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Fantasy Faction Writers => Writers' Corner => Topic started by: Sir Gawain on May 08, 2015, 01:23:53 PM

Title: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Sir Gawain on May 08, 2015, 01:23:53 PM
So, I'm not exactly sure how to start this one. I think the title says it all.

Basically I've always loved history and researching how people lived, mainly for ancient Egypt. But then I got my hands on some books about Henry VIII's wives and in my APA World History class we studied England for two months. I fell in love.

In studying their culture, I always found it interesting that medieval people were not the prudes everyone made them out to be. I took this into account when writing my first draft, and I didn't hold back on writing sex scenes.

Unfortunately, people from the medieval period aren't going to be the ones reading my book. I've been looking around at forums, including this one, and trying to gauge what the average male reaction would be to my writing. From what I see, most guys seem to be squeamish when anything related to love or sex shows up and its not "warranted".

The whole "warranted" stipulation is what scares me. Its subjective. What I think adds depth to the plot (which actually features relationships as the main source of conflict vs dragons or elves), might be gratuitous to someone else. There is plenty of action in the book, but I am afraid it will be overshadowed in the minds of some readers as soon as they see the first intimate scene. And when I mean intimate scene, I mean in no way erotica, because even l blush when I read that stuff.

What I'm asking is, where do I need to "draw the line"? Should I have a male reader go through it first and mark things that he finds "unwarranted"? Should I throw in more sword fights?

I know it seems like an odd question, but I want my product to be marketable to both genders. Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Yora on May 08, 2015, 02:05:39 PM
Brandon Sanderson talked on some occasions about every book having a "promise". Right at the start every story is telling the audience what kind of story it will be. Even the title, cover, and marketing, and to some extend the previous reputation of the author are part of telling the audience what to expect.
When this promise is not kept, and the story is something different than expected based on what the author indicated at the start, audience reactions are almost always overwhelmingly negative. It doesn't really matter a lot of the story is good or bad, but when you go into a story with a certain expectation, the mind deals really poorly with getting something else.

I guess the best approach here is to make it clear right from the start what readers are going to get from the book. If there are no unexpected shifts in mood and themes, reactions shouldn't be too bad. (Unless it's actually a bad story, of course.)
Title: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: xiagan on May 08, 2015, 02:47:34 PM
Anne Lyle's Alchemist of Souls (first in the Night's Masque trilogy) is set in a slightly alternative Victorian England and there are hetero, gay and bi main characters who are having sex occasionally.
I wasn't bothered by it and don't think that many people I know would be. People from the US may react differently, though.

Maybe you can ask @AnneLyle how her experiences were? How the book and the naughty parts were received? She has a forum profile with her real name, so you can send her a pm.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Arry on May 08, 2015, 03:00:11 PM
I think no matter what you write, you will run across some readers that think things should have been handled differently (everyone's a critic, right?). I also think the other thing to take in to account is not all readers are the same. In general, men seem to have a lower interest in romance, but I'd be careful assuming all men would be turned off based on a few reader responses. I also know women who will be very quick to be turned off if they think a sex scene is gratuitous.

Personally, my advice would be to write the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it. You're the author, that's your right. When it comes to sex in books, different people will have different reactions. Some want more, some want less, it's just the way it goes.

For the record, I'm from the US and I loved Anne Lyle's books. But I would also say there was very very little in the way of sex in them. Like hardly anything, it was mainly just hinted at. The Steel Remains gets some bad reactions because of the sex in them (which is also homosexual), but that is another book where it did not bother me at all. It was not any more graphic than many other books, but I think there was a stronger reaction because it was homosexual sex.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ultamentkiller on May 08, 2015, 09:58:08 PM
Sex scenes don't bother me at all. It's the relationship drama that does. And not just your average fight here and there, but the wishy washy stuff that gets annoying.
I will say this though. If you're worried about having too many sex scenes, think about this. What goes through the character's mind during this scene that adds depth to the story? Is there something particular that happens here, for example a funny or awkward moment, that ads depth to the relationship? If there are no important thoughts going through a character's mind, does it show something about the internal conflicts of the other character purely based on his/her actions?
That's the type of stuff I look for while reading sex scenes. Sure, a hot moment is never a bad thing, but there also needs to be a deeper meaning behind it.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: D_Bates on May 08, 2015, 10:11:51 PM
Guy here, and I enjoy romance if it's done right. But 9/10 times it's a shoe-horned in relationship just to have a bit of love to spice things up. Romance is about the dance of courtship, and when you look at the top romance stories that have endured over the centuries, very few even mention sex or the desire of such as any motive for why the characters are attracted to one another. I'd also say that the most intimate moments are those which don't involve sex, because that's when you're going out of your way to make someone feel good for no reason other than the fact that you love them.

As for ancient people being more prude, that is indeed a modern misconception. There are many stories about promiscuous Gods from the old world. And it didn't just stop at sex. I think there's an old norse tale where it's suggested that a river was formed because a female giant parted her legs and urinated. But at the end of the day sex is sex. It's been cool since the dawn of existence because nature would have failed miserably if the means in which any species reproduces is so unpleasant that they avoid doing it.

I fall into the crowd who gets uncomfortable when reading sex scenes. But that's because most are weird and awkward. You see them coming from a mile away because the attraction is so forced and corny--whenever two characters cannot get together for whatever reason they're going to get together--and it often ends with that seemingly mandatory and equally terrible simile for the orgasm. In most cases I suspect the author is merely living their own fantasy through their writing. That's cool and all, but that's what the erotica genre's for. If I wanted to enjoy some porn I can find far better avenues of getting it than through books.

There's actually a large thread on fight scenes further down this forum. http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/writers-corner/fight-scenes/ . It might be worth giving it a browse because the principles most concluded with there are the same ones I'd suggest applying to sex scenes. Readers don't need to see every thrust, swing, and miss. And the scene should never be longer to read than it takes to do--which, contrary to popular belief, isn't the 10-30 minute sessions people like to imagine, because then they either aren't really attracted to one another, are under a lot of stress and not in the mood, or else have been getting themselves off with their own hand at regular intervals leading into the event.

On a final note, here's some food for thought. Think of one of your close friends. Now imagine that you walk in on them while they're having sex with a partner who they love dearly and are very intimate with. How would you react and feel? Even if you'd smile and laugh about it later, would you pull up a seat and watch them finish? Because that's exactly what you're making your reader do when you go into the gory detail of such moments with characters who they've gotten to know well and hopefully have an interest in.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on May 08, 2015, 10:58:00 PM

Personally, my advice would be to write the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it.

Word

Write the book you want to read -- chances are someone else will too. You cannot write a book to committee, so write what you like to see

And consider...there is a quite famous, popular SFF book my husband read ( I tried to, but got bored, he had issues, made himself finish) and...well my Old Man is not into Romance. At all. But he finished the book and said "It was ruined because the relationship wasn't set up properly" Now, sometimes you need an..intimate scene to set that up and sometimes you don't but it's the relationship that is the important part, whether jiggy things are going on or not. And I say this as someone who has written erotica (great practice btw -- it helps you see how to build and hold tension, and if you then later decide not to use sex scene you can still use the tension...)

And, ofc, there is the old bait and switch -- I can think of several films frex that are in fact romances at their core...but are not marketed as such. The first Pirates of the Caribbean. It's a romance, pure and simple (take out Will and Elizabeth's relationship the whole story changes). But dressed up as adventure so much, no one who would be bothered by that was bothered by it.

We could go into how a healthy percentage of Romance readers are men (they just dare not admit it) but say it's true and men really don't like romance (or do but won't admit it)

Women buy more books than men. Women read more than men. Even in SFF

Soo....

Write what you want to read. Sure keep an eye on he market and make sure you appeal to as many peoples as possible. But do not compromise your story for some mythical "reader" who may not even exist
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on May 09, 2015, 02:51:15 AM
Write what you want to read. Sure keep an eye on he market and make sure you appeal to as many peoples as possible. But do not compromise your story for some mythical "reader" who may not even exist

Completely agreed there, I've come across wide varieties of sex scenes and love stories written in different manners and styles and levels of crude or romantic, and the end of the story is that hopefully the writer wrote what he/she wanted and enjoys his/her own story. End of the day I'm still reading it, and for every person who dislikes his romance set up, there might be ten loving it.

@Yora (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=35236) is really giving you a great advice, at the end, you need to advertise your book for what it is. If you're writing something with a sex scene per chapter, and you advertise the book as erotica, no one will be agravated with you, and people who pick it up will be hoping for sexy scenes.
The reverse being completely true too.

I myself found the mistborn series prude (actual spoiler)
and missing into some kind of confirmation that the marriage between characters was ever consumed.


I'd say the biggest turn off to me is the repetition of unrealistic sex scenes. People always having deep-connection sex, orgasming together (the first time, or every time), or just always orgasming... I know lots of people expect it, and I even welcome it easily enough the first few times, but sex as a more normal and useful activity is favoured by me. And when I say useful I mean as in human interaction, act of value, GRR Martin kind of useful.

I'm a woman, but sex is rarely the main problem in relationships to me in books. More often than not it's invented and stupidly orchestrated couple problems. It's often glaring when an author bends a character into stupid mental or actual behaviour to complicate love lives and later resolve everything.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: jefGoelz on May 09, 2015, 05:03:00 AM
IMO, the only reason to detail sexual encounters is if it reveals character or furthers the plot. Otherwise it's just for titillation.
If it doesn't reveal character or further the plot, I tend to fade to black as soon as the reader is sure sex is about to happen. I might fade back in to show a dialogue during the afterglow, but otherwise I just move ahead to the next scene.
If it is a continuing relationship, I might only allude to subsequent sexual encounters.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Rostum on May 09, 2015, 11:48:52 AM
I seem to have arrived late to the thread and pretty much agree with the consensus.
Unless you are writing to eat, write the story you want to tell. If you are risking going hungry write the story as many as possible want to read.

Why worry about men being put off by sex or love scenes? Why not people? There will be always be some who are more prudish than others, some who through their political or religious beliefs and upbringing will find any mention sex or intimacy offensive in literature and we still have the odd book burning from the more lunatic elements out in the world.

If what you are writing is the Mills and Boon(do they still exist?) type story where the author is chucking out a book a fortnight using the same story dressed up with pirate ships, knights in armour or car racing, but essentially the same book dressing up the titillation in a slightly different way from the last one. That will probably drive men away. Nothing to do with the mention or inferred intimate contact and a lot more to do with the unrealistic expectations of the male characters, sadly most of us are not ruggedly handsome multi- millionaires who happen to be holidaying alone and on the beach at just the right time to meet/find/rescue the heroine. It's trite and doesn't appeal.
Belief is not suspended by such characterization any more than it is when female characters are portrayed as beautiful, slight, weak and constantly in need of rescuing.

Medieval Europe was indeed a fairly bawdy place, Chaucer portrays it as such, and he and Shakespeare both write to the audiences of their times. The best sources of what people were getting up to are church ordinances. If the church was banning it then there was usually someone up to it, at certain times the clergy themselves.

One of the best reasons to use romance or relationships in writing is to fix your character into their society and as a reference to that societies mores. Is the relationship permissible or forbidden is it an act of desperation is it an arranged marriage, for good or bad. Is it an act of duty. You can also build up a character to have everything to live for then kill them off to desolate their partner. I would agree that any intimacy needs a context and if it does not further the story it detracts from it.
Someone said that every word and deed between bouts of lovemaking should be considered foreplay. If you can write a characters where that is the case you will hold a readers attention regardless of their gender.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Lady Ty on May 09, 2015, 12:59:21 PM
Brandon Sanderson talked on some occasions about every book having a "promise". Right at the start every story is telling the audience what kind of story it will be. Even the title, cover, and marketing, and to some extend the previous reputation of the author are part of telling the audience what to expect.
When this promise is not kept, and the story is something different than expected based on what the author indicated at the start, audience reactions are almost always overwhelmingly negative. It doesn't really matter a lot of the story is good or bad, but when you go into a story with a certain expectation, the mind deals really poorly with getting something else.

I guess the best approach here is to make it clear right from the start what readers are going to get from the book. If there are no unexpected shifts in mood and themes, reactions shouldn't be too bad. (Unless it's actually a bad story, of course.)

Hi Sir Gawain and Welcome  - I'm neither a writer nor male, but I am a keen reader of fantasy and some SF. I just wanted to endorse what Yora wrote as it is sound advice altogether, whatever you plan to write.

 My personal comment on your question would be that if I wanted to read steamy detailed sex or prolonged romance I would be looking for it in different books. If an author brought it into a fantasy or SF plot, other than where it was minimal or necessary to enhance characterisation at some particular point, I would probably avoid that author in future. Not because I disapproved but because it would be a boring distraction when I really want to get on with the thieving, rogues,  magic and intrigue in the fantasy world.

But that's just one reader's POV, so good luck with whatever you decide and I hope you'll join in the rest of the forum sometime as well. :)

Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ultamentkiller on May 09, 2015, 02:58:58 PM
I myself found the mistborn series prude (actual spoiler)
and missing into some kind of confirmation that the marriage between characters was ever consumed.


Yeah, from what I've seen of Brandon Sanderson, it seems he refuses to include sex scenes, or the words shit or fuck, or anything like that. It doesn't take much away from the story, but there's just a little taken away from the characters. That may be just me though.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on May 09, 2015, 03:16:24 PM
I myself found the mistborn series prude (actual spoiler)
and missing into some kind of confirmation that the marriage between characters was ever consumed.


Yeah, from what I've seen of Brandon Sanderson, it seems he refuses to include sex scenes, or the words shit or fuck, or anything like that. It doesn't take much away from the story, but there's just a little taken away from the characters. That may be just me though.

