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The S-word, male vs. female authors

A place to debate issues or to rant about what's on your mind. In addition to discussions about historical fiction, books, the publishing industry, and history, discussions about current political, social, and religious issues and other topics are allowed, so those who are easily offended by certain topics may want to avoid such threads. Members are expected to keep the discussions friendly and polite and to avoid personal attacks on other members. The moderators reserve the right to shut down a thread without warning if they believe it necessary.
LGWalker
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I couldn't resist ....

Post by LGWalker » Tue August 23rd, 2011, 7:32 pm

OK, I admit it, I couldn't resist the title of the thread and had to poke my nose into this conversation. I have to say, I very rarely read a sex scene that I find truly well-written, male or female, and I do find the metaphors particularly amusing. But frankly, I often find male authors are terrible at writing female dialogue and vice versa, so it's no wonder that sex scenes are equally awkward. The funniest part is when you read an author's bio and they appear to be such a sweet, quiet, little bumpkin/bumpkinette .. and two pages into their book someone is ripping someone else's clothes off in a fit of passion. I guess you really can't judge a book by the cover! ;)

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue August 23rd, 2011, 7:47 pm

[quote=""LGWalker""]OK, I admit it, I couldn't resist the title of the thread and had to poke my nose into this conversation. I have to say, I very rarely read a sex scene that I find truly well-written, male or female, and I do find the metaphors particularly amusing. But frankly, I often find male authors are terrible at writing female dialogue and vice versa, so it's no wonder that sex scenes are equally awkward. The funniest part is when you read an author's bio and they appear to be such a sweet, quiet, little bumpkin/bumpkinette .. and two pages into their book someone is ripping someone else's clothes off in a fit of passion. I guess you really can't judge a book by the cover! ;) [/quote]

Thanks for jumping in with your two cents ;)

Sex is a hard one to write and when it is off it's OFF. Some of us love to use our reading updates at Goodreads to share the choicest morsels so everyone can have a good giggle.
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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Wed August 24th, 2011, 5:40 pm

Oh. My. Word. Totally didn't know this thread existed and am a little scared of reading it at work. But since I'm already here..

***Caution-words written by this person do not neccesarily represent personal history.******

I just have to say, female and male authors write totally unrealistic sex scenes 9 times out of 10. Scientifically, it would be pretty damn impossible for a woman to have an orgasm by looking at the object of her affection across the room. AND, the scenes themselves, while fulfilling every woman's fantasy (making us a little bitter about our husband at the same time) places totally unrealistic expectations. Picture reading a romance novel as a teenager and then finding the real thing...most times BIG LET DOWN!

Those are my two cents.
Brenna

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Post by SGM » Wed August 24th, 2011, 11:20 pm

[quote=""rebecca""]The writers I found who handle love scenes with finesse are Elizabeth Chadwick, Sharon Penman, George Martin & Susan Higginbotham...I think what these authors manage to do is to combine intimacy and [/quote]

I have only read the one Sharon Penman and as far as I could see she wrote the characters in bed with the action obviously moving towards sex and afterwards you know they had sex but you don't get any of the details in the middle. I find that works for me. That is, she established the nature of the relationship through the before and after scenes and left out the bit in the middle -- which, let's face it, leaves out the tedious, repetitve and over-wrought language which many writers use. But as I read more of her work, I might discover differently.

I can only remember two "sex" scenes in the Lymond Chronicles. The first with Francis and Oonagh O'Dwyer and the second at the end with Phillipa. I thought the first one was strangely antiseptic and about the only bit I didn't like in the whole series. The ending, of course, was amazing even without the sex.
Last edited by SGM on Thu August 25th, 2011, 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Thu August 25th, 2011, 1:34 am

[quote=""SGM""]I have only read the one Sharon Penman and as far as I could see she wrote the characters in bed with the action was obviously moving towards sex and afterwards you know they had sex but you don't get any of the details in the middle. I find that works for me. That is, she established the nature of the relationship through the before and after scenes and left out the bit in the middle -- which, let's face it, leaves out the tedious, repetitve and over-wrought language which many writers use. But as I read more of her work, I might discover differently.

I can only remember two "sex" scenes in the Lymond Chronicles. The first with Francis and Oonagh O'Dwyer and the second at the end with Phillipa. I thought the first one was strangely antiseptic and about the only bit I didn't like in the whole series. The ending, of course, was amazing even without the sex.[/quote]

I love what Sharon does with her characters, she can have them smoking off the pages with sexual tension, but without the full blown details some authors must throw in on every other page.
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Post by rebecca » Fri August 26th, 2011, 3:09 am

I now revise including Martin in my previous posts after a particular chapter in Feast For Crows(it was yuck inducing!). But I stick by the other authors in that the writers build intimacy to the characters without making the reader feel like voyers. There is also a reality to them in that there is jealousy, the couples do argue but what I feel in their books is that the author respects their characters. It is totally different with what I term bonkathon books where there is no intimacy, no real relationships and the characters are either perfect or the sex scenes unrealistic.

Misfit describes perfect what I mean, 'I love what Sharon does with her characters, she can have them smoking off the pages with sexual tension...'
This is what grabs the reader and not how many positions they can get into and then a vivid description of it all(I mean this isn't the sex olympics)! I will stick with the less is best, because it's true for me anyway.

Bec :)

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The Czar
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Post by The Czar » Thu February 9th, 2012, 3:13 am

[quote=""lauragill""]what men are thinking during, and after sex.[/quote]

Usually something like this?

" Not yet, not yet, um... baseball... um... grandma? OH NO! TOO FAR THE OTHER WAY... um ah... The holy roman empire was neither holy, nor roman, nor... oh dammit...

Ok, how soon can I get up and leave..."
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Fri February 10th, 2012, 3:17 am

Really, The Czar? I may not be a man but I know not all men think like that before, during, and/or after.

Though I've wondered why the Holy Roman Empire was named that myself.

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The Czar
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Post by The Czar » Fri February 10th, 2012, 1:39 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]Really, The Czar? I may not be a man but I know not all men think like that before, during, and/or after.

Though I've wondered why the Holy Roman Empire was named that myself.[/quote]


Just joking around. :D
Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.
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wendy
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Post by wendy » Mon February 27th, 2012, 10:11 pm

Strangest part of an otherwise interesting book - 1000 WHITE WOMEN (written by a man) has a very odd belief that the female orgasm starts in the stomach. Hmmm. Would any other ladies care to comment?!
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Fire on Dark Water (Penguin, 2011)
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