Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Will Never Be Good at Writing Erotica

Damn, now I'm gonna get a bunch of stupid crap mail because I said erotica.

Anyone who knows me for more than a few days will know that I get stupid when the topic of sex comes up. I'm stuck as that 12-year-old prepubescent girl at that party where all the kids were making out, and I freaked and called my mom to come get me. First, because it was gross to be listening to the slurping and groaning of a bunch of hormone-crazed 12- and 13-year-olds; second, because I was the only one who didn't have a partner staring at her un-chest (I didn't wear a bra until high school, and even that was only because the boys made it a game to run their hands down girls' backs and then make fun of them when there was no bra in place--that shit would NOT fly today. Can you IMAGINE? Do you know how many boys I could've sued--AND BEAT--for sexual harassment, starting in, like, fifth grade? YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. By the way, I have BOOBS now. They ain't huge, but they also don't sag to my knees like YOUR wife's 'cuz she's pushing 40 and those plump little fun pillows were great when you guys first got together, you rubbing your face in between 'em like they were kittens, and now she's pumped out a few kids, and HA! Her boobs sag. And I don't have neck and shoulder problems because of my size Z boobies, and they're not disgustingly wrinkled or stretchmarked like your wife's. Who gets the last laugh now, hey, bitches? *ahem* Sorry. Digression.); and third, no smoochy-smoochy for me because I was scared shitless that someone would look at my un-chest and then, out of desperation because all the best girls were already liplocked, he'd try to slip me the tongue or something. Boys that age wear braces. Braces attract food particles and bacteria. French kissing means tongues. Ergo, I'd be sucking that kid's lunch and dinner out of the metal patchwork in his mouth. I'm nothing if not a germaphobe. It makes me gag a little just to think about it, in fact.

Your future is poking you in the face. And elsewhere.
So, as a grown-up, miraculous as their conceptions may be, I have four children. Hence, I had sex four times. (That's the story we've given the kids, so let's just go with it, in case they ask you.) It's not that I don't like the S Word ... I just have other things I could be doing. Like laundry. Or writing. Or reading. Or writing. Or organizing my book collection. Or writing. Or answering one of Kendon's 4128 daily questions. (He's very clever, that boy. And he loves his penis. It makes me uncomfortable. I'm trying not to pass my neuroses onto him, so relax.) Last year, when I was clawing my way through the 18th draft of my book, one of my critique readers came back with the comment that there wasn't enough mushy love between the characters. Uh, they're teenagers who just met. I don't want them getting friggin' pregnant at 18. Been there, done that, screws everything up. (Love you, my boy. It's not your fault your dad said he only had one working testicle. Omigod, I smell a defamation lawsuit coming on.) ANYWAY, I did what every self-respecting young adult novelist would do: I put on my warmest coat and my fingerless gloves, took myself to the local Tim Horton's coffee shop parking lot (hey, Americans, Tim Horton's is Canada's answer to Starbucks + Dunkin Donuts ... DOUGHNUTS!!!), and I blushed through two pages of my main characters making out. I used the requisite love scene words--"warm, soft, full"--and Gemma and Henry macked on each other for a few minutes. I felt so NAUGHTY watching them, writing down their smoochy, touchy-gropey antics. It was, like, so voyeuristic. 

That's why I don't write erotica. I can't. I'm not one of those gals who watches porn, not for any particular moral reason -- it just grosses me out. I've pretty much giggled through every example I've ever seen, always watching between squished fingers, laughing loudest in time with their groans and screeches. Yeah, real mature, I know, but ewww. No one has boobs that big, a wiener that long, or does It for so many unprotected, unfinished hours. Really? Really? It's almost as bad as telling girls they can have a stalker, bloodsucking boyfriend who will love and protect them for all eternity and all they have to do is act weak and pathetic, and then their futures will be full of fancy yellow Porsches and tuition to Dartmouth. ICK.

This doll's mouth looks like a cervix. Seriously. It does.

So, the Top Ten Reasons, beyond the ones I've already given you, that I will never be any good at writing a bona fide love scene:

10. I cannot say the "M" word. Say it in my presence, and I turn four shades of red and cram my fists into my ears. Don't tell me I've done it, and I'm just being immature because self-pleasure is the ideal form of safe sex. That's my business, not yours. But I can tell you, the amount of Purell involved will negate all the fun. (Besides, if God wanted me to pleasure myself, he would've made me a hermaphrodite.)

9. The church people when I was 8 told us that kissing and touching was very, very bad, and that God will always be watching. As such, my entire sexual life, I've envisioned a creepy, pervert God sitting in the corner of the room, flanked by nuns as they cluck their tongues at me. Yeah. Real romantic. THANKS, God.

8. I can't think of other words to use in place of the scientifically correct terminology. Nothing says romance like writing a hot, steamy love scene and then plugging science into it. That's why romance writers come up with words like "manhood" and "joy stick" and the aforementioned "fun pillows." (No serious writers really use that one. It's just funny.)

7. Again with the giggling. I don't know where it comes from, or why I giggle. But I do.

6. I have a hard time lying to readers, telling them something other than the absolute truth. And penises are funny looking, no matter what size/shape they're in. Omigod, I'm giggling again.

