Eating, drinking, fucking, shitting, pissing, belching, sweating, farting, nose-picking, wedgie-undoing...these are things all humans do. However, of this list, what is the only one you regularly expect in most fiction? Fucking. Humans are weird about that, they love their fucking, and disavow their nose-picking.

 
Fetish erotica manages to combine many taboo behaviors into one!


However when was the last time you read a story where the protagonist solves the crime while taking a shit? How many times do characters say "goodbye" while on the phone? How is it romance heroines always are "'silky smooth" yet we never know if they shave or wax?

Why have you never noticed that before? Admit...you may have thought about it before a time or two, but never really sat down to ask yourself why. Now, here's truth time: you pick your nose. You do. I do. Everyone does! But because our mothers decided it was a horrible thing to do, we only do it when we're alone (and to men, while driving counts as alone). Now ask yourself, how would you feel reading a scene where Sam Spade picks his nose? What if Ned Stark freely fixed his wedgies in public? What if Uncle Scrooge had IBS and bossed around Cratchett from the john?

The funny thing about fiction is that when you have the pitiful villain (as opposed to a powerful villain) you can make them pick their nose, pick their butts, belch, but there is never an instance where you can discuss toilet matters other than brief mention (E.G. "I did the necessary and then washed up.")

Get out you damn reader! Shouldn't you be reading a cutaway narrative by the villain right now? For chrissakes, I had vindaloo last night!

It's puzzling, but the following behaviors/descriptions should never appear in fiction ever (unless it's fetish erotica..in some cases):

- Defecating
- That long moment of pondering if you're sleepy, horny, bored, or hungry
- Masturbating with an animal in the room
- Masturbating or having sex with small children 1 wall away
- Cutting toenails
- Cleaning smegma, dandruff, or weird waxy buildup of sweat that occurs between rolls of fat
- Enemas or douches
- Obeying the 5-second rule of dropping food on the ground then eating it

The following are behaviors your protagonist can never, ever display:

- Picking their nose
- Singing horribly off key to music while in traffic
- Taking expired medication because, what the hell
- Musical belching or other bodily functions for entertainment
- Masturbating while watching TV such as The Daily Show (unless he/she finds Jon Stewart irresistible)
- The frustrating moment after urination where a drop or two goes down their leg or onto their panties
- The strange time when they're alone, fart, and think it doesn't smell so bad
- That homicidal rage that comes from time spent with hyperactive children under age 5 

Oh, there are exceptions to these rules. but the books and stories that contain them are cheap, baseless, tasteless crap that will fade from memory immediately, and only be enjoyed by 13 year old boys.

Just imagine your favorite novel, and try to see your protagonist doing any of this. Seriously. Imagine how much mysterious allure Gatsby would lose if he could belch the national anthem. Would Lucie have chosen Charles Darnay if he could play Mozart on his armpit? Would Harry Potter be so damn enchanting if he liked to choke the chicken with his owl in attendance? Would Draco have been so good an enemy if he always liked to chew his toenails?

Oh, that's right, last night was spinach and beans night. Not a bad vintage, if you ask me.

The above behaviors are either completely verboten, or should only be limited to the pathetic villain. Pathetic villains can only operate alone in children's stories, in adult fiction they are either good for long story arcs in addition to a powerful villain, or they make good henchmen for the powerful villain.

Now we come to regular behaviors that your protagonist can do, but you should gloss over. This is where you tell, and don't show. No one wants long, lurid descriptions of the following:

- Cleaning the house
- Unclogging plumbing
- Repairing household appliances like the furnace
- Saying goodbye on the phone
- Haggling over the bill at a restaurant
- That awkward moment their sarcasm is so advanced, everyone assume they're stupid
- Grocery shopping and other errands
- That weird sex dream involving a 3-way with them, Ed McMahon, and Catherine the Great
- First masturbation (particularly for girls, it so often involves stuffed animals or hair brushes)
- The 20 minutes it takes to get that goddamn gristle from between their molars
- The time they drank so much Jagermeister or other shitty liquor and vomited, and passed out on the bathroom floor 

All those things happen to us all, and adding them keeps your character real. Just mention it in narrative, in passing, and don't draw it out. Eating is a strange exception. You may only describe the act of eating in erotica, when the sensuality of food adds to the overall sensuality of the story. Keep it relevant. Chocolate covered strawberries, hand fed by a lover? Fucking hot. Three slices of meat lovers pizza from Pizza Hut? That's about as erotic as a political debate.

