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Old 12-02-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
NaokoSmith
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Safe writing - condoms in stories

What are your thoughts on writing safe sex?
I so much admired the way gay men's stories often make condoms a normal part of the erotic scenes. At first I thought since I write fantasy I couldn't do it but then I thought, "Really! what kind of writer are you? See it as a creative challenge." Some of my friends said they were surprised by the condoms popping up in my fantasy world (and one wanted me to use a special herb instead which he suggested could have other properties too - yes, he is of that generation) but nobody has complained in the feedback.
I partly decided to do this because of some research I've been doing on Sex and Relationships Education. I realised that although kids (in the UK anyway) are being taught how to put a condom on a banana, they aren't being taught to have the self-confidence to say: "No, I won't do it if it's not safe." I set up a blog which I have been developing where I'm reviewing erotica which is 'safe' as a portal for young people (well, people of any age really) who want to explore but might be nervous about just plunging into the wild and wonderful world of internet stuff on sex. Here I only review stories in which safe sex is practised, as I hope in this way to encourage people to feel condom usage is normal.
What do you think?
I'd like to write a blogpost about this on my other blog where I collect thoughts on writing erotica.

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Old 12-02-2012, 06:40 AM   #2
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Well, first of all how hard core are you concerning safe sex ?
Do you feel that condoms are necessary for oral sex as well as intercourse ?
In other words do you view protection as something used to prevent all types of STDs or mainly to guard against HIV and pregnancy ?

And what about all the other unreal stuff going on in porn, including here at Lit ? Are you going to address that as well ?

I think your stated goal is admirable and I wish you luck. But please be more specific about what you intend to promote, when asking for input.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyM View Post
Well, first of all how hard core are you concerning safe sex ?
Do you feel that condoms are necessary for oral sex as well as intercourse ?
In other words do you view protection as something used to prevent all types of STDs or mainly to guard against HIV and pregnancy ?

And what about all the other unreal stuff going on in porn, including here at Lit ? Are you going to address that as well ?

I think your stated goal is admirable and I wish you luck. But please be more specific about what you intend to promote, when asking for input.
I follow the guidance provided by the Terence Higgins Trust as to what is regarded as safe sex. THT suggest that oral is usually safe unless you have cuts in your mouth so I allow this without condoms. I don't want to be really hardcore (and I have only once read a piece of erotica where the participants spoke about doing oral with a condom - and that was 2 lesbian women saying how gross it was.)

I'm not going on a crusade to change all of pornography! just looking around for stuff that is safe and thinking about writing a blogpost to encourage some more writing which normalises condom usage to add to all of the other stuff out and about.

xxx
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:39 AM   #4
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Just my personal opinion, but just like using condoms in porn it kind of ruins the fantasy.

As adults we all know that in these situations we would be using condoms. In fact when people talk here of porn cliches "no one ever uses condoms" is one that always comes up.

To me porn/erotica is fantasy, its a hot story that to a degree defies logic and that's what makes it fun.

Adding condoms, although realistic, kills the fun to me. It takes away from the escapism.

Another example I came across is in a recent story I had the woman suck the guys cock after it was in her ass. Someone commented on the hygiene issues of doing that.

They're right of course, in porn ass to mouth is edited so the guy can wipe off in between and hell, the girls have "cleaned " them selves out before they do an anal scene.

But in porn and erotica, things like that go on, its no different than watching the ridiculous stunts in action movies, you know damn well it could never happen, but you shut the brain off and go for the ride.

That's how I feel with safe sex in stories.

Just my take.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
Just my personal opinion, but just like using condoms in porn it kind of ruins the fantasy.

As adults we all know that in these situations we would be using condoms. In fact when people talk here of porn cliches "no one ever uses condoms" is one that always comes up.

To me porn/erotica is fantasy, its a hot story that to a degree defies logic and that's what makes it fun.
There's a spectrum at work here. A range of feeling.

I like my fantasy fantastic too, I like reading and writing about things that could (and sometimes should) never happen in reality.

Not everyone feels the same way, though. some people find the realistic stuff sexier. And if writing anything with even pretensions of realism, safe sex should be mandatory.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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There's a spectrum at work here. A range of feeling.

I like my fantasy fantastic too, I like reading and writing about things that could (and sometimes should) never happen in reality.

