(or, why I hate writing dialogue in sex scenes.)
Yeah, it sounds like the title for a nice long post, doesn’t it? It’s not. It’s the title for a short whiny post, namely this post, in which I confess that as much as I think my dialogue is generally pretty good, my dialogue in sex scenes is usually…well…let’s just say I prefer to have less talky sex scenes. (As Miranda Hobbes said, “Sex is the one place where it’s okay not to talk.”)
The problem is, almost anything anybody says in the middle of a hot sex scene has probably already been said in a porno film. This holds especially true if you are a certain very well-known writer whose once exciting books have lately gone down the really bad erotica tubes, with sex scene dialogue so bad it actually made me laugh. At least my characters don’t form entire, page-long conversations using only the words “You”, “I”, “am”, “Are, “So”, “hot”, “tight”, “and”, and “wet”. Seriously. Picture a conversation like this, but substitute the adjectives above for the ones below:
Hero: I love how sweet and pretty you are.
heroine: I love it when I’m sweet and pretty.
H: I notice when I touch you get get very sweet and pretty.
h: When you touch me it does make me sweet and pretty.
H: I can feel how sweet and pretty you are. Do you like being sweet and pretty?
h: God, yes. I am sweet and pretty. I love when you tell me how sweet and pretty I am. It makes me even more sweet and pretty.
H: You are so sweet and pretty.
h: Feel how sweet and pretty you make me.
Scintillating, isn’t it? Makes “Showgirls” look like Oscar material.
It’s just so hard! (No pun intended.) It’s so hard to have your hero say sexy things that aren’t offputting but also aren’t overly romantic. Very romantic sex dialogue is fine later, when they’re really in love. In the earlier scenes, though, it’s got to be more complimentary, and it’s hard to write that stuff without the Hero sounding like some kind of perverted Eddie Haskell.
So that’s where I am now. I’m in the middle of a scene, and somebody needs to say something, but they both feel a little stupid saying the standard stuff.
What kinds of things sound sexy to you?