A response to: An open letter to your sex scenes

After Sam announced she was writing a drunk letter to bookish sex scenes, I knew I was in for a treat. After she published it on Saturday, I laughed so much, and completely agreed on everything she said. But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t continue the rant. I’m not drunk, but here goes.

Disclaimer: it’s okay if you like these books. I’m not judging you, I’m just think they could have been so much better. There are way better erotic books out there, and you deserve them.

I worked in a bookstore for a couple of years and since the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was in the top 10 for a very long time, every employee was obligated to read the books in order to advise people on them. I have never read anything worse in my entire life. This led me to my own rant. You see, authors write books, but how are there publishers and proofreaders that allow this to happen? Do those people actually believe this is how people have sex? And how do they not see that some positions aren’t anatomically possible..

Not to mention the horrible, horrible things people do because they get ‘inspired’. I spent 5 minutes looking for articles, and here some news articles I found:

And then some of the even worse ones..

AND THEN IT STILL GETS ADAPTED INTO A MOVIE. and I can’t even imagine the horrors that cinema workers went through, but to draw a picture without actually showing a picture (nobody wants that, just use your imagination), here are some examples:

“PEOPLE SHOWED UP WEARING FULL-BODY LATEX SUITS. Someone even asked if sex toys were supplied.” It’s a public space people.

“Movie theater staff have found all sort of x-rated objects on cinema floors, including used condoms, masks and handcuff packaging.” Again. It’s public space!

One worker revealed “people had taken their shoes and socks off, and tied their socks over their eyes during the blindfolding scene.” That doesn’t sound that bad.. weren’t it for the fact that they were moaning in unison..

So apparantly in the US, you can go to the theater if you’re underage, you only need to bring an adult. WHO TAKES THEIR 10 YO TO THIS MOVIE?! Thankfully children under six were banned..

There was a theater where a man ejaculated on his seat, and where a crowd of 10 drunk women had to be escorted. Let’s hope those things aren’t connected. Yikes. To make it worse, in Glasgow, a man was attacked by three women at a Valentine’s Day showing, so theater working had to clean up blood aswell. Apparently he was glassed after he asked if they could keep quiet.

The point I’m trying to make is that books are such a powerful medium. I know that people always say that videogames cause violence. Monkey see, monkey do, right? But books are way worse. How many times have people done things and referenced to books? I’m not bringing any religeous books into this but.. Manifesto’s are practically books these days. I know that it’s not justfified just because it’s in a book. How about we take care of this and fix the root of the problem? Erotic books can be so much fun, but they should be real. And maybe not make people want to masturbate in theaters? And it’s not just the author, like I said, I assume these books were proofread, how did this get accepted and printed and into stores? Authentic sex might not be perfect, penises aren’t all straight and long and thick. It’s wrong to falsely advertise sex like that, even though it’s ‘just a book’.

Also, how did this get into the book: ” ‘say it’, he commanded. ‘yankity spankity.’ ’louder’.” I’M CRYING FROM LAUGHTER. How do people keep a straight face when reading this??

I really hope all of these newsarticles make people think twice when writing sex scenes, maybe start with normal sex scenes in fanfiction, since Fifty Shades of Grey started out as fanfiction. And just keep it real. If you want to write these over the top sex scenes, you  might be in the wrong genre. Maybe take a look at Fantasy books.

8 thoughts on “A response to: An open letter to your sex scenes

  1. Clo @ Book Dragons says:

    Being obligated to read 50 Shades *shudders* honestly, I’ve seen a few clips from one of the movies on YouTube cause I was curious about what it was all about and yeah >.> I couldn’t imagine taking a 10 year old or any kid to see that movie though…like erm no there is so much wrong with the films and the books from what I’ve heard anyway.

