Describing sex or writing in a sexual way can give a story a little more to draw the eye in as we all know that titilating the reader is really the goal of any good writing. This is not to say that the only good writing involves some sort of sexual aspect, but good writing does touch something in the reader in a very personal sense. One should not merely put words on the paper just because they may have a ring to them or they in some sense represent a well written piece. Instead, writing, short stories in particular, needs to do something, it needs to add up to more than the sum of its parts by transporting the reader and capturing the reader's interest.
Short stories of late, more so than any of the other forms, tend to be so much of nothing. They don't really do more than represent some very well structured paragraphs and sentences and are unfathomably boring. On a personal level, this is something that drives me a little crazy because if one reads any of the literary journals or New Yorker or collected short stories there is no there there. The wrinting may be stunning and complex, but the story is meaningless and beside the point. It talks past the reader and doesn't really do anything. People who love well constructed sentences and etc. will read this stuff endlessly as they have some sort of visceral reaction to words. However, for those people who want to be entertained, they are going to turn to other forms.
Why? Because they are bored and so many editors and writers have forgotten that even the best writing should be entertaining. Would someone such as Vonnegut been published as much as he was today? The answer is no because his writing did not fit with the current paradigm.
Anyway, back to the idea of including a bit of sexuality in the story. Like in the movies it drives me nuts when writers do one of a few things. The first is include a sex scene just for the sake of having a sex scene. Don't do it because you don't want to pull the reader out of the story and it will feel unnatural and not fit. By the same token, being too oblique when it comes to your characters and their sexual encounters is just as annoying. Then there is the writer who naturally should include a sexual encounter, but it reads like a bad porno--no one, not even porn stars, have sex like that in real-life.
So the trick is to hit it just right, which is a really difficult thing to do. Perhaps the toughest thing to do in all of writing. I am not an expert at this. And I will say that I am a not a hugely published fiction writer so all of my advice may be nothing more than noise in the crowd, but I do know what I like and the key to it for me is that you don't have to be sexual to be sexy and you don't have to have heaving anything in order to get across the the reader the intensity of two people's emotional and physical attraction.
In the following example (from a short story of mine) the idea was to show that two people in a bar--a dancer and musician--are finding a deep attraction to each other and I used it to show the baseness of the main character. The character is sitting in a bar in Morroco and he is describing a story he tells to try and impress young adventurous girls:
"Lonely, no, but I do love the young girls that fall for my simple and caddish stories of life lived blithely on some precipice, in particular the description of taking a small syringe of heroin in the back room of a crowded club as a smoky, dark man touches his lips to the inside of a trumpet and tickles it with his tongue. I tell these girls of my crescent-eyes, bloodshot from the bloody rush of the drug. I describe looking through a thin curtain hung behind the trumpeter and watching as his body leans back and forward and his buttocks sway in the vaporous light of a few bulbs hanging lazily from the ceiling. I almost tease these girls with descriptions of his head tilting and swaying to the ebb and flow of his music while in front of his mouth there is a hypnotic electric gleam of golden color, the metal of the horn flaring out curved and twisted in a painful contortion sweeping out to the bell. In it I can see my reflection colored, oblong in the warped golden shimmer, my elongated face and body disassembled and put together again by a single thought. A spasm through his body produces the single most beautiful note that I have ever heard. It floats out bouncing over the small crowd as they watch and reach for it straining for the thin delicate bubble. The note bursts over their heads and showers down upon them as he blows out another stream of ribbon colored spheres. Alone, his black body sways, his rounded ass clenches and releases with each effort of notes, calling me forward I stay in touch with my reflection, centered on the futility of the loneliest most perfect vibrating string of sound swaying in and around what little breeze a swirling woman provides by swinging her arms and body. Coyly her hips move with the music drawing my eyes to the barest patch of brown pubic hair peaking above her thin wispy skirt. Her fingers snapping without sound, her hips swaying and my insane reflection on her, and him, as I realize that they are both playing and moving to the same unheard tune of their bodies. I can see them as lovers, her tanned white skin against his toned brown, moving together, him inside of her, she mounted on him with it all happening in the hips and the delectable look of craving and satisfaction. Slowly he raises his trumpet; singing and vibrating it is no longer making any sound and the smooth clear reflection of the small lights around him make the trumpet look now as if it were wet with the rapturous brew of her, and then he swells a note out and back again, and when he has put that one back where he found it I think that he is not even making sound or playing music as much as he is saturating the air with a breathy and turbid humidity that envelops and enraptures. I look and see my reflection in her skirt and through it in the light that is received by the dark, I can see my reflection in her ass and her hips and in her, and he is playing with his warm damp breath, and I see a small rivulet of spittle drip from a valve at one end of the twists in his shining piece of piping, and I see it slowly fall to the ground and land in the dust with a little circle of spray, and her feet come so close to it in each step she makes in her delirious delectation, and I focus on that small pile of dusty spittle and around it her feet, bare, land on either side and in the silver, bubbly drop is my reflection until she finally slides gracefully through it, and I think how can she not know what she has done, and I slowly trace up the swaying calves and thighs of perfect syncopation to the V that is at the center of her sweat dampened skirt, her hands are riding just the top of her mound and I see it clearly that she will have him. A note passes out in the warm Moroccan night and I am brought from my small display behind the thin curtain in the back of the club and I think one simple thought - heroin."
With this piece I wanted to explicitly sexual without describing actual intercourse or even the touching of body parts and etc. because I thought it would describe far more about the main character than just him picking up a girl and sleeping with her. The reader gets some insight as to what is behind this guy, but I didn't have to stop the story to be titilating.
Anyway, these are my thoughts. I hope that they may actually mean something to anyone.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.