Sex scenes are widespread in fiction. They’re also the bane of many authors’ existences because many people don’t know anything about sexuality or anatomy. A lot of you want to know how to write a sex scene. It is a tricky question because there are so many different types of sex scenes, and the one you choose entirely depends on the story you’re telling.
Sex is a personal decision, and you should only do it when you and your partner are both ready and safe. But you can research sex and talk to other people who are having sex. Talk to someone who will give it to you straight, whether you’re sexually active or not. We never know as much as we think that’s important if you’re writing about a form of sex you’ve never experienced.
If you’re a man writing about sex from the female perspective, talk to a female. The most crucial step to writing a sex scene is taking a step back and honestly asking yourself. Do you need a sex scene? If the sex doesn’t contribute to the story, don’t write it. But if the sex is necessary, then write it. Follow me to write sex scenes correctly.
How to write a sex scene?
Good sex scenes can be hard to write. How do I write an original and tasteful sex scene without being too vulgar? Some writers struggle to describe it because they haven’t had sex yet or haven’t had good sex for other writers. If it isn’t a difficult description, it is a taboo topic.
A good chunk of society has been taught to be embarrassed, ashamed, and never openly speak about it. Aside from that, the general privacy of sex makes it difficult to write about.
There are some awful sex scenes, and you don’t want to contribute to the trash pile, do you? I am breaking down my top 10 tips for writing sex scenes, specifically how not to screw up your sex scene. So let’s get started!
1. Know the types of sex scenes
Writers get overwhelmed when they go to write a sex scene because they don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are several different sex scenes to choose from, based on your genre or your intention for the scene. Keep in mind that some of these categories are based on accurate terminology.
Graphic sex scene: It is described in explicit, raunchy detail. The graphic sex scene intends to turn the reader on, and it’s most common in erotic fiction.
Harlequin sex scene: It uses metaphors, analogies, and images to describe sexual acts. The Harlequin sex scene intends to appeal to the reader’s imagination, and it is most often seen in specific subgenres of romance.
Emotional sex scene: Third up is emotional sex that gives virtually no details regarding anatomy or actions and instead focuses on the feeling and emotion of the moment. For example, the hero took her to bed, where they discovered one another and explored their undying love.
The emotional sex scene intends to appeal to the reader’s emotions. It is most popular in fiction aimed toward a teenage audience or for writers who don’t want to give the saucy specifics.
Middle ground sex: This sex scene combines graphic and emotional sex. Middle-ground sex intends to be sexy without going over the top. Also, it is most popular in the romance genre and any genre geared toward an adult audience.
Innuendo sex: This sex is hinted at using abstract metaphors, leaving the reader to wonder. For example, their souls combined in love reached new heights, soaring to the clouds above. The intention is to get the characters laid without stating it. Moreover, it’s often used by writers who want their characters to screw but feel weird about it.
Fade to Black: The author states that the sex will happen, but they end the scene before anything explicit happens. The intention is to show the readers without giving any details. It is popular in novels aimed toward a teenage audience or in books where the sex isn’t relevant to the story.
2. Set plot with various genre
Some people think the only genres can feature sex, romance, and erotica, but some are fools. Sex scenes can be featured in any genre targeted toward a mature audience.
You can fit it by fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi, mystery, whatever. Sex is an everyday part of life, so blinking is not uncommon to become relevant to a story provided by your book. Is it written for adults, and does it makes sense for the plot? You are welcome to write a sex scene.
3. Reader age matters
Can you write a sex scene in your young adult or new adult novel? Yes, you can! But it depends on the type of sex scene. Young adult novels are about characters ages 13 to 18 as they navigate teenage struggles. It may shock you, but some teenagers have sex, which means some young adult novels feature sex.
However, there are a few things to consider before adding a sex scene to your young adult novel. First is the target audience. Young adult books primarily target readers the same age as their characters, 13 to 18 years old. That means most of your readers will be minors, and some of them will be young.
Additionally, graphic sex featuring two barely pubescent teenagers is creepy. Thus, if your young adult book features sex, it will almost always be a fade to black or an emotional sex scene. The author lets us know the deed happens, but we don’t hear specific details.
As for new adults, all restrictions are off. New adult novels feature characters ages 19 to 25. The audience, in theory, is adults, which means you can write whatever kind of sex scene you want.
4. Set your place
Sex scenes that aren’t as sexy as authors think. There are specific sex scenes we see a lot in fiction because they seem romantic and primal. The problem is that these sexual acts aren’t quite as common or sexy in the real world because they involve many issues that authors completely ignore or forget.
- First up, we have beach sex. Lots of people write about sex on the beach because it’s romantic. But here’s something to consider. If you’re writing about beach sex, maybe elevate your characters above the sand in the water.