5. In line with the truth mentioned in #5, nothing spoils a love scene faster than the characters being interrupted by their 6-year-old who is thirstier than a Bedouin and who just had a dream the Reeks from Geonosis are invading his bedroom. (That reference will be useless unless you live with Star Wars geeks. Reeks are scary creatures with horns and slobber.) Talk about a buzz kill ...

4. You'll notice that romance writers never talk about the post-coital clean-up process. My love scenes would be so clinical: She rose from the bed, stuffed an Egyptian cotton towel between her finely shaved but moderately cellulite-puckered legs, and made her way into the rose-scented bathroom to tidy her girlie bits, to be sure to pee for at least ten seconds like the gynecologist advised so that she was sure to sterilize the area to avoid a bladder or yeast infection. ROMANTIC, huh? Yeah, you're hot now, aren't ya?

3. My DAUGHTER reads my work (and someday, my sons might, too). Think of your parents having sex. Once you're done retching, think about writing a sex scene and then handing the book to one of your kids and saying, "Here, honey, enjoy." Can't. Do. It.

2. I don't care how many times you say that "those shops" sell "marital aids," and "marital aids" are meant to spice up your love life, that "it's normal and indicative of a normal, healthy, loving relationship." Omigod, we are NOT spending money on THAT when there are plenty of good books I don't have yet. You were just kidding, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Now get me to the bookstore.

1. Cynics make the worst lovers. "That's it? You want me to get excited about that? Oh, baby, baby, do me. Yeah, just like that. Okay, good. Satisfied? Now can I go have some ice cream cake?"

Save your comments about how I've obviously not met the right lover -- I've had my share, thanks (WHORE!) -- or that it's not the size of the hat but the magic in the rabbit. I know for a FACT that rabbits possess no magical abilities whatsoever. Neither do cats, dogs, llamas, goats, sheep, or bears, just for the record.

And don't feel too sorry for my husband. Remember ... I'm a writer. I earn money by making shit up. :o)


  1. Hahahaha!! Jenn! You had me laughing the whole time! Oh, how I've missed your blog posts! OMG, I just can't stop laughing! You put things in such a great way! "Now get me to the bookstore." LOVE you!

  2. LOL! Jenn, you are my favorite blogger EVER. Seriously. Just compile a book out of your random posts. People WILL buy this!! You're hilarious. And I agree - that doll's mouth DOES look like a cervix and I've already told my kids they won't be getting THAT thing for Christmas this year. Gross.

  3. You guys are the best. Thanks for commenting. I know I should blog more often, but it's like someone introducing you at a party and saying, "Hey, this is Jenn/Ang/Heather, and she's really funny," and then the people you're being introduced to are staring at you, mouths somewhat agape, all of them waiting for you to say something hilarious that will make them dribble pee from whatever clever, irreverent thing you've said. The funny only happens when it wants to. Fickle cow. So, thanks for checking back. You guys ROCK. Love you both. ;o)

  4. I, for one, am glad you didn't put sex into your book. I love the sweetness of it. There is SO MUCH sex in everything! Even Tim Horton's - have you seen how teenagers dress these days. They all hang out at my local T.H.
    Don't get me wrong - I love a good historical romance with .... stuff in it. But I don't like my Youth Literature tarnished.
    Well written post, but you really shouldn't like to you kids. Tsk Tsk Tsk. :-)

  5. P.S. That toy is down-right creepy!

  6. That is the funniest thing I've read in forever! I, for one, appreciate stories that don't have a lot of sex or PDA in them and leave it up to the reader's imagination to guess if they're intimate in some way, shape, or form. Well, at least for my YA books that I covet. Although my historical romances could use some toning down at times...phew!

    I just read a book that had a fourteen year old walking around in a babydoll nightie that barely covered her butt and a private school skirt that flashed her purple mesh thong every time she bent down to get her books out of her locker. Oh and let's not forget the fact that she bared her breasts for a boy and let him take a cell phone picture of them! Gah, at 14 I was NOT thinking of that stuff!

  7. This is too cute. :) I'm very shy and giggly and blushy about writing sex too, but it's much stranger for me, because I'm SUPER open about sex in reality. I mean, I used to have nipple piercing, for goodness sake. (And those aren't something you get unless you plan on showing off your boobs.) So I can talk about sexy stuff, I trumpet the virtues of masturbation and sexual health, and I'm all about positive relationships with our own bodies--but give me two characters getting hot and heavy and I turn purple.

    It's because I know my mom reads everything I write, and then I feel REALLY awkward and shameful. Oh GOD my mom is going to know my character has soft breasts and feels hot between her legs! OH GOD I'M GOING TO DIE OF EMBARRASSMENT. That kind of thing.

  8. Sex belongs in the bedroom, period. In my opinion. Not on the pages of books -- especially YA books. But then I'm labelled prudish by most these days. Eh. I'm glad you've found reasons not to write it & be funny about not writing it.

  9. *Snort* this was freaking hilarious! Just coming from RT where I was offered penis candy for swag and hearing some of the synopsis' that invovled "rent boys" (and not for girls, mind you) OR the costumes or lack there of people wore, I agree on so many levels on this subject. There's nothing like.. "What do you write?" "Paranormal YA, and you?" "BDSM and erotica." yeah... conversation buzz kill. I giggle and roll my eyes... it's called fiction for a reason.