et alia – So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Caveat scriptor: Just say NO to SPANX!

I have found that writing sex scenes is rather akin to what I suppose writing choreography to be like.  I really have to keep track fo whose parts are where, or the whole thing can fly off the rails leaving the reader wondering, “How did he get there?” or “wasn’t her leg just over here?”  Part of this “choreography” is the process of getting characters undressed, or at least partially undressed.

0910-couple-undressing

This can be a tricky procedure depending on how you choose to clothe your characters.  For instance, skirts only need need to be pushed up – jeans?  Much more labor intensive.  Even in historical fics, the torturous corset can be easily discarded by simply cutting the laces.  Bras, thongs, panties?  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.  So far, I have handily dealt with a variety of clothing and undergarment combinations.  I have yet to read a fic where the heroine manages to make a sexy, sultry egress from the Lycra and Spandex confines of SPANX, although it might make a great comic scene…

According to several Hollywood insiders, SPANX are the greatest thing to hit the market since sliced bread.  For any who don’t know, SPANX is a line of women’s (and apparently men’s…”SPANX, Dad”) undergarments and especially shapewear foundation garments.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against foundation garments in general, and SPANX are far from grandma’s girdle, but getting your character out of them will turn a hot little sex scene into something akin to slapstick comedy.  Let me put it this way…

There are e-how and YouTube videos on how to successfully wrangle yourself into your SPANX.  Now imagine your heroine trying to fight her way out of them in the heat of passion…egads!

So, if you want to save your heroine a lot of hopping around and potential asphixiation as she tries to get out of her underwear, Caveat Scriptor:

Spanks?  Go for it!

spanx logo  No Thanks!

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83 comments on “et alia – So you want to write RAcy fan fiction? Caveat scriptor: Just say NO to SPANX!

  1. Servetus says:

    I think people who wear Spanx don’t have sex in fanfic, lol 🙂

  2. guylty says:

    Spanx? Never heard of them. The plus-size woman in me is intrigued 😀 But after having read the instructions you have quoted, I have serious reservations. May get the desired man into bed – but will probably eject him as soon as he discovers the spanx (or what bulges from under the spanx). Bridget Jones comes to mind.

    • I loved the scene in Bridget Jones where she’s deciding which underpants to wear. 😀

      And could not the problem of Spanx in fanfics be solved by the simple expedient of a pair of scissors? After all, if I were about to have sex with John Portah, I would reckon that worth the $20 for a new pair of budget-knockoff-brand not-quite-Spanx!! (I buy the Target knockoffs – cheaper and they work). Snip, snip, snip and BROINGGGGGG! I’d be like June, busting out all over! My only worry would be whether he’d heard the ricochet and sprung into action, picking up his gun in the other room.

      A naked Grand Entrance could be very much ruined by being tackled/hustled under the bed, although now that I’m saying that, I could ignore the dust bunnies…

      • Servetus says:

        Best have *Porter* going SPROINGGGGGG!

        • Oh, I WISH. Like the High Diving Board!!

        • obscura says:

          That’s what happens when we cut off his SPANX 😀 (I forsee some serious misgivings on the part of any man when a women comes at his underwear with a scissors or a knife though…)

          • That’s actually what I thought when Porter’s switchblade was mentioned. No-one’s getting inside my spanx with a switchblade!

          • obscura says:

            That is a bit frightening isn’t it?!

          • Absolutely terrifying. I don’t care how good you are with a switchblade, there’s no way to maneuver inside a sausage casing WITH THE SAUSAGE STILL IN. And I’ve got lots of sizzle in my sausage, if you know what I mean.

          • obscura says:

            I hear ya….could he make a little cut at the hem and just ripppp them off the rest of the way?! I’ll have to tweak that one 🙂

          • Oooooooh. Yes. I bet he could do that.

            With his teeth, says the devil on my left shoulder.
            NO, says the angel on my right shoulder, that’s bad for your teeth! Never use your teeth to open anything!!

