amaresu: Annabell standing in hall with hockey stick (sttrinians-annabel)
[personal profile] amaresu posting in [community profile] fem_thoughts
Written for the prompt: Where Is All My Hot Lesbian Porn?



I can, without much effort, find a half dozen essays on writing gay male sex. Without hitting Google. I can't say the same for lesbian sex. Why is that?

We live in a society where cosmetic surgery for female genitals exists. We live in a society where despite knowing that the vast majority of women can't orgasm through penetration alone women still feel like failures for not orgasming through penetration alone. I've personally talked to people who didn't realize that their urethra and vagina were different things. How many women actually know that their vagina isn't their vulva? What about the labia and the clitoris? In a society that tries to pretend that female sexuality doesn't exist is it any surprise that some of us might need primers on just how lesbian sex works?

Of the people who would be willing to write lesbian porn how many of them know what the vulva looks like? How many have looked at their own? How many know what other people's look like? How about shaving? Why do women do it and just how popular is it? What about the G-Spot? Fingers, tongue, both? Are teeth a good thing? When do you bring toys into it? I could go on and on about the things that it would be nice to have people actually talk about when it comes to this subject.

I can write about oral sex for men, but I wouldn't have the first clue where to start for women. And that's really sad. I think the basic assumption is that we are women (most of us anyway) and thus should know these things, but we don't. Not all of us. And where exactly are we supposed to learn? Google really isn't a whole lot of help there.

So, really, help a girl out. Tell me how to write this stuff.

Date: 2010-04-30 09:54 pm (UTC)
lotesse: (btvs_sapphic)
From: [personal profile] lotesse
I just realized that I never, never think that female characters may have shaved/trimmed pubic hair. Huh. I'm so used to all-natural in real life that the idea of hairlessness never crossed my mind! Wild.

Date: 2010-05-02 04:27 pm (UTC)
cleo: (Stock: Girls)
From: [personal profile] cleo
Strangely enough, it's one of those things that just...is or isn't for a character for me, and its only in writing a large femslash series with two other people for the past six months that I've really thought about it, as their ideas about shaved/unshaved woman have been different than mine.

Date: 2010-05-01 03:26 am (UTC)
copracat: (some girls - wendy)
From: [personal profile] copracat
Ha ha! I write and think of women characters as natural because the overwhelming public pressure to be waxed annoys me. Although it would likely be true that some women characters would be waxed, for example, anyone who is an actress or model.

When I was young, shaving your pubes was sex play, now it's about "hygiene" and not repulsing your partner with your hairiness. Not a move in the right direction.
dagas_isa: Kanzaki Nao from Liar Game (Default)
From: [personal profile] dagas_isa
Disclaimer: I've never had lesbian sex, so I can really only talk about an individual woman's sex-life (both het and solo) that could maybe be applied to a 2+ woman relationship. Also, veers into TMI.

Hmm...you make some very good points here, especially because while there's a lot of female genitalia to be found, it's not very geared towards women trying to view it. There's a lot we don't know about our bodies as women, and I think even more, in what we do know, there's not a lot of acceptance that a wide range of variation is going to be 'natural' and that having one variation over another isn't wrong.

The thing is, women's bodies are so YMMV, even without all the mystery surrounding women's sexuality. With guys, I think there's this basic rule that anything done to the penis that doesn't cause pain will feel good. There's also very obvious signs of orgasm. Even though men certainly aren't universal in what they like as far as sensations go, there's enough commonalities.

I don't think that holds true for women. It's so YMMV, and one woman's pleasure can be another woman's over- or under-stimulation.

Most can't come from penetration alone. But some can, and some women really like the feeling of penetration even if they don't come from it alone. Also penetration will feel different depending on what's doing the penetration and the angle, and whether there's another type of stimulation going on at the same time. Plus, penetration can have (for some people) icky power dynamics.

And then without penetration. Cunnilingus. Some people think it's the best thing ever. Some people don't like the sensation at all. Some might like the sensation, but are worried about how it smells/tastes down there. Plus it takes a while. Like neck-achingly, mouth-dryingly long times. Masturbation/Diddling. Some can only get off with their own hands, some only with a partner's, some with both. Plus there's other forms of stimulation, anal sex with a strap-on, tribadism (scissoring), vibrators, foot jobs, erotic massages....

Oh. And orgasms. Generally it's not only easy to tell when a man comes, but it's easy to know when he does, he's done for a while, theoretically, barring medical or authorial interventions. Women not so much. First, there's the multiple orgasm thing. Can your characters even do it? Is one enough for them, or do they need more to be satisfied? What even counts as an orgasm? Do they have to be earth-shattering, or does a merely 'nice' one count? What about several merely nice ones in a row. When do they declare the sex to be over?

