Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sex scenes

This week, Mystery Man posted a long, interesting article about sex on film, and it made me think about my own relationship with sex scenes.

Simply put, I don't have one.

I am all about gunfire and fist fights and explosions and whatnot, but I very rarely bother with a sex scene, and when I do it's usually just the foreplay.

My mom taught me about the birds and bees when I was 3, 6, 8, 12, and 15. Nudity was not something to be ashamed of in my house and I was always told the truth as far as my mother knew it. For that I am grateful. I'm really glad to be out of an abstinence only school system so I can honestly answer kids' questions too. It's appalling what they don't know.

Mistaken theories I have dispelled over the years:
-You cannot get an STD from oral sex
-Girls do not have orgasms
-You can get AIDS from a toilet seat
-There is no such thing as a morning after pill
-Condoms don't really do anything

And probably a lot more, but that's all I can remember off the top of my head. The point is, I'm not afraid of sex or talking about sex.

But too much sex on film makes me uncomfortable.

When I think of the great sex scenes I've seen over the years, they're almost always on TV - the scene where Buffy and Spike screw the house to the ground, the scene where Sidney and Vaughn finally bump and grind while she's making dinner, the scene where Chrichton and Aeryn Sun couldn't keep their hands off each others' leather-clad bodies when they were drugged by vapors. These are my favorite scenes because I wanted for so long for these people to get together. I feel that electricity when they finally hook up because I've been craving it the same way they have.

In most movies, a sex scene is there.... well, I don't know why. The sex scene in Desperado is ridiculous. It's all candles and sweat and crazy positions and basically a porn movie except they met like three days ago. And in Matrix Reloaded, there is an entire chapter that is nothing but orgy in Zion and sex between Trinity and Neo in their bedroom. An entire chapter. Nothing happens but sex for an entire chapter. It's just not necessary. In fact, it's freaking boring.

So in my own writing I often forget about sex. I wrote Not Dead Yet, which is largely a love story between a married couple in the middle of serious problems, and I didn't have any sex scenes. My awesome friend who gave me such excellent advice pointed this out, suggesting I have two zombies have sex with each other.

Although that is a super nifty idea, that wasn't the way I wanted to go here, but he was right that I should have a sex scene given how much violence I've put into this story.

I thought and thought and realized there are these two other characters who are also having marital problems but I haven't had a lot of scenes with them together until the end when we're supposed to get this big emotional reaction from the end of their relationship.

So I put in a sex scene. Tasteful, emotional, and showing character development. And in the end it actually made the final scene between the couple a ton better. I made sure to show some boobs so the boys would have something to look at, but I tried the make the most out of a tender moment gone wrong in the bedroom, a moment that would payoff later in the story. I felt pretty good about the results.

Now the story I'm writing is like 80% love story and this couple definitely has sex. In fact, the moment they have sex is a freaking huge deal, so I've got to figure out how to write it to take the most advantage of the physicality. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it yet. I'll probably need some help because although I know how to make people fight each other to the death beautifully, I'm not so sure how to make them love each other.


  1. This is funny. You seem to be a well-adjusted sexual being and you don't like SEX scenes either. Neither do I and I have very nearly had sex in a club.

    I always thought that desire to see a lot of cinematic sex implies a not-so-healthy view of sex.

  2. Hey, also, I could definitely help you with sex scenes. Though I hate them, there are ways to use them cinematically - well it ought to be a word.

    I'd say find a nice attic right "outside" the fighting and use the closed in situation to mimic the discomfort of something so intimate, yet necessary - or perhaps "required."

    I guess you'd have to show a natural "Gomez and Morticia" vibe early on before all hell breaks loose and one could be on guard while the other - take your pick - is filled with "necessary abandon" - hell a simple "THREE MONTHS LATER" could build up a definite "need."

  3. Well I WAS planning to just practice on my boyfriend.

  4. Except, like all Mystery Man posts, his goes on forever...


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.