Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh My

So I Googled myself today, like you do, and on the first page...

this popped up.

I don't actually see a reference to myself on the page...but I was too chicken to click on the links.

It made me wonder, though. I write a lot of sex, and yet I'm not eager to look at online porn. Or, to be honest, any porn. The closest I come are those horrible movies they show late nights on the Sci-Fi Channel..."Femalien" and the like.

I think part of the problem is porn itself. Porn is not romantic. I've seen Debbie Does Dallas, I've seen Deep Throat--before I knew Linda Lovelace's story, and I will never watch it again. I've seen a few other porno movies whose titles I can't recall, even one that tried--and succeeded--to be amusing.

But I haven't seen any porno movies, true porn, that's romantic. None. I suppose it's possible that I simply haven't watched the right ones, but I make no apology for the fact that I refuse to start actively shopping for porn on a regular basis unil I find romantic porn.

It's always been my contention, though, that if someone made a truly romantic porno film--based, let's just say, on one of my books, maybe?--women would be much more likely to wach it. Imagine. Your husband (or boyfriend, or whatever) wants to watch porn wth you. You say no. He then pulls out a romantic film, a love story, but with graphic sex scenes instead of soft-focus fade-outs. Perhaps it's a medieval romance or one set in ancient Rome. Would you watch? I would!

Because heres how this relates to writing, and especially writing erotic romance. I think the reader needs to be emotionally invested in the characters, even a little, in order to enjoy the sex scenes fully. Otherwise, it's just clinical description. This is one reason why erotic romance presents such a different set of challenges to writing "regular" romance. One isn't easier or harder than the other, they're just different.

How do you think most authors do at providing both sexual heat and emotional intensity?

In doing edits for The Black Dragon, I was stunned to see how frankly lame the original sex scene I'd written was. Well, "lame" is rather harsh. It wasn't lame, it just wasn't very explicit by any stretch. Compared to what I do now, the physical detail was lacking. There was lots of emotional stuff, lots of thoughts and feelings, but very little turn-you-on detail. I added some, but I'm thinking in the second round of edits I'm going to add more. I want those sex scenes to leap off the page, espeically since there are only three of them. In some of my erotic works I've done the "short" scene--where they fall together and lose themselves, or whatever, and that's all that's said, simply because the scene follows another, graphic scene, or because a long scene would break the story's momentum. In TBD, though, where there are only three sex scenes in the whole book, I want to show off. :-) Plus, because that first scene occurs about halfway through the book, the reader is (I hope) quite emotionally invested. They deserve their big payoff.

What do you think? Do you think the longer you have to wait, the better it is, no matter what?


Anonymous said...

O.K. I'll try to type this out before the comm guys come kick in my office door and cuff me. I'm surprised that link wasn't blocked by "Big Brother".

I think it's like real sex. If you have to wait a little while it makes it better. A little longer still and it makes it more intense (but quicker, no doubt!). Very much longer than that and I'm frustrated and outta there.

And that's where the author earns her keep. You have a window to hit and you had better hit it. Too soon and it's not as good. Wait too long and the reader drops the book out of frustration. -JTC

Someone's trying to kick in my d

S. W. Vaughn said...

Ooooh my... words fail me. :-)

Hey December, did a certain person working with you happen to get some perspective? Did you get my message?

Can I marry Gruffyd (or at least have a little one-night stand with him)? *G*

Jenn on the Island said...

Yikes, I clicked on that link at work! I used the find feature and found only December, no Quinn...

I've seen my fair share of porn (FIL owned a video store in the 80s and teenaged hubby helped himself to the section behind the beaded curtains when the store was closed) and I can honestly say porn's boring. Yeah, there's a lot of titilating visual stimulation, but I don't need extreme closeups of razorburn, and the voice over moans border on comical.

But, have you ever heard of Candida Royalle? Former porn star turned director! I've never seen any of her stuff, but apparently she makes porn for straight women. You just might be able to find a flick about the Centurion and the Senator's daughter...I suppose the only question that remains is: Do you want to start receiving packages wrapped in plain brown wrapping in the mail??

December Quinn said...

Shoot, sorry, Jenn! I emant to say it wasn't work safe. Sorry JTC, too, I know you often check in from your work.

I do agree, JTC...anticipation is part of the fun, some people think the best part. I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but it certainly does make a difference.