Plus, there's the question of what happens during periods. Sex drive can go up, can go down. For some women, sex/orgasms help with the cramping, for others it just exacerbates them. For some penetration feels really good, for others they're just too raw and sensitive for penetration to feel good. Some might find the idea of period sex gross, while others either enjoy the idea, or accept that there's going to be clean up. Plus, there's the partner's attitude on all of this, and what she's willing to do while her partner is on her period. And oh yeah, pregnant sex too, which yes, can vary. Although I've heard that fisting is one of the ways to prepare a woman for giving birth.

And then there's all those other little not-necessarily sexual things. Vanilla or kinky? What kind of kinks? Dirty talk? Phone Sex? Other sexual encounters, where there's no touching of each other, but lots of mental strings being pulled. What are they thinking about during sex? The most powerful erogenous organ is located between the ears, not the legs. What do they do to look good for each other/turn each other on? Are they fine with quickies in the backseat, or do they need romance and cuddling afterwards?

In other words, there's such a wide range of what feels good and what doesn't that the best sense of "how" seems to be however the author wants to write it, and whatever they imagine the characters involved liking. Just because I don't get off on cunnilingus doesn't mean favorite character can't...

((Though, in regards to teeth, probably not, unless the one receiving is into it))

Otherwise, I think the first thing is that while women might know ourselves (a little) actually sharing this info is seen as TMI in our society.

As far as where? Well, there's books on it. Also just browsing on a site like Blowfish and just reading the product reviews (especially for the videos) can be educational.
dagas_isa: Kanzaki Nao from Liar Game (Default)
From: [personal profile] dagas_isa
See and now you've just added to the list of questions that I have no answer to.

I don't know if my last post was clear enough, but I don't think any of those questions even have a definitive answer, even in a fannish sense. And I don't necessarily think there should be definitive answers for any of these, except as to what any person can write in character without feeling too embarrassed about.

Heck, I think that's the huge problem with all the research about female sexuality, every new finding is presented as universal and/or prescriptive, when really it should only be taken an observation of a select group of women, and then maybe seeing if one fits into that group of women.

And, honestly, as cool as I'm sure the m/m sex guides are (not really a boyslash-fan), I think they might also narrow the range of what writers think is okay to portray m/m slash as and what's not okay (even if some real-life gay couples do exactly what is 'not okay' in slash writing and enjoy it). So, while yes, guides about the range of various fem-sexy behaviors would be awesome awesomesauce, I think I'd rather see them as more of an imagination/idea sparking tool than a guide for how-to write explicit femslash.

The thing is, even for my most explicit sex scenes, I really don't know if I need to describe exactly what is being done and how it's happening, or what it looks like down there. It's not about being coy, just my porn is very mentally-situated, so I'm more concerned with the thoughts and feelings of the characters as this happens, and not so much with the mechanical stuff, as long as I'm not doing describing something that's physically impossible.
ext_423965: (pic#452691)
From: [identity profile] thegeneral.insanejournal.com
All of that last paragraph and a half, especially, YES. In some senses, writing sex is a lot like writing humor --not everyone is going to "get" it-- but it helps to have a basic understanding of sex with regards to the anatomy you're working with. I probably wouldn't ever write extensively or explicitly about a man having sex because a) I don't read it and b) I'm not interested in experiencing it.

A guide of sorts would be great, but so would recs of fics and writers that are "doin' it right." Sometimes you have a writer who has the right ideas, but the way they word and describe things is so... unsexy.
cleo: (Leverage: Parker grin)
From: [personal profile] cleo
A guide of sorts would be great, but so would recs of fics and writers that are "doin' it right." Sometimes you have a writer who has the right ideas, but the way they word and describe things is so... unsexy.

Yes! Recs for authors/fics that have done something especially effectively...that's a cool idea.
cleo: (Stock: Girls)
From: [personal profile] cleo
Yes to everything in this comment and your first, and especially to this:

The thing is, even for my most explicit sex scenes, I really don't know if I need to describe exactly what is being done and how it's happening, or what it looks like down there. It's not about being coy, just my porn is very mentally-situated, so I'm more concerned with the thoughts and feelings of the characters as this happens, and not so much with the mechanical stuff, as long as I'm not doing describing something that's physically impossible.

