Writing Sex Scenes Part II.

I’ve only completed two novels–that’s the disclaimer. Readers have commented on how much they love the sex scenes in my books–that’s my validation. That’s what qualifies me to give tips. I don’t purport to be an expert. I don’t pretend these will work for everyone. I’m sure others write better scenes…or ones more suitable to particular tastes. But I have had some experience with it. And since I’m still a lowly indie author, I’ll actually take the time to share my techniques with you.

WARNING: This is another post for the grown and sexy. Do NOT read further if discussions about sex offend you…and you happened to have missed the title.

Last week, Thomas Bryant and I discussed writing sex scenes. It was short. It was funny. And it was a good intro to today’s tips for writing sex scenes. You can read it here.

After said post, fellow indie author, Alesha Escobar, had this to say: “Okay, I confess Iโ€™m still a wimp when it comes to this. If Iโ€™m feeling awkward, itโ€™s going to come across in the sceneโ€“then I just look like a dork. I know Iโ€™m supposed to stay away from purple prose and laughable metaphors. So any advice? :-)

Thomas Bryant’s advice: “I did mention a bottle of wine, didnโ€™t I, Alesha?”

I agree with Thomas. Wine does help.

Here are some other tips for writing sex scenes:

1. Enjoy sex. Enjoy talking about it. Enjoy watching it. Enjoy reading it. Enjoy writing it.

Why? Because…

a. If you enjoy sex and make it a daily part of your discussions, thoughts, and lifestyle, that passion will translate on paper.

b. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll hurry through a scene. You’ll have a bunch of words with no depth. You’ll just be going through the motions and so will your characters.

c. The more you enjoy sexy situations, the more you will write them. The more you write sex scenes, the better you get at sex writing sex scenes. ๐Ÿ™‚

Downside: you may go overboard. I have been told by one reader to tone DOWN the sex a bit. So, take my tips with a grain of salt. Decide how important your sex scenes are to your story and prepare accordingly. My characters are sexy, wild, daring, and risky. So sex is pretty integral. I keep the characters in mind, not readers. My target audience will love the characters AND the sex scenes.

Which leads me to…

2. Forget everybody else. If you’re thinking about what your mommy, preacher, children or whomever are going to think, you won’t be able to let your characters go in order to do what they want to do. You’re writing fiction. Later for whoever doesn’t get that.

3. Get in a sexy mind frame before you start writing a scene. If you’re doing #1, this will be easy. And this is where Bryant’s suggestion of wine helps. I like to create a sexy atmosphere. Visualize what my characters are going to do. Then describe it as if I am in the moment with them. Freaky? Maybe. But it works.

4. Read lots of sex scenes. Figure out who writes the ones you enjoy the most. Figure out why. Learn from that author.

I’ve read LOTS of books. Discovered I liked books with sex in them the most (which is why YA is not my favorite genre). Disliked the overly sappy ones. Disliked the solely erotic ones. Enjoyed a good plot with good sex scenes the best. Once I started reading J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, I was ruined for other authors. I discovered I liked the choppy style. The fast-paced, raunchy way of describing the acts. And that’s where I adopted my style from. It’s uniquely mine, but highly influenced by hers.

Find your influence. Roll with it.

5. Don’t be awkward. Be fun. Be sexy.

How?

Remember that sex is a natural part of life. As far as I know, we all come with genitalia and the urge to use them for more than bodily functions. In fact, with nearly seven billion people in the world, it’s obvious there’s a lot of sex going on. It should be celebrated. Revered.

Don’t feel embarrassed. Don’t feel shy. Keep in mind you’re writing about something everybody does…or wish they did. It’s what people do behind closed doors. And that’s where they’re going to read your books with YOUR sex scenes.

6. Write the scenes as your characters would experience them. You’re just the narrator. They are the participants. My character, Joanne, in Shameful does some bad stuff…but none of that is as bad as what my character, Willow, does in Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul. Why? Because Willow’s a vampire based in fantasy and Joanne’s a wife and mother based in reality. Willow and Joanne both have sex, but their experiences are very different because of who they are.

These are tips from the top of my head. I’ll do a Part III when I think of more. If you’re an author with a tip to share, by all means–leave a comment.

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10 Comments

  1. Dicey,

    You made great points and really fleshed out a practical way to go about it. Thank you!

    *off to get some wine* ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Good. I hope there’s something you find useful in all my ramblings.

      I’m sipping on a glass now. The scene I’m currently writing is hot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Hi Dicey,

    I enjoyed reading this post, thank you for sharing. I’ve been struggling – to the point of sweating,,,lol – to write a sex scene in one of my Steampunk paranormal and after reading this post, I’ll just grab a bottle of wine, get a mug and plant myself in front of my laptop.

    Cecilia

    • Excellent, CeCe! I’ve never read Steampunk, but I would if you have a good sex scene or two in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. […] Part II here. Share this:EmailPrintDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  4. I wrote many sexual scenes before I ever published a book. I wanted to make sure that the scenes were descriptive, sexy and sometimes erotic, but always in good taste without being dirty or vulgar. To write truly exciting sexual content, I believe you have to walk these fine lines. I passed out many scenes, mostly to women to get feedback on what they thought of the writing to see if they agreed. With my thoughts on this very intimate subject. When the feedback came with propositions and offers for rendezvous’s, I knew I was on the right track. When I knew that I could have the effect of turning on my readers, it became very exciting to write sexy scenes.

    • LMAO! You do write good sex scenes, Thomas. My husband would kill us both if I propositioned you though.

  5. Great tips! Writing a sex scene isn’t easy, but I’ve been fortunate enough to write ones my readers like. I use purple prose, but I still want the same eroticism in my scenes without the language typical in more erotic works.

    The best way I’ve found to do that is to write the scene with the movements first, as a draft. Then I go back later and insert more sensual words, emotions, and what the participants are hearing, feeling, seeing, etc.

    For instance, “He placed her on the hood of the car” transformed into: “She landed on her back with a gasp, her hot skin cooling wherever it touched the hood of the car he deposited her on. The bracelets on her wrists clanked against the metal when her hands landed on either side of her head.”

    Writing sex scenes aren’t easy, but practice makes perfect. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Welcome to the discussion, Delaney! Writing scenes with movements, then going back to add sensual words and emotions seems like a good plan. โ€œShe landed on her back with a gasp”–love this line.

  6. Hmmโ€ฆ..

    Good write-up, Iโ€™m regular visitor of oneโ€™s website, maintain up the excellent operate, and Itโ€™s going to be a regular visitor for a long time.


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