KassX

How Much Sex is too Much Sex?

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And is there even such a thing? Lol. And I don’t mean irl, because that’s your own damn business, but I woke up this morning with this burning question! For my story, my general rule of thumb is about one or two scenes per chapter (but my chapters are kind of long, in the 7k – 10k range), but part of the writing process is being able to admit that you could be wrong! So what do you find readers react to? I try to focus on action, humor, fantasy and sex obviously in no particular order. Am I that idiot who tries to put a story in porn or what? 

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I don’t know… I suppose it depends on the characters, really. My chapters are around 5k, and some of my scenes span over two or three chapters at a time. But then, there are three of them, so that might make a difference.

If there’s such a kind of idiot, then I am definitely it, and I make no apology! I think of the characters first, then wonder how I’m going to get them to go ‘at it’ then the story comes along. In that order. :lol: But that ’s fanfic. It’s probably different if you write original. 

 

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Dude, that’s incredible. A two to three chapter scene? I can barely stick with a plot point for that long, lmao. 

I mean, I enjoy good story in erotica because (to me at least) it makes the actual scenes way more impactful. I want to care about the characters, not just what’s in their pants! I do write original, but I feel like the general principle is the same. 

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42 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

Your characters are wearing pants?  That sounds way overdressed to me :)

I snorted. You sound like my kind of erotica writer.

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On a side note, I am now worried that there isn’t enough in my story, lol. I just love how I came here with one problem and walked away with another.

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Honestly, I’m a plot fan. I do love some plot with my sex, and I try to write plot with my sex. Sometimes I even succeed, if I don’t get sidetracked with a bit of gratuitous gore, that is. Apparently, I write romance with a body count. :lol:

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1 hour ago, KassX said:

On a side note, I am now worried that there isn’t enough in my story, lol. I just love how I came here with one problem and walked away with another.

Good work, people.. *nods happily*

:lol:

(couldn’t resist… I did try...)

Really, I don’t think I’ve ever read a story and thought: “There’s too much/too little sex in this.” If I have criticisms, they’re always, without fail, about a million and one things besides that. Oh, I tell a lie, I have thought there’s too little sex in published works. But that’s an entirely different thing. Most published author’s shouldn’t go anywhere near erotic writing because they really can’t do it at all, lol.

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2 hours ago, KassX said:

I snorted. You sound like my kind of erotica writer.

My main characters tend to get a sense of dread whenever they do have to get dressed :)

That said, I did get a sense of over-the-top with a recent episode of Jefferey.  I thought about toning it down, but decided an up-front explanation was better suited for the purposes of the episode.

1 hour ago, KassX said:

On a side note, I am now worried that there isn’t enough in my story, lol. I just love how I came here with one problem and walked away with another.

It’s a balancing thing.  How much is too much/little kinda depends on what you’re aiming for in the story.  Is it PWP or plot?

15 minutes ago, BronxWench said:

Honestly, I’m a plot fan. I do love some plot with my sex, and I try to write plot with my sex. Sometimes I even succeed, if I don’t get sidetracked with a bit of gratuitous gore, that is. Apparently, I write romance with a body count. :lol:

I’ve drifted toward wanting a good plot/thread for the story and simply not shy away from sexual stuff, esp as my stories tend to have teenagers where that sort of stuff tends to get explored.

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3 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

Minor1, Rape, Scat?  :P

 

Well, technically, rape isn’t sex, and neither is scat. Rape is a crime of violence, and scat is a fetish which, along with WS, makes me avoid the story altogether. Minor1 isn’t my thing either, but there you have it. I like my characters to be old enough to give meaningful consent. (At least until I kill them off.)

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24 minutes ago, Desiderius Price said:

It’s a balancing thing.  How much is too much/little kinda depends on what you’re aiming for in the story.  Is it PWP or plot?

I’ve drifted toward wanting a good plot/thread for the story and simply not shy away from sexual stuff, esp as my stories tend to have teenagers where that sort of stuff tends to get explored.

 

Is it bad that I thought PWP stood for ‘Pretty White People’ at first (although that is not an incorrect descriptor for a lot of erotica...) and had to look it up? Lol. My greenness is showing. I actually write the opposite, or at least try to. My work is all original and very fantasy/sci-fi based, so I try to put work into crafting the world, concepts and plot points. I mean, most of my time is spent writing YA fantasy, so that’s probably something that carried over into my erotica. I do porn WITH a plot because I enjoy reading porn with a plot, lol.

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If you can keep the sex scenes fresh and interesting, you can never have too much, even in a plotty story (in my opinion). But if it’s just the same mindless banging followed by a quick squirt and rinse, repeat, then it will get pretty old pretty quick. With some writers, their sex scenes become formulaic, and when that happens, I tend to just skim over them or skip them completely. If its predictable and repetitive, it’s not much of a turn on and it can easily feel like ‘too much’ or ‘gratuitous’. 

