Ooh La La!

My son and a friend kindly agreed to do some initial proofreading for my novel. After resonating on the fact that they would be proofreading the sex scene I had just written (#Horror), I found myself overly concerned with its content.  This is not a raunchy novel by any means, but this part was very much intended to raise an eyebrow and hopefully a temperature or two! It was also intended to provide the reader with some juicy info about a key character… I mean personality impacts behaviour between the sheets, right?

I justified and then re-justified the requirement for the scene and then went on like a proper prude; poking, prodding, and adjusting until the storyline left the poor lovers wondering why they were in the same hemisphere, let alone the same bed. It was fast becoming a candidate for the ‘Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award’ (Yes, that’s a real thing, see note below)

Clearly this would not do…

After restoring the previous version of the chapter, I reflected on the source of the anxiety. I came to realise that I was worried that my son would somehow feel different about me. That I would be called out for being a red-blooded woman with wants and needs rather than just his “Mom”. In short, I was more worried about how I would be viewed rather than if the scene would read as a valid and well written part of the story line. As a parent, whilst I am happy to openly discuss sex and sexual topics, I have not discussed my own sexual desires and preferences – At least not with my children – It just never felt relevant.

For further context, the chapter in question takes place at a sex party, involves multiple partners and a fair amount of rope. Armed with the knowledge that anything a writer puts on paper must come from somewhere inside themselves and you can see how my anxiety spiralled.

How much of what I have written is creative licence, fantasy or true to life experience? Well readers, that I will keep to myself, we all must have a few secrets!

I eventually plucked up the courage to pre-warn my son, informing him of the PG18 content. His response after all my fretting?… A nonchalant “Sure mom, what’s the problem?” …!


Side Note: Bad Sex in Fiction Award

The Literary Review, Bad Sex in Fiction Award in the UK was a real thing until 2019. The Guardium posted that it was cancelled in December 2020 and would resume in 2021. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything more recent. For a laugh (Warning, Adult content) read here:

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