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Re: sex in literature or lack thereof

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  • Jordle
    ... I agree. I have absolutely no problem with reading a sex scene as long as it doesn t completely take over the book. I ve heard lots of people mention
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 31, 2006
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      --- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Y. Kwan" <litalex@g...> wrote:

      >
      > Actually, if done well and tastefully, I think that there is nothing
      > more revealing than the character in a sex scene, especially if the
      > character does see something sacred and personal in it. But then
      > again, you're talking to someone who devoured Jacqueline Carey's
      > Kushiel's Legacy like there's no tomorrow.
      >

      I agree. I have absolutely no problem with reading a sex scene as long
      as it doesn't completely take over the book. I've heard lots of people
      mention Laurell K. Hamilton in this discussion and she is the prime
      example of how the overuse of sex can ruin a great story. After about
      book 7 of her Anita Blake series it was like reading porn and it
      completely turned me off. I don't think it helped that if you put her
      sex scenes together they are basically the same.

      i'm all for reading a bit of sex. Sometimes I think it is necessary
      for character development but I want to read the story that goes along
      with it. I don't want it to necessarily be the story.

      Jordan
    • guentherkrayer
      ... Yes, I agree. And I think it depends strongly on the context of the whole story. There s a difference between a pointless sex-scene and one that tells us
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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        --- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Y. Kwan" <litalex@g...> wrote:

        > Actually, if done well and tastefully, I think that there is nothing
        > more revealing than the character in a sex scene, especially if the
        > character does see something sacred and personal in it.

        Yes, I agree. And I think it depends strongly on the context of the
        whole story. There's a difference between a pointless sex-scene and
        one that tells us something, something more about the characters.

        One scene comes to mind: in TM, the scene where Seregil leaves bruises
        on Alec's skin during their sexual encounter and Alec feels empty and
        uneasy afterwards. This scene doesn't need to be more graphic than it
        is but it tells us a lot about Seregils inner state of mind and Alec
        feeling helpless about it.

        OTOH, a scene might *need* more details if there's a purpose for them.
        An example (a cheesy one, I admit, but it's all I can think of right
        now): a scene that starts out with an easy, happy, playful and
        carefree touch but takes a turn to the dark and sad when one of them
        feels the other's scars under his fingertips while caressing him. That
        scene might need a few more physical details to make the desired
        impression. I think how much detail is necessary depends on what the
        scene is supposed us to tell. :-)

        PatK
        :-)
      • kelee@att.net
        Hi, i just had to say that i m totally in love with the Kushiel series, i got my friends into it, good times. also, i don t think the sex in that book was
        Message 3 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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          Hi, i just had to say that i'm totally in love with the Kushiel series, i got my friends into it, good times. also, i don't think the sex in that book was frivolous, i definately think it was more for the plot, not that it wasn't good. some books however, it's just not needed, and sometimes i just don't want to hear about it.

          -------------- Original message from "Alex Y. Kwan" <litalex@...>: --------------

          Hello,

          On 01/02/06, Erin Danielle <theatre_junkie00@...> wrote:
          > scene, be it gay, straight, or what-have-you. I seldom
          > feel it truly adds anything mere suggestion wouldn't
          > do better, and as has been said already, it cheapens
          > the novel. There is a point where I would like the

          Actually, if done well and tastefully, I think that there is nothing
          more revealing than the character in a sex scene, especially if the
          character does see something sacred and personal in it. But then
          again, you're talking to someone who devoured Jacqueline Carey's
          Kushiel's Legacy like there's no tomorrow.

          I'm much more concerned with gratutious violence than gratutious sex.
          Violence is harmful; sex usually isn't.

          little Alex




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        • kelee@att.net
          i concur! ... I agree. I have absolutely no problem with reading a sex scene as long as it doesn t completely take over the book. I ve heard lots of people
          Message 4 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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            i concur!

