Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#22
Here's the thing. 

First, let's assume we're referring specifically to direct sexual content. That is, I'm not talking about a story which is about something like an abusive relationship, or where the center is romance, nor about some sort of demented backstories or even some villainizing scenarios where the villain is (Off camera) using and manipulating women to his liking. Heck, I'm not even talking about fan service, as this is also indirect. 

I'm talking about just direct sexual content. Aka, sex scenes. 

Honestly, this isn't acceptable, unless the story is solely created to be porn. Think about this. How many times when you watch a movie do you actually enjoy the sex scenes? Uh, never. Imagine when you're watching a show with someone else and a sex scene comes on. You both sit there awkwardly, wondering if you should skip it while analyzing the fabric of the couch or the type of wood which was used in the construction of the house. 

Point here? Unless someone is going to wank, (And when you're reading a story for entertainment, that's typically not what you're doing here), nobody wants to see the sexual content. If someone comes onto RR to read a webnovel, they're probably not here for that. There is another website specifically for that purpose, and 99% of people would go there instead. 

Now, as I said. That only refers to direct sexual content. There are probably many people who enjoy the normal fan service and the typical self insert harem feel good whatever stuff. And heck, maybe there are some people who enjoy seeing the mc get it on. But I think that on average, that isn't the case. 

And again, I think that if it's for the purpose of a story (So long as it isn't too explicit), then it could be done right. Now, that could make for some very dark stories, which once again, is a matter of taste- which not too many people would like. But I still think that's different than normal sex scenes. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#23

FantasyBliss30 Wrote:
Prysmcat Wrote: I actually get far more disgusted with cliche romance than I do with honest desire or sexuality, and I'm including consensual kinky, honest polyamorous, non-hetero, and non-cisgender desire and sexuality in that. Shoehorning a sweet-as-sugar romance with forced tension ("Will they? Won't they?" ad nauseum) into a story is a surefire way to make me drop it with no regrets.

Actually this is closest to how I feel. If I read a pair of lovers or married couple or two people who are attracted to each other, any sexual content involving them only seems the natural next step to me, and I do not understand when the author actively avoids the sexual interaction, even implied ones.



The vehemently anti-sex responses so far are a bit worrying, because I refuse to butcher or bowdlerize my writing to take out any and all sex from the stories that went in that direction. But maybe there are more of us who just aren't speaking up, or haven't yet? Or I'll just resign myeslf to fewer readers.

While I respect the feelings of those who find sex and sexuality somehow distasteful, and with the way it's often handled in the modern world I sometimes even agree, for some of us it's just how things happen to evolve and is a perfectly natural part of life, when it's done properly and respectfully to all involved.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#24
I don't know If I have a preferred amount. Like, I prefer my smut smutty, but the rest of what I read really just needs as much as the author thinks useful or fun in telling the story. Like, The Handmaiden has an absolutely vital sex scene for the story. While other stories I read just have fun with it and toss some sex scenes in where they want. I'm not really that picky so long as all parties involved are consenting adults. 

Overall I guess you can put me down as indifferent :p

It's a bit odd to see how prudish some readers are though, I thought growing up in a catholic house was intense but clearly I got nothing on some of you o.o

That was rude of me, if I can extend the courtesy of personal preference to authors I ought to extend the same to readers. Sorry bout that :(

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#25

Dubs Wrote: Honestly, this isn't acceptable, unless the story is solely created to be porn. 



Respectfully, could you please consider your phrasing more carefully? You are absolutely entitled to your opinion, I am not questioning that. However, your reply makes broad and sweeping generalizations that imply, as near as i can tell, that all normal, right-thinking people share your perspective, and that is not the case. Personally, I find myself in complete disagreement with virtually everything you have said.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#26

FantasyBliss30 Wrote: If I read a pair of lovers or married couple or two people who are attracted to each other, any sexual content involving them only seems the natural next step to me, and I do not understand when the author actively avoids the sexual interaction, even implied ones.

It's the same reason why you don't see authors describing peeing or farting or scratching an itch. I mean, come on. Authors describe scenes where people drink and eat all the time. It only seems the natural next step that at some point in time these people are going to crap.


People do it all the time, but it's not germaine to the plot. 
❤🦆😸🐰❤

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#27

ArDeeBurger Wrote: It's the same reason why you don't see authors describing peeing or farting or scratching an itch. I mean, come on. Authors describe scenes where people eat food all the time. It only seems the natural next step that at some point in time these people are going to crap.


People do it all the time, but it's not germaine to the plot.



Going to the bathroom and passing waste is rarely relevant to interactions between characters, character development, or moving the plot along - although I would write one if necessary, in whatever detail was necessary. (I've encountered vampire novels, including I think Anne Rice, that include detailed scenes of the mc's body flushing everything immediately after they're changed to vampires. Plot-relevant passing of waste.) Also, it's unlikely that the way the character does so will change over the course of the story, short of picking up a GI bug or having their anatomy altered or something. Sexual contact, on the other hand, can be extremely significant to the development of a relationship, and how that encounter progresses, even how subsequent encounters progress, can say an immense amount about the dynamics between the characters. So I'm not sure this is the best equivalent.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#28
Explicitly describing sex is rarely relevant to interactions between characters as well. 