Fair enough for swear words, but god forbid annyone telling me the english language lacks enough vocabulary to convey the expression that a couple enjoys the consumption of their marital state!
It gave the characters a childish, asexual aspect I found genuinely odd. Their love life seemed unnaturally platonic and avoided. The story, at that point, was in dire need of getting me to feel involved and connected to the main characters, and the lack of any mention of romantic interest was a sore among many others.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Sir Gawain on May 09, 2015, 07:02:28 PM
Thanks for all the responses, and the welcome. :) I didn't expect to actually get this many responses.

I do often wonder if I should just solve the whole problem by "fading to black", but I feel like the reader would be some how...cheated? Without going into too much detail, one of the major conflicts in my story line is one man lusting after and chasing another man's wife. There is a lot of tension leading up to their inevitable meeting, and I think it would be a coward's way out to just have the lights go out and the door shut. The fact that these two fool around causes long reaching issues throughout the book as well.

 For example, it makes the heroine afraid that at any given time her tryst will come to light and she will be ruined/ executed. She eventually turns to the enemies of the kingdom for safety because of her own suspicions and mistreatment at the hands of her spouse.

 And even though its never actually proven, the offending male character looses everything, including his social standing and influence with the ruling party. He is even blackmailed at one point by one of the more devious characters who happens to have witnessed the whole affair.

But aside from this one scene, there are incidents which lead up to it which make me think some readers will go "oh, its a love story", and put it down. I try to emphasize the mental torment and anguish this poor guy goes through, so its never too sappy  like hand holding or picking flowers. I wanted him to have ample opportunities to turn away and make the right decision, but in the end he just can't surmount his own lust, even for the sake of his kingdom/ well being.

What would be away to make this more apparent and less like a love story?
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: K.S. Crooks on May 09, 2015, 07:48:11 PM
"Is this a kissing book?" - Grandson in The Princess Bride.
The context is what is key for readers regardless of their gender. Why are the characters being intimate? What level is the intimacy reaching? As long as the reader feels connected with the characters they will go along with all of their journey. Building the intimacy slowly will allow the reader to grow into the situations and feel comfortable.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: JMack on May 09, 2015, 08:43:56 PM
I guess I think of it like this:

Is it a love story? Then don't and you can't hide it. Though as Crooks says, you can pace it, leaven it.

Is it a story about lust, politics and personal failures and triumphs in which "love" is really other things?

So in either case, humor goes a long way to easing people into things.

In the second case, your main charcater can sense himself being dragged almost against his will into it. He may be fooling himself he's in love but some part knows he's not. You want us to sense that. Or he truly knows this isn't love, it's the other stuff, and we're happy to go along for the ride.

At least, those are things that occur to me.

As to getting a lot of answers, well, we talk a lot. It's hard to shut us up.  ;D
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Roxxsmom on May 10, 2015, 12:34:46 AM

The whole "warranted" stipulation is what scares me. Its subjective.

Yep it is, and readers, including male ones, aren't a hive mind. That's why attracting a publisher and finding a readership is so darned hard these days. There's no set formula for when something is appealing or done well.

But there have been and are male writers who incorporate romance into their stories. It used to be quite common. I think it still is outside of the grimdark subgenre of fantasy (which has romances sometimes, but they never end well).

Heinlein. The guy who's often held up as the champion of "old school" hard, military, manly man SF? Plenty of sappy romantic subplots in his juveniles, and in some of his adult novels too. Also some where he didn't do such a great job (imo). Friday, anyone? But the man didn't shy away from putting either love or sex (for the adult ones) in his books, and male readers hardly shunned him for it.

Funny how many people who are arguing that modern SFF writers should be more like Heinlein never actually read any of his books.

A popular male fantasy writer (at least before he got strange and started writing books about little girls' panties and even creepier themes) who had romance in most of his stories: Piers Anthony.  My high school boyfriend loved him. Me, not so much (though some female fantasy fans did back in the day).

Plenty of other examples as well. Even Fafherd and the Gray Mouser had girlfriends in some of the stories (though it wasn't a given they'd make it through alive).

The guy getting the girl, losing the girl, and getting the girl back is a very old theme in adventure fiction. The main problem with the old stories is that the women were often sort of flat as characters, only shown through the eyes of the MMC or an omniscient narrator who spent a lot of time describing their breasts. Interestingly, the complaints about "icky romance" taking over fantasy and SF didn't emerge until there were more writers of both genders writing stories where the characters of both genders were more fleshed out (or the romance was sometimes even shown through the eyes of a FMC).

I also think the aversion of "most" male fantasy readers to romantic subplots is overstated. My first fantasy novel has a romantic subplot and I spend time inside the heads of both people involved. 4/6 of my betas have been male, and not a one has complained about that part of the story. In fact, they all liked it (and the FMC).

My take home on this is that what people say they like when they're listing pet peeves in forums versus what they actually read and enjoy are not always the same thing.

If you write a good story with a romantic subplot that is organic to the story and the characters, then most people will probably like it just fine. No promises that all people (of either gender) will or that it will find a home, even if it is good and your betas all love it (it's a tough and uncertain market these days). But I've seen little evidence that agents and publishers think romantic subplots are any more unmarketable than they've ever been.

And worst case scenario. Say far more women do like your novel than men. Women read fiction more than men these days. And while fantasy may attract more male readers than many other genres, approximately half (possibly more) of fantasy readers are still women. The cliche about most fantasy readers being male hasn't been true for a long time. If you attract more female readers, you can still do very well indeed. There are a number of very successful fantasy writers who have made their living by appealing to mostly female readerships.

Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on May 10, 2015, 11:11:25 AM


But there have been and are male writers who incorporate romance into their stories. It used to be quite common. I think it still is outside of the grimdark subgenre of fantasy (which has romances sometimes, but they never end well).

Yup, in fact I am hard pressed to think of a recent fantasy I've read that had absolutely zero romanticals in it. Abercrombie frex often has romances (though as noted, don't usually end well), as does GRRM, Pratchett, Lynch, Weeks etc etc

I think some peoples' -- not just mens' -- problem is when romance takes over the story. If they wanted that, they'd read a romance. But if it is part of the story then I think you're OK. I certainly have never written a book without at least a hint of a romantic subplot. Even when I kill everyone :)
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Roxxsmom on May 11, 2015, 01:37:57 AM
Yep, if romantic subplots are so hated, why do they keep publishing books that have them?

Note--I don't like cardboard romances or ones where I can't see any logical reason for the characters to fall for one another, let alone stay together. Aromatic and asexual characters are probably an underrepresented (and ignored) demographic as well. But I also would find it odd of I were reading story after story where no one was attracted to or fell for anyone. People fall in love, and they often do so when they're not looking to, or even at inconvenient times. It's pretty darned realistic, and love is something most people want for themselves (including men). The male half of the species has certainly written a lot of syrupy love songs and romantic poetry over the ages. Odd behavior for people who have an aversion to emotions and don't know how to express them.

Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: jefGoelz on May 13, 2015, 03:43:00 AM
-I don't like cardboard romances or ones where I can't see any logical reason for the characters to fall for one another, let alone stay together.

I think that if there were logical reasons for two people to get together, it wouldn't be much like real life.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on May 13, 2015, 04:07:23 AM
-I don't like cardboard romances or ones where I can't see any logical reason for the characters to fall for one another, let alone stay together.

I think that if there were logical reasons for two people to get together, it wouldn't be much like real life.

Roxx probably means 50 shades of grey type of illogical : two people who have nothing in common defy all odds to still fuck each other and even marry. What would your average dominatrix say to a virgin ticking off their contract list going "no, no, no, nope I won't do anal either..." ect.
They'd say, "you know what? Maybe this isn't going to work". Because it wouldn't. Nothing but the forceful pen of the author makes that kind of relationship and forced, 2min long acquaintances into passionate romances.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Lu Kudzoza on May 16, 2015, 06:41:39 PM
IMO, the only reason to detail sexual encounters is if it reveals character or furthers the plot.

Totally agree. If the sex advances the story or the relationship I have no problem with it, but if it becomes repetitive it gets boring.

I just finished Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series (which are probably considered erotica). The main character from the first series is blessed/cursed from getting pleasure from pain and humiliation. It sets up interesting situations where she can be the hero due to her unique character. So the graphic sex scenes add to the plot and advance the story. However, Carey over did it IMO to the point where I was saying to myself, "O.K. I get the point." then skipping to the next section.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: NinjaRaptor on May 31, 2015, 05:37:26 AM
Unfortunately, people from the medieval period aren't going to be the ones reading my book. I've been looking around at forums, including this one, and trying to gauge what the average male reaction would be to my writing. From what I see, most guys seem to be squeamish when anything related to love or sex shows up and its not "warranted".
I'm a dude, and I would think a lot of guys would appreciate sex scenes at least. Sure, we often gravitate towards more visual media like porn, but those of us with imaginations wouldn't mind a few sex scenes as long as the chick* is hot.

But yeah, I agree with everyone who says you should write what you want first and foremost.

* Or dude, for gay readers.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ClintACK on May 31, 2015, 03:31:04 PM
Interesting topic.

I'm a male reader, and I've been trying to think about how sex and romance are handled in some of my favorite SFF books.

Obviously, Brandon Sanderson is entirely off-screen.  Robert Jordan seems to do the imply-and-cut-away method.  Lots of "romance" in Wheel of Time though -- although the Lan-and-Nynaeve one seems to be the only one really popular with fans.

Jim Butcher.  In the Dresden Files, book 5: Death Masks, there's a pretty intense sex scene between Harry and Susan.  It's a long scene, very intense and as explicit as a romance novel until it gets below the waist.  Lots of focus on the emotions, with tiny vague details of the physical, leaving the reader to fill it in.  The scene is definitely earned after three books of their relationship and it's important to the plot on several different time scales.

I don't think *any* male reader has been turned off the series by that scene.


Patrick Rothfuss.  Name of the Wind doesn't have any (Kvothe's what, fourteen or fifteen in most of that?) but Wise Man's Fear has a good bit.  After the first scene with Felurian, it's not very explicit, though.  He does with sex what Jordan did with fighting -- it's all poetic names for different techniques.

Plenty of romance, though.  On top of the main Kvothe-Denna "romance" if that's what it is.
Losi stepped close to me again, brushing her hair back. “Was she really as beautiful as they say?” Her chin went up proudly. “More beautiful than me?”

I hesitated, then spoke softly. “She was Felurian, most beautiful of all.” I reached out to brush the side of her neck where her red hair began its curling tumble downward, then leaned forward and whispered seven words into her ear. “For all that, she lacked your fire.” And she loved me for those seven words, and her pride was safe.

Rothfuss, Patrick (2011-03-01). The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (p. 700). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

The moment when Fela first notices Simmon is amazing, and a fan favorite. 
I saw Fela turn her head to look at Simmon, almost as if she were surprised to see him sitting there.

No, it was almost as if up until that point, he’d just been occupying space around her, like a piece of furniture. But this time when she looked at him, she took all of him in. His sandy hair, the line of his jaw, the span of his shoulders beneath his shirt. This time when she looked, she actually saw him.

Let me say this. It was worth the whole awful, irritating time spent searching the Archives just to watch that moment happen. It was worth blood and the fear of death to see her fall in love with him. Just a little. Just the first faint breath of love, so light she probably didn’t notice it herself. It wasn’t dramatic, like some bolt of lightning with a crack of thunder following.  It was more like when flint strikes steel and the spark fades almost too fast for you to see. But still, you know it’s there, down where you can’t see, kindling.

Rothfuss, Patrick (2011-03-01). The Wise Man's Fear: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day Two (p. 225). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.



Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn.  Considering the length of the thing, there's not that much sex -- I can only remember two sex scenes.  The first one is explicit enough that it talks about the ways in which humanity has genetically modified itself for increased sexual performance.  The other one was as explicit as any romance novel with a bare-chested cover model, but the sex is also crucial to the plot, kicking off a major subplot.  So it's not *just* titillation.

Again, I don't think any male readers were turned off by the amount of sex in a sweeping epic space war-and-adventure story.



Re: What's "warranted" mean?

People have already mentioned that the scene should be important to plot and character, not just tacked on.

I'd add that it should usually come as the "payoff" to an arc, rather than as something that just happens.  That is, there should be a buildup of tension, or flirting, or courting, or fighting, or *something* between the two characters over several scenes before they hop into bed.  It should be something the reader wants to happen when it does -- just like an infodump.


But I'd agree with everyone else: Write for yourself first, adapt it to others (if at all) in later edits.  If you don't like what you've written, it's hard to ask someone else to.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Lawsons on May 31, 2015, 10:11:43 PM
Perhaps make the sex/love scenes more about lust and physical attraction rather then love and spiritual attraction. I'm not saying you do this but I find that male audiences are much more driven by physical attraction and would probably relate more to that sort of feeling in any love scenes (That's why GRRM sex scenes are accepted by a male audience). Also, its much more real then having lovey dovey type sex. Generally speaking, even if two people love each other, sex is very much a physical experience. You don't think during sex "I'm in love with this person" it's all about the then and there and is very much driven by lust and primal feelings. All the feelings that come past physical attraction are usually after sex and in-between it, not during.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 01, 2015, 09:24:26 PM
Write from the heart and soul. Don't be considering men just for the sake of fianancial success. As certain recent romance stories have shown it is possible to reach blockbuster status by chasing only the female audience. If that's where your writing naturally goes than go for it unapologetically.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Roxxsmom on June 03, 2015, 08:43:17 AM
-I don't like cardboard romances or ones where I can't see any logical reason for the characters to fall for one another, let alone stay together.

I think that if there were logical reasons for two people to get together, it wouldn't be much like real life.

Roxx probably means 50 shades of grey type of illogical : two people who have nothing in common defy all odds to still fuck each other and even marry.

Yep. Of course people are often attracted physically or chemically to people they have nothing in common with, even dislike. Sometimes they mistake that for true love, but it rarely ends well. I'm talking about those books where the woman is shown through the eyes of the man and it's all about how beautiful she is (or vice versa) and the person is just the most incredibly two-dimensional, shallow character imaginable, or they have nothing in common, or they just grate on each other and snark at one another all the time, yet somehow they're together and happy at the end without even having to work for it really or learn how to be nicer people. I don't know very many couples like this who worked out long term in real life.