 When it comes to listing the dishes, only do so if it's a plot point, or if you're writing a fantasy novel. For example, if you're writing a story and it's important to show a character likes to cook, or works as a chef, go ahead and discuss the menu and technicals. In fantasy list dishes specifically to reinforce the time period. In the Middle Ages bread wasn't eaten as it is today, for example, and no one would drink water, they'd drink wine or ale or mead. Even then keep it brief. I swear, if George R.R. Martin describes lamprey pie one more fucking time I will track him down and choke him.

Lastly we come to one particular behavior that should be included in characters of a certain bent, but is almost always handled incorrectly. Sexual Guilt vs. Desire

Yeah...this is what i mean. Who wants to read all the fucking discussion between 8a.m. and 3p.m.?

If you've read any Laurell K. Hamilton in the last few years, you already know the script for a Jewish Porno, as the old joke goes: 1 hour of begging, 2 minutes of sex, and 3 hours of guilt. Look, lots of people have hangups. Our bodies tell us we want to have that fucking awesome threesome, but for most people they feel the shame and guilt society, the church, and their parents trained them to feel. So unless you're writing an erotic novel, plenty of guilt vs. desire analysis will happen.

Hamilton goes wrong in that she decided to change her books to erotica and forgot this rule: keep it short, for fuck's sake! "It" refers to the cost-benefit analysis of deciding to have sex. Now, Woody  Allen has the master quote here: "Women need a reason to have sex, men need a place." This is almost universally true. In the end for women it boils down to 2 things: do you think you have any shot in hell of an orgasm with guy, these guys, or that football team, and do you worry it will ruin your reputation or self-view?

Writing why a man has sex is easy: Is she hot? If no, is he drunk? If she's not hot and he's drunk, he should drink until he passes out or fucks her. If she's hot, is he sexually functional? If yes, is he in love? If she's hot, he's sexually functional, and not in love with another, they fuck. In all other cases he may drink until he fucks her or passes out.

With women it's much more complicated:

Careful analysis shows he enjoys performing oral sex, likes his partner to orgasm at least twice, and he has no Twitter, blog, or Facebook account. It's a go!

It helps if you simplify it this way: when a woman sees no major drawback such as STDs, gossip, or rape, once her arousal by a particular partner exceeds her internal guilt, she will fuck him. This is a true in real life as it is in fiction. Now I like to apply a little mathematical formula here, because I'm just wound that tight.

In romance novels: 
 # years your heroine has been sexually mature yet not active = # days until she fucks the irresistible hero

In erotica:
# years your heroine has been sexually mature yet not active times 2 = # minutes until she fucks the irresistible hero

In erotic romance:
# years your heroine has been sexually mature yet not active = # hours until she fucks the irresistible hero 
 
In general fiction:
# years your heroine has been sexually mature yet not active divided by 2 = # days until she fucks the irresistible hero 
 
This is why creating a character biography is important. Let's use the erotic romance formula, I'm writing one now featuring a 25 year old. We'll count sexual maturity from 16, the average age of first intercourse for an American woman. In her case that's 9 years, and for her all of them were non-active. That means 9 hours until she fucks him. Remember, that's 9 hours in his presence, not 9 hours from when they meet (unless they are glued to one another immediately following first meeting).

Now the key here is to keep the debate of those 9 hours light, in passing. Don't fucking dwell on them, and whatever you do, don't have the characters discuss it. Seriously, no one wants to read it in detail...those are the parts we all skip.

Try to remember and apply these guidelines. You should strive for reality in your writing, but keep the disgust and boredom at bay, and good luck!