He said, he said…now that’s confusing!
With my main characters both male, it gets confusing when using pronouns. And when it comes to writing the sex scenes – it’s all 100% male bonding in the bedroom, shower, alley way.
Thank god I have editors that scrutinize the sex scenes and point out that X certainly can’t lift his leg in that manner so Y can spear his…well, you get the picture! It can get tricky.
Now, I don’t have the pronoun problem when writing a ‘solo’ sex scene, where my man is masturbating or getting himself off. Here’s a short scene in my m/m shape shifter titled The Tiger Within:
(ADULT EXCERPT) They drove home in silence, Antoine unusually reserved. He did not try to lure Jack into his bed once they returned to the house, nor did he make any sexual innuendos or try to kiss him. Jack’s disappointment was followed by a rash of self-criticism. Now he lay naked under the thick covers of his bed, eyes wide open, his body a live wire refusing to burn out. All he could think about was Antoine.
A fair complexion, tousled hair tumbling around a beautiful face. Too beautiful for a man. For God’s sake, what man had such slender hips, a wisp-thin waist, and legs reaching to the heavens, and then became a powerful tiger of incredible strength? Snowy white fur, rich brown stripes, steely blue eyes, powerful flanks, and deadly claws. An animal you had to respect, or else you would find yourself ripped to pieces.
His loins burned from his lurid thoughts, the impulse to take his cock in his hand too strong to overcome. His fingers slid over his inflamed head and down the full length of his shaft. He knew how to give himself a handjob and ride the edge of an orgasm. Self-love he could handle, as well as being serviced by the prostitutes in backlit bars when his hand was not enough to ease his sexual frustration. Sex outside of marriage was a sin in the eyes of God, but one he could live with.
Now here is a short scene with Antoine and Jack together. I had to use Proper Names more than pronouns:
(ADULT EXCERPT) Jack’s muscular arms held him in an iron grip, inflaming Antoine’s groin. He held Antoine down with his steel-hard body, meeting Antoine’s stirring cock. A perfect fit, their connection seemed beyond reason or sanity, or even reality. Jack disarmed him with his seductive touch. Antoine held back his strength, letting Jack play the aggressor this time.
“Let’s fuck each other senseless,” Antoine murmured, barely able to speak. He traced his khalid’s love-bitten mouth. “Don’t run away.”
Did you notice I used an epithet (khalid)? Sometimes I use epithets (Antoine thinking of Jack as his khalid, or stoic soldier or hunter), but I do this very sparingly. When in someone’s deep POV, they are not usually thinking of their lover as an epithet!
The rule of thumb: when you have two he’s or two she’s, or any more than one of each in a scene, the pronoun is attributed to the last person mentioned.
The freedom of skin against skin added a fierce intensity to the already hot, slick action going on between them. Johan hissed through his fangs as the ends of his hair tickled Corbin’s chest. Corbin watched the vampire’s exertion, enjoying the visual feast of all that hard muscle. Then he looked down, and his lips parted at the sight of their cocks in heat.
This is a scene from Fighting Chance. Corbin is watching the vampire…so I could use he looked, because the reader knows Corbin is enjoying the visual feasts before him…eh, well, Johan IS a very handsome vampire!