So You Can’t Write a Sex Scene

So you can’t write a sex scene

By Janet Post

My writing partner for erotica, believe it or not, is my daughter, Mel. She’s a bartender/restaurant manager with three kids and she knows stuff, for example, stuff about looners (people who include balloons in their sexual activity . . .  I know) and plushies (stuffed animal/costume freaks). You really have to have some kind of experiences of your own to draw from if you want to write real sex scenes that touch the readers. And there are a couple of rules we came up with.

First–do your research. We write m/m, paranormal, kinky romance. I know–pretty out there. But we do our research. I watched a lot of gay porn, read guy on guy erotica and Mel has a lot of gay friends. They have no problem telling her the most intimate things in graphic detail. Thank god.

Second–sex scenes are scenes in your story and as such must have a purpose. They have to move the story line along in some way. This is how it works, your couple gets together and one whispers a secret to the other one. A sex scene may be the critical moment in the relationship, either a commitment moment or a breakup moment. It can be an important milestone in your character’s personal growth. But whatever it is, it has to have a purpose.

Third–euphemisms have been terribly maligned. I’m here to tell you they are a must. And you need to choose them carefully. If the moment is tender, use softer euphemisms. If it’s rough, guy-on-guy sex between two paranormal characters use rougher euphemisms. If you have two guys making love and you’re in the macho guy’s head use different euphemisms than  if you were in the softer guy’s head. Make what they call their parts part of their character.

Fourth and most important–sex scenes are action scenes. Be careful with the length of your sentences. Keep the verbs hot and energetic. Always try to stay out of passive voice. Don’t put too much introspection into the sex scene itself, leave it for the afterglow. Watch the redundancies, especially with proper names and pronouns, think about each word you put into a sentence. Moment in time and location can add a lot to your sex scenes. Is this the critical sex scene that seals the commitment or just a one-night stand?

And there you have it; four steps to writing a great sex scene. Don’t forget they are always emotional in some way, passion is great but is one of them cheating, is there guilt, is there fear of loss? Now go for it.


Author: Janet Post

I’m the daughter of a Marine Corps colonel. I lived the military life until I got out of high school. At that point I was a wild child. I got married and moved to Canada where I lived up the Sechelt Inlet, the scene for Spellcast Waters. I lived in a log cabin, with wood heat and a wood cook stove fifteen miles by boat from the nearest town. I’ve moved a lot. Between the military upbringing and just rambling around the country, I’ve moved 40 times. I lived in Hawaii and worked as a polo groom for fifteen years, then I moved to Florida where I became a reporter. For ten years I covered kids in high school and middle school. Kids as athletes, kids doing amazing things no matter how hard their circumstances. It impressed me, and it awed me. How wonderful teens are. They have spirit and courage in the face of the roughest time of their lives. High school is a war zone. Between dodging bullies, school work and after school activities, teens now days have a lot on their plate. I wrote stories about them and I photographed them. My goal was to see every kid in their local newspaper before they graduated. I love kids, horses and I paint, and I write. Now I live in the swampland of Florida with too many dogs and my fifteen-year old granddaughter. Life is beautiful. Live in the moment.

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