Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is Writing Sex Scenes like for a Man? A Smutty Interview with Sean Poindexter

Today we welcome special guest, Sean T. Poindexter, author of the urban fantasy novel, THE SHADOW OF TIAMAT. The novel not only had kick-ass dragon fights and a sweet love story, it also had plenty of hot dragon sex. :) So I HAD to get Sean over here to talk sex-scenes from a male POV. 

So, let my questions commence!

1.) Do you think writing sex scenes is different for a man vs. for a woman?

I don't really know...I've only written them as a man. But really, I'm not sure. I know that some people assume that when a man is writing a sex scene, it's because he's just putting his fantasies out on paper. Apparently, they don't think a woman writer would ever do that kind of thing. In any event, I'm sure this happens but not for me. I'm not writing out my fantasies. Especially since in the first book, the love scenes all almost all told from the female's point of view. So, unless someone thinks it's my secret fantasy to be a woman and be made love to by a male dragon in human form, then I'm not just writing out my fantasies. I wrote those parts of the book because I felt that was what needed to happen there. The first love scene between Meg and Garrett occurs after a long--relatively--pursuit that builds tension between the characters. Having a fade-to-black scene that starts with Garrett carrying Meg to bed and then fades back in with "The next morning, Meg couldn't walk..." would have been cheating to the readers.

2.)Do you do any kind of research for your love scenes?

I guess you could call it research...I've found that an invaluable trait of all successful physical relationship is empathy. You have to be able to understand what your partner likes, doesn't like, and why. And you have to be able to figure out what they want without being told all the time. In order to do that, you have to talk to them, spend time with them, and try things until you find what works for you both. In a truly healthy physical relationship, one person won't enjoy something that the other person doesn't. This same empathetic trait assists in writing the love scenes in my books. Not only am I able to write Garrett as a lover, but also empathize enough with Meg that I can convincingly portray her wants and desires, and predict how she would realistically react to different kinds of touching. When in doubt, I've always been able to ask my wife or one of my female friends to look over something I've written and let me know what they think. Their input has been invaluable.

3.) What gave you the courage to break tradition?

I wasn't aware that I had broken any traditions. There are many male authors who write books with love scenes. And there are many female authors who don't. I just happen to be one of the former.

4.) What reactions have you received from readers?

Overall, they've been great. I have had a reviewer say she skipped those scenes because she doesn't like reading them, though she really enjoyed the rest of the book. It is fascinating to me the wide spectrum of opinions on at which point a love scene becomes pornographic. I've had readers tell me the scenes were very tame and tasteful, and I've had others say they were borderline erotica/pornography. It's interesting to me because it shows how subjective the measure is. But my publisher, Crescent Moon Press, does not publish erotica or pornography. So on as objective a scale as possible, I would say that if any of the love scenes in my book came to or crossed the line into erotica/pornography, they wouldn't have allowed them in the book. 

 5.) What does your lovely wife think of "those scenes?"

She loves them! She's a huge fan of my books. I'd say my biggest fan. She loves the scenes as well. And yes, she would tell me if she didn't like something. She always has before.

Sean will be here to answer questions and to give away a copy of THE SHADOW OF TIAMAT to one lucky winner who leaves a comment.

...and if you don't win, you can always get a copy at any of these locations:

Paperback from Amazon:
Paperback from B&N:
Kindle from Amazon:
Nook from B&N:
Other ebook formats:
Paperback from Books-A-Million:
Paperback from Powell's Books :
Paperback/ebook from Indiebound:
Thanks so much for coming today, Sean! 


  1. I think the subjectivity of the literary world as a whole makes it incredibly difficult to know at which point a book crosses a line solidly into another genre. I've read books classified as one thing, but seemed to be another. Although, the genre was close enough it didn't bother me all that much.

    Input is important. My partner reads everything I write and is brutally honest about his opinion. It is hard to accept at times, but he is usually right and it makes my manuscript better. Critique partners add another grit of sand paper, if you will. Each layer smoothes things out and polishes things up until they shine.

    Great interview!

  2. I'll admit I haven't read the book yet, but it's definitely on my list of "gotta reads." It sounds great. And, personally, I've always enjoyed reading romance and love scenes from a male author. I've never felt that the scenes are the male author trying play out his fantasy, but rather a man's take on romance or whatever the scene calls for. I find it quite thrilling when a male author is able to hold my attention and draw me into a bedroom scene and fit the scene to the characters. That's not to say females are any better at writing sex scenes. I have read several female authors whose sex scenes I found quite cheesy, unrealistic, gross, in poor taste for the characters, etc. But, a male's take on it can often be refreshing. I look forward to reading The Shadow of Timat. --MJCM

    1. And I look forward to hearing what you think of it!