We often seem to go from you can’t to you must. Unions become as oppressive as the oppression they were formed to prevent. Women tell other women they have to work outside the home. A browbeaten religious group in America works hard to roll back marriage equality. The oppressed sometimes become oppressors.
The pendulum swings but you know what? We don’t have to swing with it, and I bring this up because, though this is about writing sex into stories, the thing I hope you know about that is you never have to.
You can love reading about the sweat and the sucking and the whole rutty business but you need never so much as write the word genital much less arse, vagina, penis, cock or come.
If you want to and you think ‘hell, writing sex is hard,’ well yeah, it can be. But so was finishing your first fic and you did that.
So here’s the thing: I think maybe it’s difficult for many of us because many of us write male-male fic and we are female. But here’s the other thing: Penetration is so so so so so not the only sex out there and lots of gay men don’t even have anal sex.
And here’s the third and final thing: We can write about everything else. About the way the heart ramps up and the voice drops a register or goes high and breathy. There’s the sweat and the shaky thighs as orgasm approaches. There’s the warmth of all those wonderful, dripping fluids. There’s the slick activity of tongue and fingers.
There is every. other. thing to write about.
You don’t need a dick to write gay sex any more than you need to be a sleuth to write Sherlock Holmes.
You can write anal sex too though, of course you can, because you have a brilliant brain that can imagine galaxy-spanning starships and can imagine supernatural beings and can imagine a London detective…so imagine gay sex.
And then go a step further by realising you have a bottom. A butt. A behind. An arse, ass, rump, bum and so you can PUT THINGS IN IT! Masturbate to orgasm with those (safe) things in there! Come on now, do eeeet. Then use what you’ve learned to give verisimilitude to what you write.
Remember, above all, that fiction is about feeling our way to the characters, about using our own unique experiences to love them and give them voice. J.K. Rowling never went to wizarding school, George Lucas never traveled in space, and maybe you’ve never had a penis but don’t let that stop you if that’s what’s stopping you.
If the actual take home message is you just don’t wanna…then don’t. Love what you love to read, write what you love to write, because whatever you do, it’s up to you to find a way to be joyful.
(More thoughts about bums, writing, and stuff in Spark.)