I'm a dude, and I would think a lot of guys would appreciate sex scenes at least. Sure, we often gravitate towards more visual media like porn, but those of us with imaginations wouldn't mind a few sex scenes as long as the chick* is hot.

But yeah, I agree with everyone who says you should write what you want first and foremost.

* Or dude, for gay readers.

But what if the "chick" isn't especially hot? What if it's from her point of view? And what if it's between two gay men and you're not gay?

This seems to be a difference, maybe, between the genders. Or maybe not the genders, but between some readers, because like I said, guys aren't a hive mind. But as a woman, when I read a sex scene, I don't get squicked out if the guy's not handsome, or even if it's between two women, or written from a male point of view (and I've written romantic/sexy scenes from a male viewpoint too), so long as it's what I consider well and tastefully written and I'm invested in the characters and rooting for their relationship. Now, my interests are going to be different if I'm reading erotica than a straight up fantasy novel that just happens to have a romantic subplot. But I think it's possible to show the events in the bedroom without it devolving into porn, and if it's relevant to the development of the characters I already care about, I'm happy to see it.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: jefGoelz on June 04, 2015, 05:20:53 AM
I do wonder about the point of detailing what is basically white bread mutually satisfying sex.

If something weird or awkward happens, it can go to characterization or the nature of the relationship, but white bread sex?  Just cut to the afterglow or show their behavior changing after their encounter, imo
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: NinjaRaptor on June 05, 2015, 06:49:40 AM
But what if the "chick" isn't especially hot? What if it's from her point of view? And what if it's between two gay men and you're not gay?

This seems to be a difference, maybe, between the genders. Or maybe not the genders, but between some readers, because like I said, guys aren't a hive mind. But as a woman, when I read a sex scene, I don't get squicked out if the guy's not handsome, or even if it's between two women, or written from a male point of view (and I've written romantic/sexy scenes from a male viewpoint too), so long as it's what I consider well and tastefully written and I'm invested in the characters and rooting for their relationship. Now, my interests are going to be different if I'm reading erotica than a straight up fantasy novel that just happens to have a romantic subplot. But I think it's possible to show the events in the bedroom without it devolving into porn, and if it's relevant to the development of the characters I already care about, I'm happy to see it.
If there really is a gender difference here, it's probably a vestige from the days when women were expected to be much more bashful about their sex drives than men. But I've seen way too many romance novel covers with shirtless, physically idealized male characters to believe there aren't women who, just like men, like fantasizing about sex with attractive partners.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ClintACK on June 05, 2015, 02:44:32 PM
If there really is a gender difference here, it's probably a vestige from the days when women were expected to be much more bashful about their sex drives than men. But I've seen way too many romance novel covers with shirtless, physically idealized male characters to believe there aren't women who, just like men, like fantasizing about sex with attractive partners.

Oh, no, really.  I read it for the articles the historical details.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Rostum on June 06, 2015, 08:56:49 PM
Just a thought and feel free to tell me it's a stereotypical misogynist one, I am big and tough enough to deal with it (and there is no one here to see me cry)

If I was writing an unexpected spontaneous sex scene from a male perspective it would be nearly as simple as wow, unexpected spontaneous sex.
For that to work from a female perspective I suspect the female protagonist would have to have showered, shaved have her make up and hair just so.
Be feeling good about herself and her body and how she looked in what she was wearing. There is no way this is happening if she has her granny knickers on, lingerie by preference.
Any kids would be away staying at friends or relatives and taken care of. Should it happen at home the house would be spotless and the housework just done, the bed linen if a bed is required would be fresh.
At least four paragraphs prior to the scene of what male readers may take as irrelevance are necessary for that sort of spontaneity to work from a female perspective. Or am I completely missing the mark?
 Thinking back over the few romance novels and female perspective erotica I have read there was a lot of what I would consider clutter building up to the sex scenes that is not the primary focus of male readers.

Quote
But what if the "chick" isn't especially hot? What if it's from her point of view? And what if it's between two gay men and you're not gay?

I think the hotness factor works both ways and is overcome by writing your characters well enough for the reader to identify or at least have empathy with them. The Mills and Boon stereotypical fit and rugged (shirtless as well) millionaire comes to mind. Instant attraction becomes less about looks as you age and the desire to reproduce lessens. Sex scenes from a female perspective I would have thought are of more interest than from a male perspective to a male reader, but maybe that’s just me.
 As a heterosexual male I am not as squeamish as some men about homosexual sex scenes if they are well done I have no problem reading them. I rarely give up on a book and am more likely to do so over bad writing that sexual content. Saying that a guy I work with abandoned Cloud Atlas as soon as he found there were gay characters. Even before there was any sexual activity.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on June 06, 2015, 09:24:25 PM
Are we talking IRL or in books? :D

IRL, some women might do all that...but I bet most wouldn't. I used o know a guy whose G always complained he took half an hour in the bathroom before they could have "spontaneous" sex

In romance books, what you call clutter is a build up of tension (or should be). No build up, less fun, no release of said tension/catharsis (this often works in RL sex too, ;)) Anticipation makes hings all the sweeter*

And I think maybe you are generalising a bit on what men want from a sex scene -- my hubby doesn't care for just "insert tab a in slot b, bam, done" sex scenes any more than I do.

Ofc if you find it boring then maybe it doesn't work for you. And sometimes wham bam thank you m'am is what the book needs. But every sex scene? Just as IRl that would be unsatisfying if it was every time...



*As Winnie the Pooh so ably said in the Tao of Pooh, the best bit about eating honey is the moment before the first bite, when you are imagining how good it's going to be. If you just cram it in...much less fun
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Rostum on June 06, 2015, 10:57:40 PM
Quote
Are we talking IRL or in books? :D
Would it matter, how far does suspension of disbelief run in romance novels? I am going to be careful here as you have half a dozen romances in print. My thought is that some details that might be necessary to female readers are less important through to nonsensical to male ones.

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IRL, some women might do all that...but I bet most wouldn't. I used o know a guy whose G always complained he took half an hour in the bathroom before they could have "spontaneous" sex
yup and plenty of girls would take longer. Fool that I am I fell asleep waiting on promise, what can I say it had been a long week and I know she was in the bath for at least an hour and a quarter before I fell asleep, the bed was comfortable and I was tired...Needless to say I was sulked at the next day. Asking why she didn't wake me up didn't seem to help.

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In romance books, what you call clutter is a build up of tension (or should be). No build up, less fun, no release of said tension/catharsis (this often works in RL sex too, ;)) Anticipation makes hings all the sweeter*

Nope anticipation and tension are essential. As is the afterglow.
Irrelevant detail about the cat being fed or the washing up being done are still clutter to my mind and detract from the thread.

Quote
And I think maybe you are generalising a bit on what men want from a sex scene -- my hubby doesn't care for just "insert tab a in slot b, bam, done" sex scenes any more than I do.

I suspect I am generalising what both men and women are looking for from an erotic scene but the OP's thread was asking how to avoid scaring male readers away. My thought originally in this thread was people are different some men may be scared but so may some women, but very few by having an in context love scene well done. Or a completely dysfunctional love scene well written which tend to be more interesting. Writing for female readers may have different priorities than for male ones, maybe not my knowledge and certainly my ability with the written word wont see me in print.

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Ofc if you find it boring then maybe it doesn't work for you. And sometimes wham bam thank you m'am is what the book needs. But every sex scene? Just as IRl that would be unsatisfying if it was every time..

I quite agree if you repeat yourself the way cheaply made TV uses the same cutaway scenes over and over (history channel I am looking at you) you will bore your reader for any scene not just the love scenes.

*And just as important when the jar is empty and the honey was as good as you imagined and your hunger is sated it's important to just be still and content in the moment.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on June 07, 2015, 12:11:24 AM
I admit I am struggling to think of any romance I have ever read in my life that has feeding the cat (or even anything remotely similar) in the build up to a sex scene...Well not in a romance anyway. I've read plenty in fantasy...

WTH are you reading? It's like we are talking about two different things.  Can you give me an actual example? From a romance?

Some readers have different preferences than others -- but that goes for everything. Big descriptions of clothes, banquet scenes that go on and on, not enough description of characters, too much description of characters....Some will love it, some won't

It's not really down to gender, but down to the reader.

PS As for suspension ofd disbelief in romance? In mine, I approach it exactly as I do fantasy. Yeah, some romances are not my thing. That doesn't make them bad.

ETA after some thought, I think I am perhaps taking issue with the fact that you expect all male readers to want porn rather than an actual scene involving two characters

I am not so disparaging of the male gender. Because I know that is not true

Maybe you do not mean that, but that's how it's looking
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Ryan Mueller on June 07, 2015, 01:31:29 AM
My characters have sex, but I don't write the scenes because I have no interest in writing them. It's just not relevant to the kinds of stories I write. I'd also say that I don't think I've ever read a sex scene that I felt really accomplished anything apart from showing the characters having sex.

The only time something interesting happens is when the plot comes knocking on the door and interrupts them right in the middle of having sex.

Of course, I'm demisexual (strongly leaning toward asexual), so that might be why I don't get the appeal of sex scenes.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on June 07, 2015, 01:39:26 AM
You know what crack me up?

Abercrombie wrotes sex scenes

Sam Sykes wrote sex scenes

Lots of guys write sex scenes as emotional (or more so) than a romance novel


No one complains about the introduction of it. Even is it is soppy as hell


But if a woman's name is on the cover?


Why is that, do you think?
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Rostum on June 07, 2015, 11:18:31 AM
Quote
ETA after some thought, I think I am perhaps taking issue with the fact that you expect all male readers to want porn rather than an actual scene involving two characters

I am not so disparaging of the male gender. Because I know that is not true

Maybe you do not mean that, but that's how it's looking

Sorry to have given that impression, I cannot speak for 'male readers' as for myself
while I have no issue with porn what I look for in writing is a little more cerebral. What makes for a good love/sex scene is to be able to identify with the characters and to be caught in the moment with them. whether it is graphic or not it needs to be well written and work within the realities the book has laid out. As Jefgoelz points out writing about mutually satisfying vanilla sex seems pointless. I would add the exception of using it for it for comparison with the mind blowing scene later in the book.

If J Aborcrumbie writes a love scene you know it wont end well and that makes it interesting.
Gore Vidal's writing was graphic in it's day and shocked and horrified as much as it titillated but was always well written usually it was the repercussions from his sex scenes that made the books interesting.

 If any scene can get inside the readers head and mess with it the writer has done their job. My deliberate reading of romance genre is limited and has tended to be picking up a book or magazine while away from my own reading. Some of it was dire and some very good.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Eclipse on June 07, 2015, 01:34:37 PM
I've just finished reading Robin Hobb  Royal Assassin and I like the way she describes Molly and Fitz relationship, the reader knows that there have made love to each other without the author going into great detail about it I felt anyway

I much prefer this then the descriptive sex scenes like Abercrombie  does.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 07, 2015, 04:20:14 PM
Just a thought and feel free to tell me it's a stereotypical misogynist one, I am big and tough enough to deal with it (and there is no one here to see me cry)

If I was writing an unexpected spontaneous sex scene from a male perspective it would be nearly as simple as wow, unexpected spontaneous sex.
For that to work from a female perspective I suspect the female protagonist would have to have showered, shaved have her make up and hair just so.
Be feeling good about herself and her body and how she looked in what she was wearing. There is no way this is happening if she has her granny knickers on, lingerie by preference.
Any kids would be away staying at friends or relatives and taken care of. Should it happen at home the house would be spotless and the housework just done, the bed linen if a bed is required would be fresh.
At least four paragraphs prior to the scene of what male readers may take as irrelevance are necessary for that sort of spontaneity to work from a female perspective. Or am I completely missing the mark?
 Thinking back over the few romance novels and female perspective erotica I have read there was a lot of what I would consider clutter building up to the sex scenes that is not the primary focus of male readers.

LOL. I'd say you're a 100% off the mark for most common cases.
As a woman I can guarantee you that "shaving" is something we might do either regularly (or "trimming the bush" or whatever!) or on occasion, like, in your morning shower, if you think you might get laid that day!

Spontaneous sex is spontaneous. And if a guy has spontaneous sex, you can hardly expect the woman to have planned it.
What do you do of all these people having sex in public spaces? In toilets, bathrooms or rooms in parties (yuk...), in bushes (huge in Paris, either prostitutes or gay meetings), ect? Of couples who are horny enough to get in a sheltered alley and make out there?

Now as a single chick working in a very popular restaurant, I can guarantee you that if a man is mouthwatering enough and clearly interested too, I can jump on an occasion. Where would it happen? surely not at my place, too far away. What if we got to my place? My place is NEVER ironed out for anyone, ever. So we'd jump in my bed as it is and that's it.
Would I rush to the bathroom to wear make-up? Certainly not! I don't actually own a single underwear that qualifies as lingerie, besides a bra I never wear. Would that distress me? As if. A guy who flirts with you and hopes to bed you might be turned on by lingerie but I'm still to meet one who'd refuse to go on just because I'm in a black boxer shorts attire.

And wait, that's not even covering 70% of my female co-workers, who are shaving-free feminists who wear shirts under their dresses and white socks past their ankles. They so don't care...

What do you make of my other colleague who was, and somehow still is a "tinder slut"? She matches guys on tinder for their looks and beds them as long as they don't try to hang out or fall in love...

I could go on. I think the bottom line is that impromptu sex happens any time, anywhere, regardless of gender. Men are inherently more "ready" because they have less body care maybe, or never mind much about their underwear, but trust me, at the end of the day, a woman can break and have a spontaneous sex session with a stranger un-shaved and in granny pants, if the stranger is hot enough.
This happening or not, I reckon, depends a lot more on the mindset of the lady. Some women spit on all who dare sleep on the first night after a date, much less sleep with a total stranger.
Some are always as ready as can be and jump on anyone.

