Contest: Help Me Write a Funny Sex Scene for My Memoir

Osiris with text

Those of you who know about my successful Kickstarter campaign know I’m a big fan of crowdfunding. Now I’ve decided to try something new: crowdwriting.

Some Background

I’ve been going over the chapters I wrote of Getting Naked for Money in preparation for sending as much of the book as I’ve completed to an editor.  A few people have seen parts of the manuscript — some call them Beta readers; I call them friends — and I’m incorporating many of their suggestions. But I’m stumped at one request made by two of them: They want more details for one of my sex scenes.

Sex scenes in books are often embarrassing in the way that sex itself is often embarrassing if you’re not a participant (and sometimes if you are). My idea was to keep things short and deliberately funny — as opposed to inadvertently funny, like 50 Shades of Grey — and to leave the rest up to my readers’ imagination. But my friends have made many excellent suggestions, so I’d like to comply with this one, too — if only I could figure out how.

The Contest

So I turn to you, dear readers, to help me flesh out my Egyptian sex scene, as it were. The person who can guide me towards filling in the details in the funniest way by writing their own version will get acknowledged as the contest winner in the book and get a signed copy of the trade paperback. If you’re already owed a copy of the book as a contributor to the Kickstarter campaign, you’ll get another copy, one that you can give away as a gift.

This reward is tantric: gratification will be delayed until the book’s publication. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

The Sex Scene, as I originally wrote it

Frommers-Egypt-cover-189x250

[Background: I am extolling the virtues of a hotel in Cairo where I stayed in 1989 while updating Frommer’s Egypt. The hotel manager, Arthur, was a self-described queen and there were always beautiful young men hanging around the hotel]

The Victoria had loads of historic character—George Bernard Shaw was among the luminaries who stayed there—and a central location near Tahrir Square. It was impeccably clean and moderately priced.

And then there was the quality of the room service.

One morning, about 10 days into my stay, I wasn’t feeling very well. Just as I didn’t turn down proffered cigarettes in those days, I rarely turned down the spiced and flame-roasted kebabs and koftas that were a staple of most Egyptian restaurants. It’s easy to be vegetarian in Egypt—there are a lot of great dishes like fool (fava beans with oil) and falafel—but when I was there, most Egyptians who could afford it ate meat frequently and seemed surprised at Western hesitation over consuming large quantities. I felt it was my job to accept the hospitality that was offered me.

My stomach finally rebelled against my carnivore carnival.

I’d come down to the hotel breakfast buffet that day for a cup of tea, unable to partake in the wonderful spread of breads, cheeses, meats and fresh fruit juices; my favorite—before it was trendy—was pomegranate. When Arthur came over  to my table for our usual morning schmoozefest, I explained why my plate wasn’t heaped as usual. I said I was going to go back to my room to rest for a bit. Only black tea was set out on the sidebar, and Arthur offered to send up an herbal tummy settler.

I wasn’t surprised, then, to hear a knock at my door about half an hour later. It was Youssef, one of the beautiful young men I’d seen around the hotel. He looked to be in his early 20s, slim, with sad eyes. I recalled that he worked in the kitchen and often brought the food out to the buffet.

I was startled, however, to sense a slow approach when I turned around to dig into my purse for a tip after Youssef placed the chamomile tea on a side table. As I fumbled with change, wondering how much to give, I felt Youssef behind me, nuzzling my neck.

A hotel room in Cairo, an exotic man with dark, soulful good looks…this interlude promised to have the makings of a bodice ripper, maybe one titled Lust in Egypt. But it turned out to resemble a very short story instead. Everything happened really, really quickly—and by “everything” I mean the sex as much as the seduction, if you can call it that. The neck nuzzle was about it for foreplay; after maybe two minutes of intercourse, Youssef came. And then went.

“I go back to work,” he muttered, giving me a quick peck on the cheek and rushing out of the room. At least that spared me further pondering over the proper tip to give for the delivery of a cup of herbal tea.

The Rules

None, really, except that you stick with the same situation that I presented in the bold-faced paragraphs and rewrite or amplify the scene. I’d prefer you not get too graphic because of the ick factor that usually accompanies graphic details, and because I don’t want to get my site banned or categorized as pornography. I’m already skating on thin ice with the book’s title. But really that’s up to you. I’m just looking for inspiration.

Me, I think the scene is okay as it is. If you agree, let me know that too, even if it ends the contest as quickly as the sex scene I’ve described. Also welcome: suggestions of details that I can add on my own to improve the scene.

Please post the rewritten scene — and/or your opinion of my original — in the comments section, below. It’s my book so I get to be the final arbiter of what I think is the winning text, but if you like a particular entry, do let me know.

Start date: right now.

End date: midnight, August 20, MST.

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About the Author

ejarolim@mac.com'

Edie Jarolim is a writer and editor living in Tucson, Arizona. Sign up on this blog to get updates about her humorous tell-all/memoir, GETTING NAKED FOR MONEY: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All.

