Content warning: this episode includes coarse language and discussions about sexual assault in literature.
Continuing the conversation from episode 3.6, we explore sex in non-romance fiction. Sex scenes should not be any different, fundamentally, from any other scene in a book. They can be staged like a fight, conversation, transaction-—any scene that involves character emotion and growth. The scene should have value as well as enticing action.
Do social taboos affect the way we write and read sex? Definitely.
Content warning: this episode includes coarse language, (terrible) descriptions of sexual acts, and discussions about sexual assault in literature.
Sex and physical intimacy in literature is a slippery slope. Inclusion of those elements for shock value alone is counterproductive and generally seen as gratuitous. What we discover through our conversation is that the inclusion of sex in stories must have value to the characters and plot. We also issue a warning: stop using sexual assault as a character-building trope in speculative fiction. It is a terrible thing to do.
We also went quite a bit over time in this episode’s recording, so the episode is split between 3.6 and 3.7, so tune in next week for the second half of the conversation.