That's how I feel when I write explicit scenes as well, and those are the types of scenes I like to read best. Sometimes, depending upon the perspective in which I'm writing, I feel like it's okay to push the physically impossibly just a little bit if it works for the scene. But overall, bare mechanics tend to be a bit of a turn off for me, so there's definitely a personal preference thing there.

And because there really is no universal for every woman, that's something to keep in mind. Get to know your character...what does she really like, what works for her, etc. And I find that certain canonical character traits lead me to certain assumptions about what a character might like or like to do, what might work for her. I mean, I'm not talking "well, Character A looks butch, so she obviously gets off on fucking girls with a strap on," but more just watching characters react to things, their movements, facial expressions, their little habits, etc.

dagas_isa: Kanzaki Nao from Liar Game (Default)
From: [personal profile] dagas_isa
And I find that certain canonical character traits lead me to certain assumptions about what a character might like or like to do, what might work for her. I mean, I'm not talking "well, Character A looks butch, so she obviously gets off on fucking girls with a strap on," but more just watching characters react to things, their movements, facial expressions, their little habits, etc.

Yeah, I know what you mean, I think, though I tend to be in more general terms. Like character A would probably be more comfortable touching than being touched, or character B would only enjoy sex if she were in complete control of how and where she was touched. It's more about particular attitudes towards sex, and how they behave in general, then about particular acts that they like, with maybe the exception of possible kinks/squicks or a little bit of sex trivia based on their canon.
woldy: Femmefest! :-D (femmefest)
From: [personal profile] woldy
I don't think any of those questions even have a definitive answer, even in a fannish sense. And I don't necessarily think there should be definitive answers for any of these, except as to what any person can write in character without feeling too embarrassed about. Yes times a million to this!

IMHO there are already far too many efforts to normalize women's sexuality, and I'd be sad to see femslashers going down that route. There's almost nothing one can say about sex that will be true for everybody, and almost nothing that won't be true for somebody - including things that many folks would claim were physically impossible - so I'd rather steer clear of boundary-policing in the name of 'realism'.
dagas_isa: Kanzaki Nao from Liar Game (Default)
From: [personal profile] dagas_isa
Totally. You know I'm all for people getting to know themselves and their partners and what works and what doesn't, but to say that scientists say that the G-spot doesn't exist so don't write about that, or that 70% of women can't orgasm from penetration, so don't write a character who's in that 30% (or who just enjoys it despite not orgasming, which...I think is another thing that should stop getting policed is what defines good or bad sex).

I'd rather people maybe see guides to lesbian sex as a starting point for ideas and then tailor it for what appeals to them and what works for the character. But I wouldn't want there to be this idea that a good f/f sex scene needs to have x, y, and z in order to be 'realistic' sex.

Date: 2010-04-30 11:57 pm (UTC)
sqbr: Faith holding a spray can next to "Buffy the Vamprie Slayer" with Faith scrawled over the top (faith)
From: [personal profile] sqbr
My most sexually explicit fic has like 4 lines of kissing so this is not (as yet, at least) an issue for me. But it has struck me that if I wanted to write f/f sex I would have much less of an idea of where to start than for m/m. Some of these issues apply to het sex as well, at least if you want to get past the generic romance-novel-esque heteronormative "And then her penetrated her and it was awesome" sex scene (heh. And now that sentence is the most sexually explicit scene I've written :D) Our society tends not to be interested in exploring female desire from the woman's POV.

Date: 2010-05-01 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] xavie
Thank you for this post! I'm so tired of reading the word 'folds' as universal description of female genitals in f/f fiction.
I agree with dagas isa that there are no definite answers that can be given in a how-to guide. But I think it's important and long overdue to talk about the questions you raised.

(Even if I find myself being intrigued by the idea of writing a how-to-guide... *blush*)

Date: 2010-05-01 08:44 pm (UTC)
lotesse: (btvs_sapphic)
From: [personal profile] lotesse
Co-sign on "folds"!

Date: 2010-05-02 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ivanolix
But...that's kind of how they look like...at least all the ones I've seen. I can understand wanting more variation, but that's the one definition that I can read in f/f porn without going "eh, purple prose".

Date: 2010-05-02 12:01 am (UTC)
summerstorm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
I completely agree with what some of the commenters above are saying about different women having different reactions to a given sort of stimulation, but I still think a how-to guide to writing lesbian sex (or more than one!) could be written and written well and helpfully. It doesn't necessarily have to be the be-all, end-all of guides; I don't think you can actually write a guide that applies to every woman (or female character) ever. But you can write a guide that applies to some and that fic writers can use for reference. Or not even write a guide — just start talking.