16 Enlightened Replies

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  1. frankieblei@hotmail.com' Frankie Blei says:

    It’s PERFECT as it is Edie – seriously – any embellishment would spoil the deliciousness of it !!
    (I just wanna know if it’s true ? ( 🙂 )

  2. drv@pawcurious.com' Dr V says:

    You are a marvelous writer, so of course it is wonderful as is. Being somewhat Victorian in my upbringing I always wince a bit when friends describe floppy bits and heavy breathing in too much detail. That being said, the part of the story I am dying to know more about is WHAT THE HECK was going on in your head when that happened? Like, how do you decide when a strange man in a strange country nuzzles your neck whether you’re going to respond, “When in Rome!” versus “Assault! Hit him with the teapot!” Did you have a moment during those two minutes when you looked up and said, “Well, that was a shitty roll of the die” or “Eh, it seemed like a good idea at the time” or “woo hoo!” These are the details I am interested in.

  3. running.buffer@gmail.com' Cynthia says:

    Youssef’s warm breath on the nape of my neck was a shock and delicious at the same time. It was vaguely spicey, in a good way, maybe cardamom? I leaned back into his chest and he put his arms around me and started nuzzling , then kissing, my neck. He slowly turned my body to face him and kissed my lips. He knew how to kiss. My nausea left immediately and was replaced by desire. I let him walk me backwards to the bed where he deftly lowered me to the mattress. The rest was, how do I say this, inevitable. But, sadly, Youssef did not last very long …..

  4. mew6389@gmail.com' Mike Webster says:

    Respectfully submitted below. Gratefully submitted as well. Not too many authors would give a bunch of untried Internet wannabes a chance to play around with their stuff.

    In my case, however, I may have played a little too loosely with The Rules. I set up one of my supplemental bits by cheekily granting myself the liberty to alter the two sentences leading into the identified subject passage. Please forgive that intrusion.
    ————
    I said I was going to go back to my room to rest for a bit, and Arthur offered to send up a tummy settler.

    I wasn’t surprised, then, to hear a knock at my door about half an hour later.

    It was Youssef, one of the beautiful young men I’d seen around the hotel, carrying a tray of chamomile tea. He looked to be in his early 20s, slim, with sad eyes, and I recalled that he worked in the kitchen and often brought food out to the buffet.

    Entering the room, Youssef moved the tray decisively to a side table, setting it down. I turned away from him as I dug around for change in my purse, wondering how much to give for a tip.

    That’s when the surprise came.

    Without looking back, I abruptly became aware that Youssef had turned toward me, and was moving, slowly moving, ever, ever closer. A moment later, his lean, taut body was pressing urgently into me from behind as he tenderly nuzzled my neck.

    I clutched at the change in my purse, wondering how much to sock him in the mouth with.

    But, softening so quickly, so unexpectedly under the waves of warm desire that were suddenly flowing between us, I checked this first perhaps-too-violent impulse, and began instead to surrender my body to the flames ignited within me by his strong embrace. After all, a hotel room in Cairo, an exotic man with dark, soulful good looks…this was a moment that had the makings of a bodice-ripping romance, maybe one titled “Lust in Egypt.”

    The next moment, Youssef was moving us decisively toward the bed, setting me down. And I thought, “Tummy settler, indeed. Nice work, Arthur.”

    But what I hoped would be my ultimate Danielle Steel novel read instead very much like a drill manual from sexual boot camp. The neck nuzzle was just about it for foreplay. Everything else went by in a blur of crisp, quasi-military efficiency: zippers unzipped, flappers unflapped, buttons unbuttoned, skirts going up, drawers coming down.

    And, lastly, all the correct parts—and only the most essential parts—aligned and mated. A by-the-book performance.

    After maybe two minutes of intercourse, Youssef came. And then went.

    “I go back to work,” he muttered, giving me a quick peck on the cheek and rushing out of the room.

    But as my former diet-induced nausea gave way to the delightfully new experience of speed-sex-induced vertigo, I was able to recognize that this brief interlude did spare me further ponderings on the proper tip to give for the delivery of a cup of chamomile tea.

    And, of course, I could indeed be grateful for the happy fact that Youssef hadn’t served me too much meat.

  5. karynzoldan@yahoo.com' karyn zoldan says:

    It sounds like Youssef was good looking but somewhat of a downer in bed as he came rather quickly. Perhaps this chapter should be called, “Come as You Are.”

    One has to wonder if Youssef does this routinely and if yes, hopefully his technique would improve.

    I guess being swept away by the lusty surprise of all it and perhaps being flattered that you were desirable while nauseous is a wonderment.

    I agree with the above as to more of what you were feeling both emotionally and physically. And getting back to Arthur, was their any schmoozefest the next day re your recovery? Did you see Youssef around the hotel afterward? Were other female guests smiling in his presence?

    More details, please.

  6. bexvankoot@gmail.com' Bex vanKoot says:

    I like it just as it is. It leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable and confused even, but I think in a way that suggests what it may have felt like for such a thing to happen to me. It’s evocative.

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