nmbyrd: I believe the subtext here is rapidly becoming text. (subtext2text)
 I'm asexual, and I edit a LOT of sex scenes.  Now, I'm not sex-repulsed, and I spend a lot of my free time reading porny fanfic with no ill effects!

And yet, 99.8% of the time, the sex scenes I edit make me feel like I wanna hurl.  There are a couple of reason for this:

1. Most PNR (paranormal romance) and contemporary romance, which is where I encounter these scenes, reinforces traditional gender roles and stereotypical notions of m/f relationships. The characters are also almost always immediately (and overpoweringly) attracted to each other, and fall in love on the spot. Any obstacles to this are usually fairly superficial; these are pretty short books. So the context is pretty nauseating to begin with.

2. For some reason, a lot of authors are really into detailing the mechanics of sex. Spoiler: THIS IS NEVER SEXY.  Objectively speaking, sex is awkward and gross. It's the feelings, the circumstances, and the chemistry that make it appealing.  Skip the "tab A, slot B" and tell me what's going on in the character's head.

3. USE YOUR WORDS. Somehow it seems the same authors who want to tell me exactly who put what where and how, can't actually use the words for the body parts in question. Let me help you: PENIS. VAGINA. COCK. PUSSY. Euphemisms like, "her secret place" or "between her legs" or, God forbid, "throbbing member" send me straight to the porcelain throne. It's okay to be vulgar! I promise you, I hear dirtier words on prime-time TV (and these days, in the presidential race) than I do in your so-called "porn".

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N.M. Byrd

March 2017

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