To write IT or not to write IT . . .

I’ve seen dozens of writers blog about this question.

What question, you ask?

How much to write when you write about sex, of course.

Should we be explicit, they say, including every sweaty, gasping moment?

Or should we be subtle, giving just the intimation of a touch, anything further a mere hint with a specially chosen word?

Looking back on those two questions, there’s obviously no doubt which I prefer. I am a subtle creature (in this instance), not given to verbose descriptions of the sex act. Besides, I’m not writing bonk-busters. I’m writing either a rough first draft historical fiction for the blog or in-depth fantasy sagas potentially for print.

I grew up with countless replays of movies of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s on TV and there was a code of depiction.  Goodness, even Lucy and Desi weren’t allowed to show a double bed on I Love Lucy.  It was twin beds all the way.  So love was pure and usually focussed on a long kiss. If we needed to believe it was going to lead to the next step, the camera invariably panned to waves crashing on a beach or clouds flying across the sky.  Cliched?  You betcha.  But stirring the imagination?  Of course.  Leading to one thought after another so that one could take the whole thing as far as one wanted.

I remember one scene which I’ve mentioned before on this blog.  It comes from The King and I: a movie that related stories about respect and affection and indeed lifelong love.  The scene I mention is one that set my imagination ablaze in the most romantic way and you can see it on

Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr have been dancing, she teaching him to polka but halfway through he claims he wants to dance as westerners do.  He moves with animal grace close in by her, sliding a masterful hand round her silk-clad waist. Perhaps it is the dark storminess of those Brynner eyes, the sliiiiiide of his hand as it moves around her, her reaction of ‘don’t, yet do’, her chest heaving away in its low-cut Victorian gown.  Either way, it is a loaded scene. The stillness of the couple, the initial removal of her hands to lie behind her back, speaks much for the ‘less is more’ approach.

Which of course I am desperate to make my own. (I hope)

And so I have finally written two scenes and sweated much.  One was for A Thousand Glass Flowers and rests in the hands of an editor in the UK.  The other is for The Sheriff’s Collector and will be delivered to the readers of mesmered as a Christmas present next week.

I hope you all approve.

PS: You have no idea how difficult it is to tag a post like this so that it doesn’t invite the worst spam and the strangest visitors.  Pray that Akismet is working!