Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#61
I agree that characters in stories are often way too attractive.  To me, that's kind of funny, how writers like to make their world full of handsome people, as opposed to just real people.  I, personally, like to describe appearances more vaguely, that way everyone has a different mental image.

Now, Tower of Bobbert, I don't think it's off-topic.  The topic is how much sexual content, if any, should be included, and I'm saying why there should be none.  For now, though, I'll leave it at this: I've shown you facts and you haven't denied them.  You can say you like it, say "to each his own," or say that other things can affect your brain like a drug, but none of that takes away the serious consequences of pornography on the viewer.  It doesn't take away the addiction, the need to get it no matter what, the view-shift from a person to an object, or the fact that pornography can grow base desires, leading in extreme cases to things such as rape.

You know it hurts people, and you decide it doesn't matter because you and/or others like it.  Don't we all, in our base desire?  That's not justification, that's the source of the problem, and it is not a legitimate argument.  Supporting pornography is supporting self-hurt, idolatry, making the attracted sex (often women) an object, and it's not respecting yourself.  It's not worth it, and deep down, I think you know that.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#64
Tower of Bobbert, I'm not saying that you wouldn't debate with me but that I did not see you disagree with the facts I said.  I also don't disagree with the facts you said, but I disagree with the conclusion you led those facts to.

Haust, I agree that cliffhangers are addictive (got to love 'em and hate 'em), but reading a story does not affect one's brain like a drug and a wholesome story is not harmful, especially not as immensely so as pornography.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#67

Wilewriter17 Wrote: I agree that characters in stories are often way too attractive.  To me, that's kind of funny, how writers like to make their world full of handsome people, as opposed to just real people.  I, personally, like to describe appearances more vaguely, that way everyone has a different mental image.

To be fair, attractive people are "real" too. XD


And I don't believe sexual content is inherently self-destructive or hurtful. Like others have said, it can be relevant to the plot. It could show character development and highlight relationships between characters in an interesting way. It can also be very immersive in the same way Harry Potter dinner scenes are immersive. There's a popular web serial where a character does chores for an entire chapter. I'd rather read a hot sex scene than read about someone scrubbing last night's spaghetti stains off the stovetop.

A lot of folks seem so quick to condemn sexual content in fiction, but they throw in gratuitous violence like it's nothing. Many fight scenes aren't relevant to the plot. Even dull character sheets in LitRPG serials are (most of the time) unnecessary.

But writers have reasons for including these things, and I don't believe in making sweeping generalizations about content. Maybe it's a way to move the plot forward, maybe it's a stylistic choice that gives their story a certain vibe. I mean, there is such a thing as a "sexy" TV show/movie/book without it being erotica. The inclusion of sex doesn't automatically make it porn.

How often do you have writers worrying about whether they should have their fight scenes "fade to black" instead of giving us a (pardon the pun) blow by blow?

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#68

meteoraguy Wrote: A lot of folks seem so quick to condemn sexual content in fiction, but they throw in gratuitous violence like it's nothing. Many fight scenes aren't relevant to the plot. Even dull character sheets in LitRPG serials are (most of the time) unnecessary.



I find this to also be a very interesting point. Despite my personal preference being that I myself am not interested in/drawn out of the experience by sexual content, I of course have no qualms with what other people want to do. I don't want to read it or write it, but if someone else does, all the power to them. Now that said, I find this comparison and the number of people in this thread who don't want to read it to be kind of fascinating. It's true that many readers (and audiences in general, myself included) are meanwhile very fine with violence and combat scenes, even sometimes ones that include very graphic gore and the like, yet so many people don't want sex in their story.

I'm not saying either is wrong, and I don't have any deep explanation behind that. I'm just saying that I guess, if we take this thread's response as representative of a general audience, that it seems it's just because sexual content isn't what audiences want as much as creators think? At least not in the context it's being provided. I imagine a part of it is expectations of genre as well. Intense, violent combat is pretty commonplace in fantasy or adventure for example, but I don't think of sex as being a part of the genre. If I'm looking for fantasy, my brain has probably accepted that violence has a high likelihood to be a part of it, but hasn't made that acceptance for sex scenes. Same for how old slasher horror movies have a reputation for always having a sex scene. When you told me I was going to watch a slasher movie, I expected gore and violence, I didn't expect sex.

That all said, I myself am also asexual so maybe that has some effect on how I view a lot of this stuff, but I've generally heard much the same from people of different orientations as well, so I dunno. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#69
Half life, you're right.  We all glamorize bad things, but I suppose I'm saying pornography is fairly high on a scale of harmfulness, as I would say drugs, alcohol, and greed can be.  That makes it very serious and makes me intolerable of it.

And meteoraguy, I get what you're saying about sexual content not inherently being pornographic.  And in the cases of it being married people or only implied, it can be argued that sexual content is not bad.

