Disclaimer: Everything on here is based off of personal opinion, and is by no means a universally accepted standard. This is just me trying to help out those who have a difficult time writing sex-oriented scenes in books. If you have anything Helpful to add, please comment. Any harassment or derogatory comments will be reported to the admins. I apologize if anyone is offended by what I’ve written. It was not my intention, and I hope you have a lovely day
I’m a 33 year old wife and mother who has been reading romance novels since I was ten. I’m not shy about writing or talking about sex. I see it as one of the most beautiful and fulfilling ways to express affection, and make a singular connection to another being. I say ‘being’ because this specifically pertains to writing, and not all stories are strictly about humans/have humans in them.
My first point: There is a difference between ‘Smut Scenes’ and ‘Love Scenes’. Deciding on which type of scene you want in your book is the first step.
What kind of emotional connection do your characters have? Is it reciprocated? Do these feelings have a foundation, or is it more infatuation?
Asking these kinds of questions can help you figure out what type of scene would make the Most Sense for your book.
Readers can generally tell when an author is just throwing a sex scene into a book ‘because sex sells’. Don’t get me wrong: it does. But if there’s no substance behind the act, no emotional build to the scene, then you are likely to lose readers. There are exceptions to every rule, but I have personally axed out books because the scenes either made No sense to the plot, or the emotions involved were too convoluted, or jumbled to follow. Or my biggest problem: the scene seemed almost robotic(used same descriptive words over, and over, and over..).
This can happen when writers are unfamiliar or inexperienced with sexual acts. Which is by NO MEANS a bad thing. Some are too young, or haven’t found that special someone yet, and that’s Completely fine. You can learn how to write sex scenes without firsthand experience or knowledge by reading other books, watching movies, etc..
The important things to take away from those things are:
How did the scene make you feel? I don’t mean the vulgarity of it. Did the emotions held and felt by the characters make sense? Did you see/feel emotional transference of said emotions? Which ones? Were they passionate or possessive? How would you describe the physical contact In Conjunction with their emotional connection?
Sex is generally a repetitious act, but that doesn’t mean the description needs to be. There is an outrageous number of ways to write or describe the word or act of ‘penetration‘. I cannot stand seeing that word more than once in a paragraph(personal opinion). For all writers: THE THESAURUS IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! There’s even blogs and such that specialize in helping to write sex scenes. My personal favorite is:
I found this on the InkStone Discord server on the writing resources channel a while back. They have a plethora of resources and articles that can help with the descriptive writing aspect of your story in general(The specific link is some extra help. I am not affiliated with the above site, I just use it often.).
- I completely understand how embarrassing it can be to write sex scenes in books. Especially if your friends and family are supportive of your work like mine are(my MOM is one of my biggest fans). But you have to keep in mind that sex is a part of life. How do you think you got here? Don’t treat it like a stigma, and you will be surprised at how much better and easier the writing process can be.
I mean no offense to anyone. Some see sex as a deeply scared and/or spiritual connection. Some see it as a simple release with minimal emotional connection. There there’s a Whole lotta of varying in between. To each their own, I say. So long as you’re not hurting anyone, or the pain is consensual(50 Shades popped into my head as I wrote this).
This is another reason why you want to clarify which type of scene your characters are experiencing through the description. Sex emotionally evolves characters. They can evolve together, or sex can also bring personality issues or discrepancies to the surface. There’s a lot of character building potential before, during, and after ‘the act’ that can bring the characters to a literary crescendo. Personally, I love it when the crescendo IS the act.
The more emotionally invested the readers are in your characters, the better your book will do. Sex is one of the most universal forms of connection and expression, along side food, music, and other forms of art. I wish you well in your individual pursuits, and any questions and/or comments will be replied to when I have time☮️