            The devil on my left shoulder quickly knocks out the angel and whispers again: he starts the cut with the switchblade, then kneels down and grabs one side of the cut with his hand, bare bicep bulging & gleaming manfully in the dim light. The other side, he grips with a flash of white teeth in a feral grin… and rrrrrrrRRRIP.

            Trust me, says the devil. This will work. Then he’s already right where you want him.

            I am quite fond of that little devil. 😉

      • guylty says:

        Actually, the Bridget Jones reference wasn’t really appropriate. For all of Daniel Cleaver’s abominable cad-ishness – his reaction to Bridget’s spanx is the best one anyone could hope for. “Don’t be shy. In fact, I am wearing something similar myself. – here, let me show you.” (My oh my, what does it say about me that I can quote this off by heart?? I’ve obviously thought about this *hahaha*)

        • I love Bridget Jones 1 just in general. It’s a pretty adorable movie. I loved Gaius Baltar (or whatever he says his real name is) running into the restaurant, saying “A fight!! It’s a REAL fight!!” and then the ensuing comedy of errors that was the fight. Love.

        • obscura says:

          There’s a similar scene in St. Elmo’s Fire (how’s that for dating myself?) where Rob Lowe & Mare Winninham are making out and he encounters her thigh length support pants and snaps them with a guffaw – that’s a bucket of icy water!

          • guylty says:

            Ooooh, one of my teenage favourites. The movie, not Rob Lowe, actually. And yes, that scene resonated with me, too. Put me off guys for the rest of my teens *hmph*. Thanks Rob!

          • obscura says:

            Your parents should send him a thank you card 🙂

          • guylty says:

            hehehe. Actually, I think my parents were a bit worried by my lack of interest in boys…

          • obscura says:

            I’m fine if my daughter doesn’t date until she’s 30…somehow I don’t think that’s going to be the case…(keeping in mind that when I first played an Armitage CBeebie for her last fall she said, “Ooooh, his voice is so HOT!” She had just turned 7.)

          • guylty says:

            *teehee* Well, like mother like daughter. A promising start – she has good taste. (My 12 yr old has a thing for Kili. I am glad because I’d rather not have competition within my own ranks…) Although I have to say that I will be much worse when my son starts dating. M-i-l from hell, that’s me.

          • obscura says:

            It’s funny – I’m much more protective of my son. My daughter is a total player – I can tell…she keeps bugging me about an Armitage shirt I was working on for her…I can’t figure out how to flip the image to print it. (She will not rest until she outs me!) My husband though is already setting up porch sitting schedules for when she starts dating….(he also said something about cleaning weapons??)

          • guylty says:

            LOL! That could be me, but with son. My weapon of choice would be witty comments (ahem), specialist questions on the canon of English literature and contemporary politics, and bursting into rooms without knocking. *evillaugh*
            What’s that about flipping an image? Photoshop? Need help?

          • obscura says:

            hmm, I don’t have PS at home, but I do have it in this office…I will bring the file and try it on Saturday…perhaps the only benefit of this wretched Saturday class I’m teaching. (it’s not the class itself, just the day/time – blech!)

          • guylty says:

            Actually, you don’t need PS for that. Even a basic graphics program such as MS Paint will do it. Have you got that or are you working on Mac? Just open your image in Paint and then click on flip horizontally under the “Rotate” option.

          • obscura says:

            I am just a spaz! I’ll try it again tonight 🙂 BTW – there is a little surprise for you in the latest chapter of Recovery…see if you can find it 😉

          • guylty says:

            Oh my – I am so behind again with fanfic. Surfing over there right NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

          • obscura says:

            I am a total fanfic pimp!

          • guylty says:

            Haha, does that make me a prostitute??? Oh, I forgot, I AM a prostitute already…
            Just have caught my breath back from that RAcy chapter. You always deliver, Obscura. The dream sequence had me already hyperventilating, and then the hi-tech equipment. UNF.
            But I am ashamed to say that I haven’t found the “surprise”? I think I was probably distracted…

          • obscura says:

            Green t-shirt? Tool belt? Weren’t we talking about a handyman fantasy when that pick of RA the green tee came out in the Weta book? This was my homage 😀

          • Servetus says:

            So that’s where that came from. I didn’t remember or know about the conversation, but I thought it was a perfect one.

