I’ll be honest with you – writing sex scenes ain’t easy. (Yes, I just broke the law… of grammar. Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.)
Here are some tips to get you started!
1.Get Over Yourself
I know – your first thought is, “My grandmother is going to read this!”
And then you do this:
So take a deep breath, and forget about your audience. For me, writing under a pen name is tremendously helpful. (I love you, Grandma, but you’ll never read this!)
Focus on the characters. Get lost in your world. Tell yourself no one will ever, ever read this.
2.It’s Not (Just) About the Sex
Here’s a tip: People don’t read sex scenes just for the sex. If people want sex, they go to Google and type in “porn.”
You can try this now. I’ll wait.
Okay, so if people aren’t reading your sexy scenes just for the sex, then why are they reading your sexy scenes?
Because your writing can do so much more than Google. You can set the scene, you can let us know what this means to your characters. You can make this sexy moment part of a vivid, engaging world – a world we want to join.
3.Know Your Characters
Your characters are what matters. So know your characters!
What does this moment mean to them? What are they hoping for, what do they find, and how is this moment going to change them?
Even if you’re describing the scene from a first person perspective, you should know what’s going on inside all your characters’ heads. What are they thinking? How are they feeling?
Most of this won’t make it onto the page – but it’ll make what does go on the page that much stronger.
4. Location, Location, Location
Where do most people have sex?
Right here, baby:
Which makes a bed a pretty boring place for a sex scene.
Really, the world is your oyster here. Why not outside? Why not in the back room of a fancy restaurant? Why not… Well, you get the idea.
Think outside the bedroom, people.
5. Words for Naughty Bits
One of the challenges with writing a sex scene is vocabulary. Here are some hilarious examples from the Encyclopedia of Silly Sex.
There are only so many words out there, and most of them are either too clinical (penis) or too ridiculous (throbbing manhood).
Here’s a rule: Simple is Best. Use real words that real people might actually say. (And don’t ever, ever say honey-pot.)
If you’re really struggling with vocabulary, remember – you don’t have to get too technical.
What makes a sex scene great is the connection between the characters, and the way the scene advances your plot or further develops those characters.
You don’t need an incredibly detailed, flowery blow-by-blow (double entendre most definitely intended) to move your plot or develop your characters.
Just don’t put them in the bedroom. *yawn!*
6. Do Some Research
And no, not just Google.
Read some awesome sex scenes. Check out some highbrow erotica.
How did the authors pull it off? How did they establish sexual tension, show us what this scene means to both characters, and move their plot forward?
Yeah… now that’s research!
Now get writing!