September 22, 2010
Hi, I’m A.B. Gayle and I have a novella being released by Dreamspinner today called “Caught”.
But first let’s talk about something else.
When I was editing for another publisher, one of the things that annoyed authors the most was having to include condoms in a sex scene. Readers also sometimes dislike having the romance and spontaneity destroyed. It’s one aspect that doesn’t have to apply in Paranormal, Scifi and Historical m/m romances. However if you’re writing a contemporary story post 1980’s there has to be a bloody good reason not to have one.
So I thought for a laugh and inspiration, let’s look at the way the pro’s “glove up”.
There are a number of steps in the process.
First where is it? In the back pocket of the jeans now discarded on the floor, requiring a hasty scrabbling in the dark? In the ubiquitous top drawer of the night-stand? If the characters are in the wild, who remembered to pack ‘em?
“Do I have to beg?” Nic gasped, his voice muffled against the cool, cotton sheets. “Who’s teasing now? Top drawer— condom— lube— ” [Clare London, Sparks Fly]
“You know, Kabe, I ain’t got nothing here.”
“S’okay, I do.” Somehow he managed to get it out while sucking on my ear.
I snorted, couldn’t help myself, “You just carry that stuff around?” [James Buchanan, Hard Fall]
Sean Michael’s characters tend to like quick, hard sex so there’s few words:
“Condom.” The word was nearly barked out, but, fuck, he needed to sink into Dal’s heat, needed it bad. [Sean Michael, Secrets, Skin and Leather]
“Your ass and you know it, baby.” He growled a little, biting at Dal’s earlobe. “All the fucking stuff is in the bedroom.” He’d make sure that little mistake wasn’t repeated in the future. [Sean Michael, Secrets, Skin and Leather]
Sometimes the word condom itself isn’t even needed or used:
He finally couldn’t stand it any longer and rose up, quickly covering his cock before pushing into Dal’s tight hole. [Sean Michael, Secrets, Skin and Leather]
Or the adjective sheathed, protected is used, implying the finding and application. Or an alternate word:
We remove his cock from my ass only long enough for me to replace the ballooned and used rubber with a new one. [William Maltese, Love Hurts]
Then there’s the opening of the wrapper. With the teeth because the hands are slicked up with lube? Fumbling fingers?
I bit my lip as I tore open the condom, tossing the wrapper I-didn’t-give-a-shit-where. [Ethan Day, As You Are]
Or from the other point of view:
…but the sound of a condom wrapper tearing was all the reassurance he needed. [K. A. Mitchell, Collision Course]
It can be a reluctant admission of necessity without the description.
Tom rolled him onto his back, lifted Stanley’s legs in the air. There was the business with the condom. Stanley helped him fit it on, impatient to get down to business. He sighed with something that might have been relief when Tom entered him. [V.J. Banis, Deadly Slumber]
And the size factor
Jackson nervously fumbled with the package, tearing it with his teeth, then rolled it onto Booker’s cock. “I assume they’re extra large?” [D. J. Manly, The Posers]
The out of date factor is sometimes an angle used:
His lack of sexual activity resulted in completely unused supplies; he just hoped condoms didn’t expire with age. [Catt Ford, A Strong Hand]
He straightened back up, a bottle of lube in one hand and a foil packet between his sharp white teeth. He watched me watching him as he tore the top across and plucked out the contents. I was wondering how long the damned thing had been in there, because I’d not gone searching in that drawer for many months. [Clare London, Freeman]
Then there’s the application:
First the master:
Jake knelt on the mattress and slipped his condom on with a snap like a detective donning latex gloves to examine a crime scene. Not a romantic noise. [Josh Lanyon, A Dangerous Thing]
What if there are piercings?