People do it all the time. It's just not germaine to the plot. 

John and Mary are at a restaurant. "Excuse me," Mary says. "I have to use the ladies' room."

End of scene. There is no need to go any further. 

John and Mary go home after a sumptuous dinner and a night on the town. They then wake up in each other's arms. 

There is no need to go any further. I'm not saying you can't. 

It's just not germaine to the plot to describe how John stuck his dick into Mary.

❤🦆😸🐰❤

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#29

ArDeeBurger Wrote: It's just not germaine to the plot to describe how John stuck his dick into Mary.



1) If that's the extent of what you are describing, then yes, I agree. However, there is a whole lot more to sex than that. Playfulness, kink, tenderness, or lack thereof, can all be relevant. That includes, say, for a trans character, how their lover accepts that or otherwise. Just as one mundane example. Rather deeply significant and the aftermath is going to have a lot less emotional oomph than the moment itself.

2) I've had characters have magical gifts manifest during sex, and what was happening at the time was quite relevant. I've had interruptions in mid-sex and those are also relevant. That's just off the top of my head.

Sometimes it is not relevant. But story variations are infinite. There can be, and always will be, a story somewhere in which pretty much anything is important.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#31
Boy do I feel like I am in the wrong place. I started out in fanfic, so it’s safe to say that I cut my teeth on the trenches of PORN.

I like my romance subplot, I like my romance. I think that if you squint, I might be a romance writer. I also think sexual tensions and sex scenes and sensual characters are all important and a part of all that, but I do admit that very rarely you see them done well. 

So yeah I guess I am not particularly fussed about sexual content that much, but yeah extra bonus point if they are done well. And by well done I mean the focusing on beyond the physical aspect of it I guess, because love is beautiful to see. Otherwise sex is a bit boring, everyone knows what goes where and ya know. 

I prefer to hint at sexual content in my fictions. I also write more explicit sex scenes in seperate chapters, but I don’t really offer those to the general public. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#32

Dubs Wrote: Honestly, this isn't acceptable, unless the story is solely created to be porn. Think about this. How many times when you watch a movie do you actually enjoy the sex scenes? Uh, never. Imagine when you're watching a show with someone else and a sex scene comes on. You both sit there awkwardly, wondering if you should skip it while analyzing the fabric of the couch or the type of wood which was used in the construction of the house.

This makes me wonder what your definition of porn is.  If you hadn't specifically excluded romance I'd be arguing vehemently because I love steamy romance, and don't view them as porn, because no, generally people don't masturbate while reading them.  I also think sex can play an important role in drama, surrealism, and various non-romance genres.


I too am distressed by the amount of sex negativity here.

@ArrDeBurger
It's important to talk about sex, and not just to traumatize teens with the idea of venereal diseases.  Sex is a normal and healthy part of life for more than half of human adults, and even people who decide they aren't interested in participating benefit from open discussion about the variety of sexual orientations and identities.  Physical difficulties and techniques of sex (i.e. how tab A is inserted into slot B) definitely should be an allowable topic of conversation between friends, and in any PG15 public forum.  As far as I'm concerned 'polite' conversation is when you are talking to strangers or maybe co-workers, in person.  It's a specialized type of social interaction not that relevant to real living.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#33

Prysmcat Wrote: 2) I've had characters have magical gifts manifest during sex, and what was happening at the time was quite relevant.

In my book Exhoes of Olympus, sex is a major plot thread. The female lead of the book, Thermiandra is a distant descendent of Medusa. You can't tell by looking at her, but she knows the family curse is that if she has sex, her partner will be turned to stone. Obviously she was conceived, which speaks volumes about her parentage, but more importantly, she knows she can't have sex without killing someone. A big part of the remainder of the book is trying to get the gods to lift the curse.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#34
This is one of those things that's different for every book and heavily dependent on genre. Personally, I don't love explicit sex scenes—they're usually uncomfortable to read, obviously written with one hand, and completely unrelated to the plot. I think they can be done well, but they require some maturity and skill to pull off. There's a difference between a sex scene that's only been added for fanservice and padding versus a sex scene that moves the plot along, develops the characters, et cetera. Unfortunately, most that I've read fall into the former category, which is probably why most people on this thread are saying that they dislike sexual content in general. There are also some books and genres where explicit sex is just inappropriate—nobody wants to read that kind of thing if it's been randomly inserted into an otherwise normal middle-grade fantasy book, for example. 

As far as less explicit "sexual content" goes (things like sexual tension, flirting, the like), I don't hate it. I've really enjoyed some of the romantic subplots I've read lately, actually. I start getting irritated, though, if the romantic subplots start to overshadow the main plot—if I pick up a sci-fi book, it's because I want to read sci-fi, you know? I don't mind romantic subplots as long as they're done well, but ultimately, they aren't why I'm here. If it gets to the point where the characters' relationship problems and love triangle drama starts getting more attention than the main storyline, I'll probably just put the book down. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#35
Darrin Wrote: You want to put it into a character's past, fine whatever,

That's shitty writing. 