Not everyone feels the same way, though. some people find the realistic stuff sexier. And if writing anything with even pretensions of realism, safe sex should be mandatory.
I think it depends on the story. If the entire story is more reality based, then it would fit.

A lot of what is on here is stroke and people have no desire for safe sex. In longer more "serious" works, it could have its place.

If the story is good a condom would not kill it for me, but it would for many.

Personally the only time I used one, was when a character who had let herself get almost to the point of death from gdrug use was whoring herself.

She was saved by the male lead who then went to have sex with her, she begged him to use something because of where she'd been.

In that instance it wasn't just about safe sex, but to also demonstrate how far she'd sunk, that she knew most likely she had something.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #7
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I mention condoms if doing so helps move the story forward. It's not a hard and fast rule for me, for two reasons:

1. My fiction is fiction. It's not a lesson in safe sex, and anyone who isn't old enough to know how to have safer sex isn't supposed to be on this website anyway.

2. I figure just because I don't explicitly state that my characters use condoms doesn't mean they don't use them. It just means I didn't include it in the necessarily incomplete set of details I describe in my work. I never say they don't use condoms either, after all.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YDB95 View Post
I mention condoms if doing so helps move the story forward. It's not a hard and fast rule for me, for two reasons:

1. My fiction is fiction. It's not a lesson in safe sex, and anyone who isn't old enough to know how to have safer sex isn't supposed to be on this website anyway.

2. I figure just because I don't explicitly state that my characters use condoms doesn't mean they don't use them. It just means I didn't include it in the necessarily incomplete set of details I describe in my work. I never say they don't use condoms either, after all.
Pretty much how I see it also.

Real life = condoms

Fantasy life = no condoms mentioned

The late 50's, 60's. and early 70's still color a lot of my stories. No condoms back then was normal. Drinking and or smoking weed and driving, normal. Running a fast car on the back roads, normal. Today ain't then and then ain't today but my mind when I'm writing likes that time and uses those rules.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:12 AM   #9
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I have used them occasionally in stories, when it seems like that's the way things would go. It does not throw me out of a story to read it; nor does it usually throw me out of a story when they are not used.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:17 AM   #10
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I had characters use one in my latest story as part of a plot device. Other than that, if it suits the reader to assume they are being used, it hurts nothing.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #11
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I write in gay male, so condoms are a pretty big thing. I wont try to argue the validity of attempts to put condoms into straight stories, but with modern GM stories, condoms are just a really big part of the community.

Some of Robcubs stories bother me because there are no condoms, but I have a feeling that that's a kink of his. In more than one of his stories, one character will reach for condoms and find the box empty, but they will have sex anyway. He sees it like a physical indication of trust.

I use condoms for trust too, but my characters (at least in modern settings) only stop using condoms after they've both been tested.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YDB95 View Post
I mention condoms if doing so helps move the story forward. It's not a hard and fast rule for me . . .
Ditto. Although I'll mention them if it conveniently fits in (and is appropriate to) the story--which is a little broader than "moving the story forward," I think.

But I don't see that it needs to assumed they aren't used in many cases just because they aren't mentioned. I even more rarely mention a bottom in GM getting himself cleaned out and cleaned up before sex--and I don't expect it to be assumed he didn't just because it wasn't explicitly included.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #13
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I write a lot of Lesbian Sex stories, so to me the question about using rubbers is moot.

That being said, when I do write a M/F story I don't mention condoms because it's an erotic fantasy not a PSA about 'safe sex'.

STD's aside, to me using a condom is like taking a shower wearing a raincoat, you get the effect and damn little of the sensation.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #14
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I have used condoms a few times in group sex/swinger situations where it would have been unnatural not to use them. For the most part I don't address STDs in my stories, but I do briefly mention birth control, either by confirming that the woman is on the pill or some form of withdrawal if she is not.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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I've maintained a general rule for myself on this, though I may have slipped (can't remember when):

If the story premise has a sci-fi or fantasy (magical) angle, there probably won't be any condoms. There will likely be a line or two that either explains or at least takes note of this.

If the story is more "realistic" (I use quotes because my stories almost always involve some off-the-wall non-sexual stuff), then there will either be condoms--again, just a line or two of the story along the way, probably not even ten words--or there will be a reasonable explanation as to why, such as the sex being part of a committed, long-term relationship.