I'm being purely selfish here, ngl. If I ever get stuck on a m/m sex scene, I can troll delicious for not only meta but also dozens upon dozens of well-written stories I can read to get a feel for what works and what doesn't, technically and otherwise, in the sexual act/kink/whatever I'm trying to write. When I get stuck on f/f porn (or f/m), I get stuck. I'm not sexually experienced at all; I know how to get myself off (and [TMI] my fingers are enough to bring me to orgasm through clitoral stimulation, plus I live with my parents, so I've never tried toys, and I've never even really fingered myself seriously [/TMI]), and that's it. I can draw little details from that, but I can't base the mechanics of sex in my stories on my own experience because it would get boring (and creepy) really fast, and it's not like I need experience to write m/m sex that readers can more or less enjoy. Also I love writing about tits and mine aren't really much of a physically erogenous zone.

And the thing is, I still write porny femslash, but a lot of the time it's ridiculously nonexplicit because, aside from my writing style tending towards the psychological connotations rather than the physical goings-on, I don't want to mess the physical stuff up.

More TMI: I trim for comfort, and I shaved once and it hurt like a motherfucker when it grew back, so I have not tried again. /TMI

So, some things I would love to see people talk about because I frankly don't know how they work (and I'm going to show my ignorance off here, but hey, it's all for the greater good, right? And for the sake of that outline for a story that involves more graphic heterosexual sex than I've probably read in my life and I want to write for rpf_big_bang): multiple orgasms. How many orgasms is that? How different do they feel from one another? How much time passes between two of them? I'm 100% sure it differs from woman to woman, but just knowing ways it does happen would be helpful for writing purposes.

Also, the G spot. All I know about the G spot comes from magazines I read when I was fifteen, and I can't take magazines seriously. Personal accounts from women who actually know where their G spot is (LOL, the ~search for the G spot~, jesus christ) and how it feels and how it's best stimulated and if one can orgasm from G-spot stimulation alone and if and how the feeling of a G-spot orgasm is different from clitoral or vaginal orgasms.

From an even more writing-inclined perspective, how explicit can you get without putting people off, and what words can you use without getting too clinical? There is so much m/m stuff out there that gets graphic about male genitalia, but most porny femslash fic doesn't even mention pussy. I'm not even talking about folds and other such terms; I'm talking about vagueness. "Between her legs" and "[verb] inside her" and the like. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's extremely different from what's common in m/m slash.

So I'm pretty much throwing meta prompts out here (and potentially embarrassing myself) in hopes someone will be awesome enough to answer them, I guess. And, for the record, it's already crossed my mind several times that I shouldn't post this comment because a) it's tl;dr, b) it's two in the morning, and c) I honestly don't usually talk about this stuff. But I'm going to click that goddamn post comment button before I backtrack and/or my Safari crashes, because I think talking about these things is worth losing a little dignity. (And dignity is overrated, anyway.)

Date: 2010-05-03 09:44 am (UTC)
nuclearsugars: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nuclearsugars
I don't think your comment is TMI at all. Frankly it's quite refreshing to hear someone talk about their own sexual experiences as you did.

And as someone who owns 4 vibrators, I would rather use my fingers in a pinch as well. ;)

Date: 2010-05-02 12:12 am (UTC)
ein_myria: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ein_myria
Is there really a "right" way? Maybe a way to go about it is how NOT to write it. For that, I leave you a link to McGill's guide to lesbian sex and STDs that [livejournal.com profile] law_nerd posted elsewhere:
http://www.mcgill.ca/studenthealth/information/queerhealth/lesbianandstis/

Date: 2010-05-02 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pop-the-tart.livejournal.com
Personally I agree with this research. I think the G-Spot is mental. To which I can only shake my fist at the ladies who've "got" one. :D

Date: 2010-05-07 08:25 pm (UTC)
zellieh: kitten looking shocked, openmouthed, text: WTF? (What the fuck?) (gay: Xena/Gabrielle Girls!)
From: [personal profile] zellieh
There's evidence that the G-spot (as well as female ejaculation) is actually the Skene's glands (the equivalent of prostate glands in women), and that different women have different amounts of this prostate-like tissue, so some women have a G-spot and some don't.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_prostate:
"Skene's glands have highly variable anatomy, and in some extreme cases they appear to be absent entirely. If Skene's glands are the cause of female ejaculation and G-spot-orgasms, this may explain the observed absence of these phenomena in many women."

Date: 2010-05-02 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ivanolix
And where exactly are we supposed to learn?

