we go. They're making out all over the place in an empty room in a castle. They've had the romantic little talk about how she wants him to be her first. Lalala.

And then...

he bends her over a desk and takes her from behind.

Yes, you read that right. The romantic first time for the heroine is frickin' doggie-style over a desk.

Isn't that romantic?

And he made her talk dirty, too.

Now, don't get me wrong. Having characters bent over furniture is fine. Dirty talk is fine. Believe me, my characters get up to all kinds of things in all kinds of places.

But you know what? That's not romantic. It's sexy, sure. But the first sex scene after the "I love you"s should not be from behind! He couldn't even look at her! She couldn't look at him! Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

There is a difference between romantic sex and erotic sex. Wait. That came out wrong, like I don't think they can be both. They can, of course. What I mean is...some moments in a book call for a tender, loving sex scene. The first sex scene after the "I love you"s is generally one. The heroine's First Time is definitely one.

The sex should evolve and change just as the characters and their relationship do. It's fine to have all kinds of crazy sex all over the place. But when we finally have an emotional connection, when the H & h are finally truly baring their souls to each other, they should be looking at each other.

That scene-the only truly detailed sex scene in the book-lost me. I don't even remember it very well. I skimmed it, because I was so irritated that in the author's Big Emotional Moment she got scared, and skipped the emotion, and instead gave us a fairly clinical description of two bodies having sex, not two people making love.

Not to mention that as a woman, I couldn't imagine the heroine wouldn't feel pretty upset and cheated that at this very important moment for her, her man doesn't even want to look at her. That he doesn't kiss her once while the action is happening. That her first time is being turned into some porno movie and not the special moment she obviously always wanted it to be.

Nothing's wrong with writing scenes where that position is used. It can be pretty hot. I've done several, every erorom writer I know has done them.

But pick your moments, please.

What's the worst sex scene you ever read? One where you would have gotten out of bed (or the car, or the room, or whatever) because somebody's actions in the heat of the moment were such a turn-off?


Bernita said...

Oh crap!
I agree.
Implies - and at that stage - he is interested only in stuffing it in, not her.

Anonymous said...

I can't point out one in particular, but I hate finally getting to the greatly anticipated consumation scene and it turns out to be kind of a dud. I swear sometimes it's like the author has never experienced great sex. I especially hate it when it seems as though the woman is getting the short end of the stick (pardon the expression). In Texas, ladies come first! Or, at least (as Aerosmith put it so much better than the Beatles) Come Together, right now -over me. -JTC

Anonymous said...

By the way. If you google Harley Quinn and click on "images" there are some pretty cool (and hot) images that I think would make great avitars. Just a suggestion. -JTC

P.S. I like the one from (page 3 top row #2 on my search) and the one by (page 3 2nd row last on right on my search).

A. M. said...

Re: our agreement on Jude Law being not sexy and Keanu The It-Boy - The Lake House is already out in the UK, so get thee to the cinema! Support the films you like and what you want to see more of!

That scene you describe - yikes. Was that written by a woman? I'm not at all fond of (ex) Don Juans and virgins. Nope. As your example shows, having had tons of sex doesn't mean that the char now is a terrific lover. The scene makes him come over like a user. Feeling sorry for the girl.

Good morning to you, BTW.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Ooh, Harley Quinn! She's my absolute fave Batman character.

Wait, we were talking about sex scenes. :-)

I've read some bad ones, but I'm glad I didn't read this one you're describing. Definitely un-romantic, especially the talking part. Gah.

December Quinn said...

Exactly, Bernita. It seemed so insensitive. And I don't like "sensitive" men in general in my books, but it was like...this is her first time ever, their first time together, and he doesn't even want to look at her?


December Quinn said...

Oh, JTC, you make me giggle. Yes, I've read a few of those dud scenes. So disappointing! I think it's not just a lack of great sex, it's a lack of imagination. Which should never be in a book.

And how did you know I love Harley Quinn? I used to call my hubby "Mr. J" sometimes to be funny.

Emma Sinclair said...

Plus, wouldn't it hurt to be taken that way your fist time?

December Quinn said...

Yeah, AM, it did make him seem like a user--like he was not interested in her as more than a conventient hole, to be crude about it, but that's the way it seemed.

I'd love to see The Lake House, but given that I never get to go to movies...I'll see. Maybe the hubs will stay home with the kids one day so I can go.

Jude Law. Blech. I don't know a single woman who doesn't think he's a shit.

I know, SW! What kind of man expects a girl having sex for the first time to say graphic things to him? I guess it was supposed to be like he was "freeing her erotic self" or something, but it just seemed rude. Like he's already messing up her first time, now he can't even try to be romantic about it.

I think the author forgot it was supposed to be romantic and was just trying to write a really HOT scene. But the lack of romance spoiled it. Doesn't always, but did there.

December Quinn said...

I would certainly have thought so, Emma. It hurts face-front for most women, anyway, and I would think that would be particularly uncomfortable.

Isabella Snow said...

Pantyhose under a kilt! Sexy! ;/

Re getting bent over a desk for the first time - I kind of like that idea, myself. If done with a bit of sensitivity, I think I'd have quite liked that for the first time... :)

Anonymous said...

Where were you when I was a high school senior, Isabella? Oh, wait. You were 6. Never mind. -JTC

M.E Ellis said...

The romantic first time for the heroine is frickin' doggie-style over a desk.

Wasn't it in an empty room? If it was literally empty, big whoopsie on the author's/editor's part.


December Quinn said...

LOL, no not that kind of empty, sorry. It was a furnished room, empty of people.