Monday, June 20, 2011

Let's talk about sex Part Two

Are you ready for Let's talk about: sex part two? Want to read Part one first. Go ahead, I'll wait. Okay, here we go.

When I started writing I was terrified of writing a sex scene. If I did, I couldn't show my friends the story, right? What would they think? OMG, the horror! Despite that, a few scenes slipped into some of my earlier stories. They weren't very good mind you, but they were there. One in particular, I added a bit of humor. I couldn't write the scene without adding something funny, like the humor made it less horrible to think about others reading it. Now, I realize it made the scene more cringe-worthy.

Thankfully, I mostly got over that fear. There's still some nervousness that bubbles when I think about some current WIPs that have sex in them, a little jitter that wonders what will my friends think if I let them read the story. I know better than to let that jitter get to me. My friends are adults, they've read romances and novels with sex scenes. They aren't going to think different of me. Hell, they might even give me a hi-five. (We can be an immature lot.) Still, the small fear is there and I don't see it going away no matter how many times I write a sex scene. My mind will always wonder, What will someone think?

Fortunately, I'm not about to let that worry stop me. My writing partner in crime CJ, is my sex scene cheerleader (and fact checker for the M/M ones.) It's the truth when I say if not for him, I probably would still be shying away from the scenes - all of them.

I still like the throw an occasional moment of humor in, a little attempt to make the reader chuckle. Some of my favorite sex scenes are from the Fred the Mermaid books by MJ Davidson. I don't know how intentional the moments were, but during a few sex scenes I had to laugh. Those scenes left an impression on me that influenced my sex scenes.

My biggest struggle with sex scenes is description. Or more accurately, staying away from cheesy lines and cliches. I find M/M is easier in that aspect than M/F. It's hard to describe the female body without sound like a block of cheese. This is another reason why I like to stick with YA. No sex means there's no worry about cheesy sex scenes.

Then there's repetition and trying to keep from slipping into that. I think sometimes it's easier to focus on how the characters are feelings as opposed to their motions. Drop a body part here and there then go back to describing how he or she feels, the way the world fades away, the emotions raging like a wildfire through them (Boy, doesn't that sound cheesy!)

Sometimes there's no way around a sex scene. The plot calls for it for whatever reason or your characters demand it (hey, they deserve a little action after the torture we put them though!) All a writer can do is figure out what works best for them, what they're comfortable describing. I would recommend getting a cheerleader, someone urging you through the awkward stages of writing sex. If they say they need a fan afterwards, then I think it's safe to assume, you did a good job and deserve a cookie.


  1. I also worry about the 'what will others think' when I add rough material (I write for middle grade so no sex whatsoever) It's a question I think it's good to struggle with, just not get obsessed about. =)
    Great post!

  2. Ah, sex....

    In the book I'm co-authoring, sex is pretty much required, of course. It's a romance, a he-said she said story, and the sex does get graphic.

    In my solo writing, I've included sex here and there, but it's a completely different genre.

  3. Hmm... I have two WiPs that require sex. The one scene (my first sex scene ever) wasn't too bad, because it flowed naturally out of the story.

    The other one might be a bit interesting though, as it will have to be in first person...