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Let's Talk About Sex, Baby (How to Write a Sex Scene Without Blowing It)

Don't lie, you read this title and got a little excited. It's okay, admit it. You're looking for a good time. But hey, while you're here, let's actually do the dirty, shall we?

Like all the best page-turning salacious romance novels out there, chemistry and fantasy go together like a happy ending in a massage parlor. The real question is, can you perform effectively when the time comes, or will you find yourself blushing and averting your gaze whenever you try to type the phrase "intimate folds"?

There are two types of writers: Those who are "freaks in the sheets" and writers who are looking to pop their cherry. If you need a little coaxing to get in the mood, you're not alone. Most of us prefer a little mood music and candlelight to do the trick.

Here are the hottest secrets to writing romance according to the experts:

Cue mood lighting

You can't expect to raise flags if you're not feeling sexy. This means you can't expect to write a sizzling ménage à trois if you're not already in the mood yourself. Pour yourself a glass of wine, get comfortable, light a candle- whatever you need to do to light the fire, do it. Chances are if you're new to writing about sex, you'll either feel terrified or embarrassed (all normal by the way). Best to chase these feelings away with a glass of liquid courage if it's your first attempt.

Some things are best kept private

Unless you're into voyeurism, you're probably going to want to go down on this one alone. Nothing is a faster mood-killer than having grandma peeking over your shoulder or having lots of people around while you're trying to write hot n' bothered. For this reason don't write out in a public place and make sure you have zero-interruptions while writing at home.

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

Expect to get hot under the collar. It's only natural. You're thinking about what excites you, what you'd want to experience/read about, and you're trying to write it down so that other people can fantasize along with you. If you do this well, then your audience will be panting before the end of the first chapter. You may also wind up taking things into your own hands...if you know what I mean. Just another reason to write privately (unless you're into an audience, then by all means, you do you boo).

Don't stop, get it, get it

Whatever you do, keep typing. This is not like writing a normal scene. You can't stop midway through to grab a snack and pick it up later. You must pen while the fire is blazing and work till you're out of ink and spent on the bed. If you don't, you'll wind up losing the heat and your narrative will deflate- and no one likes an impotent sex scene. Needless to say that editing should be the furthest thing from your mind during. Editing is not sexy. I repeat, editing is NOT sexy. Your sex scenes are going to be messy, literally and metaphorically speaking. Let them. Revisions can happen after you're done with the whole awkward affair.

Sensual perspective

Keep in mind that a huge part of what makes sex, well, sex is physical touch and sensations. While you're writing your scene, it's important to keep in mind that you're trying to bring to life those physical sensations so that another person can receive pleasure from it. Avoid anything that can be jarring within the scene, such as switching character perspectives or having the characters "think" too much, especially about unrelated topics. If they're truly in the moment, there should be more thrusting than thinking.

Does it look/feel good?

When in doubt, the best thing you can do is do your research. Sashay on the wild side. Find examples of sex scenes in your favorite books, films, adult movies, and you-guessed-it by doing it for yourself! Find a better homework assignment. Go ahead, I'll wait. Find out what works best for your scene. Keep things like positioning, build-up, and dialogue in mind. Think about how it looks. Compare the build-up of your favorites and see what makes them so hot. Consider your setting carefully. It sets the ambiance for the main event, so make sure the logistics make sense. An alleyway outside of a club may seem like an ideal place for a quickie, but let's be honest. Trash smell and a brick wall aren't all that swoon-worthy.

Don't forget protection

Most people get weird when it comes to birth control, or lack thereof. At some point whether it's before or after the actual sex goes down, there should be some mention of this. Don't draw it out; a line or two will suffice. Just keep things real.

Freak in the sheets

Break out the thigh-high latex boots and riding crop, folks because today we're letting our inner freaks out to play. Have a specific fetish that you can't get enough of? Write it down. No, seriously, the weirder the better. Keeping things PG doesn't sell a million copies. Neither does doing it in the missionary.

Double "O"? Don't we wish!

In a perfect world, we'd all end in the big "O". Unfortunately our world isn't perfect- but your character's probably should be. Having them both end up 100% satisfied is the happy ending, literally. If you're selling the fantasy, it might as well be the one we all pray for.

The morning after

Once the hot and sweaty happens, it's the aftermath that determines the next plot twist. There must be a little downtime where your protagonist contemplates how doing the deed made them feel. Do they get a warm and fuzzy drifting off in each others arms? Do things get awkward? Maybe they joke around while cleaning off. Or maybe he leaves abruptly or she throws a fit over the fact that he doesn't ask her to spend the night. Whatever happens, make sure it fits the dynamic of your couple and helps bridge the gap between the sexual encounter and your next scenario.

Again or nah?

Play off the post-sex vibes and any awkwardness that occurs thereafter. Keep exploring the relationship of your characters and see where it takes you. Let their dynamic grow and change as they go through the rest of the build-up to the climax. Typically romance novels have an exploratory first kiss or make-out scene, a first time sex scene somewhere in the middle, and then a final "life-changing" sex scene towards the end. Explore what works for your plot. Vary the intensity and the pacing to find what makes the most sense for your characters and their relationship.

Every story could use some spicing up, some more than others. How far you take it and to what extent is completely up to you and what your story calls for. Have fun, explore, and unleash your inner sex fiend. The rest will scorch the page.

#writing #writingitwells #writingtips #writingadvice #letstalkaboutsex

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