However, stories that are descriptively all about sex or descriptively make sexual activity a large factor are definitely pornographic.  I suppose that's the sort of thing I'm arguing against.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#70

Wilewriter17 Wrote: Half life, you're right.  We all glamorize bad things, but I suppose I'm saying pornography is fairly high on a scale of harmfulness, as I would say drugs, alcohol, and greed can be.  That makes it very serious and makes me intolerable of it.

And meteoraguy, I get what you're saying about sexual content not inherently being pornographic.  And in the cases of it being married people or only implied, it can be argued that sexual content is not bad.

However, stories that are descriptively all about sex or descriptively make sexual activity a large factor are definitely pornographic.  I suppose that's the sort of thing I'm arguing against.

Sincerely, Wile

But why does it have to only be implied or wholesome for it to be good? It feels very limiting.


Writers should be able to tell their stories how they want to tell them. And if readers respond negatively, that's fair. Everyone has their preferences. Some prefer not to read about sex or characters in sexual situations. I get that. What I don't agree with is the authoritative attitude that some folks have about it. Why is it "unacceptable" to have sex scenes unless they meet certain standards? I don't see many people scrutinizing violent fight scenes in a similar manner.

Like I said earlier, how many fantasy serials are fading to black before a fight?

By the way, I am not against fight scenes or violent content, I'm just trying to point out the double standard.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#71

Mai Wrote:
meteoraguy Wrote: A lot of folks seem so quick to condemn sexual content in fiction, but they throw in gratuitous violence like it's nothing. Many fight scenes aren't relevant to the plot. Even dull character sheets in LitRPG serials are (most of the time) unnecessary.


I'm not saying either is wrong, and I don't have any deep explanation behind that. I'm just saying that I guess, if we take this thread's response as representative of a general audience, that it seems it's just because sexual content isn't whataudiences want as much as creators think? At least not in the context it's being provided.

It could just as well be that people who enjoy sex scenes aren't comfortable saying it. And RR has somewhat strict rules on it so people interested in sexual content are probably hanging out on scribblehub or wattpad or where ever. 


Personally I like both sex scenes and gratitious violence (in the right amounts) but it's true that I might prefer to just read different genres for different content. Sometimes, sex (or romance) just gets in the way of what I'm there to read. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#72
Meteoraguy, the fact that pornography's unwholesome and harmful makes it unacceptable to me.  And I can see reservations against violence.  I personally limit gore and unnecessary violence, but with the novella I'm working on now, that's not the case.

The comparison I make is that, while violent scenes don't commonly lead to violent people (we can agree on that, right?), pornography can often lead to an addict who sees the attracted sex as more of an object and will do anything to get that high.  The question in my mind is which one is more commonly harmful and more extreme?

I see pornography as being worse, but I respect your opinion either way.

Sincerely, Wile

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#73
I think a lot of this boils down to "religion"

sex is a sacred thing in most religions, and is taught that it should only be done with the person you are going to stay with. Whereas violence is not something that anyone considers sacred. I think it is more of a matter of perspective, to some it is a bodily function, to others a very intimate time with their significant other which shouldn't be shown to other people, because that is a moment for just those two. I'd say that a lot of people are lumping romance and sexual content together, which I think is a mistake. 

Also, a lot of these posts are more people's opinions than really trying to find the optimal amount of sexual content in fiction(including this one).

I'd say sex is addictive, in the same way that hugging someone you love is addictive, you want to do it because it makes you happy. Except porn will pervert that feeling into one of lust rather than intimacy, it isn't addictive it's confusing yourself. it's the same reason you shouldn't punch things when you are angry, it becomes a habit, and it can end badly.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#75
Haust, there are definitely people who observe violence for the high.  And in response to the first question, I am not saying that is always the case or even mostly the case, but it happens a lot.  Pornography grows or creates that desire.  This is how a family member had that happen to them.  One could say that, while pornography can lead to rape, debatably, violent books, movies, games, etc can lead to violent people or murderers.  But again the question of which is more common arises.

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#76
I don't think that sex in fiction leads to r*pe a lot at all. If it does, then the problem is that a lot of the sex and romance in fiction tends to be violent and there aren't a lot of good examples of functional relationships compared to the alternative. That, coupled with a lacking sex education, is a problem. If people actually lack sex ed to the point where they think that the abusive stuff they see on 50 Shades ect. is normal and what they should be doing to flirt... well, that's an issue for sure.

But the solution to that, if it's true, isn't removing sex scenes. It's to promote wholesome relationships and sex scenes in fiction (and educate on consent). Education. 

Sorry for your family member tho. But no one is going to just read some fiction and then go outside to violate another persons human rights. People who do that have much deeper issues. 

Re: Optimum sexual content for fictions

#80
Nestor1079, you're using personal experience that, though it accounts for yourself and may even account for the majority, does not account for everyone.  As I said, a family member witnessed it and they had that happen to them because, in part, pornography grew a twisted desire.  Let me ask, if you had the desire to hurt someone in that way, would pornography not grow that desire?  Would it just not affect your actions at all?

And I don't believe that video games cause violence.  I was just saying that people debate that they may.