FREE SEX ADVICE...about your writing.

You make me giggle.  You are so sweet.  I love your wiggle.  Let me tickle your feet. 

Kids of the opposite sex are drawn to each other.  They don't know why it happens.  The only thing they really know is that it makes them happy to be together.                                                               

Then they grow up and find themselves in a heap of trouble.  Why?  Well there's this thing called sex. 

No, anything but that!

I had a fabulous romance writer friend ask me a question yesterday that got me thinking.  How can I write a sex scene without being too explicit?  Now why the heck would I want to do that?  I've asked myself the same question for the last ten minutes but decided to just go with it for the sake of the blog.

How would my readers feel about this?  It's a question each writer should ask themselves.  Above all we are storytellers, entertainers.    We should care what the readers think, yearn to deliver the perfect tale.                                                                                                                                                          

I have learned that there are ways to tweak a scene so that it's pretty clean.  Aluding to an act can some times be just as powerful and dramatic.                                                                                                                                             


Let's say for instance that Sam invited Mary back to his hotel room. 
They talk.  They kiss.  The lights go off.  Next thing we know it's morning and Mary is dropping off her room key at the front desk while Sam is still snug in bed with a self-satisfied grin that goes from ear to ear...or he could be smoking in bed....or maybe she's cooking him pancakes while wearing his pajama top and nothing else....or perhaps she stepped out of the shower.   There are tons of ways to alude to the fact that they've spent the night together.  I know a couple that plays scrabble in bed.  They didn't take kindly to me asking them if it was nude scrabble.  Heck, I thought it was funny.                                               

Then there's the whole issue of body parts.  If you're going to refer to genitals please avoid scientific terms.  Vagina and penis make me feel like if I'm sitting in a biology class.  Also, refrain from using funny terminoligy unless it applies to your story. 

To say, "she reached for the one-eyed wonder weasel" might have me laughing my ass off but it will not get me hot and bothered and ruin the whole scene.  Okay, I will most probably keep on reading just because it's me, but I doubt editors will be too happy.  

Speak real English.  Use the words we say behind closed doors.  Don't be bashful about it.  Readers will love you for it.  If you can't manage the actual words consider not saying them at all.

For example:  Mary stepped out of the tub.  Her mouth watered at the sight of Sam leaning against the doorway.  She took a few steps toward him eager to wipe that smug grin from his face.  She lifted her hand to her face while trying hard to maintain eye contact.  Very slowly, she ran the tip of her tongue over the length of her palm.  Then, she reached for him.  (See, no naughty words at all.)


Hope this has been helpful or at the least entertaining.  Have a great day!


  1. Okay....what happened to the sucking, throbbing, and pulsating stuff? Just kidding. It didn't make me go "ewwe" which I've got a tendency to do.

  2. The sex scenes in my novel were some of the hardest to write (no pun intended). I started off with lots of body parts doing things then finally, FINALLY hit on the emotional significance of the scene and why I was including it in the first place and rewrote it so that it has meaning. I'm not very explicit -- I go up to the moment and then pretty much fade to black. I have one other short scene that gets a little more explicit, but, yeah, I'm not one to go for the "sucking, throbbing, pulsating stuff" in my writing.

  3. @Shelly. How bold of you to be the first to comment on a sex post. This posting is meant to be about writing clean sex scenes while still making them hot for those that shy away from them. Sex is hard to write. I had to leave the throbbing, pulsating, sucking stuff out for fear of being blacklisted from my own blog... :D, but don't tempt me...and let me assure you that there's enough of that in my own manuscript.

    @L.G. I have a few scenes where I go up to the moment and then fade to black. It's not necessary to be explicit throughout or at all. The only scenes I get a little more graphic in are those pertaining to my protagonists, but that doesn't happen to book 3.

    For those of you who are stearing clear away from naughty post today, please do join me tomorrow as I post a little horror. :)

  4. I think I'll play it safe here.
    Please call me after another male shows up to comment. I hate being outnumbered.

    Hehe. Seriously though, (Yes, Nancy, I can't help myself..:))
    I agree with you here. Less is more. I understand having to set up certain things, but for me, writing about sex should be the same as the act itself. It starts in the mind.

  5. (teehee, I knew it, Bryce!)

    I have 3 very different "sex" scenes in my book and they were all difficult to write, but there is a rape scene that was just brutal to put into words because it's not about sex at all, but control. As it is the pivotal point in my story, there's no way to simply allude to it & it was important to show just how far that character had fallen. It is bookended by 2 tender love scenes that purposely show contrast to that ugly one set in between.

    I worry everyday about the violence in that middle scene, but if, by some miracle, I ever get an agent then a publisher & one of them asks me to change that scene so the reader doesn't actually "see" it as it happens, I'd have to say no because it is just too important to the core of the story. How can you know how far the character has fallen if you can't see exactly what he's done?

    Laila, you write often about this subject. I'm more than a little curious about your stories. I hope I get to read one some day soon.

    On a side note, I used to read romance novels many years ago & I was so embarrassed by the sex scenes, I usually skipped over them.

  6. Yes, you have convinced me that I will never write a sex scene. Ever!

  7. I remember once when I was a kid and overhead my dad and his buddy talking on the beach. His buddy said, "I like a bathing suit because it leaves something to the imagination." My dad replied, "Humph, you've got a point. Naked, and what are we left to imagine."

    They were talking about the bathing beauties around them. Wonder why I remembered that?

    Great post, Laila.

  8. I can't get over the "one-eyed wonder weasel." I'm hoping nobody heard me laugh out loud just now! :)

  9. I'm a little late...been busy with the job that pays the bills.

    @Bryce. The brain is the greatest erogenous zone. i do agree with you that sometimes less is more. Oh..and another man has commented. :)

    @Nancy. There is violence in this world. I have been privileged to have met individuals who have suffered sexual abuse. I speak of kids, young adults, and women. They've come to me because for one reason or another I have seemed approachable. I understand about the rape scene in your novel, and it belongs there. It's real. I write about sex a lot because in understanding these poor victims that have suffered so much I wanted my scenes to be about the greatest version I could harvest from love in physical form. Does that make sense? Sometimes what goes on in my head doesn't translate well on paper...unless I edit. :)

    I never skip sex scenes in romance novels unless there are just too many and they're not showing me anything new...^-^...

    @Alex. You crack me up. I'm sorry to have ruined sex for you...in writing that is. If you can write a book with just male characters, I doubt you'll need to write any sex, ever. :) I'll be posting a Sci-Fi excerpt on Thursday if you'd care to stop by.

    @Joylene. I've overheard similar conversations. My hubby informs me that women in undergarments are hotter than in the nude. The man obviously suffers from a panty fetish and I have told him so. ;)

    @Carrie. Yes, I rather enjoyed that phrase myself. I have inserted it in a funny part of one of my novels.

  10. Add a dash of suggestion, a splash of emotion and desire, a sprinkle of color (or heck any of our senses), toss in the character's intentions, along with a hint of good dialogue, roll it up in an appropriate setting and tie a bow laced with intimacy and I'll read it.

  11. @Golden Eagle. You sure can if you must,but writing sex scenes is actually really fun...really. :)

    @Mike. There you go. Great description. I like your style. :)

  12. I'm with Bryce. I like leaving things to the imagination.

    My problem is I left too much to the imagination. lol

    Thanks for your help, Laila. Your insight and the comments here give me hope.

    Doesn't Mike wax poetic?

  13. @Donna. No problem...any time. Mike is definitely a poet, and a romantic one at that. :)


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