Monday, April 16, 2012

Men shouldn't write sex scenes

I don't know. Maybe I've posted about this before, but here I am again. Men shouldn't write sex scenes. At least, they shouldn't write them if any women are going to read their books. I honestly can't think of a sex scene in a book written by a man that hasn't in some way made me want to say "ewww."

I'm listening to a Ridley Pearson book on CD now while I drive all over hell and gone in northern California doing my new day job. I picked it because I knew the pace of it would keep me interested and awake. It absolutely has not disappointed. In fact, listening to it may have helped me figure out why I'm struggling so with my WIP.

There's one couple in the book who are getting it on pretty consistently. She's his boss in real life, but then of course likes to be mastered in the boudoir. It's a little cliche and I think definitely a male fantasy thing that has more to do with power and control than attraction and sex. That was my first turn-off. Then there's the idea that he actually wants a deeper emotional connection with her which she is saying no to. She just wants to have hot hotel sex in a variety of positions. I am definitely pro hot hotel sex and variety as well, but seriously, it's starting to get a little skanky. Plus, there's always a little something of that power struggle going on. He walks into the hotel room, unzips his pants and she drops to her knees. In fact, she's on her knees a lot. Oh, and she's always telling him how hot he is and how great he is in bed. One more complaint, who says pubis? I mean, in the middle of this pretty darn explicit sex scene, there's the word pubis. Talk about jolting a reader out of the moment!

I'm singling out Ridley here, but quite honestly, he's not alone. I wonder if men who read novels with sex scenes written by women have the same "ewww" reaction. Is it something in how we're wired? In what we find sexy? Do you see a difference? Am I making this all up?

13 comments:

Stephanie Doyle said...

This is so funny Eileen, I've already written my post for Thursday and I will also be talking about sex!

Great bloggers think alike.

I agree. I find man sex is either all description/action no emotion which as a woman I have a hard time connecting to.

Or somehow he's always with a hooker/prostitute type who gives it to him for free.

I mean really guys... they don't do that. Ever.

And I'm pretty sure I've never used the word pubis. Any time or anywhere.

Kathy Holmes said...

That *IS* hilarious! And I cracked up over the "pubis" word - the British character said it on Mad Men this week and that gave me an "ewwww" moment. But I chalked it up to being set in the 60s and with a Brit saying it. I've never heard a real live man say this. Maybe it's a male writer thing...

Eileen said...

I know romance writers use all kinds of euphemisms for body parts, but I'd so rather have some kind of flower reference than pubis.

Maureen McGowan said...

I agree from what I've read.
Different fantasies for sure... And I think (I'm generalizing) that men are less tapped into the emotional side of sex in novels.

Maureen McGowan said...

Kathy, that "she found gum in his pubis" line was hilarious. I loved that episode of Mad Med. It's not often that show makes me laugh so much.

Eileen said...

Okay. Now I've thought of one exception. At the end of Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt is describing his first sexual experience. It is not about emotional connection, but I remember thinking when I read it, "Oh, so that's what that feels like." So maybe only Irish men can write sex scenes?

Sinead M said...

I can't remember a single sex scene written by a man, yet I vividly remember all of Sydney Sheldon's books, Stephen King and a lot of others,

That has to say something, right?

Stephanie Doyle said...

Interesting - I also remember Sidney Sheldon books - but I can't really think about a specific scene with him. Having just read a King novel the sex was very glossed over.

I remember Nelson DeMille - but with him, it always seemed like there was the woman the hero was with and the woman the hero wanted to be with (and this would cross books) so I couldn't trust him anymore. I would read an entire book dedicated to a couple only to find him picking up the character in another book going after another woman - sometimes while he was still dating the woman from book one. That's a no no.

I also think with man writtn sex - it's all so much easier. Hey we're into each other - let's go to bed. They do it.

There isn't the build up there is in romance to get us to that point.

Eileen said...

And the build-up is my FAVORITE part.

Sascha Illyvich said...

Funny, I've never had a female reader complain about my sex scenes.

Eileen said...

Maybe you're the exception that proves the rule, Sascha.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I've found the sex scenes written by men only work when they are really short. two paragraphs at most - otherwise...and maybe it's our many years of reading sex scenes written by women...the fantasy just falls apart a bit.

Jessica Peter said...

I think it's more that "man books" shouldn't do sex scenes. . .

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