          • obscura says:

            I think it was on your blog…didn’t you have an “Richard Armitage is wearing green post” a while back? I was inspired 😉

          • Servetus says:

            yeah, that was me. (brain fart obviously occurred).

            I think about that all the time. Including him having those Porter jeans on that are just a little bit too short in the waist in the back. And bending over like handymen do. (Drools).

          • obscura says:

            I just add some unlaced Timberland work boots to the scene. Rwrr!

          • guylty says:

            That could well be, Obscura. Early-onset Alzheimers here. In any case, a handyman scenario in tight green tees and with massive hammers in the tool kit is always good. *coughs*

          • obscura says:

            Here’s the pic (http://instagram.com/p/X1ZRjmk5DX/#). It’s so good, I may have to revisit 😉

          • guylty says:

            UNFFFFFFF. Oh yes, that one. Jeepers, I *really* must be suffering from memory loss. How could I have forgotten *that*.

          • obscura says:

            I think it might be burned into my retinas!

          • guylty says:

            *giggles* Not a bad thing.

          • obscura says:

            And so I’m off to bed with visions of a green t’d handyman dancing in my head 😀

          • guylty says:

            And I am starting my day with a vision of a strong handyman. Not bad 🙂 Sleep well, Obscura!

          • obscura says:

            Type to you on the flip side :).

          • obscura says:

            My name can be Huggy Bear – bwahahahaha!

          • obscura says:

            Shazam…I got it to work! Thanks for the push in the right direction!

      • obscura says:

        LMAO…

        I’d totally sacrifice the real thing for Porter, but who wants the hassle?! Come to think of it, Porter usually has a switchblade handy…so much great spoof material…*rubbing hands together*

      • If I knew I was seeing Porter, forget the Spanx. Forget the underwear, too 😉

    • obscura says:

      Gywneth Paltrow recommends them…really, does she have an ounce of spare flesh that needs to be squeezed? She apparently thinks she does.

      Thankfully, RA heroes (at least the ones I write) like a curvy girl 🙂

      • guylty says:

        And I thank you for that. I can identify much better with those. As for RLRA: Well, I have been looking at RA’s dates – the ones he’s been to premieres with etc – and it looks like he is not averse to busty blondes *ahem*.

        • obscura says:

          I’ve got nothing against the svelte sylphs of the world, but they get enough action IMHO 🙂

          • guylty says:

            hear, hear. There’s a good reason why the romantic ending of VoD was so popular…

          • obscura says:

            Curvy girls like nothing more than gorgeous guys who aren’t afraid to like curvy girls…there is a really great novel about (of course the title escapes me) a plus size girl who meets a guy online using a heavily photoshopped image of herself and then is compelled to lose a lot of weight and get buff in order to meet him in person, only to find out eventually, that she is being used as a public, socially acceptable stand in for his actual girlfriend who is plus sized…)

          • guylty says:

            I think you have put that really well “gorgeous guys who are not afraid to like curvy girls”. It’s a bit like tall girls who are not afraid to go out with guys shorter than them. It’s this whole socially determined beauty ideal thing. Grah. Hmph. Are we perpetuating it by adoring a handsome, tall, slim man? Maybe I should switch allegiance over to Jack Black.

          • obscura says:

            I don’t know…women may be less prone to care in the long run – I married a shortish balding guy (think Ira on Mad About You for the general idea 🙂 ) One thing I know for sure is that if it were only about outward appearance, I’d be long gone by now – I’ve seen plenty of super hotties come and go in my tenure, but have never been inspired to this degree…besides, by his own definition, inside, he’s still a skinny geek 🙂

  3. guylty says:

    I am inclined to agree with you. While I am no beauty queen (and therefore my pool of eligible, potential partners was already devoid of stunning men), my SO isn’t Adonis either. Mind you – to me he was and is attractive, outside and in. If I am really honest, I would actually not know what to do with a gorgeous man such as RA 😀

    • obscura says:

      🙂 Knock him out and drag him inside before he gets away? Kidding… I think one of the reasons he is so very attractive to me is that although I think he is well aware of his looks he doesn’t seem to take it too seriously, part of him is also still that gangly kid. (There’s nothing worse than a person who thinks he/she is “all that”…sooo unattractive)

  4. guylty says:

    Spot on. The part about the humble disregard of own attractiveness that is, not the “I’ll kidnap and tie him to the bed”-bit… Mind you, by communicating those signals about himself, RA is broadening his net. Because that is exactly what women (who seem to come with in-built body and beauty issues) like to hear. Could be a clever publicity strategy. (Ah, I am such a cynic. No, RA wouldn’t be as calculating as that!)

    • obscura says:

      I suppose it is possible that the very things that make him sooo attractive could be deliberately cultivated once he recognized the impact but, and I might be a total Pollyanna, douchbaggery on that scale would seem really difficult to pull off in the long haul…That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 😀

      • guylty says:

        True. Hard to keep that up convincingly. Plus: Mama Armitage has raised a modest boy. Plus: This is a Brit with in-built self-deprecation. Plus: Appreciation and fame came late – just as he said himself in an interview recently, if he had grown up with all the attention, he’d have been f*cked up (or something along those lines).

  5. Leigh says:

    Yes, Obscura, I agree with all of your checks.

    LOL! And I really need the laughter about now. When I think about the undergarments I wore once upon a time… Anyway, Spanx and their ilk are ripe for a spoof. Talk about a chastity belt! They are worse than bike shorts to get on and off, and the result often resembles a badly stuffed sausage. I tried wearing a pair to the opera once and at intermission, I went to the ladies’ room, peeled them off, and chucked them in the bin. I’d rather have worn the full corset and crinolines of the 19th century than those things. I imagine that people who wear them either (1) don’t have sex or (2) excuse themselves to shed them, rather like we did to go put in a diaphragm. Or Porter’s pocket knife would come in very handy for removal, heh-heh.

    It seems that there are lovely men with their heads screwed on who prefer curvy women — few and far between, but then good men are quite rare, regardless of shape or condition of life.

    • obscura says:

      Amen to good men being rare commodities! I saw a quote in campus the other day…”outer beauty attracts, inner beauty captivates”. If only more people were able to keep an open mind and allow themselves to see past the outer shell…the world might be a much better place!

  6. Spanx is for making everything on the outside look good. Just about everyone you see onscreen wears them, at least on US television, women and men. Sometimes they even wear double spanx! So definitely a no-no for any sexy scene 😉

    • obscura says:

      It’s comforting, (in a sort of twisted way) to know that even Hollywood doesn’t have a good enough body for Hollywood…jeez!

      That is way too much spandex for spontaneity 🙂

  7. katie70 says:

    Enjoyed reading this post and the comments. Love me for who I am, not who you think I should be. After all we are all shapes and sizes. Bullet proof vests are great for shaping and making a guy look buff, to bad the hot in the summer and cold in the winter. They are easier getting off.

    • obscura says:

      ” Love me for who I am, not who you think I should be.” Exactly…if I teach my children nothing else, I hope the lesson that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, sexual orientations (and any other criteria society uses to pigeon hole us) sticks with them. I want them to understand that while they don’t have to like everyone, they do need to accept and acknowledge that differences are not a negative thing in and of themselves!

      • katie70 says:

        I also want my boys to live by that. They need to be themselves not what someone else wants them to be.

  8. […] of a time with the last few chapters of my Strikeback fan fic Recovery.  This time it’s not “choreography” or quiet time or plot details, but how to successfully convey “the feels”.  According […]

  9. linnetmoss says:

    Love this post and all the comments. I’ve struggled with writing sex scenes myself, and actually wrote one where the hero cuts the heroine’s panties off. With a six-inch chef’s knife. But they weren’t spanx, sadly. That would have been hilarious!

    • obscura says:

      This was a fun one 🙂 I love sex scenes that have some humor in them…not slapstick, but a reflection of an intimacy between the characters that goes beyond the physical. I really do have to work a de-Spanxing in somewhere!

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