            -------------- Original message from "Jordle" <jordle@...>: --------------

            --- In Flewelling@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Y. Kwan" <litalex@g...> wrote:

            >
            > Actually, if done well and tastefully, I think that there is nothing
            > more revealing than the character in a sex scene, especially if the
            > character does see something sacred and personal in it. But then
            > again, you're talking to someone who devoured Jacqueline Carey's
            > Kushiel's Legacy like there's no tomorrow.
            >

            I agree. I have absolutely no problem with reading a sex scene as long
            as it doesn't completely take over the book. I've heard lots of people
            mention Laurell K. Hamilton in this discussion and she is the prime
            example of how the overuse of sex can ruin a great story. After about
            book 7 of her Anita Blake series it was like reading porn and it
            completely turned me off. I don't think it helped that if you put her
            sex scenes together they are basically the same.

            i'm all for reading a bit of sex. Sometimes I think it is necessary
            for character development but I want to read the story that goes along
            with it. I don't want it to necessarily be the story.

            Jordan







            Lynn's official web-site - www.sff.net/people/Lynn.Flewelling

            Post message: Flewelling@yahoogroups.com
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          • Konstanze Faust
            Mmmh... interesting topic. I personally think that a story should be authentic in the first place... also in sexuality, because if a person has sex, it s part
            Message 5 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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              Mmmh... interesting topic.

              I personally think that a story should be authentic in the first place...
              also in sexuality, because if a person has sex, it's part of the live of the
              person. The sex hasn't necessarily to be written out explicitly (like one
              mentioned the scene with the bruises and Alec & Seregil... there are some
              good examples in the whole NR series), but should not be avoided. I think it
              depends on how important the issue is for the character in which way it
              should be mentioned or described.

              For example, if the character is a person that tends to one-night-stands and
              has a different person in his bed every weekend, there is no need to
              describe it every time (except it`s really a porn story or the emphasize of
              the book lies strongly on the sexuality of the person)... I think it depends
              on the story. The reader notices when a sex scene is just written because
              the author likes to write about sex.

              I think sex in literature should be treated like everything else in
              literature. It should be used when it helps the story or is part of it and
              it should be avoided if it has nothing to do with the story.

              Just my opinion.

              Greetings
              Konstanze


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            • Mana
              There s a difference between sex in literature and gratuitous sex in literature, though. Just because the main character of a novel is a sex fiend doesn t mean
              Message 6 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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                There's a difference between sex in literature and gratuitous sex in
                literature, though. Just because the main character of a novel is a
                sex fiend doesn't mean I need to be reading detailed information about
                a different character sucking on her nipples. It's hard for me to
                take a novel seriously when something like that happens.

                Personally, I think a good example of this (Lynn's cooks aside for the
                moment, as that's all we've used as a good example, so far), would be
                Wizard and Glass by Stephen King, the fourth book in his Dark Tower
                series. During a part of this story, the main character, Roland, and
                his first love, Susan, do eventually have sex. In some ways, their
                sexual relationship is a large part of the story, but instead of
                devoting a good few pages to a sex scene, all of their sex is done
                mostly through dialogue and metaphors, and the initial "sex" part of
                the scene is barely a couple paragraphs. For the most part, their
                sexual relationship is dealt through dialogue (their own and others),
                and mostly feeling, emotion. It may not be said that Roland and Susan
                had a romp in the barn, but it IS said that Roland comes back with a
                dreamy look in his eye, and hay in his hair, and he's having a hard
                time focusing on just about anything.

                Could the scenes have been handled more graphically? Yes, but it would
                have cheapened the novel. Gratuitous description of sex is never
                necessary, unless, in the case of literotica, it is the whole point of
                the story.


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              • Speaker to Cats
                From: Erin Danielle ... That s no fun! It may be a lasting effect of my early childhood in the south Pacific, but I do find
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 1, 2006
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                  From: "Erin Danielle" <theatre_junkie00@...>
                  > (I have the same objection in cinema - down with
                  > gratuitous nudity!)

                  That's no fun!

                  It may be a lasting effect of my early childhood in the south Pacific,
                  but I do find annoying American camera angles just to avoid showing certain
                  sections of skin.

                  Speaker-to-Cats
                  E.L.Bohannon (III) Na i ka Tolu
                  speaker2cats@...
                  Ki Viti, O Buadhachanin, Cherokee
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