Another truly excruciating writing session today in the salt mines, writing this sex scene. It’s a turning point for Adam and Cate: the night when they realise they’re actually in love with each other, and as a result the sex feels very intimate and emotionally powerful. It’s a moment when we can’t make any jokes, and have to find something that sincerely conveys the characters’ changing relationship.
But of course, comedy is our defence mechanism, and I (Mel) have been craughing helplessly as I type the lines Anthony is riffing…
Writing a sex scene collaboratively is a new nightmare. I’m paralysed with where to begin, my fingers hesitating over the keyboard while behind me, on the couch in my study, Anthony sips from a mug of tea and embarks on an agonisingly detailed off-the-cuff description to get the ball rolling.
It is the most appalling encounter, which features the heroine singing, “Sing me a song, a song of the sea/Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers” and then whipping out a loudly buzzing vibrator she refers to as “Mr Do-Me”. Anthony reaches the end of this dreadful narrative, sits back and says, “So just write the opposite of that.”