Hi readers! I'm Jacqui Greaves, and I am thrilled to be handed the reins to Dragons, Zombies and Aliens for today. I’m going to take you on a journey to explore the weird parts of my brain that produce my works of sexy science fiction and fantasy. So, if you're under 18, now would be a good time to go and do something else.
I started writing about five years ago after careers in childcare (short-lived and miserable), marine biology, science management, and deer farming. I've published several short stories, two novellas, and a novel (more about that later). Some are science fiction and others are fantasy, but most are weird combinations of the two. What they all have in common in sex. Often very explicit sex.
To be specific, by sex I mean the physical act of sex, not the emotional state of intimacy. In writing sex I’m describing actions, sensations and influences, not feelings. This is why I've stopped saying I write erotica, because there's such a strong association between erotica and romance. I don't write romance, and my works seldom have happy endings. I also don't call what I write porn, because it's not exploitative. Unlike in most porn, the sex I write is part of the narrative, but is not the story. Sometimes I describe what I write as Lusterature, but really I just write explicit sex.
When I started writing I didn't set out to write sex. I wanted to write fantasy and science fiction, the types of stories I like to read. Despite my efforts the sex just crept in, so I let it stay.
Why? Well that’s a fine question, and I’m glad you asked!
Because, while there are some people who don’t (yes, asexuals, I acknowledge you), lots of us engage in, think about or hanker after sex pretty much daily--more for some, less for others. There’s a strong biological imperative to engage in sex, and as humans many of us start to experiment with it earlier than we’d like to admit. For most of us, sex is, and should be, an enjoyable experience without shame. But that isn’t always the case, and for me, as a writer, that’s great.
By adding sex into the mix of my speculative fiction I can explore a whole suite of character traits and behaviours that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day. It permits me a wider vocabulary and an additional range of sensations and senses to describe. Sex brings with it, its own joys, disappointments, dangers and delights. When mixed into a speculative world, it adds a richness and depth, even an element of reality if you will.
So then, what differentiates good sex writing from bad sex writing?
For starters, sex has to be anatomically and physically possible. It “might” be possible to fuck someone in the arse and suck their clitoris at the same time…but it’s highly unlikely! A scene like that would most likely make you stop reading while you tried to imagine how it could be achieved, but the aim of the writer is to keep you reading. Anything that makes you stop is bad. I once read a scene where the male twisted the woman’s boobs like doorknobs (I’m paraphrasing, but you get the picture). It just made me wince, roll my eyes and stop reading.
Unlike other genres, Science Fiction gives the writer opportunities to stretch what is anatomically possible with the introduction of aliens. The short story, "Spar" by KIJ Johnson, is an award-winning example of great interspecies sex with seemingly incompatible anatomies. The opening line alone tells us so much: “In the tiny lifeboat, she and the alien fuck endlessly, relentlessly.”
(Honestly, do yourself a favour and read the full story, here’s the link: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/johnson_10_09/ )
Overuse of clichés and euphemisms are also sure signs of poor sex writing. If you read a cock/penis described as a beaver cleaver, love truncheon, or towering pillar of manhood, my advice is to hurl that book away. Unless it’s a parody, in which case giggle on!
Having said that, readers of fantasy are often more accepting of highly descriptive language. As an example, G.R.R. Martin uses more florid descriptors of body parts than I would, but he gets away with it because we expect it of him.
As for any scene in a story or novel, a sex scene must have a purpose. It should reveal something about the plot, characters, or their relationships. Sex can be used to explore power dynamics, reveal secrets, show attitudes, and define moral frameworks. And, unlike other story elements, sex can be used to arouse the reader. This is the magic of sex.
Gods of Fire
Gods of Fire is my first full length novel. A historical fantasy, it centers around Guillaume, an elf of mixed race.
Sentenced to death as an infant by his grandfather then abandoned by his mother, Guillaume grows up with no idea of who or what he is. All he understands is that he has a voracious sexual appetite and the power to render himself irresistible to any woman he desires. His life is thrown into turmoil when his full powers are revealed in a violent display of fire and murder. Forced to leave the only home he has known, Guillaume sets forth to unravel the mystery of his heritage. His quest takes him through France and deep into Africa. As his powers grow, only his lifelong companion, Smoke, can help him control the depraved primal urges that threaten to overwhelm him. When Smoke loses her influence, it’s not only the lives of those close to him that are threatened. Can the world survive the ancient being that Guillaume becomes?
Gods of Fire is on sale at most of your favourite online bookstores via Books2Read.
About Jacqui Greaves
Jacqui has lived an adventure-filled life, spanning a range of careers and countries. She’s wrangled kindergarten children, driven buses, researched humpback whales, spoken at the United Nations, visited Antarctica, farmed deer and, most recently, written strange and sexy fiction. A New Zealander, currently living by the beach in Melbourne but on the move back to NZ, Jacqui has two novella’s published in the PNRLust Anthologies and several short stories in online publications. Gods of Fire is her first full length novel.
The first Dragons, Zombies and Aliens blog was started in 2015. Somewhere between college coursework, paying rent with door-to-door sales, and keeping up with my sorority sisters, I wrote reviews, rants and commentaries on books, TV shows, and movies. Now, this blog has moved, improved, and the sky's the limit!