I’ve touched (oo-er) on this before in a previous post, but I’m back to redrafting the feature written over the summer which is ostensibly a comedy with a romantic element and a lot (hopefully) of black humour… and it’s also the project that features some rather rude and somewhat earthy elements. This makes me a little nervous, especially as the few who have given me feedback so far have commented that it’s “sex-mad”, a “bit French”, and more recently regarding a certain scene, “a bit shocking”. Regardless of the actual quality of the script… what is it about writing about s.e.x. that makes people uncomfortable? And I do mean writing about it…. because I know lots of very openminded and frankly rather filthy people who have no boundaries regarding what can be discussed in conversation, but balk at writing about such things. In fact, I know that at least one classmate from the past year took out a sex scene from her script because she didn’t want her tutor to read it, and she’s not alone in my experience – embarrassment about the subject matter or worry that it’ll reveal something hitherto hidden?

It is strange, because I’ve read scripts about incest, all kinds of human and animal abuse, torture, violence, horror, sadism, war crime, psychological terror, all kinds of difficult subject matter… and there are TONS more of those than anything that deals with the very thing that is said to genetically drive us. Though I have read a lot of scripts that contain strippers, sex of a sort, but a very particular sort… and may I just say in script-form they’re nearly always gorgeous with a heart of gold, or being abused, which considering the few I’ve met in real life isn’t always the case.

If I read a script about a child being harmed, I don’t automatically assume the writer has had similar experiences, so why worry about something from the opposite and rather saucy end of the spectrum? Perhaps anything writerly… in black and white… that touches on s.e.x. is just always going to be a little sticky…


3 thoughts on “s.e.x.

  1. Did someone say SEX?!?!?I think people worry about whether sex scenes ADD to a story. I love a good sex scene as you know, but a lot of the time they can be gratuitous. Still nothing wrong with that as far I’m concerned, but if there’s loads of sex scenes they can be distracting.Other times, I think it’s a Brit thing. We’ve more leery than we’ve ever been yet we still have *that* mentality about sex it seems – other nations, including Americans, will talk openly about sex in a way that Brits seem to think is boastful or unseemly.Way I see it, sex is part of life, life is reflected in stories – so stick it in.Ooo er!


  2. agree with Lucy about the Brit prude thing…I suppose like everything else we write about – sex is tied to perception, attitudes and experience etc…I tend to be quite sparing with sex – but maybe haven’t found the right story yet 🙂


  3. Oo-er!! I think you’re right about the Brit mentality in general Lucy – all that seething oppression…Far, I agree about the sparing thing. There’s always something rather squeamy about an inappropriate sex scene whether it’s in a book or film. But don’t be too sparing!


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