    Those news articles though, damn…also for some reason I remember hearing that sales of cable ties had gone up around about when the films came out. *blinks* cable ties. I just…and those poor workers *shakes head* the cinema is a public space, its not like you’re in your own home sheesh. Loved this response to Sam’s post, Michelle! ❤


  2. Ruby's Books says:

    HOLY COW You were forced to read them???? Yikes! Those articles are scary! I understand reading a fantasy and using that fantasy for sexy times, in your head, but don’t most people recognize the danger in some of the things they do? And public spaces, like you said! I do not want to go to a cinema and get visually assaulted by some people going at it then and there.

    Michelle, I love you for this post!


  3. veeshee says:

    This is such an interesting take on Sam’s letter but you’ve raised a lot of really relevant points. One of my biggest problems with reading sex scenes is that it makes sex really vulgar and crass, rather than showing the beauty of it and the way it connects people. I also find that the way sex is depicted is extremely unrealistic and downright dumb at times. You’re definitely correct that there is a responsibility on authors and publishers to ensure that the material they put out will not cause harm to others, and that requires changing the way they present things … like sex.
    Fantastic post!


  4. Kristina says:

    Oh. My god!
    I’ve worked in a sexshop last year when the last one got out anx never heard of thoses articles 😂😂 YIKES for the theater’s employees..

    You are so right; don’t just blame videogames but books aswell!


  5. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites says:

    I cannot imagine being *obligated* to read Fifty Shades, holy wow. the trumpet section of my high school marching band would pick out excerpts to include in their senior gifts as a prank, and having to hear those was bad enough 😳 and damn, as if customer-service jobs weren’t bad enough already … people never cease to amaze in the worst ways.

    honestly, fanfiction is full of *much* better sex scenes than Fifty Shades or a lot of what’s been published – you just have to know how to look 😉 but not only is a lot of it more authentic, a lot of the time it emphasizes consent and avoids cringy metaphors. phrases like “yankity spankity” are definitely not the norm, lol.


  6. TheCaffeinatedReader says:

    Today you are my hero, and you and Sam are really just making my week because I needed these posts. *Sucks in long breath* Okay…let me give my spiel.

    Porn is automatically shamed and named for being unrealistic when it’s in movie format, but, people have a tough time admitting that some of what they read is porn (and hey, I’m not here to judge) and like film porn, book porn may just be freakin unrealistic! Also, why would anyone ever want to bring sex toys to a regular public movie theater? :/ Public spaces, like you said! PEOPLE. UGH. And not to mention 50 shades was not welcomed among the fetish community it was supposedly depicting!

    AND WHY CAN BOOKS NOT BE PROPERLY CATEGORIZED?! What is this stigma that only the books with Fabio on the cover are smutty books?! People purposefully misrepresent books because of the stigma of erotica and then it’s like ‘well then!’ If you didn’t realize it was an erotica book!

    I literally just ranted about three books, I was taken by surprise by the fact that they all seemed to be erotica books and were not labelled as such. Like I was not prepared, apparently when losing your virginity if it hurts and you struggle against it, it’s okay for the guy to pin you down, especially if he’s your brother.

    Thank you for this post.


  7. Sam || Fictionally Sam says:


    I remember when the 50 shades movie came out and my local theatre band folks from bringing sex toys into the theatre when purchasing a ticket to see that movie. It. Was. A. Time. Like you said, firstly public space–if you want other’s to see you jacking off, just make a video and post it to a porn site, I promise it’s safer for both parties and you wont go to jail for it (unless you are underage. If you are and you are reading this–please don’t and practice safe mutual consented sex!).

    I feel like folks don’t realize just how powerful and mind altering books can be, like look at all those headlines you brought up! That is the power we as authors, writer, and creators have on society! It’s our responsibility as creators to make sure we change the world for the better and not for the negative, especially when we are given a chance to showcase the beauty and complexity of sex–I feel like sex is the most vulnerable state a person can be in because you are literally and figuratively letting it all out there for your partner to see, accept and in some cases love; so why in the world would you want to make such a beautiful thing feel cheap and hella weird?

    Authors have the power to change the way we percieve a beautiful thing that us humans use to connect with–why not change it for the better?

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Your response to my really drunk letter Michelle! ❤ Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


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