Drumroll: Let's Talk About Fictional Sex
Sex scenes provide authors an opportunity to explore their characters more deeply. (Pun intended!) Fiction is not a how-to manual, but sex scenes are about more than how much description the author dedicates to the act.
The choices characters make, from communication to contraception, are an often underutilized way demonstrate your characters experiences and expectations of both the world and their relationship expectations. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the basics of how the choices characters make regarding reveal their character.
First – let’s talk about what this series isn’t. This series isn’t a replacement for a good sex ed class. Comprehensive sex ed covers everything things like anatomy, physiology, gender identity, and so much more.
-What I will cover in this series includes contraception, values, how backstory may play into current sexual wishes, and reasons for on page consent.
-I will focus on modern contraception.
-I will talk about common traps and prejudices writers can accidentally build into their stories regarding both sex and contraception.
-I have framed this with the following assumptions: gender is not a binary, attraction exists on a spectrum, consensual sex between folks old enough to make the decision for themselves is hot, contraception is a choice available to those who want it, and abortion is health care. Also, sexual behavior is a reflection of values, but that doesn’t mean that characters don’t have a range of options, even if they personally are less comfortable with some of them.
Reason it's useful:
I think some authors do a little less research into sex and contraception than they do for other parts of their stories for a variety of reasons. There is an inherent assumption that everyone of a certain age knows everything they need to about sex, and that sex never changes.
I think taking time to think more deeply about the sexual decisions their characters make can be an opportunity to think more deeply about the background and history of your characters.
I am a trained sex educator, as well as an author. The course I teach normally takes 30 sessions of ninety minutes and looks at the full breadth of how sexuality fits into our lives. This series only going to delve into portion of that, but one that I think has particular importance to authors with characters who demonstrate sexual behavior.
How: A newsletter series. It will be paid, but some entries will be made free.
There will also be regular Q&A sessions.
In May, at the end of the series, I will compile the entries into a book. If you think the book will work better for you, you can pre-order it here. (It will also be available in paper, more info on that later.)
Twice weekly posts - currently aiming for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Some will be behind a subscription/paywall.
Note: Update from March - For reasons detailed more clearly in this post, I have decided all posts in this series will be free.
23 topics currently planned.
Book will publish in May.
In May I will pause subscriptions, so that no one is still paying for a paid series that is no longer producing.
Could you just read the book? Of course. Am I hoping there will be some robust discussion? Yes.