Friday, November 25, 2011

Unresolved Sexual Tension (UST) and the joy of restraint

Okay, I'm still thinking of Stepheney Meyer and Twilight which, among other things, is about sexual tension. And it could be argued that the culmination of the book is pretty much about the culmination of the sexual act. Pretty much all the world, and the relationships between the werewolves and the good vampires, will be much better after Edward and Bella have their daughter and give her to Jacob to whom he is bonded from the womb.Yep, the whole series is a waiting for the big O

Of course all romance novels are about sexual tension. We want the hero and heroine to get together but the Twilight Series is so about carnal concupiscence and sensual longing. Long wistful needy stares, restraint, restraint, restraint.

As a writer I can tell you that kind of UST is hard to pull off. In a novel. and definitely in a series. I, for, one, have attempted to make my characters in Wind Follower keep away from each other and I never really managed it. I wanted them in bed. And because I wanted them in bed I (lacking all restraint) had them indulge in premarital sex before marriage. But I set up the world in such a way that the poor girl suffered for it. So in my overly-indulgent way, I celebrated the wisdom of safety.

In My Life as an Onion, my WIP, I'm succeeding in keeping the lovebirds apart....although they live in the same house and pretty much have set up household together. I can see why they haven't done it. My female character is a Christian girl (and a nut-case) who wants to prove she's not like the loose girls he's slept around with (the swiss cheese party girls who are all full of holes because they were used and discarded.)And the guy has slept with so many people (Note: people) that he doesn't think sex is anything special... although he doesn't want her to sleep with a particular person but he doesn't mind if main character will sleep with his best friends.

I'm not sure what I think of this situation. It's possible I will find that it doesn't satisfy me. Something in me wants to deal with sexual relationships outside of marriage. So I'm kinda hoping that this story is really true as is...and that I'm not just doing what is required of me. I want to write truly...which means allowing the BG (Black Gang of the subconscious) to write the stories it wants to.

And then there is the UST in Constant Tower which I'm in the last stages of editing. This is kinda weird for me. Because there is one female main character and three possible suitor princes. Prince A loves her and there were signs of mutual attraction when they first met. However, he did something evil and unforgivable so the two who might have been perfect for each other, had trouble not arisen can never get together....although Prince A is still in love with female MC and is determined to marry her. Prince B who is fated to marry and fall in love with main female MC is totally in love with another princess for the first half of the novel. His mind is utterly elsewhere sexually. The reader, nevertheless, wants him to end up with the princess because ...well, yours truly is also dragging them along blindly and pushing the reader to want this. But at this same time yours truly (because I am THAT good) is also setting up cute little scenes between Prince C and female MC, the kind of angry UST scenes that make you say, "Good grief, these two are always arguing with each other, sure he has a thing for older women, but good heavens! could it be they are in love with each other and this will cause trouble between Prince B and C in the future."

But the characters are young. Yep, Bella and Edward's age. But war is going on and a whole lotta stuff and there is a longhouse full of men in need of sex...so teen angsty UST isn't going on in CT. In a weird way, for all the sexual and feminine issues going on in this book, love and passionate sex is nowhere in the book. Why is that? I'm really thinking the Christian critics of Wind Follower who laid into me because of a few none too wild sex scenes is the cause of it. Or maybe the final marriage is so full of grief, politics and is really about comrades fighting evil that sexuality has no way to get into the story. But shouldn't there be a balance? Shouldn't I show a fully sane marital sex scene? (Uhm, thinking, thinking, did I have a fully sane marital sex scene? Do I even have the capacity to do such a scene?) But the more I think about the lack of real Bella-Edwardesque UST in CT, the more I feel I ought to put it into the story. Yet, I can't.... ah me... so, will the book be curiously sexless?

Gotta think. 
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