I know for me, as a writer, given that I don't have all the "right" personal experience (although really, who does), I sought out lesbian porn written by lesbians. That, plus some experience in thinking about my own sexuality/sexual experiences, made writing f/f porn seem a whole lot more natural than writing anything but (possibly) het sex. But—and I guess this is the main point—I would have no idea how to tell anyone else to get to that point. No one ever taught me to write porn; I'm not sure anyone could have said anything that would have helped me to "get it". It was really something that had to spring out of my own sexuality and how I expressed it. Sure, reading porn helped, but it's not as simple as imitation, and it wasn't like I was taking lessons while doing it (if porn is well-written, you're not focused on why that is, no matter how much you'd like to know that when not turned on).

And the thing is...f/f sex is just as varied, if not more so, than f/m. How are you possibly supposed to write a guide to that? I have no idea where to start. When I think of writing f/f porn, I think of it in terms of both a) the characters, and b) the situation/prompt. Porn in general though...way too broad a term.

Date: 2010-05-02 12:54 am (UTC)
summerstorm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
I don't think meta on writing porn is necessarily about teaching people how to write porn from scratch, though. I think it's more about reassuring writers, debunking myths, giving ideas and pointers, talking about vocabulary, etc. Personally, I can't imagine a comprehensive guide on the subject of f/f porn in general, but I'd love it if people talked about f/f sex. Male slash writers have been doing that for ages and it's definitely been helpful for me.

(Now, if someone's incapable of connecting with their characters and communicating what those characters are feeling through their writing... well, they can look for meta on characterization, tone, the works.)

Date: 2010-05-02 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ivanolix
reassuring writers, debunking myths, giving ideas and pointers, talking about vocabulary, etc.

I hesitate a bit when people talk about "myths" and vocabulary in porn meta, because it's so individualized that invariably someone will state as fact something that I know is just not so for me. It makes me hesitant to post my own meta, knowing how subjective the viewpoint will be. However, opening a discussion post, such as this one...I can definitely see the need for more of that.

Date: 2010-05-02 11:03 am (UTC)
summerstorm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
Of course it's individualized, I'm not saying it isn't. But it's the same way in m/m slash fandom, and people talk about it anyway. As long as a poster makes it clear that their meta contains their personal feelings or views on a given subject and are open to disagreement, I don't see how it would hurt. Don't be hesitant to post your meta — honestly, I don't think anybody approaches meta as gospel.

Date: 2010-05-02 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pop-the-tart.livejournal.com
First, I'm not really active in fic right now. I read one every few days, but I haven't seriously written anything in years. I'm working on that now, but it may be some time until I'm out there again. That being said, this conversation interests me and I want to throw in my two cents.

I think something that needs to be addressed in any sex guide is that not all people do all things. First and foremost the author should be very particular about figuring out who their characters are. Two authors can have vastly different views on characterization for anyone, but their stories need to show that they have a handle on who a character is and this includes sex. Possibly, sex is even more important to characterization than anything else. I think it speaks very deeply of a person to know what kind of sex they have versus what kind of non-sexual relationships they keep.

In the case of the sex itself I agree that trying to spell out all the ways people react to sex is a lousy idea. However, a proper introductory chapter illustrating that not everyone likes or reacts to everything the same way would work just fine. After all, this isn't a guide to HAVING sex. It's a guide to sex for stories. Sometimes, you just want to know how exactly putting tab A into slot B works and how it's usually pleasurable (or in some cases how it's usually not). I think, too, that links to enlightening sources on the various sexual acts would be a good inclusion.

I think that a lot of fanfic readers get ideas for their own sex lives from the stories they read and write. Therefore, it's helpful when the authors know at least the bare-bones basics of what they're writing about. I don't, however, think that people need to worry over-much about "getting it wrong." We're writing fantasy here, not non-fiction. The best romance novels are the ones that throw reality to the wind for four pages of ridiculous, mostly unbelievable smut. I mean, the reality of most of the sexual relationships I've had and known about is that sex has to be scheduled and planned and slaved over. If that's true for most, then the idea that two people are banging anywhere but in the comfort of their own home and bed is in and of itself over the top and unbelievable.

I think a discussion on the difference between real sex and fic sex is one that I'd very much like to see. I'd say that most femslash authors who are women are writing about the kind of sex they want to have - the unbridled, unplanned, easy, passionate kind. Who wants to read about Alex Cabbot and Olivia Benson penciling in sex between a long work day and loads of casework. Sex that's probably going to be frustratingly difficult due to the amount of stress both women are under all the time (I don't know about most people, but achieving any kind of release while stressed is impossible for me). Instead, I'd rather read about them banging in the bathroom and getting off fast and easy because they lust for one another all day. (I don't lust for anyone all day, not even my super-hot fiancé. I've got too much to do!)

