Let’s talk dirty
Let’s talk about writing dialogue, and more specifically, sex dialogue and what’s appropriate. I don’t mean the dirty talk that may or may not lead up to sex:
“Hey, baby,” he says, and then he winks and blows her a kiss. (By the by, this is not made up. I’ve witnessed it myself on the subway.)
“Wanna fuck, baby?” he asks with a playful smile.
No, I mean the talk during the deed, the realistic talk, not the porn sex talk like:
“Give it to me, baby,” he says with a growl.
“Slap that ass, baby,” she says with a snarl.
Incidentally, I’ve written both of these bits of poetry into my sexy prose, sigh.
What I want to talk about is realistic dialogue.
Side note: ‘Baby’ is a very conveniently universal form of address – Baby! Baby!… Why does he say this “baby“? – The Producers, 1968, with Gene Wilder RIP). Who needs names when you can just say baby? (“Nobody puts baby in a corner.” – Dirty Dancing)
So back to the talk during sex. Personally, I’m not particularly loquacious while sexing. My repertoire consists primarily of moans and heavy breathing, with the occasional ‘Oh, my god!’ and some elementary instructions, ‘Slower!’, or ‘Faster!’, or ‘Don’t stop!’ Which is fine and good for real life, but do stories need more than that during the sexing?
The dialogue I write is full of ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ and ‘Oh, my god!’, accompanied by a whole repertoire of moaning, groaning, grunting – burly men grunt – growls, and snarls. On occasion there’s ‘Oh, Jesus!’, but I’d rather leave Jesus out of the bedroom. And you can’t have erotica without a lot of ‘Fuck!’- the human version of smurf. You could replace nearly every noun, verb, and adverb with ‘fuck’ and/or ‘baby’ and you would be just fine most days. But if the dialogue during the sexing is lacking, it’s mostly because I’m focused more on what is being done than what is being said.
Which begs the question: when writing dialogue for sex, what should the conversation during the tickle consist of, beyond the obvious, ‘Suck it’, ‘Harder’, or ‘Pepperoni, please’? And is writing conversation during sex really necessary? I mean, if you’re having a conversation can you really be enjoying what’s happening?
These are things that trouble me when I’m writing dialogue for a sex scene. There’s nothing worse than dialogue that distracts from the scene.
NO, NO, NO!
Show, don’t talk, as they love to say in the publishing industry.
So maybe if ‘YES, YES, YES!’ is good enough for real life, then perhaps it’s fine for stories.
In conclusion, I’ll stick with describing the action and punctuating the moves with exclamatory ejaculations of verbiage as the need suggests.