Monday, September 01, 2008

Be a sex-writing strumpet Pt 23

***Insert generic disclaimer***

When it’s not supposed to be sexy

What I should have done here is asked Mark Henry to do a guest post on this. I didn’t though, so you’re stuck with me, flying by the seat of my pants. I'm warning you in advance; I'm not at all pleased with this one, so I'm sorry.

I’ve never really written a sex scene that wasn’t supposed to be sexy. I have thought about it though. And I admit, there have been times where the evil little imp in me takes over and, in the middle of hot foreplay, I’ve been tempted to write some premature ejaculation in there, or a woman’s frustration at not being able to reach orgasm, or a dog bite, or whatever. I’ve resisted the urges, but it is tempting.

The way I see it, there are two type of funny or unsexy sex scenes. There’s the always-funny kind, meaning the whole thing is a joke from start to finish; and the gotcha kind, with a surprise humorous ending.

I believe there’s a trick with Gotchas, and I believe the info in the rest of the series will help you. (Actually I believe the info in the rest of the series will help you write both.) The trick with a Gotcha is, the hotter the foreplay, the stronger the chemistry, the funnier the gotcha will be.

Here’s a snippet from a sex scene in As the Lady Wishes. I’ve rewritten it a tad to include a Gotcha:

“I do. I am. I can barely keep from pushing you back on that bed and driving my cock between your legs, regardless of what you have to say about it,” he said through gritted teeth, his eyes wandering to her slightly spread legs with a need that shook her to her core.
“Then don’t keep yourself.” Lila spread her legs just a little wider, a thrill of desire pounding through her bloodstream as she revealed her slick center to his hungry gaze. “That’s what I have to say about it.”
With a sound of surrender, Arthur was suddenly on top of her, his hot, powerful body pressing her into the bed. His mouth found her lips hungrily, this kiss different than any they’d shared so far. His movements were more demanding, forcing her to abandon herself to the strokes of his tongue, the bruising caress of his lips. Lila squirmed beneath him, her legs dangling off the edge of the bed, knowing she should be intimidated by the force of his need. His control was obviously slipping away, but the increasing rawness of his possession thrilled her. She found herself reveling in the sensation, intoxicated by the knowledge that she was driving him into this frenzy of desire.
“We have to slow down.” He pulled back from her lips with obvious effort.
“I don’t want to slow down, I want you inside me.” Lila lifted her hips into his, snuggling his cock against her clit and moaning at how wild the feeling made her.
“No, we have to—aaaah!”
His body shuddered above hers, great violent jerks that shook the bed. Hot, sticky liquid spilled over her stomach, her thighs.
She looked up. His face was red, his eyes downcast. “Arthur?”
“Oh, damn…shit, Lila, I’m sorry, I—I was hoping that wouldn’t happen again, I thought the medication would help, I—I’ll get you a towel.”
“It’s—” she started to say, but he was gone, scampering out of the room before she had a chance to get the word out.
Lila fell back on the bed, waiting for her breath to return. Great. She hadn’t been with a man in so long, and now she’d found a heart-pounding stud who couldn’t keep it up long enough to finish the job.
She really was in hell.

Now, I know it’s not uproariously funny—and you men are probably sniffing right about now that there’s nothing funny about premature ejaculation, ever—but you see the point. The bigger the build-up, the harder the fall (that snippet is actually from about the third page of foreplay between these two.)

And it might not be premature ejaculation, either. Perhaps it could be something like this:

“Do you want me to take everything off, Cecelia?” His voice was still low, teasing her, enticing her with the promise of what he would do to her when he removed his pants.
She nodded, unable to look him in the eye. She knew that if he looked in her eyes he would see how desperately she wanted him, and how vulnerable that would make her.
“I didn’t hear you, Cecelia,” he said. “I asked if you want me to take off all of my clothing. Do you want me to do that?”
“Yes,” she whispered.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to speak a little louder,” he said. His hands moved to his belt and removed it, then undid the top button of his pants.
“Yes,” she said, a little louder. God, he was making her beg…and she loved it. It was turning her on in a way she’d never expected, never experienced before in her life.
He didn’t reply, but tugged down his zipper and slipped out of his pants. He wore nothing underneath, she saw the top of a thick patch of dark hair, surrounding… She lifted her upper body from the bed, propped herself up on her elbows. His cock—was that even a cock?
This had to be a joke. She could barely see it. As big around as her pinky finger, not quite as long. She looked up to see him grinning wickedly at her.
“Here I come, Cecelia,” he said. “Are you ready for me?”

Now, either of those would have still been amusing, made their points, without the big build-up. But I think the build-up adds to it, makes it more of a surprise.

Now the other type is harder, at least for me. But again, what you’re aiming for is turning the tropes on their head. It may be funny or just unsexy; how far you want to go is up to you.

Think of those trigger words, all those evocative verbs and nouns. Now substitute things like “bony” for “broad” or “soft” for “hard”. Think of silly things, unsexy things. So instead of this:

Her words were stopped by the warm pressure of his lips on hers.
There was nothing tentative about Daemon or his kiss. He obviously took for granted that she wanted this, despite what she’d said, and she realized he was right as she found herself returning the kiss with equal passion.
Her lips parted and his tongue found hers, teasing her with light strokes, diving in and out of her mouth. She followed it back into the warmth of his mouth, and gasped when he caught it with his teeth, biting just hard enough to send a shiver through her.
He freed her hair from the clasp that contained it at the back of her neck, running his fingers through it, tugging gently. The sensation made shivers down her spine.
She leaned into him, pressing herself against him. Her breasts crushed against his chest, her nipples so hard and tight she was certain he could feel them through the layers of clothing that separated their skin.
As if confirming this, he removed one hand from her hair and brought it down to cup her breast through her shirt, the thick pad of his thumb rubbing across the peak. She gasped against his mouth and shifted position a little to give him better access.
In response he pulled away completely. She started to protest, to reach for him, when he let go of her. His eyes gleamed.
“Tell me again,” he said, his normally cool tones rough with need. “Tell me how you don’t want me.”

