-->"Lust is not as creative as its discovery." - Nightwish, "She Is My Sin"

Sometimes, the most explicit acts get the least explicit scenes. It can seem very strange when a French kiss, a make-out session, or other act of non-coitus is depicted far more [[BuffySpeak sexily]] than actual sex. It's a writer's way of saying that the characters are about to have wild sex and of giving them their privacy.

The effect is natural enough. There are any number of reasons [[SexyDiscretionShot not to depict a sex scene]], and far fewer to shy away from a merely erotic one. Sex may not fit the rating; it may not fit the tone; it may be intended as an act of loving union, and the slimy bits would distract; the author may know better than to tackle description of this kind; there might not be a way around the fact that sex is ridiculous for everyone but the people involved. Meanwhile, tamer acts offend fewer delicate sensibilities, are less likely to overwhelm the plot, and can wind down naturally at levels where cutting away from a sex act would be both awkwardly explicit and frustratingly vague.

The clueful writer plans for the contrast and makes it meaningful. The difference between lust and love is an easy overtone, as is the conspicuous absence of whatever caused a previous failure.
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!!Examples:
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[[folder: Anime And Manga ]]

* A weird example coming from a series like ''{{Berserk}}''. All sorts of graphic sex scenes - consensual or not - and various performances are depicted in the series, the OfficialCouple not excluded. While Guts and Casca are ''clearly'' seen [[spoiler: having vaginal intercourse (in four different positions) there is little to no detail of Guts performing cunnilingus on Casca aside from Guts spreading her legs apart and telling her to get ready and Casca looking down and then shuddering in pleasure.]] So it's really more of a chaste lust, lewd(ish) sex scene.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''[[ThreeColorsTrilogy Three Colors: White]]'', a failed attempt at sex is shown in all its glory to establish the desperation of the participants and of their relationship. Success much later on fades to white.
* ''TheHole'' has this in spades. Creator/ThoraBirch and her romantic interest have a standing make-out-and-grope session, while the camera keeps them dead centre. Later, when the love interest takes her virginity, it's offscreen, and all we hear are her not-too-sexy grunting noises.
* In ''Picasso Trigger'', both Hope Marie Carlton and Bruce Penhall are both [[TwoPersonPoolParty naked in a jacuzzi]] and when they kiss, [[SexyDiscretionShot the camera cuts away]].

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[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* In ''[[http://glitterati.talkoncorners.net/fiction/seventhings.php Seven Things That Didn't Happen On Valentine's Day At Hogwarts, Or Maybe They Did]]'', frenzied 15-year-olds grabbing at everything they can reach are described in detail, but 17-year-olds acting out of love are cause to cut to the following morning. (Also, everyone's gay. But that's another matter.)

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* A hot'n'heavy scene in Cory Doctorow's ''Literature/LittleBrother'' has a lot of sucking and moaning and lowering and brushing, and that's about when the tear gas comes down. When the couple has actual sex, the description cuts away.
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' and its sequels go into detail about Edward and Bella making out, but the various sex scenes in Breaking Dawn were [[FadeToBlack faded to black]].
* The Finnish novel ''Häräntappoase''.
* Shows up from time to time in the ''{{Nightrunner}}'' series. The kisses are described in great detail, from the physical to the emotional ramifications. But by the time the two leads actually become a real couple, the descriptions largely gloss over any specifics.
* ''Ashfall'' by Mike Mullin uses this as part of the book's limited comic relief.
* ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames The Hunger Games]]''. Katniss and [[spoiler:Peeta]] share a make-out session that describes the kissing and the way it makes her feel in great detail. When they eventually have sex it's given so little detail that there's room to argue they didn't even have sex at all.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry''. After a game's worth of dirty jokes and innuendo in the quest to get Larry laid, impending success causes the game to switch to a black screen for fireworks and a developer's congratulation.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* This was standard procedure for love scenes in the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse''. Pretty much everything leading up to "the act" was on screen and fully described. But once it became a matter of penetrative sex, the focus of the story shifted to the curtains fluttering in the breeze, and things faded to black and restarted the next morning, and so on.

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