I’m unsure why, but I always feel self-conscious and vaguely ridiculous writing a smut scene. And I’m not talking about Dobby/Harry Potter Slashfic for the TR FFF (you guys write those too, right?), or anything involving barnyard animals here. I’m not talking the guff from the average bodice-ripper. I will gouge my eyes out with a spork before I ever type the words “throbbing member” or “heaving bosom” (Oh my god, I just typed them. Does that count? I don’t even own a spork.)
I’m just talking about regular consenting adults bumping uglies in my books.
I wrote a sex scene in one of my aborted WiPs, but that’s wasn’t ‘for real’ since it was only a WiP from an un-agented author. But now I’m writing words that people are actually going to read (well, my agent, his assistant and my soon-to-be chosennnnn editor at least), this seems to have put an entirely new spin on the process. These words are going to be published, black and white, printed on a page where any impressionable 12-year-old boy can toddle up and read them, staggering away all half-blinded and covering his crotch while the girls laugh at him and his wee boner. (I’m not big-noting my smut writing abilities here btw – the hypothetical gentleman in question is 12. His hypothetical willy will take your eye out if the wind blows the wrong way)
My wife reads all my stuff. She’s my first and only beta. And believe me when I say, I am well aware this woman reads some absolute filth, and yet I’m still vaguely embarrassed about her reading mine, despite the fact that it’s totally mild by comparison and she has, in all liklihood done all of these things to/with me. And then I realize that my sisters will probably read it too (at least until the smut hits). My cousins. Their daughters. And then, the final revelation hits me, like a top-rope drop kick to the wedding tackle from The Rock himself:
OH MY GOD. MY MOTHER IS GOING TO READ THIS BOOK.
Even if she has one-third of two fifths of no idea about what the hell is happening in it, or what a griffin is, or the fact that she wouldn’t know a steampunk if he ran up and played air-guitar on his throbbing member in front of her heaving bosom (gahhhhhhhhhhhh), she’s still going to read every goddamn word. And she’s going to hit the “blue patch” and clutch her heart and fall over dead, and congratulations Jay, you just killed your Mum.
How is xmas dinner going to work after that? “Can you pass the breadrolls, you murdering sonofabitch?” What the hell will dad do? He couldn’t find his own arse with both hands without that woman to point him in the right direction.
The scene wasn’t even that hardcore. Neil Gaiman wrote a scene where some demon ate a man with her vagina. Neil- fucking-Gaiman. Everyone loves that guy. Nobody blames him for killing his Mum. Does the woman not read? Did he rip out those pages before he gave her a copy? How could you not blow your gasket after realizing your son wrote a book with a carnivorous vagina? She’s English, for crissakes!