With your own partner I reckon it's worse! What counts as spontaneous? You get more and more tolerant and care less and less about appearances.

At the end of the day, if you read a book that is tedious for x pages before a woman gets into "spontaneous sex", you might be facing a poor writer, or someone who never saw that happen in their lives, or don't believe in doing it, ect?
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ultamentkiller on June 07, 2015, 06:19:44 PM
I've just finished reading Robin Hobb  Royal Assassin and I like the way she describes Molly and Fitz relationship, the reader knows that there have made love to each other without the author going into great detail about it I felt anyway

I much prefer this then the descriptive sex scenes like Abercrombie  does.
Not to mention all his sex scenes are grossly described. There's nothing beautiful about them.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 07, 2015, 07:38:45 PM
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you might be facing a poor writer, or someone who never saw that happen in their lives

Of course we never saw it. We're fantasy writers. Nerds basically.  :P

Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Rostum on June 07, 2015, 10:08:27 PM
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LOL. I'd say you're a 100% off the mark for most common cases.

I beg to differ.

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As a woman I can guarantee you that "shaving" is something we might do either regularly (or "trimming the bush" or whatever!) or on occasion, like, in your morning shower, if you think you might get laid that day!

And say you haven't  shaved your legs for a week would you be happy to show them to someone new?

Quote
Spontaneous sex is spontaneous. And if a guy has spontaneous sex, you can hardly expect the woman to have planned it.
What do you do of all these people having sex in public spaces? In toilets, bathrooms or rooms in parties (yuk...), in bushes (huge in Paris, either prostitutes or gay meetings), ect? Of couples who are horny enough to get in a sheltered alley and make out there?

I doubt it's very common for two people to meet and have sex. Prostitutes and gay meetings I would not not describe as spontaneous there is an expectation in those situations. Nearly the same at parties. Someone usually plans to surprise there partner in real life and will have made preperations.

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Now as a single chick working in a very popular restaurant, I can guarantee you that if a man is mouthwatering enough and clearly interested too, I can jump on an occasion. Where would it happen? surely not at my place, too far away. What if we got to my place? My place is NEVER ironed out for anyone, ever. So we'd jump in my bed as it is and that's it.
Would I rush to the bathroom to wear make-up? Certainly not! I don't actually own a single underwear that qualifies as lingerie, besides a bra I never wear. Would that distress me? As if. A guy who flirts with you and hopes to bed you might be turned on by lingerie but I'm still to meet one who'd refuse to go on just because I'm in a black boxer shorts attire.

Good for you, however I am not going to accept a French lady working in a famous vegan restaurant in Australia or anyone else working there as my baseline for typical 'cos you ain’t as you describe further down your post. BTW I think lingerie is more about women feeling confident and good about themselves, men like it but by that point are usually more concerned with what it's covering.

Quote
I could go on. I think the bottom line is that impromptu sex happens any time, anywhere, regardless of gender. Men are inherently more "ready" because they have less body care maybe, or never mind much about their underwear, but trust me, at the end of the day, a woman can break and have a spontaneous sex session with a stranger un-shaved and in granny pants, if the stranger is hot enough.
This happening or not, I reckon, depends a lot more on the mindset of the lady. Some women spit on all who dare sleep on the first night after a date, much less sleep with a total stranger.
Some are always as ready as can be and jump on anyone.

Guys are usually looking for sex as a priority, girls, well I haven't got a clue about girls. I did but then I got wiser...
I suspect most girls would arrange to meet the guy later and pop home to shave and change into whatever she felt good in. I have to agree that women are a far greater controlling influence on women's sexuality than men. I am not a fan of slut shaming and find it a despicable trait in men who have often pursued and caught the girl then boast about what the got up to, to hurt or humiliate her, but women are horrific to each other.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: ultamentkiller on June 07, 2015, 11:24:26 PM
I promise I'm not trying to be mean. But I feel like you're just arguing at this point. That was a woman, telling you several valid points, and you attempted to discount them all, even the ones that are based completely on the gender. Assuming you are not a woman, you really wouldn't know. I honestly would take her word for it.
As for spontaneous sex not happening often? Yeah, it does. Maybe you've never been in those types of situations before, but it happens. When the urge comes, humans are impulsive and act on it. Have I ever had spontaneous sex? Nope. But I've seen it all around me. Even in my school.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 08, 2015, 12:45:26 AM
I would have thought if anything that it was men writing sex from the female perspective that would make  female/feminist readers uncomfortable. That the male writer is suspected of having perverse or creepy motives for writing it, especially with two lesbians. This doesn't apply when a female writer is writing sex from a male perspective, even if writing two gay men. It would be "empowering". When a man does it it's "creepy".

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", girls, well I haven't got a clue about girls"   
 

Generally girls look for resources (hypergamy) and don't prize sex for its own sake the way men do.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 08, 2015, 01:07:47 AM
Quote
LOL. I'd say you're a 100% off the mark for most common cases.

I beg to differ.

Then why ask for people with experience in "spontaneous sex" how it rolls, if you already know how it works in most common cases?

And say you haven't  shaved your legs for a week would you be happy to show them to someone new?

YES. Indeed. I'll attach a picture of my legs later on if you want. I haven't shaved in a month. I'm very lucky, I'm not too hairy and you could hardly see anything. As I'll argue later, I also grew up... I know that most men just don't care.

I doubt it's very common for two people to meet and have sex.

Then, again, in my opinion, you know little of the subject. I can guarantee you people meet up for sex pretty much all the time. That's why people go out and party, get on dates, swipe on tinder, ect. But I'll give you examples of spontaneous sex.

Good for you, however I am not going to accept a French lady working in a famous vegan restaurant in Australia or anyone else working there as my baseline for typical 'cos you ain’t as you describe further down your post. BTW I think lingerie is more about women feeling confident and good about themselves, men like it but by that point are usually more concerned with what it's covering.

Ok, so you're really trying to totally discount my point. I'll make myself clearer : I never had a single date or sex encounter with a single customer so far. I'll even tel you I had sex with 2 different people since I came to Australia. None were that spontaneous, I knew what was coming up. I'm very picky with my men, I'd rather go single a while than pick anyone up, even just for sex. I have pretty high standards, however, and as I said, I know quite a few women who would not be half as fussy as I am.

No, most women do not go around in lingerie, and no, it usually doesn't stop them from having sex. Lingerie does make you feel all prepared and pretty, yes, but only girls and vain or very insecure women would freak out about the need of wearing lingerie for spontaneous sex to happen, or think that it's a requirement to be good for men. As I said, we grow up. After a few years most women come to realise that men love a "special night" where she wears assorting lingerie, but that ultimately what most of them want is you naked.
Besides, let's not forget that lingerie is insanely expensive. Even if I wanted to, I could not afford an ensemble to please whoever. It'd far from stopping me from feeling confident.
Women feel confident if they're happy with themselves, their clothing and their charm/attributes.


Guys are usually looking for sex as a priority, girls, well I haven't got a clue about girls. I did but then I got wiser...

And when a girl comes around and tells you her experience, you discard her opinion! Won't help.  ;D

I suspect most girls would arrange to meet the guy later and pop home to shave and change into whatever she felt good in. I have to agree that women are a far greater controlling influence on women's sexuality than men. I am not a fan of slut shaming and find it a despicable trait in men who have often pursued and caught the girl then boast about what the got up to, to hurt or humiliate her, but women are horrific to each other.

Yes. Most girls would arrange things like so, not women who have a little bit of confidence, drive, and experience. You're basically saying that "most girls wouldn't have spontaneous sex."
But it's completely silly. As I said, for a guy to have spontaneous intercourse, you need a woman who has the same.
Here's a story : before I left France, I was in an open relationship for 3 years with a lovely partner I lived with. For a year we shared a 5sq/m flat. I didn't miss a number, I meant the FIVE.
One day my partner went to the post office down the road. And didn't come back for a couple of hours! He came back all excited and bewildered. What had happened? A random woman saw him at the post office, flirted with him, brought him home to have sex and then "k, thx, bye".
Will you tell me that a random woman in france doesn't count cause she's french? She didn't know she was going to fall on a hottie at the post office. She didn't run home to change, how could you, in such an ephemerous situation?

I think overall you're making a big over-reaction of things. You've got no idea how crassy women can be, and how little they can care. Your image of women just doesn't match my general experience. Yes we'd rather look good on the spot, and yes sometimes we prepare a bit just in case, but running home to slap make-up and change? No way.
Saying no to a hot man in the heat of the moment because I'm in fugly underwear? No way. I'd confidently say that most women would feel the same, it'll be a matter of how hot the man, how unique the moment (or how inebriated the people)
There is of course a lot of everything around.

When I said women spit on others being easy, I didn't mean it like this. Just as in them being all high and mighty about when they do it.
Two very useful exercises! Ask the women around you (how old are you btw?) what funky places they had sex in, and how soon do they agree to have sex.
If they're honest, you might be in for a surprise, and I suppose it'll give you an idea of how spontaneous things can get. You know, as in, "on the carpet in a corridor, on the kitchen counter, in a public park, behind a warehouse, (yuk, my ex proudly told me about one of his conquest having 'spontaneous' sex with him on a balcony at a party, they'd just met), in a train toilet", ect.
How soon makes for interesting answers. Some will say "ah, can be on first sight if the chemistry is here" (happened to me), or "as soon as the night of the first date" (also happened to me) but others will be like "after 3 dates" or "never before 7 dates"... And usually it's young girls or old virgins who'll tell you "6 months of dating without sex!" (my former best friend claimed that up until she was 20...)
Others will tell you they won't have sex before marriage.

So, one might conclude that most women are different and that a fair bit of them would happily jump the bones of a man if the chemistry was intense enough and unique enough. I believe that the idea that you might never meet that man again, or that the timing is brilliant, is a strong factor for women who would not naturally jump anyone anywhere.


P.S : You know what, for fun and all, I'll make a written survey at my work answering most of these questions, alon with "what are you wearing, when did you shave last, would you have sex right now if a man steamed you up, ect." It'll be fun.


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Of course we never saw it. We're fantasy writers. Nerds basically.  :P
Aww, @TBM (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37428) don't say that, you're too young to say that (I hope at least...  :D) But sex can always be awesome, spontaneity is hardly the salt of it.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 08, 2015, 01:18:54 AM
I would have thought if anything that it was men writing sex from the female perspective that would make  female/feminist readers uncomfortable. That the male writer is suspected of having perverse or creepy motives for writing it, especially with two lesbians. This doesn't apply when a female writer is writing sex from a male perspective, even if writing two gay men. It would be "empowering". When a man does it it's "creepy".
 
 

I guess you're right on that point, but you're talking about a bunch of people who are professional offence takers. I think some hysterical feminists could be very unhappy about anything if they wanted to, and hence shouldn't be taken into account. As long as the sex is relevant with the point you're trying to make in your story, and that you've consulted the other sex about how things happen to them (you know, just like you'd research how it feels to be stabbed if you were to describe that feeling...) then I see no point for feminists to protest.

Generally girls look for resources (hypergamy) and don't prize sex for its own sake the way men do.
I wouldn't say that women don't prize sex the way men do, I know a lot of ladies who do, and some ladies more driven to it than some men (or get it more easily/more often at least), and I never had a partner who could bring any resources, nor aim for one, but you're right deep down.
Do you know the famous social interpretation of behaviours that goes back to cavemen?
It explains wider sexual attitudes by the idea that, to spread our genes, a man and a woman have to act differently : women need a male to impregnate them, but then also to stick around and feed them, because the baby is vulnerable, and they need help to raise him, and can't do more than one a year.
Men on the other end can spread their genes by having as much sex as they can and making as many babies as possible.
Which is why women want exclusive relationships and men tend to be sexual butterflies if they can. A lot of exceptions to that nowadays obviously.
But many people derived from those premises that the best situation for humans is polygamy. The best hunter gets the most wives, he can feed them all, have many babies and they're all there to help each other out and share the male's favours. Also makes for no women left behind (falling on prostitution, ect) because there are more males than free women. It would also (supposedly) favour the gene pool because non skilled, bad hunters get at the bottom of the get-a-wife line and don't reproduce, while skilled craftsmen and hunters get more shots at genetic survival!
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: JMack on June 08, 2015, 01:28:45 AM
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Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Roxxsmom on June 08, 2015, 01:49:38 AM

If I was writing an unexpected spontaneous sex scene from a male perspective it would be nearly as simple as wow, unexpected spontaneous sex.
For that to work from a female perspective I suspect the female protagonist would have to have showered, shaved have her make up and hair just so.

Depends on the culture and setting. This is a fantasy forum, and many of us write novels set in pre-industrial settings, where the expectations of perfect cleanliness, hair removal, not to mention lingerie, might be very different from what a modern character of either gender might have.

But even in modern times, people vary greatly in what they find appealing with regards to body hair, odor, underwear and so on. I have a bedroom scene in my novel, and aside from it being clear they've both bathed in the last couple hours (since they had access to a bath house after arriving in town), I don't focus on those details at all. They strip off and get to it. I don't describe their underclothes, aside from unlacing of breeches and hasty removal of shifts, braes (talk about granny/gramps undies), and stays.  Of course, they'd both been waiting for a while, and had recently been reunited.

And no, it wasn't perfect. He was much too fast, and there hadn't been any foreplay. But eh, then they did it again, and it's implied they'll be going a little more slowly (fade to black at this point). This doesn't seem terribly unrealistic, based on my own experience.

Be feeling good about herself and her body and how she looked in what she was wearing. There is no way this is happening if she has her granny knickers on, lingerie by preference.

As someone whose always favored cotton undergarments as everyday wear, I disagree. Not saying I'm adverse to dressing up for a special, planned encounter, but so what if one is wearing more utilitarian garb when an encounter is unexpected and you dig one another? It's coming off anyway. And in fantasy, we're often talking situations when they're on the run, or in the woods, or about to go to battle, or who knows what. Leg hair, a little BO, and plain undergarments are the least of their worries in that situation.

