How The Hell Do You Write A Sex Scene, Anyway? Erotic Writing Advice

How The Hell Do You Write A Sex Scene, Anyway?

I love to encourage people to write. It’s a wonderful creative release and there’s a great sense of achievement when you’ve got a piece of fiction in front of you that you’re proud of. It’s all the better if that story is sexy. I’m an erotica author; I’ve got to say that. Writing a great sex scene is not as easy as you might at first think so I’m here to give you some pointers to help you avoid the gaping pit holes and find your way to writing something orgasmically good.

The first step can often be the hardest. You need to find your inspiration. It might come from something that’s happened to you already, it might be your favourite fantasy or even an idea that came to you in the shower. Once you’ve got your idea you’re good to go. All you need is something to write with and some time to get down and dirty with your words.

How The Hell Do You Write A Sex Scene, Anyway? Erotic Writing Advice

I’m a typer. I’m not very good with pen and paper writing as what I end up with looks like a spider got drunk, fell in some ink and staggered across the page. However, some people swear by physically writing their first edit. Find what works for you. I like a blank word document on my screen, a cold beverage to hand and a bit of peace and quiet then I’m good to go.

Now, here are my top tips for getting a top quality sex scene down on paper.

How The Hell Do You Write A Sex Scene, Anyway? Erotic Writing Advice

Tab D in slot C

There can be a temptation to simply write down a list of actions because, after all, it’s called a sex act. However, that is about as fun to read as a shopping list. Compare the next two snippets of writing. Which is the most interesting?

A

I took off my top and then he took off his shirt.

B

Slowly I slipped the lemon satin blouse up and over my head then threw it to the ground. My skin blossomed with goose bumps in the cool air. I looked up just as John undid the first button of his shirt. I watched as he revealed his tight, tanned flesh to me inch by sensual inch.

Example A is often described as ‘telling’ and example B is ‘showing’. You might have heard the sage advice stating that you should show not tell. I thought it best to show you it in action than just tell it to you as a rule. And that is exactly what it means. Don’t tell your reader what happened, give them details so they can conjure up the story in their mind.

Coming to your Senses.

It’s easy to concentrate on touch when you’re writing a sensuous interlude but don’t forget the other senses. What can your characters smell and taste? What can they see or hear? All these snippets of information add depth to your scene.

I have written a couple of stories that rely heavily on the sense of smell. Here’s a snippet from Spiced Vanilla which I hope will illustrate the use of senses.

“Now clean up the mess you made. Come on. I haven’t got all day.”

I looked from him to the table in front of me. The puddle was located towards the middle of the table. I took a deep breath and obeyed his command. I had to shuffle close to the table’s edge and lean right over to get my tongue to the pool of chocolate. It smelled creamy yet bitter, the milky softness broken by a harsh edge of cocoa that seemed exotic and tempting, and as I lapped, I realised it was a mixture of good, bitter chocolate and smooth, silky cream. It tasted good, and I imagine this concoction finished off many of his confectionary creations.

It was strangely erotic, the wood beneath my breasts and stomach, the chocolate smearing on my skin where it touched, and the action of lapping made several sexually explicit images leap to mind.

His Straining Rod of Righteous Randiness.

I can understand that being blunt about body parts can be a bit embarrassing. There are certain words some people might never be comfortable using to describe the female or male sexual organs. Other times you might just want to change up your descriptor after all there’s only so many times you can use the word penis before it gets repetitive.

I encourage a little descriptive creativeness in a sex scene. I don’t think it’s always a bad thing to be a little coy, to mention members and pearls and not to reference the actual body parts. There’s a poetry in every piece of fiction and in the soul of every writer, I urge you to find yours but this comes with a note of caution. Beware purple prose.

Def: Prose that is too elaborate or ornate.

It’s good to give detail but it is bad to over-gild the lily. If it feels like it’s too much, it probably is. And if you could just use a ‘dick’ or a ‘pussy’ then do that. Keeping it simple is usually the best way to go.

Once Upon a time…The End.

Every story needs to be made up of three parts, the beginning, the middle and the end. This counts for a sex scene within a story too. You can jump into the action once it’s started but you need the reader to know where they’re up to or confusion will reign.

Generally, sex will start with foreplay. This doesn’t have to involve touching. It could be visual, a text message or a porn clip for example. Sometimes it can be aural, maybe a conversation with a lover or listening in to the sounds of someone else having sex. Don’t skimp on the scene setting, getting your reader in the mood is key.

Don’t leave your reader hanging either. Please tease the hell out of them but give them the satisfaction in the end. You can keep building the sexual tension but eventually it needs to be released.

An orgasm can be the end of your scene or it could be the middle. Clearly, you want to keep the number of climaxes realistic but there’s no rule to say your characters only get one each however, beware over doing it. No one is going to believe that Johnny’s managed to get it up six times in a row.

Why?

It isn’t enough to write that two characters are fucking we need to know why. The reasons can be varied. It doesn’t have to be true love. It could be revenge or anger. It might be that it’s a physical expression of comfort or a transaction for money or power. Any reason you want is good enough but your audience needs to know what that reason is otherwise why bother reading it?

Sex is great, I clearly love it but the mechanics of sex on their own are boring. I want to know why the sex scene action is happening, how the characters are feeling and even better still I want the sex to move the story along or give extra insight into the character of the people copulating. If it does both then that’s even better.

You might think that this is a point only for those writing longer works but I think it’s equally as important in a short story. Okay, the reason might not be very complex. It could simply be that the character is horny or incredibly turned on by a sexy man in a kilt but there needs to be some reason for the sex. Just like Boyzone said, Love me for a Reason.

No, it couldn’t have!

Fiction doesn’t have to be real, that’s kinda obvious isn’t it? However it needs to be realistic. Even if you’re describing a fantastical sex scene it needs to make sense to the person reading it.

What you don’t want is for your reader to get pulled out of the story. It’s like watching a film with my husband. If he notices the smallest inconsistency then he will moan about it ‘til the end of the film. It will take the shine of it for both of us.

So you need to check that items of clothing that have been taken off stay off, that you only use as many limbs as your characters have. A disembodied hand is probably going to ruin the mood unless you’re writing erotic horror. Check the positions your characters are getting into are at least somewhat attainable, some fictional flexibility is fine but unless your character is an Olympic gymnast bending them double is probably unwise.

So you need to check your story once it’s written. Read through it again to make sure it makes sense.

Check and Check Again.

I hate editing, I really, really, really do but you have to do it. No ifs, no buts. Even if your fictional opus is only for the eyes of a partner, you need to check it through to make sure it makes sense.

Look out for typos and misspellings. Make sure you’ve not got a stork where a stroke should be or a cock where a coke should be. Be aware of repetition. It’s all right to use a word a few times but if you have used the word ‘bootylicious’ six times on one page, it’s going to stick out like…well a bootylicious booty in a rake factory.

Check the story makes sense, that your character doesn’t change name part way through and other such continuation issues.

If you can, get someone else to read it for you too. Someone you trust to tell it to you as it is. A person not afraid to point out your errors because that’s what you need them to do. Editing is all about making your story better, making it the best it can be.

 

Now I’ve given you my seven tips to sex scene heaven I hope you have lots of fun putting them into practise. Is there anything I’ve forgotten? Got any specific questions you want to ask? Please comment below!

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