Condoms don't ruin a fantasy for me anymore than they ruin actual sex. Yes, no-condom sex is better than sex with a condom, both in fantasy and reality, but it's not like the condom ruins the whole deal. I have zero respect for any guy who'd bitch and moan about having to wear a condom. Cry me a river, dude; you're getting laid. A lot of lonely people out there aren't so lucky.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #16
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the challenge of including condoms

Oops sorry I may have opened a whole new angle of discussion with my first reply (and by the way there's no need to quote when you are replying in the post just below).

Anyway, I like to write erotic stories as close to real life as possible (given than they are still fiction), so yes I'll have condoms as part of the story when appropriate. To me that means:

Never for oral sex, unless I wrote a story involving a prostitute doing a customer.

Never if both participants are virgins (unless pregnancy is an issue) or have discussed the issue and are either tested or trust each other.

Usually with intercourse between a man and a woman who are just indulging in sex for fun, but if omitted always as the woman's decision.

Always with anal sex (whether GM or straight) unless the participants really trust each other (or are a couple).
And I'll either specify or imply the necessary preparations for anal sex - and try to make it part of the story if possible, which is even harder than including condoms !! But I like the challenge :-)

Not that I don't enjoy or approve of stories not dealing with the issue of protection. I think it's fine on a site like this where most readers come to indulge their fantasies. But I'll often give a higher vote or remark favorably on stories that manage to include this issue in a way that does not spoil the erotic quality. Just because it's much harder to achieve.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyM View Post
(and by the way there's no need to quote when you are replying in the post just below).
The problem with this is that another post might intrude before your reply gets posted--then you're stuck with trying to note that the entry your's is posted under isn't the one you were responding to.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #18
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or you can just edit your post and put the quote in.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:23 PM   #19
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Back to the topic. I'm afraid that the intrusion of the images of clinical charts and manuals, anal retention, health editorials, and/or the morality police turns me off from even starting to write an erotic story at all.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:27 PM   #20
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If I'm writing modern day sex in a realistic setting, then I acknowledge the fact of safe sex-- even if my characters don't do it that way.

But then, I like those kinds of details. If I have a character on her knees, they are going to be a bit sore when she stands up-- or else she's going to pull the kneepads off during the afterwards.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella_Omega View Post
If I'm writing modern day sex in a realistic setting, then I acknowledge the fact of safe sex-- even if my characters don't do it that way.

But then, I like those kinds of details. If I have a character on her knees, they are going to be a bit sore when she stands up-- or else she's going to pull the kneepads off during the afterwards.
A pillow works nicely and you don't have to take it off.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:18 PM   #22
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A pillow works nicely and you don't have to take it off.
Your kneelers kneel in one place only? Mine usually have to get from here to there and back again...
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #23
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Your kneelers kneel in one place only? Mine usually have to get from here to there and back again...
Ah, I forgot your circus travels.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #24
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From a reader's point of view, I don't think condom use takes away from the story at all. I read a lot...mostly erotic romance, but a lot of steamy (almost erotic) romance as well and in both kinds, there have been condom use and no condom use.

I recall a discussion like this once before and someone had mentioned that in some settings, condom use can be quite erotic, especially if the woman puts the condom on the man. Of course, it again depends on the setting, and how well the story is written.

I'm editing a story for a fellow author right now who had the man pull out before he came, which is usually a turn-off for me. But the story is well written and the scene itself was quite erotic. In that instance, however, I think condom use would've taken away from the eroticism of the scene.

In my own writings, I have stories where the characters used condoms and stories where they didn't. I don't recall getting negative comments because the characters did or didn't use condoms.

I think it all depends on the setting or type of story as well as the author writing it.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #25
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I've used a condom in one of my sex scenes, but the story it was in a was a sequel to another author's work (I have the author's permission to write the sequel BTW.) which also used one. However, I plan to have one break in the future as part of the whole story's plot, so I made sure to plant the seed of the idea in the following chapter (in which the son fought with his mother about having sex with his girlfriend).

Another one which I have completed and had a sequel planned for needed to go condom=less as part of the plot in the entire series (because a pregnancy is part of the next story).

It depends on your story's plot IMHO. Condoms can be useful for the plot, or you can also use other methods (ie. say the woman can't bear a child because of age or sterilization, the pill, etc.) to promote safe sex. If your characters trust each other (and of had no previous partners or know that previous partner(s) were clean), a condom isn't necessary 100% of the time.

That's my $.02 worth.
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