Or am I completely missing the mark?

I think you are. Maybe some women are like this, but every couple is different.

Thinking back over the few romance novels and female perspective erotica I have read there was a lot of what I would consider clutter building up to the sex scenes that is not the primary focus of male readers.

But sex/romantic encounters in a genre fantasy novel won't be written the same way as sex/romance scenes in a genre romance, let alone erotica. Different focus for a different target audience. Even people who read both genres will have different expectations for each.

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But what if the "chick" isn't especially hot? What if it's from her point of view? And what if it's between two gay men and you're not gay?

I think the hotness factor works both ways and is overcome by writing your characters well enough for the reader to identify or at least have empathy with them. The Mills and Boon stereotypical fit and rugged (shirtless as well) millionaire comes to mind. Instant attraction becomes less about looks as you age and the desire to reproduce lessens.

I agree that getting your reader invested in your characters, no matter what they look like, is the most important thing. But are you saying that among young people, only people who are very hot have sex or are interested in reproduction (or that young people never have non-reproductive sex)? Last time I checked, people who fall everywhere on the plain to hot spectrum have sex, even while young, and most find love eventually and get married and have kids too, if they want them. In most cases, their partners don't force them to turn the lights off or wear a bag over their heads to become aroused.

And conversely, there are plenty of older people who are very focused on attractiveness of partners. It's frustratingly common to run into middle-aged and older men who believe they're entitled to young, hot women, whether or not they want to have kids. And while they're rarer and less socially acceptable, there are older women who prefer younger, hotter men too, even if they're past an age where they're likely to become pregnant.

It is true that a couple that's been together for a long time and have a good relationship might not notice or care as much about each other's or their own physical flaws as they might with new partners. But eh, ordinary looking people, even ugly people, of all ages  find lovers too.


Sex scenes from a female perspective I would have thought are of more interest than from a male perspective to a male reader, but maybe that’s just me.

Maybe. I haven't polled readers of each gender. But not all romantic arcs in fantasy novels have to culminate in bedroom scenes, let alone detailed ones.
As a heterosexual male I am not as squeamish as some men about homosexual sex scenes if they are well done I have no problem reading them. I rarely give up on a book and am more likely to do so over bad writing that sexual content. Saying that a guy I work with abandoned Cloud Atlas as soon as he found there were gay characters. Even before there was any sexual activity.

I imagine tastes fall all over the spectrum there. Some men are conditioned to be very insecure about or disparaging of homosexuality, even today. There are probably also people who simply don't find bedroom scenes involving partners they wouldn't choose in real life to be terribly interesting, even if they care about them as a couple.

I think in non erotica, sex scenes probably do best if one takes the same advice as for writing combat--keep the scene fairly brief, and avoid describing the micro-details. Focus on the feelings and emotions (those don't have to be "gushy loooove" if that's not realistic for the character, but there's a lot of adrenaline pumping through one's veins at these times). And remember that the build up can be more interesting than the resolution.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 08, 2015, 02:14:15 AM

And conversely, there are plenty of older people who are very focused on attractiveness of partners. It's frustratingly common to run into middle-aged and older men who believe they're entitled to young, hot women, whether or not they want to have kids.

Hahaha! Older men... Silver foxes... My partners of choices. My last lover before moving to Oz who still leaves me dreamy and sad was 47 while I was 24. He got his licence before I was born... What a charmer he was! He liked to hear himself talk and so did I, a perfect match haha!
Older men have a lot of charm. They've seen it all, are a LOT less complexed about flirting, eventually already did the whole wife/kids/house deal and are over it, or never went into it and won't start that late. They want a nice breezy and pain-free relationship.  ;D
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Lady Ty on June 08, 2015, 06:06:02 AM
................you're talking about a bunch of people who are professional offence takers. I think some hysterical feminists could be very unhappy about anything if they wanted to, and hence shouldn't be taken into account.

Bravo, @Nora (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40237), that is a wise and noteworthy comment and applies to far more than writing, but is relevant to writers whatever aspect or subject of their work. Just substitute anti- or pro- anything extremists for the word 'feminists' and beware of vehemence.

Believe me, speaking from long experience in a variety of circumstances, whatever you want to discuss or achieve there will be people who are completely opposed, often frighteningly ignorant of the subject, have minds tightly closed and are actually angry and offended if another view is expressed. Such people can be exhausting, offensive and depressing, not worth your upset or annoyance.

This will occur with obviously controversial subjects but also surprisingly often with others that you assumed were acceptable to all. You need to be your own Devil's Advocate, and research both sides thoroughly. There will be plenty of well informed people, some with differing views, but open to discussion and exchange to help you form your own opinions.

Then stick to your guns and go forth firing. ;D I've read advice recently (possibly Pat Rothfuss) that seemed pretty sound "Write the book you would want to read.




Edited because I got my substitution phrasing the wrong way round - sorry. :-[
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 08, 2015, 02:43:20 PM

I guess you're right on that point, but you're talking about a bunch of people who are professional offence takers. I think some hysterical feminists could be very unhappy about anything if they wanted to, and hence shouldn't be taken into account. As long as the sex is relevant with the point you're trying to make in your story, and that you've consulted the other sex about how things happen to them (you know, just like you'd research how it feels to be stabbed if you were to describe that feeling...) then I see no point for feminists to protest.
 
 

The protest would come from feeling creeped out. Emotional truths over objective ones.  When a scene makes one feel creeped, that the reader/complainer then found out that the author said they asked real couples for research, I don't think would have much power to change their mind. Reasoning is easily cherrypicked to fit the emotional revulsion.


I wouldn't say that women don't prize sex the way men do,

I could sum it up like this. A handsome man who offers free sex to every woman around the block would get maybe two women showing up. And more likely none.

A beautiful woman who offers free sex to every man around the block would get a line going out the door, down the hall, down the stairway and out the front door. And then the guy dreaming it would wake up.

In reality a man doesn't offer this because he knows he can't succeed at it.
A woman doesn't offer it because it simply isn't seen as a success.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 08, 2015, 02:59:02 PM
The protest would come from feeling creeped out. Emotional truths over objective ones.  When a scene makes one feel creeped, that the reader/complainer then found out that the author said they asked real couples for research, I don't think would have much power to change their mind necessarily. 

Well, that's precisely why you should not pay them any attention. Because "feeling" like this or like that is not a valid reason to protest against an author or his book. Unless the feelings are uniform and borderline criminal (like pro-nazi stuff for an easy example) then people who don't like your book should stop reading it.
Because emotional-based complaints are unchangeable and impossible to address, I don't see the point to react to them. Like always, write for yourself, write a book you'd like to read, others will like it, and many dislike, which should never stop you.


I could sum it up like this. A handsome man who offers free sex to every woman around the block would get maybe two women showing up. And more likely none.

A beautiful woman who offers free sex to every man around the block would get a line going out the door, down the hall, down the stairway and out the front door. And then the guy dreaming it would wake up.

My dear man, I just believe we don't hang out with the same crowd of women. If a handsome guy went around offering relationship-free sex around the block, several of my acquaintances might be interested. I might too. Last year I had nothing but lovers, really. A few men I would text to meet up for sex before going our own way.
My best friend in France started sleeping with a friend after he offered so, then added a woman to her lovers!
Just because you don't hear about it doesn't mean that women don't get sex with strangers. I believe it happens more often than you think, even if of course it's nothing compared with what men would like.

You've got to know most women just don't flaunt that kind of details to anyone, right? Most of my co-workers know nothing of my love life, I hear shreds of discussions though, and get ideas about some, but others I've seen almost every day for 2 months and I still don't know if they sleep with anyone, ever.
If it gets known that a woman sleeps spontaneously with lots of men – anyone, any time, do you know what happens? What men would say?
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 08, 2015, 04:18:10 PM


Well, that's precisely why you should not pay them any attention. Because "feeling" like this or like that is not a valid reason to protest against an author or his book. Unless the feelings are uniform and borderline criminal (like pro-nazi stuff for an easy example) then people who don't like your book should stop reading it.
Because emotional-based complaints are unchangeable and impossible to address, I don't see the point to react to them. Like always, write for yourself, write a book you'd like to read, others will like it, and many dislike, which should never stop you.


That could be used to address the OP and end the thread right there.

However I doubt it'd be limited to social justice warriors. I think most people would be asking why this guy is so interested in lesbians? And then the sex scene comes and it's "Oh there it is". Which completely dehumanizes the two female lovers and the male author. So maybe lesbian sex scenes are better left alone if a straight male is writing a female main character.   
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My dear man, I just believe we don't hang out with the same crowd of women. If a handsome guy went around offering relationship-free sex around the block, several of my acquaintances might be interested.

Even if he lived in poverty?  ???

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I might too. Last year I had nothing but lovers, really. A few men I would text to meet up for sex before going our own way.

 women don't get sex with strangers. I believe it happens more often than you think, even if of course it's nothing compared with what men would like.

It happens, but probably alot of women see their friends getting resources out of sex and think "Why should I get none like a sucker?"

A female stud as I see it, is a woman who gets resources out of a man be it fianancial or physical, without having to sleep with him.  Based on sheer power of attraction.

This is a female stud: http://weknowmemes.com/2012/06/friendzone-level-over-9000/

A woman enjoying alot of casual, unattached sex in fiction and especially if she's already in a typically male profession (Warrior etc) would get called man with breasts not a female stud and will almost certainly alienate male readers. Many female ones too I think, because I've read that complaint coming out of women at least as much. 

However a woman who extracts alot of resources like the stud up there^ would be shamed as a Mary Sue in fiction.


Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on June 08, 2015, 06:18:11 PM

Even if he lived in poverty?  ???


Well yes. If you're only after a quick shag, who cares about money? I never cared even when I was looking at relationships. None of my female friends give a hoot either (as long as he's not sponging because he can't be arsed to work)



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It happens, but probably alot of women see their friends getting resources out of sex and think "Why should I get none like a sucker?"

A female stud as I see it, is a woman who gets resources out of a man be it fianancial or physical, without having to sleep with him.  Based on sheer power of attraction.

This is a female stud: http://weknowmemes.com/2012/06/friendzone-level-over-9000/

I'm not exactly sure what you're saying here. Women only shag men for money/resources? Women only want men for resources even if they don't sleep with them?

Women shag men for as many and varied reasons as there are women. But mainly cos they want to. Sometimes because he's hot and there, sometimes because they love him etc etc Reducing it to a financial/resources transaction...

I am sure there are some women (and men!*) who do that. They aren't the norm by a long stretch



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A woman enjoying alot of casual, unattached sex in fiction and especially if she's already in a typically male profession (Warrior etc) would get called man with breasts not a female stud and will almost certainly alienate male readers. Many female ones too I think, because I've read that complaint coming out of women at least as much.
 

I'd call her "a female character who is at home with her sexuality" myself. Sleeping with who you feel like is not inherently masculine, so how does it make her a man with breasts? I suppose she might alienate male readers who don't like the idea of women doing what they want with their own bodies, but frankly I wouldn't worry about them in the same way I don't worry about offending the KKK :D I can't see any reason at all she'd alienate most men.


* ETA I know at least two men who stay with their GFs because of the new merc she just bought him etc. I know vastly more men who don;t do that
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: jefGoelz on June 08, 2015, 08:52:47 PM
These issues - - differences in sexuality between men and women - - have been well studied and documented, and anyone interested in learning what the "truth" is would have an easy time googling and then reading legitimate scientific information (have to weed out the websites with an agenda).

I think that would be much more effective than individual anecdotes of folks on a fantasy writer's webpage.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 08, 2015, 09:10:58 PM


Well yes. If you're only after a quick shag, who cares about money? I never cared even when I was looking at relationships. None of my female friends give a hoot either (as long as he's not sponging because he can't be arsed to work)


I'm saying the main appeal of men to women in this culture isn't in male physical beauty and most guys know it. 
Studies have shown that straight women find the bodies of other women more beautiful then men. And those men that are considered inherently hot, are the more feminine pretty boys. For masculine men, the sexual appeal to women is displaying the capacity to work and protect. Be it through wealth, muscles, fighting ability,  intelligence (sometimes) an independent, rebellious attitude  or some other form of status. You can tell this from the difference between male and female styles. Female clothes are ornamental while male clothes are utilitarian.  Obviously I am generalising but it is true as a rule. The only times male fashions were ornamental and yet still appealing to straight women was when it was a sign that said man was so wealthy, he didn't have to work in a manual job, or even work at all. Men are encouraged to cover up and work, while women are encouraged to bare it all and pose. So the question is if sex with a naked man - is that really an end goal unto itself for women? I doubt it. But if it is, it's because she was drawn in by displays of status. Which is why I say the man in poverty , while still able to get a woman as money was only one of the factors in the list I gave, is very unlikely to have many women taking him up on the free sex offer.

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Women only want men for resources even if they don't sleep with them?

I'm saying it's the gender equivalent fantasy to the male getting tons of sex just because they exist. The idea of a woman getting free stuff and devotion from men just because they exist. It's what we saw in Twilight and 50 shades of Grey, and what struck a visceral chord with millions of females worldwide. That is a female power fantasy.   
 
The fantasy of a woman who's as free loving and promiscuous as male players and who only wants sex for the sake of having sex? When was the last time that was ever a big hit among women? She's secure in her sexuality. That's fine and good for her, but she's never going to break the box office because it's a male power fantasy.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: cupiscent on June 09, 2015, 12:42:35 AM
The fantasy of a woman who's as free loving and promiscuous as male players and who only wants sex for the sake of having sex? When was the last time that was ever a big hit among women? She's secure in her sexuality. That's fine and good for her, but she's never going to break the box office because it's a male power fantasy.

