We all know sex sells. So, the temptation to include it in a book is easy to understand.
But writing a sex scene is an art form.
Do it well, and it will improve the reading experience.
Do it poorly, and your readers might roll their eyes, skimming through it with a chuckle, or even put the book down entirely.
So today, I thought I’d share a few tips to help you write the best sex scene you can.
First and foremost, don’t psych yourself out. It’s easy to get embarrassed about this subject or to feel ashamed of including sex in your book. Plus, there’s always the ever-present fear that a family member will read it and be shocked.
But let’s face it.
Sex is part of life. It’s part of the human experience. And what’s more, it’s absolutely everywhere in modern society. Everyone knows what sex is. Almost everyone has done it, at some point in their life.
So chill the fuck out and write your book. If it needs a sex scene to show the bond between two (or more) characters, if it’s an integral part of the society you’ve created for your fictional world, write it.
Don’t cheapen your book by leaving out a crucial scene, just because your family might read it.
Your family members (unless they’re children, in which case, keep the sex book away from them) also know what sex is. They’ve probably done it.
So write the book however it needs to be written.
Second, integrate it into the plot. If your story doesn’t need a sex scene, don’t throw one in just for the sake of having one. If it doesn’t make sense in the story, don’t do it.
Don’t toss one into an otherwise chaste book.
Additionally, throwing a sex scene into a poorly written/edited book will not save it. If your book needs work, work on it. Don’t just make it sexy and hope no one will notice obvious flaws.
People will still see the flaws. And they’ll know what you’ve done to cover them. Give your readers some credit.
Third, don’t be too specific. Unless you’re writing hardcore erotica. Then, be detailed and descriptive. Show as much as you fucking want.
But if your book isn’t hardcore erotica, don’t fill your scene with overly detailed close-up shots. Anyone old enough to be reading a book with a sex scene knows what vaginas, breasts, and penises look like.
Hell, they’ve probably even seen a few in their day.
Vivid description of vein placement and a count of how many hairs…completely unnecessary. The shape of their manscaping…completely unnecessary. It won’t make the scene better to know that stuff.
By the same token, don’t prattle on about his right hand or her left breast. Leave the sides out of it. Some things should be left to the reader’s imagination. Perhaps the reader favors one side over the other. If you specify one side and they happen to be more sensitive on the opposite side, I guarantee they reword it in their head and imagine it the way they want.
All you’re doing is wasting words and bogging down a scene that’s supposed to be intense and riveting.
So, instead of over-describing everything, focus on general gestures, sensations, and emotions. The sensation of a hand sliding over bare skin, the prickle of goosebumps as fingernails slide up the spine, heat building in the air around them, hands twining in hair to pull questing mouths closer, the deep need to join together.
Things like that.
Because unless you’re writing really hardcore stuff, that’s more than sufficient. It gets the point across and evokes emotion. It reads quickly and intensely.
Which is what you want.
Fourth, don’t head hop. Pick a character for the scene, whichever one has more of a driving emotional need, whichever one the stakes are higher for, and write it from their perspective.
You’ll just throw off your reader.
You don’t want them rereading paragraphs to figure out whose thoughts they’re combing through. You want them rereading paragraphs (or the whole scene) because the emotions were high and the scene was captivating.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t say quivering member.
I beseech you.
That phrase is the height of ridiculousness. There are much better ways to refer to a penis. And if you don’t want to actually name it, if it feels too callous or unromantic, just say he slides into him/her. You don’t have to specify what part of him is going in, because unless you name some other part (finger, for example), people will assume that you mean his penis.
Again, give your readers some credit.
Now, go forth and write the smuttiest smut your book can handle.
Keep reading. Keep writing.