I'm emailing you, SW. It's worse. You're not going to believe it, really.

The name is vaguely familiar, Jenn. I'll certainly keep her in mind if ever I have the urge to buy a brown-paper-packaged video!

Anonymous said...

Porn is not about romance, it's about pure, red, base, lust. It's literally about the act, not the people at all. It mind as well just be all peni and vagainas. No brains or people need to be attached. Not that there's much wrong with this. you know, when you have kids and only the exterior doors have locks there's very little time for romance.
But you can try the Showtime late night movies, which don't show anything other than breasts and butt, or Bliss on Oxygen.
What I like it funny porn. Okay, and Weird porn, but that's usually too bizarre to be turned on by. You have to put too much effort into understanding it.
Porn is for men, and men are turned on by seeing things like nudity and sexual thing. Men almost always need to see something. Just having it implied, or reading erotica doesn't do much for men because in the end it's just words. My husband has pointed this out to me as a reason he doesn't enjoy most fiction. He never does get sucked into the story like I do.

cyn said...

the longer you put it off, the better it is. this doesn't seem to happen much with anyone but virgins these days. haha! but i'm speaking from a female perspective. imagine a few months of making out, heavy petting and the like before doing "it". wow. who waits that long these days? pity.

December Quinn said...

Hi Michelle! I couldn't agree more. It's the romance that makes us ladies hot, not just watching body parts interlock.

BTW, those are some pretty intense nightmares. I suggest several shots of vodka before bed. Helps me. :-)

Cyn, I agree. People don't wait so long anymore, and I think it's a shame. Even a few weeks ups the anticipation factor!

I'm telling my daughters they better wait until marriage. I don't think they really will, but I'm hoping that if I stress the importance of it they'll at least wait until they're with someone who cares about them, you know?

Annie Dean said...

I don't really have a yardstick for measuring when sex should happen, but an author is more likely to lose me by playing coy (with like five scenes of coitus interruptus) than by having the h/h give it up too soon. I get annoyed when there's a phone call or a pager or a visitor like ten times in the first fifteen chapters. That gets to book-hurling territory and I'll grumble, "Oh get on with it already."

As a sidenote I think few authors do a bang up job (pun intended) of making it hot for me. They either go overboard and it veers into purple, they go overly romantic with the euphemisms and I can't tell who's doing what or they go ultra-clinical. It's a tough balance.

December Quinn said...

Ugh, I hate that, Annie! I have it twice in my WIP--one regular first kiss, one more passionate interrupted kiss, and then..the Big Scene. IMO, two or three is the limit.

Erik Ivan James said...

Good post, December! Good comments too.

Isabella Snow said...

Hmm.. I don't see your name there, but there are a few authors listed.. I ain't clicking those links though.

And I love porn!!

So you gotta know those links scare me.. lol.

December Quinn said...

Thanks, Erik! And I do get the best comments--all of you guys are so fun!

I didn' see my anme, either, Isabella. I don't know if I'm glad or cheated.

kis said...

The problem with most porn is that it isn't about lust at all. It's about anatomy and camera angles. You watch enough of it, and the rare actress who isn't faking it really stands out. Does anyone really think the woman who moves her hair out of the way of the camera while she gives some guy a blowjob is really enjoying herself?

It's all directorial priorites and poor acting. Male directors just want to get everyone naked as quickly as possible and see how many improbable positions they can fit into an hour and fifteen minutes. The abysmal acting and unsynchronized voice-over moaning only make it worse.

There was a time when real directors and actors ventured into the dirty little corners of pornoland--think the XXX version of Caligula. The result was pretty good. I can imagine that female-directed porn aimed at a female audience might be ok too, as long as it doesn't sink too deep into schmaltzy romantic drivel.

Me, I'm a big fan of sex up against a back-alley wall (or an office wall, or a stable wall, or over a desk, or on the kitchen floor, etc). Wherever it happens, there has to be a sense of urgency, of tension, of excitement that is just soooo lacking in pornography.

And with erotica, I don't mind some sexual content on the first page. If the writing is good, there will be tension there even if I don't know the character's name. But it's kind of like the opening action teaser of a big movie, or the appetizer in a nine course dinner. Not really necessary, and likely forgotten by the end of the meal.