But some people like predictable and repetitive. Sooo… Whatever floats your goat. 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, CloverReef said:

If you can keep the sex scenes fresh and interesting, you can never have too much, even in a plotty story (in my opinion). But if it’s just the same mindless banging followed by a quick squirt and rinse, repeat, then it will get pretty old pretty quick. With some writers, their sex scenes become formulaic, and when that happens, I tend to just skim over them or skip them completely. If its predictable and repetitive, it’s not much of a turn on and it can easily feel like ‘too much’ or ‘gratuitous’. 

1

That’s actually a really good point, I love that. Mixing it up is absolutely essential (and actually, not bad advice irl either :P)

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On 2/22/2018 at 10:49 AM, KassX said:

And is there even such a thing? Lol. And I don’t mean irl, because that’s your own damn business, but I woke up this morning with this burning question! For my story, my general rule of thumb is about one or two scenes per chapter (but my chapters are kind of long, in the 7k – 10k range), but part of the writing process is being able to admit that you could be wrong! So what do you find readers react to? I try to focus on action, humor, fantasy and sex obviously in no particular order. Am I that idiot who tries to put a story in porn or what? 

The only way I can see too much sex being an issue in a story is if the story isn't supposed to be all about sex and yet having sex be the majority of what is written in most if not all of the chapters. Going by what you said in the second half of your little paragraph of thought, I say you're definitely in the green.

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On 2/22/2018 at 9:49 AM, KassX said:

And is there even such a thing? Lol. And I don’t mean irl, because that’s your own damn business, but I woke up this morning with this burning question! For my story, my general rule of thumb is about one or two scenes per chapter (but my chapters are kind of long, in the 7k – 10k range), but part of the writing process is being able to admit that you could be wrong! So what do you find readers react to? I try to focus on action, humor, fantasy and sex obviously in no particular order. Am I that idiot who tries to put a story in porn or what? 

Well I’d argue it depends on the sex drive and circumstance much like real life.

Somepeople fuck like bunnies and some people enjoy turning it into an eventful hour-long event with sensual precision

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On 2/22/2018 at 10:49 AM, KassX said:

And is there even such a thing? Lol. And I don’t mean irl, because that’s your own damn business, but I woke up this morning with this burning question! For my story, my general rule of thumb is about one or two scenes per chapter (but my chapters are kind of long, in the 7k – 10k range), but part of the writing process is being able to admit that you could be wrong! So what do you find readers react to? I try to focus on action, humor, fantasy and sex obviously in no particular order. Am I that idiot who tries to put a story in porn or what? 

KassX, my current chapters tend to range  around 10k, and I average 1-2 scenes per. Having said that though, I think it also greatly depends on how many characters you’re working with and the circumstances that are going on. A lot of times my main character, Alex will feature in both scenes. But sometimes he’s only in one. There was also a point in the story where he was gone for like 5-6 chapters and none of the sex scenes featured him. To me, the plot should ALWAYS dictate the smut. But, having said that, I AM writing smut so I always try to include at least one scene in every chapter. I also think that its more important for the smut to make sense and further the plot than to just be something gratuitous and tacted on because you needed smut. 

I don’t know if that helped, lol I just wanted to chime in!

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@InvidiaRed True! I’ve since adopted a policy of ‘write it if it feels right’ which I think is working well. I’ll write it with the momentum of the story and just let it go as long or as short as it needs to be. 

12 hours ago, Mal said:

KassX, my current chapters tend to range  around 10k, and I average 1-2 scenes per. Having said that though, I think it also greatly depends on how many characters you’re working with and the circumstances that are going on. A lot of times my main character, Alex will feature in both scenes. But sometimes he’s only in one. There was also a point in the story where he was gone for like 5-6 chapters and none of the sex scenes featured him. To me, the plot should ALWAYS dictate the smut. But, having said that, I AM writing smut so I always try to include at least one scene in every chapter. I also think that its more important for the smut to make sense and further the plot than to just be something gratuitous and tacted on because you needed smut. 

I don’t know if that helped, lol I just wanted to chime in!

Mal, OF COURSE THAT HELPS! My chapters are a bit shorter, trying to keep them around 5k, and I think I have a similar approach. Along with what I mention just above, I do try to make sure there are two scenes in each chapter so one longer ‘main’ scene and then a shorter one. I think I’m still working really hard on the ‘making sure the smut advances the plot’, but also learning at the same time. And if it doesn’t directly advance the plot, I want it to tell us something new about the characters at the very least. I’ve been doing better since I started the rewrite.

I had this one chapter which didn’t have a speck of sex in it – which I somehow only realized a week after posting it because it was so ingrained in the plot and I literally freaked out lol. Luckily it was kind of short so it didn’t kill the story or anything.

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Generally speaking the sex scenes should serve some purpose. Like any other scene. If the scene only exists for the sake of having a scene, as in it is not the goal, nor does it change the character’s relation to the goal, then the scene can feel empty. IN short a scene should either be build-up to something else… or the climax at the end of the build up.

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6 hours ago, PenStoryTeller said:

Generally speaking the sex scenes should serve some purpose. Like any other scene.

