My Thoughts on Sex.
In my fiction, that is to say.
Or, that is not to say. Sex has never appeared in any of my fiction. Then again, neither has Prague, backgammon or millions of other things. Yet I’ve found a noticeable difference between the reactions to never including sex in my work, and never including the other things.
If you tell someone you have never written a story that takes place in Prague, they aren’t likely to think much of it. Some might say, “So?” Other writers might say, “I guess Prague just isn’t vital to the stories you’ve wanted to tell.”
Say that that has never been any sex in your fiction, and you get, “Wow, really? Do you write kids books? Christian fiction? No? Okay, well…”
The lack of sex, or sex scenes in my fiction is not a purity or religious issue. Sex is not dirty or immoral to me. The sexual urge is almost as universal as the need for food and water and warmth. Embracing it, denying it or describing it is an element in many stories, true and fiction. In fact, so universal is it, that I have read articles over the years, and had conversation with people who say that adult fiction of any kind simply cannot be believable unless somebody, somewhere in the story is dealing in someway with sexual tension. That every plot, on some level, can be boiled down to sex in some fashion.
Think again, Sigmund.
Every writer tells certain stories at any given time. To do so successfully, certain things must be revealed certain things must be hidden, and certain things can be assumed. As they say, if something is not revealing character, advancing the plot or setting a mood, it’s usually extraneous. In the end, the stories I have felt compelled to write are not moved forward by describing sex. The characters I have written reveal themselves in actions that are not sexual in nature. The moods of my works can’t generally be described as erotic. So, why would I write sex scenes into my fiction, if they would so clearly exist only for their own sake? Because sex is important to everybody, everywhere, allegedly? I imagine urinating is as well, and it isn’t described in detail in most novels I’ve read.
Yet you know all the people in a story at some point urinate. (At least outside of odd science fiction tales.) Just as you can assume that certain people have sex at some point. This is true with my own fiction. I don’t write only celibate characters; a lot of people in my fiction can be assumed to have had sex at some point in their lives. I just don’t need to visit them, as an author, while they do so, in order to tell the story I want to tell.
Will the time ever come when I do write a sex scene into my story? Maybe. Never say never. But the angles at which I approach stories don’t usually lend themselves to sex scenes.
I did try to write a sex scene once, though. It was a stand alone scene that I wrote for an erotica author friend of mine to take a look at. They didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t very good. I shared it with one other writer of such things, and they too didn’t hate it, but didn’t love it either. So for no other reason than I am not any good at it, perhaps I will leave sex scenes to the professionals, like my various author-friends.
As for Prague and backgammon, I wonder if there is a novel to be created around a backgammon tournament in Prague…wherein nobody has sex.