One of my biggest issues in writing sex scenes (yes, I write sex scenes) is the dialog.
Quite frankly, I have a terrible time with coming up with what people actually say during sex versus what many romance novels have them say during sex. "Harder faster oh yes right there" only goes so far.
The truth is in my personal sexual experience and probably lots of other folks' experience as well, there's not a lot of talking going on. Maybe some moaning and stuff but not any real exchanging of information.
I know there's plenty of turn-on mileage in "talking dirty" during sex, but Sweetie and I just don't go there. Maybe we're too self-conscious. Maybe it's because "f*** me harder" or "that is some sweet c***" isn't something likely to come out of either one of our mouths during our daytime conversations.
Or maybe it's because sex has a tendency to unleash crazy stuff in one's head. If I started saying aloud some of the ideas that run through my mind during orgasm, Sweetie might decide I need help and not just from Dr. Ruth.
I feel the same way about blogging. I freaking hate to blog. For the most part, the things in my head that I might truly blog about are the scary things, the uncomfortable things---like the issue I have with bedroom dialog.
Unfortunately, if I want people to know who I am as a writer so they will (I hope) want to read my books, I need to be genuine. Sure, I can post a thousand pieces about crocheting or my favorite paleo recipes, but what does that tell anybody about the kind of books I write or whether you'll want to read them?
So, despite the fact the people who know me in real life and know my penname will likely get way more information from me than they want to know, I'm going to start blogging about the things going on in my writing. It's personal. It's sometimes TMI. But it's real---just like the talking during sex thing.
My current manuscript in progress is a science fiction romance mostly because I have wanted to combine two of my favorite genres forever, but also because I had a idea about a way to explore the role of sex in a relationship.
Due to cool sci-fi plot points I won't get into right now, my two leads have a biochemically induced sort of telepathic connection to each other that is fueled by oxytocin and vassopressin (the two hormones that flood the brain during orgasm). That means that their pillow talk turns into pillow thought and as such is much harder to control, especially for our newbie Evan.
This has driven me to ask questions like "What truly goes through a 22 year old guy's head during sex?" and "What kinds of memories might churn up inside him?" I don't know about you, but sex, especially sex early in the relationship, stirs up all kinds of embarrassing and deeply locked away things about myself.
What if the dialog wasn't so much "you're so tight, I'm coming" as a thought stream of real vulnerability? What if he remembered how it felt to have a crush on a teacher as a kid and the mortifying embarrassment of having all his friends point out his unstoppable hard-on right in front of her? What if he's the only one sharing this kind of information because his link partner Dayna has done this before and knows how to control it? What kinds of trust issues does this stir up between them?
Sex with Sweetie still makes me confront myself and our relationship even after 18 years together. I believe sex is a powerful force that goes way beyond the physical, a force that we have a tendency to sensationalize and romanticize in order to titillate (what a great word!) rather than explore deeply.
So as I continue to work through this new MS, I'll do my best to blog about the ideas I'm playing with. Should I hit TMI territory, please feel free to not tell my mother about it. But if I'm going to blog and I'm going to write, I'm going to be honest with my readers of both.
What about you? Ideas on pillow talk? Blog honesty? TMI in general?