That's a good point there.  It's something I try to do with mine on every chance.  (Come Hell or High Water, for instance, doesn't have any sex until Chapter 21, but it flowed organically (at least, I thought) and worked in the context of the story.)  I don't see the idea of "too much sex" so much as "does it fit naturally with everything in the story up to that point (I kind of broke that with Blood and Honour, but yeah.)

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     I treat the sex scenes like any other action scene, which can be a short skirmish or a multichapter long battle depending on the circumstances.  My chapters run a little long, averaging around 10k words with the sex usually making up 3 to 5 thousand of those words.  As mentioned earlier, redundancy can become a problem if there is too much sex (relatively anyways) and this is something I actually fear becoming in my works.  Which is why I focus a lot on setting, plot and characters to diversify the scenes.  It also depends on what you’re writing, my works are just fap materiel and I know it, so that’s what I provide.  Were I to write a high fantasy adventure literotica story, the style would be a lot different.  I am writing mostly harem anthologies, which are merely a compendium of sex scenes.  In a more traditional story with arcs and such that just so happens to be literotica, the scenes should be stretched out a little better with more time and attention given to the finer points of a story.  Ms. Figg was eerily good at having no sex chapters that were still entertaining and fulfilling.  I do not yet possess the same finesse with dialogue, pacing and conservation of detail so I stick with smut fests loosely connected with narrative for now.

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On 3/29/2018 at 12:39 AM, Mal said:

KassX, my current chapters tend to range  around 10k, and I average 1-2 scenes per. Having said that though, I think it also greatly depends on how many characters you’re working with and the circumstances that are going on. A lot of times my main character, Alex will feature in both scenes. But sometimes he’s only in one. There was also a point in the story where he was gone for like 5-6 chapters and none of the sex scenes featured him. To me, the plot should ALWAYS dictate the smut. But, having said that, I AM writing smut so I always try to include at least one scene in every chapter. I also think that its more important for the smut to make sense and further the plot than to just be something gratuitous and tacted on because you needed smut.  

I don’t know if that helped, lol I just wanted to chime in!

Exactly my thought. Plot should dictate when and where smut is added so that an emotional investment carries to the reader. Then again, writing smut also depends on the audience that a writer wants to attract.  I know many readers only want plot what plot gratuitous sex. I’m not one of them. When I get the chance to read fan fiction, or any kind of non work related stuff, I want something to help me escape the stress, and PWP sex won’t do. Some people feel the opposite, so that’s why audience does matter when it comes to how much sex is added to a story. Others feel the exact opposite of myself and want no emotional involvement, just pornographic fap material for their fantasies. Both styles are fine, but it does make a difference in the kind of readers that will congregate to a story.

In my reading experience,  a smut scene happening out of the blue without fitting an emotion or plot is jarring. Tosses me right out of the story because I like deeper and meaningful tales. The main reason is that I feel no investment in the characters hopping into bed with each other because it seems to have zero reason to be happening. Not even if I adore the show or books that the story is based loosely off of because of a fan driven love for a pairing that I can actually relate to being reasonable or even preferable. Again, I am a reader that needs the context of emotion to make the smut feel realistic. A lot of folks are unlike myself. Some folks want zero emotional investment in what they are reading.

If I cannot feel connected to the characters, then I really cannot read the smut without yawning. I need immersion in one specific character’s head and heart to enjoy smut personally. If I cannot be on their shoulder and seeing their emotional responses, it feels like I’m reading yet another Psychology study on the latest findings for SE Table work in helping to alleviate anxiety attacks. Instead of titillation, the smut feels like dry and uninteresting case studies for me.

However, I adore reading plots which evolve character relationships into the deep emotional connection that makes the sex feel meaningful. When you consider how mechanical sex can start to feel if there is no real context/reason for it happening, having the emotional and mental cues added can take an otherwise dull feeling scene and make it sparkle. It conveys emotions and that is what sucks me in as a reader. Doesn’t matter if it is angry make up sex, or seduction engineered to bring the object of one’s fantasies to their knees, so long as there is the sense of genuine emotions, I’m going to be sucked into the scene and adore it.

A lot of plot what plot type gratuitous work feels too shallow to me when I do get a bit of time to do any reading. Since so much fan fiction is about character emotions and evolution foremost, (see tags like angst, hurt/comfort/romance/unresolved sexual tension) it only makes sense to match the  sex to the evolution of the characters emotional attachment to me.

So the amount of sex added should fit the readers that you enjoy writing for the most. If you like raunchy PWP, then by all means write a lot of it. If you want readers to be invested in the sexuality of your characters, create a plot and let it dictate where the best emotional driven sex fests happen.

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4 hours ago, Kurahieiritr said:

So the amount of sex added should fit the readers that you enjoy writing for the most. If you like raunchy PWP, then by all means write a lot of it. If you want readers to be invested in the sexuality of your characters, create a plot and let it dictate where the best emotional driven sex fests happen.

Write it and the appropriate readers will (likely) come along and enjoy it.

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