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How Much Sex To Include

This page is based on a distillation by Dominick St James of the discussion forum where this topic started.

American Alex

He's of the opinion that often the sex content in stories is weird, unrealistic, boring and sometimes depraved. He sees some authors wasting their talents by purging their hangups, and rendering weird and off the wall situations. He wishes inexperienced writers, especially the sexually naïve and those with fetishes to get second opinions and 'get real'.


He says that sex is important but the scenes should be contextual. He also thinks we can move on, past swinging sex and stay cool about it. He posits how graphic it should be and that it should be plot contextual, but if it isn't sexy, there has to be a reason for that as well.

Mark Friedman

He's cool on the subject. He likes the sex to be inclusive, but not coarse, daft or off the wall. Sex is an intimate thing and should'nt be portrayed as "Wham-bam-thankyou-ma'am," where the characters fuck and then move on. He's done it, but that's another story, and now cool sophisticated sex is his big thing. But he's also in limbo about it, though he abhors the 'Nifty Syndrome' also, (See below). Mark also highlights the 'Goldilocks Syndrome', agreeing with 'The Composer', that one size cannot fit all and what's just right for one, isn't vice versa. He also adds that sexless LGBT stories can be cool. Mark is generally cool to passive about sex content.

William King

He highlights the 'Nifty Syndrome', where authors feel obliged to include heaps of sex, mostly as a dangling carrot for readers. He got cool about sex in his writing, but still keeps a secret stash as a reminder of before and after. He also posits what readers expectations are, yay or nay for sex. He's also cool generally, too. He wants some gay sex if it's a gay story, but agrees that's there's often too much of it, unless it's sci-fi where anything goes.

The Composer

He wants the sex cool and sophisticated too, but not necessarily graphically stated. He says that 'What gets the author off does'nt necessarily get the reader off', especially when there are too many details.

Dominick St James

Dominick's a free radical. Everything's cool with sex scenes, and he also trashes Nifty. He wants sex in stories to be truly sexy and erotic, though. He doesn't want it treated like a guilty secret, and if it leaves him cold, he's out. To that end, he wants it laid out in sophisticated high English grammar and he's even finicky about commas. He says the trick of effective sex writing is 'least input, for a max impact'. He then says that truly erotic stories do not necessarily equate to having sex laid out on every page.

Sean English

I agree with basically one merit: sex for just sex, is useless - but if it "fits", if it's a part of the story, if it has reasoning or can be enveloped with the characters nbaturally… then yeah, I think it's okay. Most of my work has been focussed around coming-of-gae, high school-level characters, and in that genre there is a lot more freewill spirit, I think, than say characters in college, etc. Why? I guess I always envisioned, or felt, that the characters were on the cusp of discovery, of opening their eyes into a new world. When I write about it, I try to imagine the wonder they would feel - just like I felt in my early days. At least, if that makes sense…


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