When people think of Valentine’s day, they may think of love and romance, or candy and jewelry, or, of course, sex. Personally, I like the last one. 😉 So, in the words of Salt-N-Pepa, let’s talk about sex.
As I have said before, I didn’t set out to write romance. I really wanted to, but as soon as I mentioned writing a novel to my mom, she immediately jumped in with something to the effect of, “I hope you aren’t going to write romance, because I won’t be able to read anything you write if it has sex.” It didn’t matter that I have been married almost nine years, or that Pookie and I lived together for two years prior to that. She still wants to believe that her little girl knows nothing at all about sex.
So, being the good little obedient daughter, I tried writing everything but romance. Still, even with short stories, it always turned into a romance. What can I say, I am a romantic at heart. And even my priest will acknowledge that sex is an integral part of a committed (marital) relationship. We were told so by another pastor in our premarital counseling, “marriage basically gives you permission to have sex as much as you want.”
Needless to say, my novel quickly turned from light-hearted chick lit with no focus on romance to a full-fledged romance, with the perfect set-up for passionate sex in more than one place.
Why just the set-up you ask? Because as soon as I would start to write about clothing flying in every-which direction, the words of my dear mom would sneak back into my head. And I hit a wall. I kept thinking about my mom reading what I was writing. Even though the words were there in my head, I couldn’t get them down on paper (or screen).
And then it got worse. I pictured my mother-in-law reading it. And my grandmother. It was like I was giving them a glimpse of something they didn’t need and certainly didn’t want to know about me. (OK, to be honest, while my mom may like to keep anything sex related locked down like it has national security implications, my grandmother—her mom—is the female equivalent of the stereotypical dirty old man. When she heard I was writing romance, she was excited, and said she hoped it had a lot of sex, the steamier the better. Somehow, that made it worse.)
So, I sat there, with my perfect lead-in, starting at that damned blinking cursor as it taunted me. Your (flash) mom (flash) is (flash) going (flash) to (flash) read (flash) this (flash). Finally, I got fed up. I needed to get on with the story. So, I typed: [insert sex scene here]. Then I highlighted it in pink, and went on with my story.
Actually, first I sent it to Kaye and told her I was thinking of just leaving it like that. Sparky responded by saying it was fine, because “pink is sexy.” Have I mentioned how supportive our husband’s are? Even when they really shouldn’t be. (Pookie agreed with him.)
So, I have a first-draft of a novel that really isn’t done, because there are four places in the novel where it says:
[Insert Sex Scene Here]
Somehow, I doubt anyone is going to be interested in my book unless I can get over it and write the scenes I am picturing in my head, no matter how sexy Pookie and Sparky find pink to be.
Now it is Valentine’s day—a holiday basically devoted to sex. (Unless we are eight, no one actually believes that husbands are willing to pay $75 for a bouquet of flowers that would normally cost $25 only because we are so charming, right? As far as I know,we all see right through that and acknowledge that they also (really) want sex.)
In honor of the holiday, it is time to make my grandma proud. And Pookie blush. I am not sure how, but I am determined to make both happen today. Any suggestions?
Have any of your family members ever been freaked out at the idea of you writing about sex? Did it make it more difficult for you to write love scenes? How did you get past it (or are you still trying to figure it out like me)?