Well, there goes my PG rating…

I’m writing a graphic sex scene.

I really didn’t want to do this, but after protracted arguments with myselves, I’ve come to conclusion that it’s necessary.  It’s actually something that has been lurking in the background since I introduced Godiva as a character, and as the love interest of my narrator.

I’ve been kind of tiptoeing around the subject, having some suggestive dialog and maybe a kiss and then discretely fading to black.  But deep down inside, I always knew that was dishonest on a deep level.  Because Godiva isn’t human, or, not entirely human.  Specifically, she’s a hermaphrodite. (Yes, I use the female pronoun for Godiva.  She was born fully human and fully female, and her body was changed in adulthood due to the effects of an alien symbiote.)

Now, her having become something other than entirely human is an important part of her character, and it’s an important part of her relationship with James.  I’ve been letting the reader fill in the details of their sex life, and I think I’d continue to do that if it was a standard heterosexual couple–or even a standard homosexual couple.

I think, though, I really need to show them making love once, to let the reader experience the physicality from Jame’s perspective, because that physicality is important, particularly to set up a scene that will end the book.  I need to make the sexual relationship real to the reader, and real as something that isn’t exactly like how other couples make love, but is as good and as important as other couples making love.

Well.  It makes sense to me, anyway.

I don’t know how this is going to fly with my readers.  I am trying to write this as tender and loving and erotic, but I may end up alienating some of them.  I have learned two things though.

First, it’s easier for me to write about characters dying than characters having sex.

And second, I don’t think I’m going to let my mother edit this one.

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About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MPNBNS
This entry was posted in Cannibal Hearts, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to Well, there goes my PG rating…

  1. Marissa Brim says:

    It’s illicit and almost-taboo… Readers will love it!! (Excluding the homophobe ones, who probably skipped out after Catskinner anyway… Knew the Godiva-James relationship would blossom)

  2. LindaGHill says:

    The idea of your mom reading your sex scenes is just icky, isn’t it? That’s why my mother doesn’t even know I’m writing a novel.
    haha

  3. Zack Hunter says:

    I approve of this. When my mother insisted to read my novel I didn’t know what to tell her. “Um, it’s really graphic, I didn’t write it for you guys.” When she told me she loved it, and meant it, I was absolutely dumbfounded.

  4. Hahaha yeah, I worry about that with my mom too. If I ever write something that’s not extremely PG, she’s getting nowhere near it. As for the sex scene … hey, if it’s gotta be done, it’s gotta be done. Especially if it’s integral to the plot! Onwards, dear friend, into the steamy fray!

  5. J.A. Romano says:

    Considering my age, I worry about my parents quite a bit. I didn’t tell them I was writing the Line of Corruption until I had a hundred and fifty pages. Just in case they thought it was too violent.

    They were fine with it, but my Dad’s trying to convince me to write children’s stories again. Good luck, by the way. Have yet to write a sex scene, but I know from hearing about it that it’s very difficult. Best of luck!

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Thanks. I actually had worries about my Ma with Catskinner’s Book–she volunteered to do the editing after she had already read it. But this one is more intense in just about every way.

  6. Dave Higgins says:

    I am amused that a book about a possessed killer might be PG-13 without a sex scene: I have never quite understood the vast difference between sex and violence for US ratings though.

  7. People like Rated-R stuff more anyway. Just look at all the HBO and Showtime shows with graphic violence and nudity.

  8. jadereyner says:

    Had to write a few steamy scenes for my book and they were definitely the hardest to write. I was in two minds but as they fit within the genre I write for then it was necessary and so far, no one that has read it has been offended – some readers even asked for more! Good luck with it.

  9. Wanderer says:

    Since I’m still a young’un, I definitely think about my parents reading my work. I even vacillate on curse words (strict Baptist upbringing)! But when it fits the character, it fits the character. I definitely have an easier time killing characters than writing any sorts of sex scenes. Although, I’ve heard a few shots of your alcohol of choice can make it much easier.

    As Hemmingway said, “Write drunk, edit sober.”

  10. David Emeron says:

    Bravo. I cannot wait! It sounds very interesting. I have wondered how it would all turn out. Both/all three/ characters are quite unique and therefore I would not expect something ordinary. I plan to buy the sequel the microsecond that it comes out! But that has not changed! I would have gladly devoured a G-rated sequel as well! (Although that would be a challenge to write considering your subject matter : )

    I have written many such scenes myself and have my own way of making them immersive–too long a story for a comment like this. However I love writing them and my devoted audience of one (Mrs. Emeron : ) loves reading them.

  11. Good luck on the scene. A very fine line between an erotic depiction and downright porn. Maybe the beer will pull you through.

  12. Marissa Brim says:

    This made me think of something one if my favorite authors is working on. Diana Gabaldon, writing a “how to” guide essentially on how to write sex scenes. Get the goods out there without “Getting The Goods…” in your face. I’ll have to find the link and send it to you

  13. L. Marie says:

    Your mom is editing? You are much braver than me!!!

  14. fortyoneteen says:

    Misha,
    It’s interesting how many versions of “erotic” there are! I’m reading 100 Years of Solitude at the moment and there is some very intimate moments that are in fact beautiful, but they are so subtle that you don’t even notice you’re in them… until you are! I’m sure you will approach this with your usual unusual way that would even make your Mumma proud!
    Forty.

  15. I find it really hard to write sex scenes – I get embarrassed! Wrong sort of upbringing I guess. But I look forward to the result – of your efforts, I mean.

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