Writing About Sex Without Writing About Sex

A writer, when writing, creates an image. The question is, does the writer want to produce a good story or pornography? Indeed that may offend many artists and free thinkers but writing should elevate a person’s thinking and not erode or pervert it.

If someone wants to argue the merits of writing explicit sex; there are none. If that is viewed closed-minded; it is true. Where is it written writers should explore everything? Yeah, I know, nearly everywhere. However, jumping from a thousand foot cliff need not be described in gruesome detail; we all know what happens at the point of impact.

Each writer must chart his or her own course. The purpose of this article is to suggest alternatives and to inform new writers that such exists.

Describing sex is so obviously transparent it is baffling why honest writers even use it; it is merely to sell the book or story. It is only to titillate. Movies that attract the most attention are those that explore and reveal as much sex and flesh possible.

Sex is something that can be assumed or not. If writing about a married couple, it can be assumed. If a single person, the reader can assume or not; wherever their imagination takes them.

In three of my novels, The Id and the Odyssey, Beyond Beyond, and Odyssey in Paradise, the protagonists, Rich Larson, is a single male not quite in his twenties. He doesn’t have sex. He recognizes the moral implications as decides otherwise. Yes, there are actually people like that and those are the ones I chose to write about. If the reader wants to think Rich slips away for a romp on the beach, that’s up to them.

It is enough to write someone is pregnant, spent the night together, or spent time alone. That’s how I handle it. Of course “the earth moved;”* It’s always moving.

It’s important to remember, as a writer, you are writing a story and not a how-to book.

*From Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.


Leave a Reply