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Sex in stories

Talo Segura

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I read somewhere that gay online stories started with gay internet porn, then writers developed a plot and storylines, and so became what you might label erotic gay stories. Published gay themed literature always existed, with or without sex scenes. So how do you qualify when including sex in a story, what is pornographic and what is simply erotic, where is the difference? Where is the line drawn?

My own interpretation is very simple, but I would be interested in what other writers, and readers think. For myself it is a simply question of detail, which is best demonstrated by example.

Herbie lay melancholy on his back with his hands behind his head as his long hot prick stand straight up from his small grouping of dark black pubes. His head was turned and his eyes were obviously on the young boy. “Feel me,” he ordered with a deep unfamiliar voice.

The stomach hand slid down until it was massaging the solid pole. The fingers looked inadequate as they slid up from the bottom to the top and then back to the bottom in easy motions. Timmy’s face turned downward as he watched his handwork.

The words highlighted in bold are pornographic the scene is part of an erotic story. Were the scene to be rewritten.

Herbie lay melancholy on his back with his hands behind his head and his erection standing up proud. His head was turned and his eyes were obviously on the young boy. “Feel me,” he ordered with a deep unfamiliar voice.

The other's hand moved down until it rested wrapped around the target. The fingers looked inadequate as they slid up and down in easy motions. Timmy’s face turned downward as he watched his handwork.

The edited version is sexual, erotic, but not in any way pornographic.

Do you agree, or do you have a different interpretation? I haven't written graphic sex scenes and hence the topic for discussion.


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An interesting question.  This made me analyze my own writing - and I didn't like the outcome.

IMHO, (generally) in writing, porn will describe graphically.  Erotica will describe generally.  Romance will describe emotionally.

I would add, at least for me, for the majority of erotica I have read, I often skip the sex scenes.  They rarely add to the story - if it's a story you're after and not sex scenes.  I choose to believe there are classier ways to advance a plot.  (And now I am left with a whole lot or rewriting to do!).  Even in erotica, I'm looking for the emotional connection and romance - not only between characters but between them and me too.

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I can't pigeon-hole my sex scenes. They are usually a mixture of romance and erotica. As I have developed my style over the years I've found that the most titilating scenes are ones that leave a lot to the imagination while giving enough to experience the experience the protagonist is having. Emotional rapture is something regular porn can't envision, usually. It's usually very mechanical and graphic showing everything that's going on. The most boring of which tends to be the scenes that only show peg one going into slot two, etc. Writing can convey the full experience if done well. 

I tend to pepper my sex scenes at moments in the narrative where there needs to be a unique and powerful connection made. The sex needs to be voluptuous, but the emotional meaning of it needs to be full. I have been counseled that avoiding graphic sexual tropes and overused descriptors is the key to making the experience for the reader new and personal. 

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I am more plot oriented than sexual writer, but I must concede that after realizing my sexuality is different than my sexual orientation, it kind of made sense.

Sex for me is part of a lot great fictional stories, Harry Turtledove WorldWar series featured a lot of heterosexual sex scenes in graphic details, but he's still considered one of the greatest authors of the Science Fiction genre.

For my writing, I've evolved to aspects of sex, where I will explain the ingredients of sex, but do not give you graphic blow by blows. For that, I want reader to use their imagination:

Take this scene from the end of my story Stoking Embers:



Jason spoke at me shyly, “I thought we’d just do hand jobs or something.”

I laughed, “Hand jobs are fun, but I had something far more interesting for you tonight, Jason,” I picked up the pump, “have you ever seen one of these before?”

He shook his head, “No, what is it?”

I began to explain as best I could. “A penis pump is a cylindrical tube where you insert your penis in one end and a pump is used to add pressure against it inside. The air pressure creates suction and simulates oral sex with higher pressure points. The partner in control of the pump is responsible for identifying the right pressure level, amount of time, and release speed to bring the greatest amount of pleasure to the partner with the penis inserted.”

Jason gasped, “Oh my god, who invented something like that? It sounds perfect for me, but what about you Ben? I want to make sure you are happy, too.”

I put down the pump and took the vibrator and box of ribbed condoms. “I will have fun at the same time you are. While I am using the pump, you will be using this vibrator with the ribbed condom on me. Ribbed condoms unlike regular condoms provide added friction against the prostate. You can control the tempo of the insertion at the pace you think I am enjoying it the most as well. I hope our first-time having sex will let us know exactly how far and how much it takes each of us to reach our pleasure points.”

We spent the rest of the night experimenting with one another, learning about our bodies, and our rhythms synced. I can’t say it was the best sex I’ve ever had, but I think it was the most fulfilling sex I have ever experienced, because it was with someone who wanted to understand me and I wanted to understand him. There is still so much more for us in the next few weeks, but I am cautiously optimistic that maybe this fairy tale gay romance won’t end that soon.


It's sex, but the graphic details are supplied by your imagination with the tools I laid out in the story, not the story itself. I will get graphic of course, but sometimes you don't need to go the entire way.

Edited by W_L
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