Everyone goes for the "I was raped in the past" to justify "character development". 
It's lazy writing and reflects poorly on the author. 
Drop the series and never look back. 

Quote:Optimum sexual content for fictions

A Multi-Part Answer
Part A: 
Whatever amount the author feels is relevant. 

Two examples I can give from my own vault of fictions are Katarina and Daveth.
Katarina tried out casual sex, discovered she didn't like it, and had a romantic partner at the end. 
Daveth is a rough-and-tumble mercenary, so he he has a girl in every port and an adventure at every turn. 

Part B:
Do I go into detail with the sexual encounters?
Sometimes. A little bit. It builds mood, helps immersion, and sex always helps develop characters and their interpersonal relationships with themselves, with their partners, with other people around them who aren't having sex with them. 

Note:
 
I cut out the sex scenes before I post the stories on this website,
partly because I understand the hilariously puritanical hangups my readers may have,
partly because I got a fucking storm of .5 star ratings when a girl character kissed another girl character. (Oh Em Gee the horror!) https%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FpufR5G5.gif
partly because I'm not wholly certain how far I can go with depictions of sexual intimacy as far as website rules go,
partly because I think you're all children and thus incapable of understanding the depth and complexity of the human need for comfort, intimacy, and sexual release,
and finally, I'm not here to get you off. 

Note:
You might find this post has been laced with a heavy-handed arrogance and sarcasm; I won't apologize for it. Assuming the site's general age demographic is 16-26, I've been sexually active for more years than you've been alive, so I don't have any hangups or inhibitions about sex and sexuality at all, including fictional depictions of sex and sexuality between fictional characters. To me this thread is hilarious, irrelevant, pointless, and academic. See Part A: Whatever amount the author feels is relevant. 

Final Note: 
If you want to try writing a story with a character that has sex, think of all the possible ramifications: social, political, physical, mental, (so on and so forth) ramifications.
How will they feel?
How will their partner feel?
How will unrelated characters feel, knowing this particular pair have coupled?
How will it affect their life/ lifestyle?
Are they of differing social standing? How will that affect the power dynamic between the two of them? Between them and others? 
Pregnancy? 
Disease?
So on and so forth.

If you're not prepared to answer these sorts of questions, then don't include sex in your stories. 

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#36


sunandshadow Wrote:
Dubs Wrote: Honestly, this isn't acceptable, unless the story is solely created to be porn. Think about this. How many times when you watch a movie do you actually enjoy the sex scenes? Uh, never. Imagine when you're watching a show with someone else and a sex scene comes on. You both sit there awkwardly, wondering if you should skip it while analyzing the fabric of the couch or the type of wood which was used in the construction of the house.

This makes me wonder what your definition of porn is.  If you hadn't specifically excluded romance I'd be arguing vehemently because I love steamy romance, and don't view them as porn, because no, generally people don't masturbate while reading them.  I also think sex can play an important role in drama, surrealism, and various non-romance genres.


I too am distressed by the amount of sex negativity here.



Personally? I'm ace. It gets exhausting at how sexual content is everywhere and it'd be nice to watch a R rated movie without wondering if I'm going to have to sit through a sex scene that serves no purpose to the plot.


Nestor1079 Wrote:
Darrin Wrote: You want to put it into a character's past, fine whatever,

That's shitty writing. 

Everyone goes for the "I was raped in the past" to justify "character development". 
It's lazy writing and reflects poorly on the author. 
Drop the series and never look back. 


I disagree. It's entirely in how it's done. If it's thrown in for shock value and only comes up when it's "convenient" for the plot, then yes, it is shitty writing. If it's portrayed realistically, it can contribute to realistic character development.

People have trauma. That's life. People learn, adapt, and grow from that trauma. It's absurd to ignore that in writing and treat characters as if they've been perfectly happy their entire lives with nothing having ever gone wrong.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#39
Prysmcat Wrote: Depends on whether it feels like it fits within the rest of the story, rather than feeling forced.

This basically.

If romance is a semi-major or major plot point then as much PG13 tension building as makes sense for the characters and plot is kinda normal, imo. Though I do agree with Wren Elizabeth that it shouldn't overshadow the main plot (if it is a subplot).

For an R rated interaction, though, I'd say it definitely depends on the fiction itself. If it feels like a natural scene in the story and the tone and feel of the book has led the reader to anticipate it then I think finally giving the characters some pay off from all the relationship building you've done is fine.

However, and this is just personal opinion, there's nothing more off putting than a sex scene that's been shoe horned in for the simple reason the author really wanted to include a sex scene. Even if it's done well it'll still feel awkward and out of place.

So, what I'm saying is that there is no optimum frequency because every story is different and what feels normal for one will feel totally out of place for another.

...you could just put in some polls for your readers to ask them.