Porn just isn't sex - it's porn. You can ask any anyone - it just doesn't work like it does in the popular films (usually - I feel the need to caveat because there are always exceptions). If they were like real life, real life would either be a lot less boring or porn would be a lot more boring!

All of that being said, the only kind of sex I feel expert in is anal sex. I'd be happy to write up a response comment about it if anyone wants it, but it's one of the more easy things to research. :P

As for a question I'd like answered, does anybody NOT have a hard time with strap-ons? I find them hot to read about, but completely impractical in real life. They just never stay where I want them to. As I'd like to write about it in a fic, but want to come at it from both directions (heh, so to speak), I'd love to know others' experiences. Tips/tricks? LOL.

Date: 2010-05-02 02:44 am (UTC)
ein_myria: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ein_myria
I second this. I had a friend who actually tried to re-enact word by word some of the hotter smut scenes from some of the fanfics she's read with her girlfriend. For the most part, they're physically impossible or impractical. Doesn't mean that they're not hot. lol

Date: 2010-05-02 11:11 am (UTC)
summerstorm: (Default)
From: [personal profile] summerstorm
I don't, however, think that people need to worry over-much about "getting it wrong."

I think people need to worry about "getting it wrong" insofar as getting it wrong will pull a fair amount of readers out of the story, but I think that mostly applies to, like, less exaggerated versions of writers who think the clit is a hole. Most readers can ignore how impractical or even uncomfortable a sexual situation is if it's hot, definitely, but that still doesn't mean someone writing something most people wouldn't do shouldn't know the rules they're breaking before they break them. Self-awareness in writing makes porn a lot less cringe-worthy, even when it presents unrealistic (note: "unrealistic" =/= "impossible for the characters in question") things as common and easy to do.

Date: 2010-05-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
cleo: (SVU: In which Alex stares at PL's ass)
From: [personal profile] cleo
I think a discussion on the difference between real sex and fic sex is one that I'd very much like to see. I'd say that most femslash authors who are women are writing about the kind of sex they want to have - the unbridled, unplanned, easy, passionate kind. Who wants to read about Alex Cabbot and Olivia Benson penciling in sex between a long work day and loads of casework. Sex that's probably going to be frustratingly difficult due to the amount of stress both women are under all the time (I don't know about most people, but achieving any kind of release while stressed is impossible for me). Instead, I'd rather read about them banging in the bathroom and getting off fast and easy because they lust for one another all day. (I don't lust for anyone all day, not even my super-hot fiancé. I've got too much to do!)

This. I would love to see a big meta explosion discussion on this come up. Maybe I'll put down my thoughts in my journal. But you've really hit the nail on the head here, I think. It's the sex you want to have sometimes or at least the sex you want to read about/imagine. Total realism can ruin the narrative, and it's a combination of good writing and full immersion in just how hot the scene is (or how emotional or how tense, etc) that really allows us to put aside how some of it just might not work in the real world.

(and on a personal note...substitute Patrice LaRue or Liz Donnelly for Olivia for me and...yeah. Lol. )

Date: 2010-05-02 04:56 pm (UTC)
cleo: (Stock: Girls)
From: [personal profile] cleo
I've said most of what I wanted to say in comments to other comments, but I did want to add this.

[livejournal.com profile] lez_sex_tips is a longstanding LJ comm for, well, lesbian sex tips. It's not really geared for fic writers, and a lot of the questions are about personal and specific situations. But the differences in the advice given is really interesting.

It's not a set guide, but it is a good place to get a range of advice and personal experiences on anything from what type of vibrators people prefer to different tips and experiences with oral sex to lesbian sex while one or both partners are having their periods.

Date: 2010-05-03 12:27 am (UTC)
woldy: Femmefest! :-D (femmefest)
From: [personal profile] woldy
Maybe it's because I'm queer, but I don't entirely understand why someone would need a post about how to write f/f sex. There are plenty of resources for those wanting to know how f/f sex works: googling 'lesbian sex guide' brought up lots of decent-looking options, putting 'lesbian sex' into the books search at Amazon gets over 5000 matches, and you'd get lots more hits for more specific searches. What would you want to know from a post geared at fic writers that wouldn't be covered by the existing resources about f/f sex and the posts geared at people writing smut in general?

