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Sex In Books: fantasy vs reality?

Over the weekend I saw this post, about movie sex vs real life sex. I laughed my ass off and think you will, too. In all forms of entertainment there tends to be a fantastical element thrown in, a departure from reality that we may not think of at the time. This also relates to book sex vs real life sex, in most cases.

Ultimately it depends on the book. If it’s a romance, the sex better be good, and hot, and not awkward. If it’s another type of book, well, then bring on the awkward!

I’m all for putting reality in my stories. But I must admit, writing sex scenes is not about reality. There’s little room for awkward movements, noises, etc. And let’s face it, at its root, sex is awkward. It’s a shoving of body parts together. Enjoyable most of the time, yes, but let’s not forget the awkwardness. 

In a romance novel the sex scenes are often times about showing the connection between the main characters. Show them growing closer together. It’s an emotional journey. And the awkward reality might very well dampen that journey.

I’ve managed some awkward moments in my writing. Words being said that shouldn’t be. Clothes half on, half off. And the all important sock gap (thank you Coupling, UK version, let’s forget there ever was an American one). But all the stories I’ve heard from real-life awkwardness (and no, you are not getting into my own bedroom here, I have family out there that read this!) I don’t think I could ever work into a novel.

And this, frankly, makes me a little sad. It’s the same concept I keep stumbling back to: fantasy vs reality. Why does the hero have to be perfect looking? And perfect in bed? And everything he does works just right? And the men without the moves are the bad guys? Nope. Not real life.

Alright, I’ll tell you a little secret from my real world: I wear hearing aids, no secret on this blog. The general concept of blowing air onto one’s ear makes me squirm. Air blown over a hearing aid microphone is… well, air being blow over a microphone. Nails on a chalkboard. Instant mood breaker. Real life. And, if I’m completely honest, something I DID put into a recent sex scene where my female wears hearing aids.

Now, back to reality vs fantasy. I’ll probably strive to throw in a little reality every once in a while. One of my writer friend’s wrote a truly wonderful awkward sex scene that had me laughing, covering my mouth, and cringing for the main character. It worked for the story and this particular scene. So I’ll try and throw in reality where I can, but the rest of the time, well, fantasy sells.


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