5 Reasons Why Action Scenes are Better Than Sexy Scenes
Action scenes or Sexy scenes, which will reign supreme? Action scenes can make people squeamish by being too violent. Sexy scenes can make people prudish by being too titillating. Both of them make fictional stories better by tying the fantastical to concrete aspects of the human condition. Humans are, if nothing else, an active and horny species. If I had to choose only one type of scene to populate my story, it would be an action scene. Here are five reasons action scenes are better than sexy ones. Let’s count them down.
5. #Winning. Characters win in action scenes. That’s where the stakes get resolved. With action scenes, there are definite winners and absolute losers. Action scenes decide who gets to progress to the sexy scene later. When someone needs to save the world, they don’t do it through sexy scenes; it’s always an action scene. There’s seldom a story of someone defeating all the baddies through a series of carefully choreographed over-the-top sexual encounters. (Hmmm, I rather want to see that now.) Never mind! Onwards!
4. Scaling. Action scenes scale well without losing their impact. Sexy scenes work better through intimacy. I can scale a one vs one action scene to one thousand against one thousand and depict a battle that carries as much emotional impact as the original fight did. The fights scale. I can tell a story about a foot race between two competitors or make it between hundreds and keep the intensity at the same level. The same doesn’t work for sexy scenes. Sexy scenes rely on empathy, on our ability to project ourselves in the roles of the participants. As sex scenes grow in the number of participants, at a certain point, our ability to empathize dissipates and soon the audience loses all emotional investment.
3. The Cold Open. A “Cold Opening” refers to a situation when a story includes a mini-act or a teaser before the story begins. Action scenes work in that scenario. Sexy scenes don’t. Again, going back to empathy. Sexy scenes work best when the audience is invested in the characters. The same can be said for action scenes. Where they differ is that action scenes can still work, and work well, when started in media res, while sexy scenes become just about plumbing. Exhibits A through C, if it pleases the court: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: A New Hope, The Matrix. Boom.
2. Onomatopoeia. Bang! Zoom! Pow! Whack! Action scenes can use onomatopoeia all day, e’ry day. Just try doing that with a sexy scene without making it gross. I dare you. I double dare you.
1. You won’t ever really get to do it. Most people will have a positive personal experience with a sexy scene during their lifetimes. It is a defining encounter in the human lifecycle. Only some people will ever take part in real action scenes. Those seldom occur as fiction depicts them. Therefore, action scenes become the more fantastical of the two and better satisfy the audience’s need for escapism and vicarious experiences.
So there we have it. Five reasons action scenes are better than sexy ones. This comparison concerns fiction and the stories we humans tell ourselves. Stories that include adventures that an audience is not likely to encounter in actuality satisfy a need for fantasy fulfillment. For a majority of people, action scenes in fiction are thankfully the only method of scratching that itch.
Now, why a society would glorify the rarer and more outlandish of the two and censor the more mundane is another question entirely.
Insert appropriate Wu-Tang lyric here. Mic drop.
About the Book
Title: Graveyard Shift
Author: Michael F. Haspil
Publisher: Tor Books
Date of Publication: July 18, 2017
Number of pages: 352
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Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut.
Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, who was born in ancient Rome, once hunted evil vampires for UMBRA, a super-secret unit of the NSA. That was before the discovery of a blood substitute and a Supreme Court ruling allowed thousands of vampires to integrate into society.
Now, Alex and Marcus are vice cops in a special police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.
When someone starts poisoning the artificial blood, race relations between vampires and humans deteriorate to the brink of anarchy. While the city threatens to tear itself apart, Alex and Marcus must form an unnatural alliance with a vigilante gang and a shape-shifter woman in a desperate battle against an ancient vampire conspiracy.
If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodierthan any the world has ever seen.
* All entries in this giveaway will also count towards the Grand Prize Draw for a $48 Amazon-com GC *