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 I’m still a wimp when it comes to this. If I’m feeling awkward, it’s going to come across in the scene–then I just look like a dork. I know I’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, didn’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. 🙂

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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