Sex? I Can Do That by Julie Mayerson Brown
I was having coffee with an old friend, a publicist, who had offered advice on book promotion. I hadn’t expected “sex” to be on the agenda, but he was the expert, so I went with it. And he was, after all, doing me a favor. He even paid for my double-shot, low-fat, half-caff latte.
I took a sip and licked some foam off my upper lip. “Go on.”
“Sex sells. That’s all there is to it. What’s that book called? You know, the one all you women are reading now?”
I knew the one he was talking about. “I won’t write stuff like that.”
“So you can’t write sex?”
“I can write it. Just not like that.” Geez, I felt like we were back in high school.
Most writers would agree that effective and realistic sex scenes are hard to write. They force the writer to reveal parts of herself – what she thinks, wants, feels. Shortly after my book (The Long Dance Home) came out, I was at a party where a long-time friend told me how much he had enjoyed it.
“Thank you!” I said, delighted he’d read it.
He stepped closer. “I think I learned something about you.”
“And what would that be?” I took a small step back.
“Well,” he smiled. “I know how you like to be kissed.”
Yikes. I blushed and toyed with a few loose strands of hair tickling the back of my neck. I felt exposed and a little embarrassed. But it was true. I had described kisses, caresses, and beyond, all of which came from my own imagination, experience, and fantasies. Every time my characters peeled off their clothes, I had to peel away layers of myself. This is what writers do to create stories that are real and believable. We take risks and accept vulnerability. And I guarantee to you – it’s not easy.
As for The Long Dance Home, which my publicist friend thought needed more sex . . .
“I wrote exactly what my publisher had requested, a PG-13, holiday novel. The love scenes were meant to be romantic.” I paused and met his eyes with mine. “But my next book is different. It’s dark and gritty, and the sexual relationship is quite disturbing.”
He turned and crossed one leg over the other. “Really?”
“Yes. I think you’ll like it.”
“I do.” I offered a slight smile and picked up my latte.
A layer of foam had settled at the bottom of my cup. I circled my finger along the inside, scooping up the last of the warm froth, and put it in my mouth. It tasted sweet, a hint of rich milk. I closed my lips around my finger and licked off a layer of sugary residue with the tip of my tongue. Slowly, with lips wet and soft, I withdrew my finger from my mouth.
Sex? Yeah. I can do that.
Julie Brown began her career writing humorous essays, using her two adorable (yes, biased opinion) sons as unwitting muses, for a Los Angeles based parenting monthly. She has written for The Daily Breeze, Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Jewish Journal, and Parenting Magazine.
An original “Valley Girl” from Encino, California, Brown now lives on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, a rural suburb of Los Angeles, with her husband, two sons (who return from college periodically for laundry service and home-made chicken soup), four (yes FOUR) boxer dogs, and hundreds of wild peacocks. An “at-home” mom and community volunteer for over twenty years, she is a founding member of a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to protecting children and teens.
Her first novel, The Long Dance Home, was published by Mischievous Muse Press. Her next book, The Second Sister, will be released next year. When not crafting fiction or rescuing dogs, Julie is reading, gardening, cooking, or bargain shoe shopping online (not necessarily in that order…) Read a FREE SAMPLE and order your copy of The Long Dance Home here.
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