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Writing Advice & Discussion > Sex Scenes in Genre Fiction like Sci-Fi or Fantasy

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message 1: by Juan (last edited Jan 29, 2017 09:29PM) (new)

Juan Zapata | 66 comments If you are uncomfortable with brazen terms or with sex that's frowned upon by the Bible, don't read any further. Offense warning activated lol.

Alright, so we all know it's 2017, right? lol. I've read some sex scenes here and there in fantasy and Sci-Fi books, but it's all usually conventional sex. In other words, vaginal intercourse between a man and a woman. Now, the following inquiry is not what you expect, it ain't about LGBT characters having sex or whatever.

No, instead it's about two characters (a man and a woman) having anal sex. Would this be crossing the line in today's day and age? Because it seems that even though LGBT characters are being accepted, the sex I mention above is still somehow taboo in regard to heterosexual couples. Which to me, is very silly.

What do you guys opine? The hypothetical scene wouldn't be full blown out erotica - just unconventional sex that's not all that uncommon among heterosexual couples - if we are being honest lol.


message 2: by Elisa (new)

Elisa | 164 comments Anal sex is fine with me


message 3: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I think as long as you've set the proper expectations for your readers it should be fine. The problem becomes when your readers are expecting more or less and are unhappy with what they get that you wind up with nasty reviews. I decided to cut the detailed sex out of my book because as my series progresses the amount of sex decreased and I felt I my initial book set up expectations that would be dashed later on.


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna Adler | 26 comments I don't think there's anything too shocking about depicting anal sex in a fantasy novel. If it fits the story and the characters, you should go for it. :) A Song of Ice and Fire has brother-sister sex scenes in it, which I consider much bigger a taboo.

I agree with Keith, though: consider the tone of your book and the expectations of your readers. If you write a scene like that once, will the readers look forward to more?


message 5: by Juan (new)

Juan Zapata | 66 comments Thanks for your advice and your take on this, Keith and Anna. And your opinion as well, Elisa

I have an Adult Sci-Fi novel. The first book doesn't have any sex, but that's because I don't introduce a romantic subplot until the second book; it involves two women and one man.

I think anal sex would definitely fit one of the women for sure, especially since her personality is pretty raunchy and unorthodox. To be on the safe side, I'll hire some beta readers to read through the 2nd book. This might be a trial by error thing that needs to be done.


message 6: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 143 comments If you haven't included any sex at all in the first book, I'd think carefully about what you introduce into the second.
If the characters are the same in the second book, I'd at least have them thinking the occasional sexy thought, or sorting themselves out. People don't go from being entirely non sexual to sexual. Unless you're dealing with aliens/fantasy species and then you have them doing anything you like.


message 7: by Keith (new)

Keith Oxenrider (mitakeet) | 1166 comments I have to second that. If you don't have the same level of sex in the first you may wind up with some very upset readers who love the characters but hate the addition of the sex. One of the reasons why erotica tends to be an isolated genre.


message 8: by Juan (new)

Juan Zapata | 66 comments The sex is with two new characters added in the second book who pursue the main character and open the romantic subplot.


message 9: by Juan (new)

Juan Zapata | 66 comments I mean technically the characters are aliens, but they look human (like Kryptonians lolz). The setting is on another planet.


message 10: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) I have to second the others. I have nothing against sex in general, but if your first book is clean, it seems counteractive to add some in the second book...

It seems you already have your doubts. Maybe keep the anal sex for your next series?


message 11: by Juan (new)

Juan Zapata | 66 comments Yes, but like I said - the romantic subplot is introduced in the second book and the first book already contains very graphic adult material (warfare and torture).


message 12: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) OH...Ok! If it's already rated for adults I guess you should be safe then.


message 13: by Nat (new)

Nat Kennedy | 78 comments Honestly, I do give a O..o eyeball to heterosexual anal sex. I would need a reason for it to be, and maybe they're all hot and bothered and really like anal sex, but you'd need to establish that, as you would for the need for a sex scene anyway. It's a bit alien to me (more so than gay sex.) But that is my personal opinion. Totally depends on how you present it.

But sex in fantasy/scifi... if it's out of the blue I'm a little shocked. One of the Dresden Files books has sex in it and it stood out so oddly it felt like it didn't quite belong.

If the book is more adult/erotica and labeled that way, then no problem. I do agree, that if the first book has no sexy scenes, it might feel gratuitous for the next book... but it sounds like it's not going to be a one time event, either. Honestly, it depends on how it unfolds. If you build it, it can come. ;)


message 14: by Tyler (new)

Tyler Harris (tylersharris) | 1 comments It sounds to me like you're only writing a sex scene if it is plot-relevant, since there are none in the first book. I've always felt that in non-erotica writing, the act of sex itself should not be the most important part of the sex scene. It's you're second book, so I assume it's not a device to shock or intrigue your readers. If you write it well enough, I don't think it will matter what goes where, because by the second book maybe your readers will be more concerned with what goes on in your character's head rather than what goes on in your character's bed.

Take home message from me is: Great writing takes care of all issues.


message 15: by Shelby (new)

Shelby Suderman | 2 comments I agree with the others that it's important to let the audience know what they can expect in the first book. A recent example would be Throne of Glass, which started as a YA book for general audiences, but the latest one is supposed to be full much more adult sex scenes.


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