I'm not sure what you mean here. A woman who is secure in her sexuality and herself is often incredibly threatening to most men. Experiments on online dating sites shows that a woman who doesn't need male validation - who answers "you're so beautiful" compliments with "yes, I know, thanks" - isn't sexy, she's cut down by the very men who complimented her. They don't want her to be secure. They want her to need them for security.

Which, to be honest, isn't so different from what you'd laid out for the "female fantasy". Everyone wants other people to value and need them. They want the vulnerability of the relationship to go both ways. The cliche is that men demonstrate value and need through financial support and gifts, and that women demonstrate it through sex. But that's just the cliche, and it's an old-fashioned cliche at that.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Roxxsmom on June 09, 2015, 02:03:50 AM
I suppose she might alienate male readers who don't like the idea of women doing what they want with their own bodies, but frankly I wouldn't worry about them in the same way I don't worry about offending the KKK :D I can't see any reason at all she'd alienate most men.

Well said. And to be honest, those kinds of guys would likely hate anything I wrote for far more reasons than just a woman who likes commitment-free sex.
These issues - - differences in sexuality between men and women - - have been well studied and documented, and anyone interested in learning what the "truth" is would have an easy time googling and then reading legitimate scientific information (have to weed out the websites with an agenda).

I think that would be much more effective than individual anecdotes of folks on a fantasy writer's webpage.

Indeed, and as a biologist, I enjoin people to do this with an awareness that while nearly everyone agrees that both biology and sociology play a role in molding genderized behaviors, the jury is very much out on the relative role played by each in varying situations. There are valid evolutionary reasons for both genders to play the field, so to speak, sexually, though the male and female approaches to it will likely be different in a system where sex is only and always about reproduction.

Humans complicate things, of course, because we're a species that engages in sex for non-reproductive purposes. Like with what is called "play behavior" that's observed in some birds and nearly all mammals, biologists have a hard time explaining why recreational/social sexual play, something that's energetically costly and potentially risky, has evolved in some species, and many competing hypothesis are in existence here.

One thing that most scientists agree on, however, is that the variation within a gender is greater than the average variation between the genders, and that there are women who are far randier than the average man, and there are men who are far less randy than the average women. A complete absence of libido sometimes exists in members of both genders as well, and this is increasingly seen as non pathological in many cases.

The social bit comes in, though, with pathologizing and stigmatizing people whose behavior falls away from the perceived norms for the time and place in which they live (whether or not there is a biological component to those norms). And of course, the very human tendency of people (including biologists) to concoct non falsifiable post-hoc just so stories about why something might have been adaptive in some hypothetical ancestral condition or culture. These amount to hypotheses, but the problem is, they're not always testable, or attempts to test them yield contradictory or inconclusive data.

It's important to recognize the difference between biological speculation, even when it's plausible or reinforced by our current social values, and what has actually been tested and verified.

The amazing thing about our species is how varied and malleable our sexual norms have been and are. You can create a character who is pretty much anything you want him or her to be, and you can create a social context (with fantasy) where such a person is either an outlier or completely normal, depending on the needs of your story.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 09, 2015, 04:00:05 AM
Even if he lived in poverty?  ???

Haha! Do you remember the lover I said I lived with in an open relationship? In a 5sq/m flat? How rich do you think he was if his flat was smaller than the legal minimum by 3 square meters? We lived together for three years, always going along, working as photographers, doing dumpster diving and menial work against vegetables. Clothing ourselves off op-shops and poverty shops. We never owned a car. At our best we owned pre WWII bikes with two gears.
I started with him because he was tall and dark and sexy and good at sex, and I stayed because I came to love him. I mostly made more money than him and never gave a hoot about that issue.

Women who bed a man because he's rich are called gold diggers and generally despised - for a reason.
Women who bed men who are both hot and rich, are mostly envied!  ;D It's joining the utilitarian to the agreeable really. But most women settle down with who they find attractive, in character and/or looks.

Do you think we'd be having a world wide population problem is women had sex with rich dudes? Last I checked the very rich were 1% of the population, and the rest was still fornicating happily.

I'm saying the main appeal of men to women in this culture isn't in male physical beauty and most guys know it.
Men are encouraged to cover up and work, while women are encouraged to bare it all and pose.

No, seriously, you need to check out Tinder. Please do. Or else I'll have to make a gallery of pics for you.
Because Tinder (a phone dating app where you have 6 picstures and a very short optional text) has covered up women and a SHIT TON of bulky blokes flashing abs, shirtless in the gym, shirtless on the beach, worst even, shirtless selfie in the bathroom mirror.

Does that appeal to me? No. For two reasons : 1, I actually like my men lean and skinny. 2, males who display it all with such vanity are in my opinion like women who'd display it all : not very smart, with no notion of what flirting and anticipation is about. What surprises do you get when you pick up a woman dressed in a string and a bra off a club? None.
When someone dresses well, it showcases their body, but keeps the details hidden, like the exciting angles under a x-mas present paper.

Studies have shown that straight women find the bodies of other women more beautiful then men
Would love to see such studies. Link if you have them please. I find no problem believing it though, even if I don't feel concerned. I have no interest for female bodies in general, and find breasts rather unappealing, despite having huge ones myself.
In my opinion there is nothing more appealing and aesthetic as a man's hands and forearm. From elbow to fingers, when well shaped, it's cocaine for my eyes! 

So the question is if sex with a naked man - is that really an end goal unto itself for women? I doubt it. But if it is, it's because she was drawn in by displays of status.


No, no, no!  ;D This is so wrong to me. And to so many of my friends! Yes some women behave like this. Mostly the shallow ones actually. Or the poorly educated ones maybe? I don't know, I don't know these women really.

It's very funny you'd make such comments right as my own love life unfolds... I've been single for a little while now, and I've seen this bloke at work. He comes often, but one night I noticed him because he was alone by the windows and the huge flowers we keep on a table hid him from the waitress and no one was serving him.
I came apologizing I couldn't take orders really, as I'm the hostess and need to man the door. But it was quiet enough and we ended up doing some real quality banter.
I kept serving him through the night. I saw him once more and we both made clear we remembered the last time but didn't get to chat, still hugged him.
The third time, I hugged him, he asked my name, I asked his, and the night was too insane so nothing went on but a smile and a look during the evening. He went away while I was in another room which left me quite annoyed (women haha...  ;D)
And last night, the fourth time, I was not on sitting for once, due to super long shift, so when he walked him I zeroed in on him and sat him down, chatted to him and took his order, and then, poof, it was time for my long break!
He always comes alone and sits alone, doesn't read or bring any phone. He just eats and think, pretty intriguing. So I went and sat across from him and we spent an hour chatting, covering ground like 'where are you from' to our favourite philosophers, and decided we'd meet up for food the two of us, me doing a french gratin d'auphinois to match his cooked kangaroo. So I gave him my writing pad and pen and asked his number and promised to text him.
End of the story, he's 38, full time student to up-grade his working skills in psychology/counselling, and probably comes to us to free some headspace from all the essays he writes.
He's tall and thin, dresses in plain-as clothes.

Is sex all naked with this guy my end goal? Yes. I think we'd also get on pretty well but I'm still not motivated to get a new boyfriend.
Was I drawn in by display of status? Please, you should have seen him with his plain brandless grey jumper.  ::)
Smarts aren't a "display" really, but once you notice them, yes, smarts are hot. However being a smart student at 38 is hardly a valid display of status of any kind. I don't care, I just want to bed someone with whom I can have agreeable discussions before and after.  8)



It's what we saw in Twilight and 50 shades of Grey, and what struck a visceral chord with millions of females worldwide. That is a female power fantasy.

Ah, gee, thanks a lot there, for discarding the millions of women who were disgusted by either of these books and movies, or never bothered reading/viewing them based on the premises. I read the first few chapters of 50 shades, back in the early days of its success as a book. I got way too disgusted by her writing and shallow characters to even reach the first sex scene! Never ended up reading a single one.  ???
Just because millions of brainless women stop reading women magazines to pluck a literary turd does not allow for generalisation covering the millions of others and their approach of sexuality.
 
The fantasy of a woman who's as free loving and promiscuous as male players and who only wants sex for the sake of having sex? When was the last time that was ever a big hit among women?

Don't you think that just maybe if this wasn't pictured as being a slut this would be a bigger hit than it already is? Women who do that are either too "slutty" actually, to care about their image, or hide it from general knowledge. But trust the women who tell you they exist, because they do. You find them in pubs, in dating apps, ect.

Let's remember that the arrival of the pill and liberation of sexuality is something your parents have seen as a first generation. I'm pretty sure that as population problems progress and the technology behind STDs and pregnancy prevention gets better, we'll see more and more liberated women. And I'm looking forward to that, cause women can have such sexual drive really, being young and horny will be quite the thing then! Haha.

Back to the point : since when does it need to be a hit for anyone to write a character like that? Since when do we need all aim to write for the 50 shades of grey fans? This entire argument you advance seems to say that we should highly care for the most common mr/ms everybody approach to sex and love and make sure to cater to their fantasies and respect the limits of what they find decent.

I think it's an incredibly boring view. SF/F readers and fiction readers are already suspending belief from page one, ready to read about aliens, time travel, galctic travel, monsters under the bed, epic chicks casting spells, hunting vampires and dudes sneaking in shadows to stab others, or riding dragons and saving the world.
You're telling me a liberated chick who likes her men naked in her bed is too much? Is gonna put people off?
If you feel entitled to write whatever story pleases you, whatever version of time travel you like, why would you feel off about writing two females having the hots for each other?

That could be used to address the OP and end the thread right there.

However I doubt it'd be limited to social justice warriors. I think most people would be asking why this guy is so interested in lesbians? And then the sex scene comes and it's "Oh there it is". Which completely dehumanizes the two female lovers and the male author. So maybe lesbian sex scenes are better left alone if a straight male is writing a female main character.   

Well, the same has been said to OP many times over in different ways, but we're still here because there is nothing quite like arguing a good point  ;D

However, to answer you second part, I'm gonna sound harsh but... what you're describing there sounds like you'd have written a book so famous and talked of that people would be reading it for the sake of criticizing it.
Who, in the SF/F world, keeps on reading a book they don't like, for the sake of getting to the dreaded sex scene and going all "Oh there it is!" before going on in the webz and ranting about it?
Maybe if you got as famous as GRRM you'd find that kind of crowd wanting to find issues with you book. And then, honestly, would you care? I wouldn't haha!

I think you're doing self censorship by restraining what you can write based on your gender, and it's a real issue. No one will ever convince me that writing gay or lesbian love/sex is off my limits, despite my being as straight a chick as you can come across.
You could write a robot love story and find geeks to spit on your work. Why put shackled on yourself by foreseeing eventual grief by a ridiculously small amount of people?
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 09, 2015, 09:53:33 AM
You know the only character I can think of resembling that type who was a hit among women was Samantha from Sex and the City, but her character was about still being able to get guys despite the onset of middle age. Sex was a means to keep feeling young. No one wants to admit that they're too old for it and that's why Samantha worked.


I started with him because he was tall and dark and sexy and good at sex, and I stayed because I came to love him. I mostly made more money than him and never gave a hoot about that issue.

We were discussing if he could get alot of women showing up if he offered free sex. I said in my previous reply that a poor man can still get a woman but to get remotely the same interest as when the genders are reversed, he'd have to be a celebrity or something. My evidence is the low amount of interest average men get on dating sites compared to average women. It doesn't even compare.
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Women who bed a man because he's rich are called gold diggers and generally despised - for a reason.

 A woman who beds a man with the intention of extracting his wealth, that's a gold digger.
 
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Women who bed men who are both hot and rich, are mostly envied!  ;D It's joining the utilitarian to the agreeable really. But most women settle down with who they find attractive, in character and/or looks.


If that were the case, the divorce rate wouldn't be 60%. Most women settle down with who is willing to devote themselves to her once she's finished finding herself and done establishing herself in career and is finally ready for marriage. That's the stable guys, which are seen as dull.
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"Do you think we'd be having a world wide population problem is women had sex with rich dudes? Last I checked the very rich were 1% of the population, and the rest was still fornicating happily. "

I'd say only a minority of the guys in this world (not as low as 1% by any means) are doing anything close to "fornicating". The rest are getting dull sex and reluctant birthday blowjobs. Many get nothing at all.
 

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No, seriously, you need to check out Tinder. Please do. Or else I'll have to make a gallery of pics for you.
Because Tinder (a phone dating app where you have 6 picstures and a very short optional text) has covered up women and a SHIT TON of bulky blokes flashing abs, shirtless in the gym, shirtless on the beach, worst even, shirtless selfie in the bathroom mirror.


And those guys are shamed for being vain, egotistical, jerks and prissy. They are rarely called sexy.

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When someone dresses well, it showcases their body, but keeps the details hidden, like the exciting angles under a x-mas present paper.

Exactly, women prefer men hidden. So  I doubt the appeal of the nude male body during sex. And when you say

Would love to see such studies. Link if you have them please. I find no problem believing it though, even if I don't feel concerned. I have no interest for female bodies in general, and find breasts rather unappealing, despite having huge ones myself.

This is where I heard it: http://broadblogs.com/2010/11/29/women-learn-the-breast-fetish-too/
More arousing and sexual than men. Men are desexualized massively into utility roles.   

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In my opinion there is nothing more appealing and aesthetic as a man's hands and forearm. From elbow to fingers, when well shaped, it's cocaine for my eyes!


Those are the limbs and muscles that go into picking things up. Into working. When you say that it looks to me like you're attracted by physical signs of ability to do labour. If you said you found penises to be cocaine for your eyes, something that serves no other purpose beyond sex, then I'd believe women valued sex inherently. But alas most women seem to find penises ugly, nothing but tools, and think it's appearance can be "improved" by cutting it. How many things that have ornamental value are "improved" by taking a knife to it? Zip. None. 


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No, no, no!  ;D This is so wrong to me. And to so many of my friends! Yes some women behave like this. Mostly the shallow ones actually. Or the poorly educated ones maybe? I don't know, I don't know these women really.

