Thursday, June 08, 2006

Think of England

Are you ready, Bonnie?
Open that fan.

Could count - without disturbing the drying polish on my toes - the number of sex scenes I've read where the initial conjugation wasn't described in such terms that the reader must conclude the sex was absolutely fantastic.
And damn, don't think I've ever read a romance where the hero didn't afterward comment to himself he'd never had sex that good before.
Sex scenes are a form of fantasy.
The heroine often climaxes several times during the course of the encounter.
That's not impossible, there is usually a lot of sexual tension build-up before - usually from the moment of first contact when they shake hands or he keeps her from falling over her clumsy feet or something.
That sort of thing, the physical tension, actually happens in real life.
The hero is, of course, a superb swordsman, to boot.
But usually, the cut 'n thrust of the crucial scene(s) is described from the female POV and it's always simply, simply glorious.

Seldom do we read something like this:

They never made it to the couch.
He took her on the rug.
He was over her, around her inside her, burying himself, urging her hips, thrusting and plunging in his need.
She lay there, pinned like prey, devastated.
It had been too long a time, she thought, and he was so big and so hard, and he had been - rough.
It had hurt her.

And anytime I've read a scene from a male POV, it's pretty short and quick.
Barely above thank-you-ma'am.
Which makes you wonder.
What do men think of during sex?
What do they think after?
Do they think?


kmfrontain said...

Oh, my! That little example passage? Perfect. Said everything. Made a very clear image.

Can't wait to see everyone's comments on this one. :D

Bernita said...

Thank you, KM.
It's gone through some re-writes and probably will go through some more.
Details. Details. I dither over details.
You realize though, this may be the time I wrote a sex post and nobody came...

Carla said...

Have to wait for the guys to come along and answer your questions - if they dare :-)

I like that example passage too. Very evocative.

kmfrontain said...

LOL. No we're up early. No pun intended.

The men are sure to comment on your post. Perhaps they're working out a response.

James Goodman said...

What do men think of during sex?

Well for the sake of this discussion I will reach way back to my promiscuous days. It depends on the partner. If the partner has a fairly good idea what she is doing, then I just think about the moment. I think about the different reactions different touches elicit from her. Now, on the rare occasions where a partner seemed to know (almost instinctively) exactly what buttons to push to put me on tilt before I was ready, then I thought about complex calculations, algorithms, and when I was really desperate…Dr. Ruth…naked.

What do they think after?

Cool…I had sex. I wonder if she’ll let me do it again…

Do they think?

My brain is probably more active during arousal and the act itself, than it is any time other than when I’m writing.

Bernita said...

Really hard to avoid double entendres, isn't it?
Even when you don't intend them.
Wanna bet they'll just slide out and go to the kitchen, KM? Or talk about the car in the driveway?

Thank you, Carla.
Found it hard to do. Didn't want readers to consider him a brute, on the other hand...

Bernita said...

You're a brave and honest man.
Soo, they may think, actually THINK, of pleasing their partner.
So much for the "rutting beast" idea some promote.

kmfrontain said...

"My brain is probably more active during arousal and the act itself, than it is any time other than when I’m writing."

All the calculations involved to "getting it right" while getting it on. I can imagine this would take up a lot of attention. I'm always bugging my husband for little details on perspective, though, at times other than. So whatever you guys tell us gals, here, will be helpful for making those pesky sex scenes work.

Bernita said...

So true, KM.
Husbands are apt to give you that blank look and say "You."
Flattering, but not helpful.

Dennie McDonald said...

I have so many things rolling through my mind at the moment... but I shall keep them to myslef for fear of revealing far too much about me...

this however... nearly maybe me spew my coffee all over the computer - LOL thanks Goody!

What do they think after?

Cool…I had sex. I wonder if she’ll let me do it again…

Bernita said...

So much for the one-shot-hot-shot idea, um, Dennie?

Yanno (TM) tempted to run a series of posts on certain burning questions.

Ric said...

Goodness - I've only had one cup of coffee!
Since my beloved Bernita is so prescient of the weekened ahead, I'm going to work on this a bit and I'll be back.

Bernita said...

Blame Bonnie, Ric.
She told me to "bring it on."

Erik Ivan James said...

Good post Bernita. Real.

"What do men think of during sex?"
I think of my partner and my desire to pleasure her. Focus on me only leads to my own early climax. That is unsatisfying for both. I cannot be completely satisfied either, until she is. By diverting my attention away from me, focusing on giving to her, I may have a chance for mutual satisfaction. "Mutual" is important to me.

