A very interesting question, in general, and one that Tess MacKenzie (who writes wonderfully sexy stories that somehow manage not to be about the sex) is pondering in her post Getting Head.
For a writer of what at least hopes to be erotic literature, as opposed to, you know, straight smut (not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind), the question of what goes through one’s mind during moments of erstwhile ecstasy is a real one. I mean, I know what goes through my mind during even fairly good sex: nothing at all. I think that’s part of the pleasure of it. Ecstasy, after all, comes from the Greek ex (meaning, you know out) and histani — which meant standing or staying. It means literally being transported out of yourself. But that leaves a writer stuck: how can you write about nothing. Buddhists have been struggling with that problem for millenniums. We have to write something damn it! And it’s got to be hot or it ruins the scene!
So what would one think about during sex?
In sexy writing, authors go in all kinds of directions with that; some go with concrete sensory detail, some go with a free-associative inner monologue (beige… I think I’ll paint the ceiling in beige…). Looking at my own writing, I see that I’ve done a bit of both.
What about you? What do you think about?