We have this:

Her words were stopped by the warm pressure of his lips on hers.
Too much pressure. Her head bent back; she tried to shift her mouth, get a better angle, but his hand in her hair held her fast. Her teeth cut into the delicate skin inside her lips. It hurt, but he wouldn’t let her pull away, his unschooled mouth forcing itself onto hers, his fingers like iron bars digging into her neck. His pelvis moved against hers, fast, like a dog humping her leg, while he pressed what he obviously thought was an impressive erection into her stomach. It felt more like a mini gherkin. She grabbed at his shirt to keep from falling over. That was a mistake. He seemed to take it as encouragement, and pressed even harder, faster, his head unmoving, little throaty growling sounds coming from deep in his throat.
She opened her mouth, desperate for air, but instead of the breath she needed his tongue invaded her, probing like a dentist’s drill. Something wet ran down her chin and trickled down her neck. Was that…spit? Was he slobbering on her?
She tried to push back with her own tongue, only to have his teeth clamp down on it. Tears stung her eyes. That hurt, fuck, what was he doing? Was this some kind of joke?
“Elizabeth,” he moaned. At least he had to release her tongue to do it, but before she could pull away he tugged at the clasp holding her hair. His watchband, heavy silver links, caught; pain shot through her skull as he pulled both the clasp and at least a dozen strands of her long blonde hair off her head. The clasp fell to the glass-topped table behind her with a clank. She cried out, raised her hand to the bald spot.
He dove in for another kiss, licking her chin like it was a fucking ice-cream cone, up over her mouth to her nostrils.
She put her hands on his shoulders, meaning to push him away, but he was too fast for her. His palm covered her right breast and squeezed like it was a bag of sand he needed to test for weight.
The final straw came when he reached around, grabbed her ass, and yanked her toward him. Her forehead smashed into his chin, so hard she saw stars. She heard what she thought was a strangled moan of pain, but when she looked up, his eyes were shining.
“If you think this is good, wait until I get you in bed,” he said.
She sighed. This was going to be a long night.

I know these aren’t the world’s best examples. Like I said, this really isn’t my forte; humor isn’t something that can be taught the way basics can be. But hopefully this gives a basic idea, something else to think about when you’re trying to write an unconventional sex scene.

So here's the exercises. Go back to one of the published sex scenes you picked for an earlier exercise. Now imagine what would happen if:

1. Premature ejaculation
2. Bed breaks.
3. Someone walks in on them
4. A priest walks in on them
5. One of their mothers walks in on them
6. Dog bite
7. Insect on someone’s chest
8. Unfortunate bodily functions
9. Vaginal dryness
10. Can’t get it up
11. Stuffed bra
12. Stuffed trousers
13. Sneezing fit
14. Small rodent in the bed
15. Pipe bursts in ceiling

Or whatever you like. Rewrite the scene yourself (it’s not plagiarism or copyright infringement, it’s an exercise you’re doing for yourself and not showing it to anyone and all that stuff; use one of your own scenes if you prefer), using that list or anything else you can come up with.

Write your own scene, as silly as you can make it. Don’t worry about realism. Just be funny. Make aliens land. Give the hero a rash. Whatever you want.

Ugh, guys. I’m not at all happy with this particular segment. I’m sorry. Am I allowed one clunker? Maybe one day I’ll come back and redo it.


laughingwolf said...

my, oh my... humor is so difficult to write, but your samples made me giggle... something i rarely do, i'd rather laugh ;)

Bernita said...

She sighed?
Why doesn't she just kill him?
Not funny - just sad.
Outside interruptions can be funny though.

kirsten saell said...

His pelvis moved against hers, fast, like a dog humping her leg...

Beautiful imagery, lol! It is hard to pull off, but I couldn't stop giggling through that Daemon/Elizabeth rewrite--especially when I started wondering why she was putting up with it. Is he paying her? Is it like in True Lies where she has to distract him long enough to bug his room? Or does she genuinely like him, and is only discovering now how inept and doltish he is?

December/Stacia said...

Thanks Laughingwolf! I actually just wasn't feeling very funny when I wrote it, so perhaps that colored my impression of it.

It is kind of sad, isn't it Bernita?

As for why she didn't just kill him or why she was sticking around, I hadn't really thought that far, lol. I was just trying to be funny. So kis's suggestions are all good, but I think I was more in the mindset of she really likes him, and still wants to be with him, but is thinking she has a long night ahead of her trying to teach him how to do things properly. :-)

Robyn said...

I think it could work if, say, the heroine remembers she has on her old, ugly panties with the hole because she didn't do the laundry. I can see a lot of women stopping the action just so that won't be discovered.

Demon Hunter said...

It's hard to write humor and sex. Even harder with them together. I laughed. ;-)

BernardL said...

I enjoyed this segment very much, especially the 'mini gherkin'. :)