Monday, May 11, 2015

S is for Satisfying Sex Scenes

Ana offers ten suggestions for writing sex well:

1. Describe the lovemaking using three senses. Pick from physical sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, intuition-anticipation. Also talking, moving, thinking.

2. Drink some wine, recall a personal encounter, and start writing. After a day or two, read what you wrote. If it makes you blush, you captured something worth keeping.

3. If a purple-tinged or crude word is how the character talks and thinks, keep it. Test by reading the scene out loud.

4. The characters in love will set the heat level.

5. Love scenes are action scenes. Write them that way.

6. Exaggerate the characters' awareness of each other during the love scene.

7. Start the attraction when the lovers first meet.

8. Dialogue is sexy. Humor can be, too.

9. Raise the emotional stakes with each encounter. Romance is about the emotional bond between the hero and heroine.

10. Short can be just as satisfying to read as long as long as something is revealed in the scene.


  1. No 2 is my favourite suggestion!

  2. Most of these I'd agree with - but not necessarily #5. I've read too many scenes which describe the 'action' in detail. Everyone knows who puts what where, so I prefer to concentrate on the emotional link between the characters rather than the physical details.

  3. My editor tends to want more emotion added in love scenes rather than a play-by-play. It's definitely something I've needed to learn. Like Paula said, I know what goes where and when, but what's going on inside the characters' heads at that point is what makes a really good love scene (IMO).

    1. Yess! I totally agree with this, Debra!

  4. By action, I don't mean a play by play, blow by blow recounting of who puts what where. It's more a sense of excitement, of movement, of committing to a course of action.

  5. I'm not sure I agree with all of them and I think the characters have to drive how the sex scene works. There isn't one set way of creating a sex scene, as there are many ways to create characters and the writer runs the risk of having extraneous sex scenes just for the heck of it. I think the key is lots of emotion. The sex will naturally flow (or not) and the scene will be organic.