"What do they think after."
No heavy thinking for me. I enjoy "small-talk" and listening to our breathing. I enjoy the feeling of the physical and emotional closeness that is special after sex. It's a rare moment, reserved just for then. Whether we have been long time friends, or have just met, there is a "unique love", created by only that moment.

"Do they think?"
Of course. And as you indicated in your post; of a woman to whom I am deeply attracted, I will seed thoughts of sex at first encounter. I have very rarely acted upon them, but I will think them.

Ric said...

Okay, third cup of coffee - caffiene roaring through my system - getting every nerve tuned up and ready for action - anticipation building - oh, wait, we were talking about sex...

The slam/bam generally results when the signals picked up by us guys are "If I let him have sex, maybe he'll leave me alone so I can go to sleep, finish my book, catch Jay Leno's monologue..."

If I get to that delicious spot James described so perfectly, I can't do math. Canadian Football team names. AND if I remember them all, I move on to baseball teams. By the time I get to Phoenix, my partner has caught up with me.

After sex - James is spot on.

DURING - Do I have time for this? Does she want me to take the time? Oh, that was an interesting reaction, let's try more of that. Listening to breathing sounds, Why is she doing THAT?. Damn, is she ever going to get there? Oh, yes, do that some more!

Yeah, we think - probably more than you want to know.

Savannah Jordan said...

Love it Bernita! One of my short stories in Sacrilegious is actually entirely male POV. Your post here makes me wonder if I shouldn't post an excerpt over in my blog.

I'm not sure if other men think, but my DH does...

Bernita said...

Thank you, Erik.
So far the special guys here justify most of the fictional heroes.

A little bird told me Ric writes very good sex scenes.

James,("my brain is more active") you make me wonder if sex is a good cure for writer's block.

We're taking notes, but no, there will not be a "test."

So, do you all think the "less-than-stellar" is not a good idea? I so wanted to evade the formula. Mind you, he makes up for it.

Savannah Jordan said...

Furthering on my previous comment, DAMN it's nice to see the other guys are as thoughtful as mine! Good on ya, Rick, Erik, and James!!

Bernita said...

HOkay, Ric!
That was not the case with this snippit.
Thank you for your take on the body language concentration. Does sound as if there's a certain sense of impatience from the male perspective.
And a refuge taken in thoughts that have nothing to do with the at hand.
Don't want to know?
Sounds like comparisons being made?

Dear me, Savannah, I can hear the drool dropping on the keyboards now.

I did the male perspective in "La Belle" - but there were a couple movements I don't think I will share here.

Bernita said...

These are special guys, Savannah.
Of course, we're special girls...

Anonymous said...

So, do you all think the "less-than-stellar" is not a good idea? I so wanted to evade the formula.

I know. I wanted to evade the formula too, but in the end decided not to.

As I see it, fiction is heightened reality. You don’t go to the amusement park to ride the merry-go-round. You go to ride the roller coaster. Your readers want you to take them all the way. If you’ve them thinking it, you’ve got them wanting it. Give it to them. It’s fiction.

Sela Carsen said...

That would totally work for me -- even, or perhaps, especially -- in a romance. Because sometimes the sex isn't that great. Jenny Crusie wrote bad sex in "Faking It." Sex that didn't work for the heroine, sex that wasn't fun, sex where she faked it just to get it over with.

What would make it work in the context of a relationship is whether he cared, whether he noticed, whether it got better.

Bernita said...

Dear Anon,
The formula I was evading involved the exquisite perfect sex the first time my hero and heroine join. Perhaps you missed my comment that he makes up for it.
Almost immediately.
As for roller coasters, that is exactly what I have them on.
Did you actually think I avoided sex between my characters? Your post reads that way.

Bernita said...

Ah, Sela, thank you.
And yes, yes, yes, she doesn't fake, he noticed, he cared, he makes up for it.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

ROFLMAO...I felt just like I was 21 again! Once upon a time, at that age, I ruined...LOL...a romantic moment by bursting out in a fit of laughter at the day-glo color of a, uh...nevermind! Let's just say the souffle fell!

Well I took one look at your post picture of her in spendend repose and him laying there bound up in a tin can...and my first thought was..."Hope she's got a can opener!"

And as far as what men think about sex....Their idea of foreplay is..."Brace yourself, I'm comin' in!"

Anonymous said...

I HATE sex scenes with no description. So frustrating. It's sort of an important moment, right? It's not like walking across the street just to get to the other side.

Bernita said...

Provocative comment, Bonnie.
Do we need a post on foreplay?

That picture is "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by F.G Cooper.It's from a book "Superstitions" by Peter Lorie.