Date: 2010-05-03 01:11 am (UTC)
woldy: (Default)
From: [personal profile] woldy
I didn't at all mean to imply that queer people couldn't be clueless about f/f sex (I can remember being utterly clueless myself) and I apologise for offending you. My point is that I don't understand why we need a fannish source of information about f/f sex dedicated to writers if there are already lots of other sources of information about f/f sex both online and offline.

Date: 2010-05-03 01:31 am (UTC)
woldy: Femmefest! :-D (femmefest)
From: [personal profile] woldy
I hear that you feel the need for those resources, but I still don't understand what you think a fannish post about writing f/f sex would add that you wouldn't get from browsing the google results on 'lesbian sex guide' or something similar. I actually think there are good reasons for not writing a post about how f/f sex works, as I've said earlier in this thread, but I can't balance what I see as the disadvantages against what you see as the advantages unless I know what you think the advantages are.

On a different note, every town I've ever lived in had a public library which included books about sex, including f/f sex, and you could go into the library to read them without needing a library card. I don't know if that would work for you, but it's an option that doesn't involve spending money on books or needing to take them home.

Date: 2010-05-03 04:10 am (UTC)
mosca: Paige and Alex from Degrassi (obligatory pic of hot girls kissing)
From: [personal profile] mosca
Right off the bat I want to make it clear that my intention is not to flame or attack, but to respond to some of your questions clearly.

You are incredibly lucky to have always lived in communities with public libraries that have good resources on sex and sexuality. Many libraries purposely censor such books, especially books that deal frankly with same-sex intimacy. Many others have limited or out-of-date collections because public libraries have no damn money. And even for those of us blessed to live near well-stocked public libraries, many people feel uncomfortable checking out books on sexual subjects or reading them inside the library, where a neighbor might see them.

As for the need for specifically fannish resources on f/f sex, I agree with many of the commenters above that one would be useful. Most of the print and online guides to f/f sex that I've seen are geared toward having f/f sex, not toward writing about it. I've had years of experience in fucking women as well as in writing about women fucking each other, and they are two distinct activities. Of course, there's a large degree of overlap in the required knowledge, but all kinds of problems arise when narrating sex that don't matter as much in the actual bedroom. If you read the original post as well as many of the comments, you'll see what they are: the difficulty of finding language for body parts and activities without becoming vague, trite, or vulgar; the difficulty of describing the feelings (emotional and physical) of female arousal and orgasm; the fact that, with the vast diversity of female bodies and desires, we are usually writing characters whose experiences are really different from our own. While it is probably possible to overcome all this stuff without a specifically fannish writers' guide, having one would surely make things easier, especially for writers who would like to write explicit sex scenes but aren't sure where to start.

Also, the project of compiling a fan writer's guide to f/f sex would most likely bring people together from all over fandom, into a discussion of sex and sexuality. I think this would be a great thing in and of itself.

Date: 2010-05-03 05:46 am (UTC)
woldy: Femmefest! :-D (femmefest)
From: [personal profile] woldy
The project of compiling a fan writer's guide to f/f sex would most likely bring people together from all over fandom, into a discussion of sex and sexuality. I think this would be a great thing in and of itself. Well, that's the optimistic take on it. My take on it is that we'll see efforts to normalize women's sexuality and a whole load of unwelcome boundary-policing. The normalization seems to have started already, because people earlier in this thread are making claims about whether or not the g-spot exists, and that kind of sweeping generalization about other people's bodies and sexual responses is not the kind of thing I am comfortable seeing in a femslash community.

In the past I've had comments on femslash fics from readers asserting that sexual acts I described in the story based on personal experience were unrealistic and/or not activities 'normal' people did, and frankly I find that sort of boundary policing both ignorant and offensive. I see even more boundary policing about how sex is presumed to work in discussions of how slash sex, e.g. authors claiming that it is impossible to enjoy gay sex without lube, and I think a lot of the guides about how to write gay sex have encouraged that boundary policing by making sweeping generalizations about other people's bodies and sex lives.

I would be, broadly speaking, on board with a project in which people shared relevant bits of their own f/f sexual experience and/or experiences writing about f/f sex, but I don't think that's at all the same as putting together a guide to how f/f sex 'ought' to be written. It seems to be that talking about how one ought to write f/f sex is irrevocably bundled up with assumptions about what constitutes f/f sex (there's a great Marilyn Frye article on that) and how f/f sex 'ought' to be done, so it seems to me that the added normalization and boundary policing around writing femslash sex scenes would restrict women's efforts to articulate f/f sexual experiences and perhaps their sexual self-expression.

