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Guest Post - The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones by Ellen Harger

Good Thursday morning, y'all. Welcome my friend and wonderful writer, Ellen Harger to the blog today! Her new release The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones is coming out on Monday!

Pushing My Comfort Zone

Where’s Dr. Ruth when you need her? I struggle writing sex scenes. Perfectly choreographed sex in books and movies drives me nuts. When the scene is well written, I forgive many fantastical elements, but considering the statistical evidence about sexual experience (ranging over many questions), I consider easy sex in fiction to be akin to body image issues. Size zeros and perfect sexual encounters are just so normal. That’s one reason why I like reading and writing contemporary and women’s fiction. My characters ask difficult questions.


Wait a minute, when did this become sex therapy for sex scenes in fiction?


So one day, as she and I were getting know Mr. Write, I asked Gillian what she liked? You know, girl talk. What stimulated her after the heady euphoria of initial attraction? She didn’t know. After college and marriage, how could she not know? I allowed the stereotype of college sex to be mostly mindless nubile bodies filled with hormones on speed. Gillian just followed her curiosity through a couple of serious relationships and didn’t ask questions.


Then there was marriage. First it was euphoria of finding someone, then newlywed-bliss. This was where it got touchy. If she and her ex-husband, Evan, didn’t communicate about the little things in a relationship, there was no way they talked about sex. Gillian had never dared to answer,
By chapter fourteen, Gillian was settled into her new life when Mr. Write wrote his first blog post, amplifying her desire. In this scene, Gillian wanted to write a sexy blog post to Mr. Write. Since she’s aroused, it was a good time to  delve into "What do I want?"


Older and excited, she pushed her boundaries by looking for fantasy on the internet. First she searched for erotica, but like Goldie Locks, found the first option wanting--or in her case, repetitious and perfect. Next she tried self-pleasure.

OH BOY. I wrestled with the scene from natural shyness. And frankly, it’s as difficult to write about the scene as it was to edit it! Her sexuality wasn’t the central quest of the story, but I couldn’t ignore a more confident Gillian being honest with herself. So, we both had to look. I looked at sex toys and blushed, I can admit it!


I found a site that used words well, read a few descriptions and knew I must accept the challenge. Time for super-duper creative writing mode.


   Site after site, I search for a thrill until an unusual word catches my attention: recipes. On a sex toy site.
   The accompanying images are benign, a classy overlay. Only one is sexual. At the top is a starfish in a rustic frame, then a vase of tiger lilies, a pair of elegant low heels, and finally a woman draped in black threads. I study the last image. I can’t tell what she’s wearing. It drapes around her shoulders, cinches her at the waist, and then wraps into a thin thong. It’s gracefully erotic.
    It’s not just an advertisement. The story describes how to satisfy your partner with an anal vibrator. My face burns red but I can’t stop. Words I hate don’t slow me down. I’m aroused and it shocks me.
   Mortified I close the tab and erase my browser history. I can’t honestly like that.
But I do. I locate the site again and read the same page. It’s just as thrilling. After checking out a few other product descriptions, I know what interests me. Maybe I’m not so vanilla after all.


Of course, after writing the scene I worried people would presume it was about me. Worry. Doubt. Fear. All of these words get in a writers way. This was Gillian’s scene so I polished her curiosity until we were both satisfied.


Writing both her visits to the sex store was easier. Her embarrassment and expectations flowed from my fingertips. Then in chapter fifteen, she buys a toy. Thank goodness it was a traditional vibrator but she returned home self-conscious and inhibited. That meant I had to help her out again. In the tub. I swear. Then I remembered Gillian’s question--What do I want?


Intimacy with herself.


For too long, sex was hormones and instincts, gagging her mind and sticking it in the closet. Bathed in lavender salts and candlelight, she relaxed. Extending her leg, she admired the curves in the flickering shadows. Water caressed her, arousing her confidence with touch until a serene woman returned to her bedroom to enjoy the desires of her body.


    The floor tom reverberates deeply, leading me through the song. Only the rhythm can penetrate. I writhe as the music creeps. I can’t hear the lyrics but specific words heighten my arousal—darling, lips, hips, tightly, inhale, body, slowly, comes.
    Electric poetry charges through me as my mind dissolves and I shudder beneath the sheets.


While sex scenes can be difficult to write, masterbation scenes may be worse, but I was writing about Gillian’s emotional experience of accepting, then letting go.

About the Author:
I’m a word gypsy and emotion sifter, writing about broken condoms, unhappy marriages and women’s issues at the chick-lit end of women’s fiction and women’s fiction end of chick-lit.

I believe great storytelling asks readers to confront what they've stuffed deep down. We all get blinded by emotion and stuck in ruts. In June 2005, I woke up to a wall of fire. Watching the flames eat away my life was my biggest turning point in life.

My first novel Strong Enough released February 2013. My sophomore work, The Anonymous Blog of Mrs. Jones, debuts this July.

Find us at: ellenharger.com. Contact me at ellen@ellenharger.com.

Comments

  1. I'm blushing. How do I write sex scenes. With a stiff drink in my hand. It really gets rid of the inhibitions. Of course the next day, I have a lot of editing to do. :-0

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    1. I've done that! It usually turns into texts: "Im' durnk! Wcha doinn?"

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  2. Also blushing. Writing is a tough business. I liked the sex toy shopping and browsing.

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    1. I avoided these scenes as long as I could. I love to read a well written love scene but lordy, I get all type-tied when writing them.

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  3. Sex scenes. Oy. They can make or break a novel. Often they are the gauge, the true test of a writer's abilities. Is less more, or is more more? How much is too much? How "there" can you go? A single eye roll or squirm in the heat of the moment from a reader is the kiss of death. How do you go there in a book if you're shy about going there in real life?

    But man, did you have balls (sorry). You went THERE. Sex toys, self-pleasure, the surprise of what turns you on. All the insecurity and shyness and awkwardity (I made that word up) was present as Gillian forced herself into the shop, which is what made the scene so beautifully human and authentic. And later when she's with her roommate and stammering, "I think I'll have a bath...?" Perfection. Women will read that and think, "Oh my God that's me."

    As writers, it's when we swallow hard and GO THERE that we often make the deepest and most meaningful connections with our readers. Often we're dying for someone to write about the things we can't speak of. You nailed it.

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    1. Thanks, Suanne. Sharing the "I've been there" moment is often the drive behind my writing. Even if I to do research. I'll empathize and dig in.
      Of course, writing from experience is hard to beat.

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  4. This was terrific. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a topic we can all relate to. I have a friend who swears by the 'smurf' technique. When she's writing a sex scene and hesitates over one of 'those words,' she just types the word 'smurf' instead. Soon she has a few pages of sex and a whole lot of smurfs. Once she's out of the flow, she returns and replaces all her smurfs with the correct terminology.

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    1. Oh Terri! LOL! I may have to try that... while drinking, as Wanda suggested.
      (Draft of my dirty little secret. So Papa Smurf said, "Im' durnk.")

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  5. Thank you everyone for the comments. Love knowing I'm not the only one. Right?
    Cheers!

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