My sister - who has a biomedical degree- told me flat out what I'm telling you. 

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He's tall and thin, dresses in plain-as clothes.
Is sex all naked with this guy my end goal? Yes. I think we'd also get on pretty well but I'm still not motivated to get a new boyfriend.
Was I drawn in by display of status?

By your own words, display of independence/mystery/non conformity. Someone who generates his own ideas instead of following another. This is one form of displaying leadership quality.

It's what we saw in Twilight and 50 shades of Grey, and what struck a visceral chord with millions of females worldwide. That is a female power fantasy.
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Ah, gee, thanks a lot there, for discarding the millions of women who were disgusted by either of these books and movies, or never bothered reading/viewing them based on the premises. I read the first few chapters of 50 shades, back in the early days of its success as a book. I got way too disgusted by her writing and shallow characters to even reach the first sex scene! Never ended up reading a single one.  ???
Just because millions of brainless women stop reading women magazines to pluck a literary turd does not allow for generalisation covering the millions of others and their approach of sexuality.

Of course alot of women hate it too. You don't think millions of men find James Bond shallow trash? That doesn't change the point.

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Don't you think that just maybe if this wasn't pictured as being a slut this would be a bigger hit than it already is? Women who do that are either too "slutty" actually, to care about their image, or hide it from general knowledge. But trust the women who tell you they exist, because they do. You find them in pubs, in dating apps, ect.

Let's remember that the arrival of the pill and liberation of sexuality is something your parents have seen as a first generation. I'm pretty sure that as population problems progress and the technology behind STDs and pregnancy prevention gets better, we'll see more and more liberated women. And I'm looking forward to that, cause women can have such sexual drive really, being young and horny will be quite the thing then! Haha.

Here's why I'm not convinced by the slut shaming argument. Women openly buy books where a woman is subjected to shameless acts of BDSM, one book reading which is NSFW talks about anal sex in graphic detail.  (Wetlands).
Yet  women are just too bashful or shamed to buy a book or watch a movie where some female warrior acts like James Bond but with men as the objects of desire? 

Romance stories tend to be by women for women, with men taking very little interest in the genre. So who's going to shame them? Other women?
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Back to the point : since when does it need to be a hit for anyone to write a character like that? Since when do we need all aim to write for the 50 shades of grey fans? This entire argument you advance seems to say that we should highly care for the most common mr/ms everybody approach to sex and love and make sure to cater to their fantasies and respect the limits of what they find decent.

I think it's an incredibly boring view. SF/F readers and fiction readers are already suspending belief from page one, ready to read about aliens, time travel, galctic travel, monsters under the bed, epic chicks casting spells, hunting vampires and dudes sneaking in shadows to stab others, or riding dragons and saving the world.
You're telling me a liberated chick who likes her men naked in her bed is too much? Is gonna put people off?
If you feel entitled to write whatever story pleases you, whatever version of time travel you like, why would you feel off about writing two females having the hots for each other?

I assume the OP cares alot about commercial success as the reason why she's asking about what won't put men off.

On the other point I said society would question why a straight man is so interested in invading a solely female space and speaking for lesbians.

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Who, in the SF/F world, keeps on reading a book they don't like, for the sake of getting to the dreaded sex scene and going all "Oh there it is!" before going on in the webz and ranting about it?
Maybe if you got as famous as GRRM you'd find that kind of crowd wanting to find issues with you book. And then, honestly, would you care? I wouldn't haha!


People and I would say almost anyone who hears about a lesbian story written by a straight male would already assume it was written for fetishist reasons.

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I think you're doing self censorship by restraining what you can write based on your gender, and it's a real issue. No one will ever convince me that writing gay or lesbian love/sex is off my limits, despite my being as straight a chick as you can come across.
You could write a robot love story and find geeks to spit on your work. Why put shackled on yourself by foreseeing eventual grief by a ridiculously small amount of people?

No one hearing about a story about two gay men written by a straight female would assume it was written for fetishist reasons.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Nora on June 09, 2015, 12:24:28 PM
We were discussing if he could get alot of women showing up if he offered free sex.

But I just don't understand your point! I'm out, having fun with a couple of friends of mine, when a hot random guys shows up, flirts with me, and offers some casual sex. Would I say yes? That's "spontaneous sex" right?
Why did you even put money in the equation? Many rich men go about in distressed jeans and old jackets, looking half as punk as the average poor student.
Were you implying that women would offer more spontaneous sex if the random guy had a tuxedo, a rolex and drove a jaguar?

A rich guy or a poor guy has nothing to do with "a good shag". If my goal is to have sex, spontaneously and with no consequences with a perfect stranger, I can free swear to you that as long as he's not too poor to afford a shower and clean clothes, I do not give a shit about his bank account or the price of his clothing.

So I'd say, YES, a handsome-ish guy with lots of charm can get spontaneous sex, even being poor as.
Of course he's not going to get as much as his libido wishes. But who ever does?
I think that it's quite odd that you'd even get the richness of a man into account. We're talking about a fantasy setting too, in the end. Is your hero very rich? It's in your power to make him just as irresistible as you'd want him/her to be to get the amount of sex you want to grant them.

If that were the case, the divorce rate wouldn't be 60%. Most women settle down with who is willing to devote themselves to her once she's finished finding herself and done establishing herself in career and is finally ready for marriage. That's the stable guys, which are seen as dull.

haha! Oh come on, this is such a sophist argument. You're telling me people don't settle down with people that please them because 60% end up divorcing? Why, you've never heard of people growing apart, arguing, cheating on each other, or just getting bored of each other? Not everyone makes a wise decision in their initial choice, however enamoured they might once have been.
It certainly doesn't change than they judged the other once decent enough to marry.

I'd say only a minority of the guys in this world (not as low as 1% by any means) are doing anything close to "fornicating". The rest are getting dull sex and reluctant birthday blowjobs. Many get nothing at all.
And some girls also struggle, don't get as much love or sex as they'd wish, or are just very ugly and never get boyfriends. Or many guys and girls stay in dreary, abusive relationships because they're afraid of loneliness.
That's life. Why are we arguing about this?
 
And those guys are shamed for being vain, egotistical, jerks and prissy. They are rarely called sexy.
No, those guys get 50 shades of Grey readers and your average vain woman who think hardcaps are a hot fashion statement.

Exactly, women prefer men hidden. So  I doubt the appeal of the nude male body during sex.

Why would you say something so generalist? Hell NO women don't prefer the men covered.
Here is a meme example :

(http://d.justpo.st/media/images/2014/02/8db44c95fa7cd449585b04b3c1453388.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/gWgR7uM.jpg)

What you're saying is like me going, "men love nurse uniforms and school uniforms, not to mention lingerie, so men aren't interested in the women's naked body".
There is a lot of everything in this world. Some people have a shoe fetish, some feet fetish. Some men love boobs, some women have a huge fixation for men bums (trust me) or beards and tattooed chests, ect ect.
Of course we don't like our men under some burqa! Some women might close their eyes during sex, but hardly the case for all!
Maybe women get more shy, but some like to see what's going on. Mirrors in the bedroom aren't an erotic thing that were invented for males only.

Those are the limbs and muscles that go into picking things up. Into working. When you say that it looks to me like you're attracted by physical signs of ability to do labour. If you said you found penises to be cocaine for your eyes, something that serves no other purpose beyond sex, then I'd believe women valued sex inherently. But alas most women seem to find penises ugly, nothing but tools, and think it's appearance can be "improved" by cutting it. How many things that have ornamental value are "improved" by taking a knife to it? Zip. None. 

Ok no, this is so weird.
First off, you can't say thing like "if you told me you loved penises, then I'd believe women value X and Y". I'm not women, I'm Nora. I'm the only person I know with a hand partialism.

Secondly, I didn't share this like a casual anecdote. It's a genuine thing, check it out, it's even on the American list of paraphilias : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partialism

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Partialism is categorized as a fetishistic disorder in the DSM-5 of the American Psychiatric Association if it is not focused on genitals and causes significant psychosocial distress for the person or has detrimental effects on important areas of their life. In the DSM-IV, it was considered a separate paraphilia (not otherwise specified), but was merged into fetishistic disorder by the DSM-5. Individuals with partialism sometimes describe the anatomy of interest to them as having equal or greater erotic attraction for them as do the genitals.

Welcome to my world. Where a contact with an appealing hand arouses me probably as badly as a beautiful pair of breasts rubbed in the back of your common man.
I used to spend long minutes staring at my boyfriend doing the dishes, or cooking. I have folders of pictures of hands I took (I'm a professional photographer), and my facebook page banner is a former lover's hands, and my iphone background is a painting of a man holding a cigarette.
An average man with hot hands becomes a hot guy, a handsome guy with horrible hands just creeps me out weirdly. I dread contact with hands I find unappealing, especially the ones of strangers.
This has nothing to do with the ability of a man to do manual labour! And I was born in a posh family in 1990, it's not like I was brought up to value manual labour at all!

When you talk of women wanting to cut penises, I think you're fucking miles off. You've never been in on a discussion between chicks. What do you believe? That we all hate penetration and would rather just be hugged and paid for by a bunch of eunuchs?
Jeepers no! You need to go out with some girls sharing how they rode their man hard, or how they can't believe they didn't get that dude's number off the club cause he had the nicest cock ever, or how they gossip about guys having tiny penises, or how the best penises though aren't so much about length but circumferance and whether they ever bedded circumcised men, ect.
Do you think even lesbians don't use substitute for penetration? Even girls who don't want a man involve use plastic penises or whatever object.
I think you're making very broad generalisation without knowing what women really think or talk about.

My sister - who has a biomedical degree- told me flat out what I'm telling you.

To the risk of sounding cruel... Is your sis the ultimate reference? Is a biomedical degree the utlimate reference in social behaviour study and sexual behaviourism?
Is your sister a better source than proper studies with professional statistics? And then, if stats say that a majority of women are attracted to status first and foremost, what of it?

You can't write about a woman who falls for a man's look and banter? You can't write about a woman who fell for another woman? You can't write about a distopian society where women are the stronger sex and men a superfluous accessory groomed for their physical aspect and prized like sex tys but not much else, kept indoor to vain occupations while amazon-like women wage war and run businesses?

By your own words, display of independence/mystery/non conformity. Someone who generates his own ideas instead of following another. This is one form of displaying leadership quality.

You're bending whatever I say to suit yourself. You were talking about displays of wealth and status, and suddenly a dude in a plain grey jersey who is a loner, has rather unremarkable kind features becomes a mysterious independent, leader type of man?
Who isn't supposed to be independent at 38? He's a student, and an employee. How leader is that?
What do I even care? I'm independent, have my place, my job, my money and my hobbies, that's what matters. 

Of course alot of women hate it too. You don't think millions of men find James Bond shallow trash? That doesn't change the point.
So despite millions of people hating 50 shades, you can still make globalisation off the millions that love it? That's twisted rhetoric.

Yet  women are just too bashful or shamed to buy a book or watch a movie where some female warrior acts like James Bond but with men as the objects of desire?

How many of such movies are made? How many women vs men in the directing/producing of movie industry?

Also :

[youtube]KaTTr5-JmuU[/youtube]

Looks on point? A lesbian, bdsm, amazingly shot movie! Wait, directed AND written by Peter Strickland
Shall we make bets about how much positive versus horrified critics it will receive? And whether any of those critics ultimately matter?
Wait, it has 93% on rotten tomatoes...

Romance stories tend to be by women for women, with men taking very little interest in the genre. So who's going to shame them? Other women?
So? What of romance novels written by men? Like the Black dagger brotherhood?
What a weird example again. Reading is a thing done in the comfort of your own home. no one needs to know what you're reading. If you don't tell anyone, no one will know you enjoyed the adventures of some spanked up lady who killed hundreds of men by snoo-snoo while on her quest for the Dragon Diamond to put on a ring on her pinky.
Why do you argue about that? Once again, should you not write about what you like just because "women tend to do this" and "men tend to not do that"?

If you wish these things to chenge too, the best way is to write different things. Open new perspectives for the readers. Implant in their minds ideas that'll grow and resonate in their life.


On the other point I said society would question why a straight man is so interested in invading a solely female space and speaking for lesbians.
Wow, and why not? Seriously, these sorts of consideration never came to me. By these standards, as a straight woman, I can't write about lesbians, gays, and male masturbation, because why would I have an interest about invading a space and speaking for lesbians or gays or guys?

Also can't write about psychos, murderers, terrorists, cops, teachers, cheerleaders, indian, martian, from the 26th century ect, ect. Who am I to speak for them?

People and I would say almost anyone who hears about a lesbian story written by a straight male would already assume it was written for fetishist reasons.

Let's make a public pole on that forum to see if you're write. I would never assume such a thing. It shocks me that you'd assume "almost anyone" would believe so. First almost never know the sex of the writer I'm reading. Takes me a while to even remember their name, and I tend to know only the last.
Took me forever to realise Hobbs is a woman and still don't remember if Fowles is a man.
I'd be very keen to see a pole on that topic, indeed.


No one hearing about a story about two gay men written by a straight female would assume it was written for fetishist reasons.
Says who? Again, your personal view that differs with mine?
So what about japanese manga? The gay ones, written for the sex scenes, and the lesbian ones? How many, do you think, I drawn or written by men vs women? Do you hear a lot of controversy amongst fans because that hot and steamy, unrealistic lesbian scissoring was written and drawn by a male mangaka?

Do whatever you like. I think, if you're a great writer meant to be an economical success, people would be hooked by the time you have the first sex scene, and if you don't switch from SF/F to erotica then there is no reason why the minority who is a bit put off by your description of the deed doesn't forgive you because your story is enthralling and your style captivating.

And then, I don't know what OP wants, but I'd rather get a small success for a novel I wrote from the bottom of my heart than write whatever plot would hopefully seduce masses.
End up like that...