You should use your "fan" photo as an icon.

Bernita said...

Do you mean euphemisms, Jason, such as Robyn's main giggle "one with the universe," or just note of the bare fact?
If there's no description, one could hardly call it a "scene," I suppose.

And don't think we didn't notice you avoided the question. No description.

Jaye Wells said...

You know the guys here seem to be describing sex with a long-time partner. But what about that first initial rush of adrenaline--when the hormones are on overload and you're desperate for each other? I think those times have a more primal quality, much like Bernita's wonderful example.

Ric said...

OMG! How could anyone top Bonnie's souffle line?

Bernita said...

An acute observation, Jaye, thank you for mentioning it.
Well, guys?

Yup, Ric.
Dare I say it's very hard to top Bonnie when she's on a roll?

Erik Ivan James said...

You are very on point, and I thought about a mention of that type of encounter as well in my earlier comment, but refrained. My personal experience indicates your example to be one of first, or few, meetings, and certainly where adrenaline was the master. They were also much more frequent when I was young.

For me, such quick and urgent couplings are more pure thrill and physically gratifying. Little, if any, thinking or heart-felt emotion is involved. They are wonderful, healthy and the brief pleasure is intense. Sometimes, with first meetings especially, they can also be a little clumsy. I look forward to them, but for ocassion, not for frequency.

M.E Ellis said...

That passage made me feel very sad for the woman.


kmfrontain said...

Just rolled on through all these comments and my, wheren't they good? What did I learn? Men like the feelings they get from a long term close relationship just like us gals do. Which is good. Very good. But for a quickie-temporary fling, bring on the testostorone. And girls, learn to hurry up with it.

Biggest thing for the actual act seems to be synchronisation, girls have fun first, guys after. Works for me. I can be selfish. Sure I can.

kmfrontain said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James Goodman said...

you make me wonder if sex is a good cure for writer's block

I don't know, but I may have to suggest that to my wife the next time I get bogged down in a story. :D

Robyn said...

I'm so sorry I had to run errands this morning and missed the discussion.

What I would like to read is a sex scene where, on the third or fourth time, the guy is predictably excited but the tired woman asks, "Can I just lie here while you finish?"

kmfrontain said...

Blogger was a bitch today. I think you would have had more discussion if not for that, Bernita.

Bernita said...

Sad, ME? Sex must be fictionally perfect?

You may have discovered a trade secret, James.

It's usually the males who get tired out, Robyn.

Do you think, KM, I should leave this one for another day, because of Blogger?
Or has everyone shot...nevermind.

Ric said...

you owe me a keyboard...

James Goodman said...

My, but coffee burns when it comes out through your nose.

Bernita said...

Oh dear!
Me and my mouth.
You have no idea of the trouble I used to get into when I didn't know my a...Never mind.

S. W. Vaughn said...

Man. I go AWOL for a few days and see what I miss... :-)

Excellent post, Bernita, and excellent scene as well. I think it's quite realistic--a refreshing change from heaving bosoms and throbbing manhood (of course, I'm speaking in cliches; it's been a long time since I've read the words "throbbing manhood" in a romance!).

Comments... too funny... to comment on.

Bravo to the men for coming out to 'fess up!

Bernita said...

Thank you, SW!
Er...I do get into the rampant manhood a little later. (Wouldn't do for my hero to be a dork.)

These guys are absolutely wonderful. Period.

archer said...

There's a kind of TV you can watch two channels on, the other channel being in a little box at the bottom right of the screen. Well, Jay Leno asked if anyone had seen that kind of TV, and the audience said yeah, and Leno says:

"It's kind of like sex, right? On the big screen is the person you're having sex with, and on the little screen is the person you wish you were having sex with."

Prolonged audience roar.

"Or I guess sometimes the other way around."

Bernita said...

A remarkable illustration, Archer.Thank you.
Must do a post on "fantasy." Must.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Bernita! You hit a home run with this post! Heh!

It's usually the males who get tired out, Robyn.

This is true. Women don't get tired out unless their partners are focused more on quantity rather than quality.

Bernita said...

In the case of quantity over quality, it's a good think that they're physically limited within a time frame, is it not, Bonnie?

archer said...

What do men think of during sex?
What do they think after?
Do they think?

Once I was deep in an Egyptian tomb and I found a stone tablet with hieroglyphics that translated to "WHAT WOMEN THINK ABOUT DURING SEX." I reveal the balance of the transaltion in peril of my life, as I have been warned that

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Bernita said...

Some men apparently get very nervous when the subject of sex is introduced...