- Second up is wall sex. We see wall sex in many books because it is a very hot and spontaneous problem. While sex requires a significant amount of strength, both from the pounder and the pound, unless both characters are ripped trained warriors, it will be hard to believe that they can sustain wall sex for the entire session. If your characters aren’t bodybuilders, you can have them start against the wall and then finish on the bed to shower sex.
- Shower sex is popular in fiction. The problem is that showers are wet, which means there’s a fall risk. Additionally, shower water is very rarely distributed evenly. That means someone will be drowning beneath the showerhead while the other person is off to the side, freezing their ass off when writing showers sex.
Stick to very simple, easy positions that are easy to manage and distribute water. Lastly, we have synchronized coming. There are many sex scenes where both parties come simultaneously, and writers do this because it’s sexy and easy.
While it’s possible to synchronize your feelings, it’s very uncommon and usually takes practice. You are more than welcome to write a synchronized split page or two. But if all of your sex scenes end with them coming at the same time, no one is going to believe it.
- Please keep in mind that sex in a bed is fantastic.
If you can’t make that sexy, you might need to more educate yourself on the subject matter.
5. Learn about sexual activity
There’s a trend when it comes to writing the loss of virginity. The authors write about painful sex because of misconceptions regarding the hymen. The hymen is a membrane surrounding the vaginal opening, emphasizing its surrounds. It is not a flesh sheet that covers the vagina entirely like unfortunately placed cling wrap. If it was, why then are virgins able to produce discharge, get wet, menstruate or wear tampons?
About 90% of the authors who write about sex think of the hymen as a collar or rubber band around the vaginal opening with pressure. The thing is, the hymen doesn’t have to snap for the first time.
Keep in mind, even if a partner is gentle, the hymen still might tear a little bit, which will cause a little bit of pain and blood. But the emphasis here is on the word little. Long story short, if the sex is very painful, her partner is doing wrong. So be careful while you are writing a sex scene, and don’t spread the wrong idea.
6. Enthusiastic consent
Consent is not the absence of a no, and it’s the presence of a yes. You must include it in your sex scene unless you want readers to be disgusted. A lot of people hear consent and think wrong. Consent can be written in various ways because it happens in various ways.
In the real world, consent can be explicit in a sweet way, like, I can’t stop thinking about kissing you. Consent can be explicit in a naughty way, even be clear, irrefutable body language. Remember, there is no such thing as a non-consensual sex scene.
7. Talk about birth control or not
If your characters are of the opposite sex, birth control probably needs to be a thing, but birth control isn’t sexy. Do you know what else isn’t sexy? You can have your characters handle birth control in a few sentences. Even better, you can have your characters discuss birth control. But discussing birth control is awkward, and sometimes it can be a funny moment between your characters that turns into a bonding experience.
Your characters exist in a fantasy world does not mean you’re off the hook. If anything, creating a fictional world means you can be even more creative with your birth control, but you still have to cover it, or else readers will call it useless.
8. Don’t add sex scenes forcibly
If I am not interested in writing some content, I don’t create books requiring sex content. You don’t have to show the sex scene. You can always fade to black. At least 75% of authors who have written sex scenes also have families. If we can suck it up, you can, too. Plus, if you’re considering writing a sex scene, it’s safe to assume you’re grown.
If this revelation is shocking to them, that sounds like a personal problem that they need to work out. So use your sex scenes according to the story demand. Otherwise, add only the kiss scene.
9. Add LGBTQ character
It’s become a lot more popular to feature LGBT in fiction. However, many people are writing them as if they’ve never heard of sex. They are human beings aware of sex and probably have some own.
- Asexuals are people who do not experience sexual attraction.
- Graysexual is the middle ground between asexual and sexuality. They experience some or minimal sexual attraction, usually under particular circumstances.
Sex is required for erotica because erotica is a sexual fantasy. The only exception is if the particular erotica novel involves some sexual fetish that doesn’t explicitly involve the act of sex but still gets the reader’s motor running. So before adding sex scenes with your characters, make sure you have the proper knowledge about different types of sexuality and gender.
10. Make a commitment
If you’re writing a full-on sex scene, you need to commit. It’s not a lower body. Many writers get super excited to write a sex scene, and then when the moment finally comes, they freeze. If you are not comfortable referencing the anatomy involved in sex, don’t write sex.
Instead, focus on how the characters feel about pleasures. If it’s a romantic sex scene, you can juggle physical and emotional sensations. You can talk about the pleasure they’re feeling and their immense love for one another. Think about how you would describe sexual pleasure. Focusing on sensation is a lot more engaging, and you will have better odds of avoiding the thizz face.
Hopefully, you now have a basic understanding of sex scenes, so you don’t make the same mistakes that everyone else has already made. Commit to the moment, and pay attention to the timing, your descriptors, and verbs. Do your research! It takes no time, and your readers will thank you.
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