Does sex in fantasy stories have to be fantasy sex?

Three-dimensional characters need to have sex in
three dimensions, that is to say in a way which
aligns with their physical, mental and cultural
characteristics. A demon is a demon and sex is
not going to be fifteen minutes in the missionary position!

Introduction

Let me start this article with a disclaimer: I am not the most sexually experienced girl in the world. However, I write fantasy stories and that means that somewhere along the line my characters are just going to have to do the ‘dirty’.

The question I have been asking myself though is to what extent sex in fantasy stories should be unusual, strange or even down right ‘fantastically’ weird. My own take on this is:

  • It’s a fantasy therefore I (through my characters) can do weird things if I want.
  • I prefer writing sex scenes that have that ‘different’ edge to them.

So, let’s move on to the issues.

What is ‘normal’ and what is ‘fantasy’ sex?

Okay, we are adults. We’ve read the sex manuals on reproduction when we were kids. We went out and did it. Then we explored and did it some more. Yes, we all went beyond the sex manuals. It’s what we do. So, what I am saying is ‘normal’ sex already covers a reasonable range of sexual practices. Some ‘deviations’ are now practiced widely enough for the majority to barely raise their eyebrows.

And here, dear readers, is the point where I am not going to give you a list! Go on, make your own up.

So, if normal sex has such a wide range of activities what is Fantasy Sex (FS) going to cover?

Well so far, I have written scenes including:

  • Sex whilst my heroine is in demon form (this involves an extra, extra-long tongue)
  • Sex with an angel (lie back on those wings girl!)
  • Sex with a Ghost. Yes, really, this works and turns out to be a great plot device!!
  • Sex between a Medusa and a resurrected Titan (Last Titan)
  • A vampire prostitute specialising in snuff encounters (Lady of the Night)

I will get around to a number of others too. How about with a Zombie? Sounds gross and impossible but I’ve already had an idea, so this will probably turn up at some point.

Notice in the above I’ve just said ‘sex’ which covers both heterosexual and gay relationships as far as I am concerned; I make no real distinction in regard to the concept of fantasy sex as to the orientation of the characters.

Do we need graphic sex at all?

We all need sex of some sort or other. Characters in fantasy stories need it too. Three dimensional characters need to have sex in three dimensions, in a way which aligns with their physical, mental and cultural characteristics. A demon is a demon and sex is not going to be fifteen minutes in the missionary position!

So yes, I think there is a need for graphic sex within modern fantasy literature. The trick is to keep it in context and in proportion.  What that proportion is might just define what you as an author are actually all about!

Abominable Anatomy!

 ‘Tentacle sex!’ I hear you cry. Well yes, sort of. I’ve already told you about Sapphira’s long tongue whilst she is in her demon form.  In general terms, unusual anatomy in FS allows the introduction of new and strange organs to replace / surpass the normal human phallus.

Think tongues, horns, tentacles, ugly things with eyes and teeth where the penis should be … whatever. Make your own list again! In general terms we are talking anatomical variations used for penetration purposes.  This is a specific sub-set of FS, one which I am going to term Phalltasy Sex (PS) in honour of the phallic object being used.

We can also make variations on the female genital side of things: move them around the body, more teeth – yes dear reader, do you own yet list again! I’m going to refer to this as Yontasy Sex (YS) in honour of the yoni, a term to represent the female opposite of the male phallus.  It doesn’t necessarily mean an actual vagina either, just that whatever is receiving the phallus (and a male orifice can quite adequately do this too) has some fantasy properties or complete weirdness.

Here’s a quick example, done for a WordWhim on Wednesdays prompt (the theme was “twist ending’):

“Do you like it?”
My jaw was hanging. “It’s kind of … barbed.”
Her face burst into a smile. “And it’s got a kinky twist on the end.”
“Sexy twist,” I admitted. I settled back and spread my legs a bit wider; I’d never been fucked by hot demon-girl’s tail before.

I have included a summary of my terms below!

Fantasy Sex (FS)

Sex between physically ‘normal’ people with magical or fantasised (imagined) aspects.
Consider: Out of body experiences, Hallucinations, Floating, etc.

Phalltasy Sex (PS) From Phallus

Refers to penetration achieved by a fantasised organ, and relates to power and control.
Consider: Size, Shape, Dexterity, Autonomy / Intelligence, etc.

Yontasy Sex (YS) From Yoni

Refers to receiving the phallic organ/object into a fantasised organ. Relates to castration complex and devouring.
Consider: Teeth, Grip, Autonomy, Maw, etc.

The rules as I see them

This is just my list.  When it comes to sex writing … all together now … make your own!

  1. Sex should involve at least one human character for the reader to easily relate to.
  2. Don’t worry about whether it is straight or homosexual activity that is going on. That’s defined by the personality of the characters involved.  Any combination can have FS / PS / YS.  Just write your thing!
  3. Keep the level of sex proportional to other events in your story. Fantasy books need plots, character developments and other forms of action. So, keep your smut (classy, exciting and well written though it undoubtedly is) in its place and have your characters clean up their act when they leave the bedroom! Sex can have a place in the story and you can even make it a central plot device but always ask yourself if you were actually intending to write what is essentially a ‘dirty’ story!
  4. Don’t forget the love.
  5. Don’t forget the angst.  Come on, you know you shouldn’t have done that with him/her/it…

Well, there are my thoughts

Happy sex scene writing!

Alyson.