Warning: explicit sex scenes ahoy!
There have been several interesting posts in Romancelandia lately about favorite “bad sex” scenes, and how much they can add to the development of a romance. Which would make them good bad sex scenes. I recently came across the opposite situation — the bad good sex scene, which also turned out to be important to the romance. (To clarify — by bad, I mean unsatisfying, not badly written.)
The book was Escorted by Claire Kent, a story about a self-consciously virgin romance novelist who hires a male prostitute to introduce her to sex. Over time — and lots and lots of paid-for nookie — a relationship develops between them.
From the start, Ander does a terrific job for Lori, giving her great sex that’s exactly to her specifications. (She doesn’t want anything “fake” — no kissing, no cuddling, no pretense of romance.) He explains everything to her, gives her helpful advice, and is always in control of himself, even getting her permission before he has an orgasm himself. The result reads as pretty clinical.
Ander began a slow, gentle rhythm, his cock sliding inside her in an increasingly pleasurable way. “You can move your hips,” he said after a minute. “See if you can match my rhythm.”
She did as he instructed, still clinging to his shoulders. It made the friction inside her feel even better.
“How is it?” Ander asked. It was hard to see in the darkened room, but she thought he might be perspiring a little.“
It’s good,” she admitted, “Still a little uncomfortable but nothing too bad.”
Ander adjusted above her, getting more leverage with this knees. “Let’s see if we can get you to come. I’m going to rub your clit, if that’s all right.”
“Yeah. Good.” Her excitement was rising up now even more, now that the worst was over. And her previous arousal was building back up. She wanted to come. Really wanted to come. “Can we go a little faster?” she asked, starting to get breathless again.
Ander adjusted his weight onto his knees, using one straightened arm to brace himself above her. He accelerated his rhythm, his pelvis pumping quickly against hers. Then he squeezed his free arm between their bodies, down near where they were joined.
Lori gasped in pleasure when she felt firm pressure on her clit.
Lori’s having a great time — me as the reader, not so much. It’s not just clinical, it’s passionless and one-sided. Lori’s enjoyment means very little to me.
Later, at a point in the story in which we have gotten a number of hints that Ander has started to feel something for Lori, the sex reads very differently. Ander is still maintaining control, but it’s become much more difficult for him. We see even more clues that he’s no longer feeling strictly professional.
Ander’s face was flushed and tense above her, and his eyes seemed to devour her as he fucked her fast and hard.
She jerked her head to the side as she came, writhing as the pleasure sliced through her.
Ander grunted and kept pushing into her tightened channel. He braced himself on straightened arms, and the damp skin of his face and shoulders glistened in the sun-filled room.
She kept her head turned and her eyes squeezed shut as the penetration of his cock felt even rawer and more intense after her orgasm. She panted against the bedding and felt another orgasm coalesce.
“Lori.” Ander’s thick voice spoke, not far from her ear. He was still pumping into her, his strokes shorter and faster.
“Mm hmm,” she whimpered, groping blindly until she found his shoulders to hold onto.
She liked how he said her name. It pushed her even closer to climax. Her body was starting to shake uncontrollably.
“Lori,” Ander rasped again, the pumping of his hips almost wild. This time she realized it wasn’t an expression of passion. He was trying to get her attention.
She managed to open her eyes, although her vision was blurred. She blinked up at him and saw that his features were twisted with effort and concentration.
“Yes, damn it. Come!” she choked out, digging her fingernails into the back of his neck as the coiled pressure inside her reached its breaking point.
She felt something unleash inside of Ander. She was too overwhelmed to identify the exact signs, but she recognized the way he let himself go. His rutting became almost frantic and a blaze ignited in his eyes.
That was all it took for Lori to come. She arched up and sobbed in stifled gasps of pleasure as her body convulsed. And her clenching channel must have pulled Ander into climax as well.
His hips jerked clumsily a few time and he choked out an incoherent word. Then she felt his body pulse as he found his release on the heels of hers.
He lowered his weight on hers for a few moments, and she felt him panting against her neck.
Then, impulsively, she turned her head slightly until her lips brushed against his.
The language has changed completely, creating intensity. We’re getting what they’re seeing, what they’re hearing, and what they’re feeling.
I don’t know how much this was intentional on the part of the author. Certainly the scenes were written differently to show how Ander’s feelings have evolved over time, as well as to show how Lori has changed. But did she plan the first scene to be “bad” sex? Is it even bad sex? Perhaps another reader would have the same reaction to both scenes. They might think they were equally hot — or possibly, equally bad.
I know I see a lot of sex in erotic books which is described as being fantastic for both parties, which is obviously intended to be hot, which is perceived by some other readers as hot, yet which leave me cold. I’m being told they’re having a great time, not feeling them have a great time. The emotion isn’t reaching me.
It’s far more interesting seeing such a scene have an actual function in the story.