Anatomical Natt

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Anatomical Natt
nattish

A pointless poll.

Poll #316956 Super-duper pointless poll for Natt's curiosity.

When you're reading, from what perspective are you observing the story? What does the picture look like in your head?

I put myself in the body of the character from whose perspective the story is being told.
9(6.6%)
I imagine the scene as though I am watching a movie.
33(24.1%)
I imagine the scene as though I'm watching the characters on a stage.
2(1.5%)
I put myself just above, behind, or beside the characters.
14(10.2%)
I don't really imagine a picture. I understand the goings-on in a vague way, just by the author's words.
8(5.8%)
Dunno. Never thought about it.
6(4.4%)
Other.
3(2.2%)

Are you numb to sex scenes in fanfic? Have you been so exposed to them that the sex is usually dull?

Yes, but I still read them.
8(5.8%)
Yes. I only skim them now (or skip them altogether).
12(8.8%)
No, they still excite me.
52(38.0%)
Never cared for them in the first place.
5(3.6%)
I enjoy them if the sex has a specific purpose in the story.
60(43.8%)

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I've got a kinesthetic imagination, so I imagine things not as sights or sounds, but bodily sensations -- it's not something that a lot of writers cater to, unfortunately.

As for sex scenes, I find most people don't write them inventively enough. It's not about slotA-TabB, or even how many sex toys are included, but about the byplay between the characters and how well the writer can convince me these two people are having sex instead of just performing.

I would like to write more about bodily sensations--I think I already do quite a bit with emotion--but a lot of times, the vocabulary isn't there, and also, biological limitations require that I only imagine some of the bodily sensations. I know what it feels like to be penetrated in all three orifices, but even with a strap on I don't get the sensation of active penetration, because it isn't hooked into my nervous system.

Suzette Haden Elgin's written rather a lot in her "Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" books about the dearth of kinesthetic vocabulary in the English language and the difficulties it presents for those whose primary processing mode is kinesthetic. I don't think it's that writers don't want to cater to it. I think that it's just that if there aren't enough words in the language to describe your own orgasms, it's hard to do it with someone else's especially if the plumbing is different.

English has one of the biggest vocabularies in the world, and it doesn't have enough words for how things feel?!

And actually, in sex scenes, I find that it is not the orgasm that isn't described enough (though it is often done in cliches), it's things like what does the other person's skin feel like? How does the viewpoint character perceive the other person's weight on or against them?

I find that many writers gloss things over into 'perfect', which is perfectly boring. I'd rather read about awkward, goofy, messy sex with some with skin that is noticeably scarred or otherwise imperfect but in which the characters seem to be having fun and actually paying attention to each other.

The second question needed an "I only enjoy them if it's Ron" option !

Ha. If you do that you need an 'anyone but Ron' option too.

I actually have an "other"/extended answer to the second question...

Re sex scenes in slash: Yes, I've gotten a bit tired of sex scenes. Most of them are gratuitous and/or just not sexy to me personally, so I tend to skim/skip them. When the sex scene(s) *is* (are) the story (aka it's a PWP of whatever length), I generally don't read the story *unless* it's by a favorite writer whose sex scenes I *know* will push my buttons. When the sex scene(s) is/are integral to the plot but theres's more to the story than the sex scenes, then it depends on how the lead-in to the sex scene is written, and how the sex scene itself is written.

Re sex scenes in het: I've never really liked them and have always tended to skim them to be sure I don't miss characterization/plot points tucked within them.

Just popping by via </a></b></a>daily_snitch

I couldn't agree more. Sadly, a great deal of the fanfic I've read manages to hold my interest right up to that point when the sex enters the picture, and then it's completely gone, all that building up (for if there is none, I've already stopped reading long before) and all that tension is lost in a mindless mess of cliches that simply won't turn me on, and I leave the site utterly disappointed.

(I must learn write shorter sentences...:)

And this applies to me, as well, since I've lately found it extremely tiresome to try to write sex scenes that wouldn't turn out to be a huge letdown to the reader.

Now, does this mean that as our tolerance grows, slash will equally need to grow more and more weird and kinky to "push our buttons"?

I don't totally lose interest in the story, I keep on reading. But I have to admit to huge disappointment on those occasions whe it turns out that all the buildup and tension and characterization and plot points were put there *not* to tell a story but as extended lead-up to the smut. I think the sex is like a spice in the mix of the story, part of characterization. I read a lot of Harry/Draco and Harry/Snape, where the main plot of the story is often how these antagonistic characters are able to get beyond past differences and build a relationship. And I'm immensely disappointed when the story turns out to be All About Getting Them 'Into Bed' instead of about getting them into a relationship (that includes sex). Because sex /= relationship. If that makes any sense...

>>Now, does this mean that as our tolerance grows, slash will equally need to grow more and more weird and kinky to "push our buttons"?<<

Probably for some people it will. For me personally, though, I started reading slash with Highlander (Duncan/Methos) and X-Files (Mulder/Krycek>, and there's often some serious kink there to begin with. I really think it's a combination of taste (does one read the fic for the smut or for the story? -- and what kind of smut "hits your buttons").

Though ... it's not necessarily the quality of the writing that affects my "buttons". An extremely well-written, brilliantly erotic, inventively kinky sex scene might leave me cold, while a completely different writerly "voice" might leave me panting. FOr me, at least, it comes down to the same kind of taste that makes me say "I love rock'n'roll, but please don't play mellow jazz ::shudder:: near me". For example.

I read slash for the relationship development, not the sex scenes.

It's odd, actually. I would not read a gen story, even if it had the same two characters in it. And I would certainly never read het.

But I don't care if there is smut or not. It can have a fade-to-black and I find it just as enjoyable.

In fact, if the author is either uncomfortable writing a sex scene or can't do it in a non-cliche way, I would much rather they fade-to-black than try to write a sex scene anyway.

I do love a good sex scene. I just don't need it to think a story is brilliant.

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