Date: 2010-05-03 06:24 am (UTC)
mosca: Alissa Czisny smiling with rainbow gloves (alissa level four pillar hugging)
From: [personal profile] mosca
I think your concerns are absolutely valid: any kind of guide or primer runs the risk of being too prescriptive, of telling writers what they can and cannot write, of setting off certain activities or behaviors as "wrong." Certainly, there are people in fandom who think this way about sex and wish to inflict their views upon others. I've also had experiences like yours, where commenters have thought my sex scenes were unrealistic or impossible or deviant or whatever. And they've invariably been in response to descriptions of stuff I've actually done or watched in porn. (Not that porn is always/ever an accurate depiction of sex, but it is often an apt demonstration of what is possible.) I agree with you that nobody has any business telling anyone else how consenting adults should have sex.

But I think you're conflating that larger truth with the proposed task at hand, which is to create a document that might help ease the fears of writers who want to write explicit f/f sex scenes but aren't sure where to start. It sounds like you assume that any such guide would end up telling writers that certain sexual acts are impossible or off-limits. I think it's possible that we could end up with such a guide if we're not careful, but I don't see much in the comments above to suggest that anyone wants a prescriptive, policing guide. Rather, I see a lot of people asking questions and raising points that would help avoid producing that kind of a document. The G-spot conversation is troubling me too - found one just the other night! - but that seems to be the exception to a discussion that seems mostly open and curious.

I keep suggesting a collaborative guide with numerous contributors because I think it would reduce what you call "boundary policing" and what I call prescriptivism. I can see how a well-meaning writer could end up producing a guide to how f/f sex "should" be written, but I don't think anyone wants such a guide. I think that if such a project got off the ground, we'd have to take steps to avoid prescription and judgment, especially since you (and presumably others) would worry about that.

I don't think it's possible to create a perfect guide, but I don't think a good idea should be abandoned simply because something might go wrong. Maybe that makes me too much of an optimist for you, but I'm a big fan of optimism.

Date: 2010-05-03 04:21 am (UTC)
mosca: Alissa Czisny smiling with rainbow gloves (alissa level four pillar hugging)
From: [personal profile] mosca
Thanks for answering my prompt in such a thoughtful way; I've found the resulting discussion fascinating, too. I agree that the problem is that we (not just in fandom) are generally unwilling to discuss the questions you've raised, and when we do, we tend to apologize for doing so. Even in the mostly-female community of fandom, we're a lot more comfortable talking about dicks. You're right that most women don't know the names of the various parts of their genitals, even if they know which parts they like touched and how. You can say, "there, no, a little to the left" in the bedroom, but that doesn't work so well when you're trying to describe a scene.

I love writing explicit f/f, but I agree that even though it's the kind of sex I've had the most of in real life, it's in many ways the most difficult to write about. Judging from the other comments, a lot of people just give up or fade out. I'm also getting the impression that people would read the porn if more writers were brave enough to attempt it.

It would be neat to start a fannish commmunity project to put together a fan writer's guide to f/f sex. I don't have the time to run such a thing, but I'd be happy to contribute.

Date: 2010-05-04 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nike-ravus.livejournal.com
This is really tough. Definitely research is really helpful, and that lez-sex-tips, awesome. Who knew breathing through your mouth while giving oral was very appreciated? Well, the people who do, i guess. If asked to give advice i would say...

1) research like hell
2) watch/read porn related to what you want to do
3) write with your hand down your pants.

Seriously, that's where you get all the good dirty stuff, because, as some people have said previously, the point is not to have an accurate or nuanced representation of f/f sex, it is to get people turned on. If it turns you on, probably a good shot.

There's all the other stuff, like 'have some dialog during a sex scene, because there's nothing more boring than "X put her fingers there, and Y came, and loved her so much." for six pages. I tend to scroll down if I hit a 'romantic' sex scene to get back to the plot. And the 'half your readers will hate the word pussy, but sometimes it's what fits, and vagina never fits *anywhere.*'

M/M slashers are just obsessive. But their thoughtfulness about this does show in their fic. (Sometimes a little too much). I just generally assume that research is difficult, but important, and if it's worth doing it's worth helping other people do.

Although seriously, at least F/F sex is possible to research online. (Although pornography is like the least helpful thing here). Mermaid sex? This is more difficult to get a good handle on. (But if anyone wants a really squicky (in the way that at the end you're like, okay, that's nice, and then have to check yourself) guide to humans having sex with dolphins...

Okay, if there is a guide to *that* we seriously need to get working!
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