[youtube]XkLqAlIETkA[/youtube]
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 09, 2015, 08:25:32 PM

But I just don't understand your point! I'm out, having fun with a couple of friends of mine, when a hot random guys shows up, flirts with me, and offers some casual sex. Would I say yes? That's "spontaneous sex" right?
Why did you even put money in the equation? Many rich men go about in distressed jeans and old jackets, looking half as punk as the average poor student.

Men derive confidence from status, so the difference would be that the wealthy one would have that secret and be sure of himself more. Like the prince in disguise.
 
My overall point is that you can tell just from hearing the way women talk about men that men are completely de-sexualized. Women talk about men being "cute", an entirely non sexual term. They talk about non sexual  and entirely functional parts of the male body, their arms, all the better to lift your bags with. Their hands, all the better to work the trade. Nails cut as short as possible to not interfere with work, hairstyle short and basic, clothes dark and without patterns, that covers up the body and allows freedom of movement and that isn't tight. Drab looking functional shoes. No signs that the man took alot of time on his appearance, that is vain and unsexy/prissy because it's time he could have spent providing and working. He should be able to hold a conversation but not talk about himself much as it's sexier when he puts her first and he should retain mysteriousness, meaning not be vulnerable. The male body is the butt of easy jokes now. Gone are the d ays where it was a depicted as a thing of artistic beauty, which were male driven art movements in the first place. The value of sperm is inherently low, and a man who talks about how he's sexy is mocked with laughter, as is a man who strips, whereas a man who talks about how hard he works for his wife and kids is given respect as a "Real Man". The only time men are afforded such praise and respect.   

So when women chase men in fiction for sex for the sake of sex, It's a "Gimmie a break" moment, NOT because there's something wrong with a sexually liberated woman, it's the idea of women treating men as if they are sexual creatures with high sexual value when in reality women prefer men de-sexualized.

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Were you implying that women would offer more spontaneous sex if the random guy had a tuxedo, a rolex and drove a jaguar?

Alot less likely to call him a creep too. And he can get away with more conversational blunders. Dr Phil had a show on this where the man with the lexus and expensive clothes caused a total 180 in the women's  warmth compared to when he was dressed down. 

Dr. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University who has studied romantic love extensively, said studies have widely shown that women like men with resources: They have since the beginning of time because they need someone to help take care of their young.

Men with lots of fancy cars who live in the right part of town are sending an evolutionary message that they can provide. And while this study showed that the conspicuous spenders didn't have a long-term advantage, Fisher argued they weren't at a disadvantage either.

"The bottom line is when you take a look around the world, women -- if they can win over the Porsche guy -- they'd rather have the Porsche guy," Fisher said.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1345520/What-women-REALLY-want-To-marry-rich-man-stay-home-children.html

There are exceptions of course and you may be one of them, but you must admit that is the rule^.
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haha! Oh come on, this is such a sophist argument. You're telling me people don't settle down with people that please them because 60% end up divorcing? Why, you've never heard of people growing apart, arguing, cheating on each other, or just getting bored of each other? Not everyone makes a wise decision in their initial choice, however enamoured they might once have been.
It certainly doesn't change than they judged the other once decent enough to marry.

All more likey when the person you married wasn't your first choice. 70% of men aged 20-34 aren't married anyway and in increasing numbers are opting out.
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And some girls also struggle, don't get as much love or sex as they'd wish, or are just very ugly and never get boyfriends. Or many guys and girls stay in dreary, abusive relationships because they're afraid of loneliness.
That's life. Why are we arguing about this?

  Show me these girls who are complaining that they can't get laid at all. (Not I can't find a good man) rather I can't find ANY man who'd touch me. What girl has ever made that complaint?  You going to link a burn victim? That's another "gimmie a break" moment, the idea that a non celibate female hero can't get any despite wanting to. 

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Here is a meme example :

You just linked a bunch of men in the work uniforms of a dangerous job, showing high capacity for work. A job that literally requires the protecting of others. This  doesn't debunk my assertions.   

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No, those guys get 50 shades of Grey readers and your average vain woman who think hardcaps are a hot fashion statement.

They get women, but are still shamed by society. Hell even the woman who goes for them calls them "assholes" and "jerks".

Exactly, women prefer men hidden. So  I doubt the appeal of the nude male body during sex.


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What you're saying is like me going, "men love nurse uniforms and school uniforms, not to mention lingerie, so men aren't interested in the women's naked body".

Bahaha. The difference is that men actually talk about a woman's body like it's sexual. Men don't say things like "her neck is so hot", or her "fingers are amazing" But you're not the only woman who talks like that. You'd get some talking about his eyes or his smile and his teeth or his cleanliness etc. That's the kind of thing you say when you don't find it sexy at all and are trying to convince someone you do. Hell I'd go as far as to say it's the kind of thing a gay man who in no way understands the sexual appeal of women - might say  to convince another he's straight.
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Welcome to my world. Where a contact with an appealing hand arouses me probably as badly as a beautiful pair of breasts rubbed in the back of your common man.
I used to spend long minutes staring at my boyfriend doing the dishes, or cooking. I have folders of pictures of hands I took (I'm a professional photographer), and my facebook page banner is a former lover's hands, and my iphone background is a painting of a man holding a cigarette.
An average man with hot hands becomes a hot guy, a handsome guy with horrible hands just creeps me out weirdly. I dread contact with hands I find unappealing, especially the ones of strangers.
This has nothing to do with the ability of a man to do manual labour! And I was born in a posh family in 1990, it's not like I was brought up to value manual labour at all! [/i]

But your ancestors were. Evolution.

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When you talk of women wanting to cut penises, I think you're fucking miles off. You've never been in on a discussion between chicks. What do you believe? That we all hate penetration and would rather just be hugged and paid for by a bunch of eunuchs?

Maybe I was too vague in my rhetoric. I said cut penises. I didn't say cut penises OFF!  :o (not unless you're sharon Osborne and the ladies from The Talk, they get a good laugh out of that - see youtube) I was referring to women's common preference for a circumcised penis over an uncircumcised one.

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Jeepers no! You need to go out with some girls sharing how they rode their man hard, or how they can't believe they didn't get that dude's number off the club cause he had the nicest cock ever, or how they gossip about guys having tiny penises, or how the best penises though aren't so much about length but circumferance and whether they ever bedded circumcised men, ect.
Do you think even lesbians don't use substitute for penetration? Even girls who don't want a man involve use plastic penises or whatever object.
I think you're making very broad generalisation without knowing what women really think or talk about.

Or alternatively: YOU SENT ME A DICK PIC! PUT IT AWAY I DON'T WANNA SEE IT WHY'D YOU THINK I WOULD!!!!! ARGHH MY EYES!!! PLZ GUYS DON'T SEND ME DICK PICS!!!!

If a man said the same about a boob or vag pic you'd correctly assume he didn't like the look of breasts or vag. Or at all for that matter.

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To the risk of sounding cruel... Is your sis the ultimate reference? Is a biomedical degree the utlimate reference in social behaviour study and sexual behaviourism?
Is your sister a better source than proper studies with professional statistics? And then, if stats say that a majority of women are attracted to status first and foremost, what of it?

The survey follows controversial research published last week by Dr Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics, which claimed more women are choosing to ‘marry up’ by picking wealthy men for their spouse than in the 1940s.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1345520/What-women-REALLY-want-To-marry-rich-man-stay-home-children.html

More feminism = More women choosing to marry up since 1940? Seems like women are attracted to status. When their relative status increases, they set their sights higher.


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You can't write about a woman who falls for a man's look and banter?

You can.
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You can't write about a woman who fell for another woman?

Again, even straight women find women more sexually arousing than men. I linked the article before.

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You can't write about a distopian society where women are the stronger sex and men a superfluous accessory groomed for their physical aspect and prized like sex tys but not much else, kept indoor to vain occupations while amazon-like women wage war and run businesses?

If women were the stronger sex thats already a very different evolutionary path.

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You're bending whatever I say to suit yourself. You were talking about displays of wealth and status, and suddenly a dude in a plain grey jersey who is a loner, has rather unremarkable kind features becomes a mysterious independent, leader type of man?

You called him mysterious.  That he can carry a conversation about interesting topic shows he's an ideas man.  He may be a 38 Y.o student but there are different kinds of independent. There's socially cut off in the sense that sometimes a man who doesn't wear or act "trendy" can show that he's not a follower in that respect. That he's comfortable setting his own trends. 

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So despite millions of people hating 50 shades, you can still make globalisation off the millions that love it? That's twisted rhetoric.

You're never going to see a universally appealing power fantasy. Not across an entire gender. But Twilight and 50 shades use tried and tested Harlequin Romance formulas. They're juggernaut franchises.



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How many of such movies are made? How many women vs men in the directing/producing of movie industry?


How many female writers are there compared to male? Alot. That logic that it's male dominated, doesn't apply when looking to other mediums and genres, yet it's a rarely seen thing, the story where the female is this Jamima Bond type.

Also :

[youtube]KaTTr5-JmuU[/youtube]
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Looks on point? A lesbian, bdsm, amazingly shot movie! Wait, directed AND written by Peter Strickland
Shall we make bets about how much positive versus horrified critics it will receive? And whether any of those critics ultimately matter?
Wait, it has 93% on rotten tomatoes...

 
Madeleine 4 months ago
male fantasy bs

Do Rotten Tomato critics judge these films the way the public does? Idk.
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So? What of romance novels written by men? Like the Black dagger brotherhood?
What a weird example again. Reading is a thing done in the comfort of your own home. no one needs to know what you're reading. If you don't tell anyone, no one will know you enjoyed the adventures of some spanked up lady who killed hundreds of men by snoo-snoo while on her quest for the Dragon Diamond to put on a ring on her pinky.

So why isn't there more of it? You basically just took shaming out of the equation. As you said no one needs to know.

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Also can't write about psychos, murderers, terrorists, cops, teachers, cheerleaders, indian, martian, from the 26th century ect, ect. Who am I to speak for them?

Straight women can be those things and the latter ones are specuative fiction. Men can't be lesbians, there is a culture of men dehumanising lesbians by way of oversexualization and invading lesbian's boundaries, and there's also a problem with actual lesbian writers being under-represented and not having their stories heard and then a straight man coming along and getting his appropriation of lesbian culture published.  (1 in 20 or so women are gay) are 1 in 20 stories showing lesbian representation? Are 1 in 20 female authors lesbian? I doubt it).

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Let's make a public pole on that forum to see if you're write. I would never assume such a thing. It shocks me that you'd assume "almost anyone" would believe so. First almost never know the sex of the writer I'm reading. Takes me a while to even remember their name, and I tend to know only the last.
Took me forever to realise Hobbs is a woman and still don't remember if Fowles is a man.
I'd be very keen to see a pole on that topic, indeed.

Should try that yeah.
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Says who? Again, your personal view that differs with mine?
So what about japanese manga? The gay ones, written for the sex scenes, and the lesbian ones? How many, do you think, I drawn or written by men vs women? Do you hear a lot of controversy amongst fans because that hot and steamy, unrealistic lesbian scissoring was written and drawn by a male mangaka?

I don't follow Japanese culture. I wouldn't know.
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Do whatever you like.

I think you do what the character needs.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Francis Knight on June 09, 2015, 08:44:16 PM
You are using articles from a famously misogynistic reactionary paper to "prove" your point?

All you proved is you have no argument tbh

No article can prove all women do anything other than exist, and no I do not admit that all women (or even most) just want a rich husband so they can stay at home.

The fact that you keep moving the goalposts in the rest of your points is just the nail in the coffin. You're proving absolutely nothing, and even better* are trying to explain to women what it is like to be a woman. Like we, er, haven't guessed by now, actually being them

And lolling very hard at the attempt to equate being flashed at by random strangers with not liking penises. I love them, and I could tell you why if this was not such a family friendly forum. I don't want people sending me pics, ESPECIALLY people I do not know. Sending them like that is actually a crime.
I have now almost filled in my bingo card


Jeez, and I though I was a cynic!


*sarcasm
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Arry on June 09, 2015, 08:53:32 PM
Alright, I am going to step in here because I feel like this is one of those cases where people are just never going to see eye to eye or persuade the other to their viewpoint.

Plus, I've found some of the comments in here insulting to women in general by way of blanket statements, gross generalizations and pretty much just sheer inanity and would prefer the discussion moves on or wraps up.
Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: TBM on June 09, 2015, 09:40:56 PM
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You are using articles from a famously misogynistic reactionary paper to "prove" your point?

No, the survey of almost 1000 women within the article.

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All you proved is you have no argument tbh

No article can prove all women do anything other than exist, and no I do not admit that all women (or even most) just want a rich husband so they can stay at home.

Most did in that survey.  I also quoted an expert. I don't necessarily agree with the stay at home part but rich husband, yes. I suspect that people are reluctant to accept it because we've all been fed stories of entirely sentimental romances from childhood. Combined with alot of feminist influence, results in the reaction that to say that women want rich husbands = misogyny.

I don't know why people insist that every statement must be couched in "Not all women" in these types of discussions for their comfort level. It should be enough to say at the start, which I did, that we are necessarily talking in generalities, and move on.

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And lolling very hard at the attempt to equate being flashed at by random strangers with not liking penises. I love them, and I could tell you why if this was not such a family friendly forum. I don't want people sending me pics, ESPECIALLY people I do not know. Sending them like that is actually a crime.
I have now almost filled in my bingo card

Men don't mind such pics of women. Illustrating the stark differences in how male and female bodies are viewed by the opposite gender.  When we write under the assumptions that gender doesn't matter, the nuances and truths are lost to gender behaviour.



Title: Re: How to Avoid Scaring Away Male Readers - Too Much Touchy Feely Stuff (literally)
Post by: Arry on June 09, 2015, 09:53:45 PM
Since I evidently wasn't clear enough, I am going to lock the discussion because this conversation has lost purpose/direction and has just degraded to where I don't think there's much useful left to be said. I think everyone has had their say and can just leave knowing not everyone will agree.