Monday, September 2, 2013

Writing Sex Scenes

Writing Sex Scenes.

Lots of people say they dread writing sex scenes. I find it not so challenging myself, though reading sex scenes out-loud can be a bit unnerving - especially if I'm not too familiar with my audience. It helps though, that the feedback has been very positive.

Here's Harrie's Helpful Hints:

It depends a lot on what type of story you are writing, who your projected readers are, and what importance the scene is to the story. Adjust accordingly.
In my novels, love and sex are pretty paramount to the plot and theme so I tend to get a bit more in detail and don't worry so much about telling the reader too much. However, in some scenes the sex is way more important than others. Usually, when I show more detail it's because I want to show the love that developing between my characters, or I want to show how deviant, or drunk, or confused, or...whatever, my character is.
Gratuitous sex is ugly in any book that hasn't set out to be erotica or pornography, so make sure there is a point to your details.
Many sex scenes work really well with just some titillating foreplay, a glimpse of the more deep breathing stuff, and then the cigarette smoking, or rolling over and going to sleep, or entangled sleeping in one-another's arms, or the awkward avoiding of the wet-spot.. or whatever. However, if your book is one where sex is important, you don't want to cheat your readers out of some of the good stuff. I find it best though to leave readers wishing for just a little more.
Avoid a play-by-play sports' announcer recount. Better to show the total-abandon looks on their faces, and the anguished cries, than an in-depth explanation of the techniques being applied - unless you're writing a training manual.
Mostly though, I implore you not to describe a totally vanilla, missionary-scene quickie, with a lot of whispering of sweet nothings, between pressed sheets, and expect your readers to buy this as the most awesome sex your character's have ever had - I hate that.

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