In the last of our series of Seven Deadly Sins, Beth Miller blushingly reveals the steamy truth about – oo-er! – lust.
In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was, apparently, looked on as something shocking. I suppose back then lust would have been considered one of the worst of the Seven Deadlies. But heaven knows, in modern times it’s difficult to take it seriously as a real sin. Especially when it comes to writing.
Only today, I was working on a bit of my novel in which a man draws up a list for his wife of things he wants to do in bed. (I suspect this makes my novel sound more weird and raunchy than it actually is.) After I’d written the first few items on his list I, er, dried up. So I googled ‘bucket list of sexy things’. You’d be amazed at the number of hits there were. It was quite an eye-opener, reading through a few (research, honestly darling, please put my internet history away and we’ll say no more about it). Some of the lists had a hundred items on them. I mean, who has the energy?
Anyway, I really like writing sex scenes. I don’t know what it is, but they seem to come quite naturally, as it were. I first realised I might be capable of promoting lustful feelings with my words, when a friend gave me feedback an early draft of my first novel. She did that fanning gesture, the one that means you are just Too. Darn. Hot.
‘The sex scenes,’ she gasped, breathily.
‘All right, are they?’ I said, briskly.
‘All right?’ she replied. ‘They made me want to run out and shag someone.’
I say! I was very proud (which is, of course, another Sin).
I might as well confess that sometimes, while writing a particularly smokin’ sex scene, I can make myself go a bit hot under the collar. I have to chuck cold water on my wrists and think about lust-inhibitors such as Piers Morgan and George Osborne in order to move on effectively. But, I reason, if my writing produces blushes in me – a buttoned-up maiden aunt type – then it will hopefully have a similar effect on my readers.
A word of caution though: don’t rush out and buy my books expecting them to be one shagtastic romp after another. They mostly consist of people chatting to each other, and drinking tea. Every so often, though, like a teenager chucking a bag of sparkly Lush bombs into a placid bath, I will bung in a sex scene to fizz things up. And if those scenes bring a little sinful lust to the mind, and perhaps to places lower down than the mind, well, I guess, as Cole Porter said, that’s all right with me.