Welcome to my blog Geoffrey and Happy Anniversary to you Storm Moon Press!
To Screw or Not to Screw? – Geoffrey Knight
Sex. In real life, there's a time to make your move and a time to hold back. Questions flood your mind: Is now the right time? Am I reading the signs right? Will I ruin everything if I try to steal that kiss now, or will I totally miss my chance if I don't strike while the iron's red-hot?
Well, it's the same for writing. It's not like a musical, where characters spontaneously burst into song. A sex scene can't just happen at any place and any time. Just because it's been 40 pages since anyone got laid, that doesn't mean it's time to whip it out now. As much as your readers might want some steamy love-making, as much as you might want to rip your hero's shirt off and reveal his hot pecs, deciding when two characters will have sex is something that can make or break an entire story.
Of course, the one exception to this rule is PWP (porn without plot), but when it comes to romance, mystery, adventure, and even most forms of erotica, any sex scene must have its place and purpose.
In my first Drive Shaft story, I wanted to create something short and hot, kinda like The Fast and the Furious meets steamy gay porn. But I also wanted to give myself the flexibility to turn the purely sexual relationship between Hutch and Jensen into a full-blown romance. And so, I made the reason for them to have sex as a major part of the plot by creating a competition between the two characters; Hutch and Jensen have a series of races, and the winner of each race gets to turn the loser into their no-holds-barred sex slave for the night. But, by giving Hutch a backstory that justified his macho façade and his reasons for being so controllingly perverted, it made the plot and characters more interesting and gave the sex scenes a purpose. In Drive Shaft 2, character and plot became much more important, while in the third Drive Shaft story (available soon from Storm Moon Press), the trilogy will end on a truly romantic and adventurous note. One of the things I wanted to do with the arc of the Drive Shaft trilogy was to make it reflective of the true experiences of many gay men... i.e. sometimes what begins as good old-fashioned sex often turns into a lifelong relationship.
Fitting sex into the Drive Shaft tales was made easier because I turned sex into a plot device in the first story. But when it comes to my Fathom's Five books, which begin with The Cross of Sins, the placement of sex is a whole lot trickier. Why? Because the Fathom's Five stories are pure, gay action, and plot is everything!
Imagine Indiana Jones rolled into James Bond with a sprinkle of Jason Bourne and a splash of Charlie's Angels, and you've got a good idea of what to expect in The Cross of Sins and the subsequent Fathom's Five adventures. There are car chases, temples filled with traps, riddles on maps that need to be solved, and bad guys galore as Professor Fathom and his team of five hot, hunky adventurers— New York gun-for-hire Jake Stone, Texas cowboy Shane Houston, Brazilian biologist Dr. Eden Santiago, Italian model and art expert Luca da Roma, and college quarterback Will Hunter—work to solve one deadly mystery after another. Every time you turn the page, it seems another puzzle presents itself or another clue is revealed. So, where on earth does a hot and horny sex scene fit into all this?
What I find works best is to plan out the plot without the slightest hint of sex anywhere along my timeline. I work out all the twists and turns first, I place certain characters in different exotic locations around the world where they must uncover the clues to the mystery. THEN, I decide where my sex scenes will work best, points where sex will not slow down the plot. In fact, more often than not, I'll try to plant my sex scenes in places where the act of sex can up the stakes and keep the plot turning. Jake will have sex with a suspect to screw some information out of him, Shane will fall prey to a villain because he's thinking with his cock, Eden will have a sexual rendezvous with a spy to gather clues... these are the types of scenarios I try to incorporate into the stories so that my heroes get some action while they're in the middle of the action (so to speak).
The same goes for my first Scott Sapphire adventure—Scott Sapphire and the Emerald Orchid—which received an Honorable Mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Best Gay Mystery/Thriller. When you're on the trail of a legendary emerald relic that takes you from the casinos of Monte Carlo to the jungles of the Amazon, surely it's hard to find time to get kinky between the sheets, right? Well, it's definitely do-able. The trick is not to sacrifice the story for the sake of sex.
In the end, it's all about timing. I wouldn't have sex on a table in a crowded restaurant in the middle of dinner, and neither would my characters. But back in my room afterward, with a chilled bottle of champagne and a Do Not Disturb sign on the door... well, that's a whole other ballgame!
Geoffrey Knight has been a traveler ever since he could scrape together enough money to buy a plane ticket. Born in Melbourne but raised and educated in cities and towns across Australia, Geoffrey was a nomadic boy who grew into a nomadic gay writer. His books are the result of too many matinee movies in small-town cinemas as a child, reading too many Hardy Boys adventures, and wandering penniless across too many borders in his early adult life. His adventure novel, The Cross of Sins can be found at Storm Moon Press.
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