Greg Eidson's picture
Greg Eidson from Los Angeles, CA is reading The Alchemist - Paul Coelho October 13, 2011 - 6:10pm

So I've been on a sort of marathon of Bret Easton Ellis books. Right now I'm on Glamorama. And the sex scenes in all of them are pretty similar, in terms of how he describes it. 

For example: ...."my hand running along the sparse hair on her cunt, fingers slipping in and out, strumming along it, while I let her suck on my tongue...."

And:

"She doesn't want to fuck so she starts giving me head and I swing her around and start eating her pussy which is hot and tight and I'm taking it slow, licking with long strokes of my tongue, sometimes all the way to her asshole...."

So basically, I get the idea that the sex is disconnected and numb, but it gets very dull after a while. I just wanted to hear you guys's thoughts on it. It's very similar in American Psycho as well. 

.'s picture
. October 13, 2011 - 6:20pm

Apparently in the movie version of Glamorama the sex scenes are going to be HOT!

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers October 13, 2011 - 6:22pm

I write similar sex scenes. But psychological distance is one of the trademarks of minimalism in writing. They sort of have to be short, though, because a play by play without tons of introspection can get boring pretty quickly. 

Greg Eidson's picture
Greg Eidson from Los Angeles, CA is reading The Alchemist - Paul Coelho October 13, 2011 - 6:53pm

I love writing sex scenes. It's a lot of fun. And I use minimalism with my writing too. I like getting to the point but also describing it in a way where it's still fun and doesn't come off as cheesy pornographic. And I think I get while Ellis does it. But he drones on sometimes. With cunts and assholes and tits and all that good stuff. 

Yeah, that's why I brought it up. I believe there is an orgy in the book but I haven't got to that part yet. So we'll see. 

 

 

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club October 13, 2011 - 7:38pm

Sex scenes frighten me; I'm such a prude.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 13, 2011 - 9:06pm

Minimalism is really the only way to tackle sex.  Everybody knows what sex entails, so every time I read a romance-style sex scene with too much description I get way turned off.  Sex scenes are really about how they affect the characters, not what the characters are doing.

But even sex scenes can lose interest.  Too much of any kind of scene is bad, really.

Greg Eidson's picture
Greg Eidson from Los Angeles, CA is reading The Alchemist - Paul Coelho October 13, 2011 - 9:29pm

Yeah, I totally agree with you Becca. 

I know most people on here are sick of Chuck and his new books etc. But I think he writes a hell of a sex scene. The ones in Choke were gorgeous. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. October 13, 2011 - 9:48pm

I try to add something unusual to my sex scenes to make them interesting.  Like a weird character fetish, a pinching of nipples, maybe your character likes to lick the inside of someone's ear or roleplay some incest fantasy.  Just something bizarre to set it apart from the usual.  Maybe when your character has sex, they think of being dead and imagine what the inside of their coffin will look like.  Mix sex with death in some strange way.   I think that's the way to go, otherwise you risk turning into Anne Rice writing erotica.  Pretty soon, people are bringing horses and turkeys into the mix because they are so bored of human sex.  (Using bizarre sex toys and hangers is also allowed.)

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter October 13, 2011 - 11:08pm

Sex with a reclusive pharmacist desperate to connect with somebody through knifeplay.  Not surpisingly, sex scenes can actually have very little sex.

missesdash's picture
missesdash from Paris is reading The Informers October 13, 2011 - 11:46pm

I've fallen into the habit of using sex as a means of characterization. There's at least one scene in everything a write. But it has to say something about the character and the nature of the relationship between the individuals.

I wrote one between a kiddy diddler and a 16-year old girl. But it appears before the reader knows he's a pedophile, so the way they have sex is used as foreshadowing.

Instag8r's picture
Instag8r from Residing in Parker, CO but originally from WV is reading Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy October 14, 2011 - 12:35pm

"Minimalism is really the only way to tackle sex."

Just one way to write a sex scene. Hmmmm. I learn something new everyday. I guess I'm gonna have to go back and rewrite my current project.  :)

laurelin gilmore's picture
laurelin gilmore from Sacramento is reading Tropic of Cancer October 14, 2011 - 12:58pm

I think it should be handled with the same level of maturity and integrity as the rest of the story.  I have not read Bret Easton Ellis, so I can't speak to the overall writing style, but I can speak to what works well for me as a reader.  I thought the bathroom sex in Choke, outside the SA meeting, was totally repulsive and absolutely beautiful at the same time.  That entire book brought the body to its parts the way an anatomy class does.  So it made sense that he would describe her throat that way, her movements.  That book was, for me, like swimming through sick to know the beauty of healing.  And the sex depiction was in line with that.  A writer has to decide if they're going to treat this act like any other act.  The character calls everybody an asshole, he's not going to call and asshole one?  The writer can chose to elevate or relegate it, depending on what needs it serves.  But I am always irritated to find an author who can describe in perfect detail the touch of lips on a hot cup, but completely glams over the touch of those same lips on a hot partner.  If the story is minimalist, then yes, keep it uniform.  If the story is dense and intense, then please, keep it uniform.  Just my preference, of course.