I had condoms in my back pocket, and I fished one out and ripped it open. It took a little bit of work to roll the latex over the beads of my apadravya piercing, but I’d had plenty of practice, and there was a knack to it. Top bead first, then hold the bar steady with my other thumb and slide the latex over the bottom bead, and then down my cock. [Laney Cairo, Bad Case of Loving You]
And the dom:
Owen knelt up, one hand still wrapped around Sterling’s cock until the last moment. With quick, automatic movements, the action as familiar as brushing his teeth, he rolled a condom over his erection and let a small pool of lube drizzle from the bottle into his palm. [Jane Davitt, Bound and Determined]
Some authors fade away immediately after the sex so we are spared the details, but some include it. Laney Cairo’s great book has another aspect that happens in real life but is rarely mentioned:
Oh, yeah, this was the unattractive, partly dressed man with a loaded condom dangling from his cock look. I dumped the condom and gloves into my rubbish bin and pulled my boxers and trousers up while Matthew struggled up to a sitting position. [Laney Cairo, Bad Case of Loving You]
Or the shrinking factor:
So, why does my dick immediately lose its hardness? I’m not talking a slow fade to oblivion, either. I’m talking major deflation. One minute hard, stiff and ready to pop its load from here to China, the next a spineless slug erect only because I’ve got it firmly contained within the wrap of my fingers, like Jell-O locked inside a steel mold. Its shrinking sheds its condom, like a snake sheds unwanted skin. [William Maltese, California Creamin' and other stories]
And the “did he really come” question? How about this for a priceless visual:
“Oh, I got off, all right,” he says and has to hear my sigh of thank-God relief and satisfaction. As if to prove what he says, he tugs his cock from my asshole, slides his cum-filled rubber off his studly dick, ties off the open end of his condom, and holds the results up for me to see in the mirror. “This doesn’t mean I’m going to oblige you by again playing soldier-boy any time soon.” [William Maltese, California Creamin' and other stories]
If they’re put on, do we have to witness the removal? If we do there’s the messy aftermath:
His cock slipped from Buzz’s body, and he grabbed the edge of the condom just in time to keep it from getting lost on the way out. He tied it off and, not knowing what else to do with it, tossed it on the ground, promising himself he’d pick it up later. [Ally Blue, Catching the Buzz]
I don’t know who came first, or how often, just that there came a time when my body would no longer co-operate and my cock softened, making me grab wildly for the condom as I slid out. [Laney Cairo, Bad Case of Loving You]
Joey was already relaxing around Aaron’s dick, enough that he could ease out and pull off the rubber. He forced himself up enough to make sure it made it into the trash and then flopped onto his back, wiping the sweaty hair from his eyes with the sheet that had ended up on the floor. [K. A. Mitchell, Collision Course]
Z.A. Maxfield’s guys tend to belong to the neat freak side:
He removed and tied off the condom, tossing it toward the trash, and pulled Tristan with him. [ZA Maxfield, Crossing Borders]
I left him, already asleep, and did a quick tidy up, picking up the damp towels, getting rid of the condom, turning lights off downstairs, checking the security system was on. [Laney Cairo, Bad Case of Loving You]
It was a moment that he wished could have lasted longer, but the need to ease out of Sterling led to an equally pressing need to clean them both up. Lube was useful, but it got everywhere. Owen gave Sterling a kiss that was hard to break, so difficult in fact that it turned into a series of kisses, and then reached for the box of tissues on the bedside table. [Jane Davitt, Bound and Determined]
What about the should we, when can we not aspect?
Was that a disappointed okay? A yeah-you’d-better okay? An are-you-fucking-nuts okay? Or a wish-we-didn’t-need-one okay? Aaron’s last negative test was two months ago. Joey— they hadn’t talked about it— but Joey didn’t seem like the kind of guy who wouldn’t say something if he were positive. [K. A. Mitchell, Collision Course]
“Andy, I get tested every month, and I’m clean.” I hesitated. “Umm. Do we need condoms?”
“No, baby. Like I said, I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. They’ve been swabbing me like clockwork since December. I’m good to go if you want me.” [Patric Michael, Timeless]
So much for the “only females” using the word clean instead of negative or positive – referencing Jessewave’s blog on the subject: http://www.reviewsbyjessewave.com/?p=6771
This post is not discounting the need for safe-sex. Far from it. You cannot fail to appreciate the risk of doing otherwise after reading “The Beauty of Men” by Andrew Holleran or gay fiction by authors like Ken Shakin who lived through the Eighties and the horror of seeing so many friends die. However, there are a variety of ways to apply them!
What are the most seamless or funniest integrations you’ve read?