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Realism in novel - advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Physical & Sexual Health' started by CharacterStudy, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. CharacterStudy

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    Hi,
    I'm a writer and I'm getting conflicting editorial comments on a sex scene in my nearly-finished novel, so I'm hoping for some advice please.

    Scene summary:

    Fairly cosmopolitan bi guy in his thirties 'Jon', first experience with another guy, is in bed with his (gay, experienced) friend, 'Robbie', for the first time. There's been a long build up of pining, doubts, touches, looks etc. They've ended up hanging out in bed, pseudo-innocently, they're talking. They have kissed on a previous occasion, but not followed it up due to Jon's internalised homo/biphobia.

    They kiss, mouths, bodies, exploring - things heat up, Robbie gives Jon a BJ. Jon has some doubts but ultimately does the same.

    I have contradictory critique comments:
    Male gay reviewers, limited in number: 'Get it on!' 'They've been building up to this for ages, it's time.' 'Why aren't they full on shagging?'
    Male straight reviewers, a few: Jon would have more doubts, he wouldn't give oral sex on his first time with a guy.
    Female straight reviewers: 'Sounds realistic to me.'

    Given how emotionally close they are, my instinct is that it is realistic that Jon, who despite his inexperience accepts his attraction to men, would return the favour, but I've got (admittedly straight) guys here telling me 'no'!

    So, please does this scenario sound realistic? And if not, why not (specifically, what doubts), and what might be more realistic? (Jon not reciprocating, Jon not even accepting oral, Jon reciprocating with hands instead?)

    I'm wondering if these objections are more about how uncomfortable they are with reading this situation between two men, because I know some of these straight guys would do this with a girl.

    I'd be grateful for any advice/input. Thanks!
     
  2. CharacterStudy

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    In terms of genre, it's mainstream: Aimed at both non-LGBT and LGBT readers, and aside from this sticking point, seems to be working for everyone.
     
  3. Creativemind

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    A "realistic" scene is going to depend on the people involved and not the sexuality. There are gay/bi men who would act the way you describe. There are gay/bi men who would rush more and consider it unrealistic by their perspective. There are bi men who can't accept themselves and will exclusively want to top until they do. The problem is that you can't please everyone because everyone is going to have their own views on it.
     
    Shorthaul and gravechild like this.
  4. CharacterStudy

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    Thanks Creativemind, I'll go with my instinct then. I always tend to want to go with instinct, but critiquers can make you question yourself and your knowledge of your characters - especially when you're writing about people of a different gender and want to be sure you don't mess up.
     
  5. Shorthaul

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    As a bi male, it sounds realistic to me. Some hangups or doubt would be pretty normal, not all guys are going to just jump right to it... So a slow pace makes sense.
     
  6. mbanema

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    Honestly I like having a substantial buildup to it. I want to feel the anticipation the characters experience and I (usually) prefer it to be something sweet and tender rather than just mindless fucking. That doesn't mean there can't be some incredibly hot, explicit scenes, but I think the first encounter should be more tentative, especially if there is an experience gap.
     
  7. CharacterStudy

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    Thanks *Shorthaul* and *mbanema*. There's plenty (months in the story) of build up and anticipation, as they get gradually emotionally closer, and it's pretty tender. You'd probably enjoy it. Reckon I've pitched it right.