Friday, August 30, 2019

Phallic Friday - sex ed

I'm in the last week of my OWL for RWA (ie an online writing workshop for Romance Writers of Australia) on Getting Comfortable Writing Sex. I can't begin to tell you how exciting it's been...and when I put it into words, I sound kind of nutty, but let me try.

18 people signed up for it. I thought it might be just me, so that was a relief.

Not many of them have been interactive, but 2 people have been really chatty. We've discussed published sex scenes - about 10 - and looked at what's worked and doesn't work for them.

We had a discussion about word choices, which was really interesting. There are so many words that people find objectional/offensive/uncomfortable. And everyone's different with their tolerance levels too. Such a great discussion.

Both people who've been active, have had lightbulb moments (what a thrill for me). Both have written a sex scene and shared it. Both have stretched where they thought their comfort zone was. One has taken the feedback and written more sex scenes that have so much more in them, that it's fantastic to see that development. The other has gone back to look at spicing up their whole manuscript because they enjoyed writing their first sex scene. Can you believe that?

Never in my wildest dreams did I hope that my course could have that impact - okay, maybe in the wildest dreams, but not the realistic ones! And I'm thrilled. We haven't done anything except read and discuss published sex scenes. But these writers have been open-minded, willing to discuss and push their boundaries, and I'm so grateful for their enthusiasm and openness.

I've taken a bit of a leap of faith, and I'm running a similar course with a face-to-face group with writers in general (not romance writers). The leap of faith is that I've only asked for a guarantee of petrol money, no payment for a 4-6 week course. Funding was applied for, and apparently this course was quite a volatile proposal that caused much debate. Should public money be used to fund sex? In the end, the answer was no.

Even if it's not funding sex, apparently writing sex scenes is still the same as funding sex.

I'm a little sad about that.

But it's not unexpected. There's an article on the ABC News website today, written by a 20-year-old, about the lack of sex education/discussion in society (you can read it here). And I just finished watching a TV series on SBS called The Hunting, (you can watch it here), where the theme was sexting and lack of discussion/education around this topic (also the law, patriarchy, racism, and other riling topics were touched upon, and sometimes not resolved much to my annoyance). SBS has also put out an education package to help with people who want to help discuss the sexting issues with kids/teens/others (you can find that here).

I hope things might change in the future, and that sex may not be such a taboo topic that we shun it or shy away from thinking about it or presenting/discussing available information.

And I hope one day that I might be able to receive funding and payment for a writing course, even if it discusses writing sex scenes!

Did you watch The Hunting

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