Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What Makes a Good Sex Scene

I've only recently started writing sex scenes. It's a scary thing for me because I do sometimes doubt myself. I've read aplenty but that means nothing. So, to actually write a blog post about this is crazy for a newbie but I'm keen to try. What makes a good sex scene in a romance?

This is my opinion and I think it's very subjective. That's what great about writing. What appeals to one may not appeal to another. Firstly, let there be some affection first. I DO NOT like it when the man and woman jump into bed with one another right near the beginning of the book. I like a bit of sexual tension and build up. That's what makes an awesome sex scene - the feelings that have been simmering in the background while the couple have been discovering things about each other. And not just physical things but things that draw them together. Yes, some men and even fewer women are able to have sex with someone they hardly know. But really, how passionate can it be? What's so romantic about that? Ew, maybe I'm a real prude but I find it rather cheap. How can you trust a guy you hardly know that he's free of STDs or anything else?

Sex is sacred. There has to be a drawing, an attraction, especially from the woman. She needs to feel that she's admired, cared for or loved in some way. Maybe not full on love yet but there has to be a report. I know you get those love-hate relationships and I actually enjoy the dynamics of them but there's a fine line between cheap and hot.

Don't make the sex scene the story. I hate a book that's just filled with one scene after another. The sex scene is to enhance a story. It's like action or dialogue. There must be something that the reader comes away with from the scene - either the characters realise they have this amazing connection or they realise they made a terrible mistake, or even they feel closer and more willing to pursue things further. Sex just for the sake of sex and to make the book "popular" or "modern" just grates me up the wrong way!

Erotic romance is wonderful. It can educate women who otherwise wouldn't know how to work towards their own pleasure. But they can cause one who is struggling to compare herself to these virile, always-sexual women in the books. I wish I could put a big disclaimer on my books to say that they're fiction. Not every woman can orgasm so easily and have no stumbling. Most of the characters in our books are people who are sexually frustrated and haven't been in a relationship for some time. There's been a build-up. Hence the intense sexual need and chemistry. When a couple have been together for some time, the sexual desires may have cooled a little. It doesn't mean the love's not there, but there are benefits to knowing each other well. The love is actually deeper and stronger and sex can be magic.

I know it's fiction but I sometimes wish that in some of the sex scenes, things didn't always go so perfectly. Just for once. But I suppose that wouldn't be very sexy to read. Although a man who's willing to wait patiently until his lady reaches arousal when she's very tired, is a hero in my books.

Lastly, I don't like kinky when it becomes abusive. When domination becomes abuse and one partner has to suffer in the scene. Not nice. At all.

So these are some things I don't like about sex scenes but what makes a good sex scene?

Not going into too much detail of the mechanics but more detail on the emotions and sensations.
Bringing in the thoughts of the characters and all five senses to describe how they feel.
Realistic yet not tacky or too awkward.
Not too long or too short.
A big emphasis on the romantic relationship above all else. Left with either a satisfied feeling that they are immensely happy or some conflict in the end - like a cliffhanger. In other words, either add to the romantic, falling in love feeling or challenge it.

That's all for now. Maybe more later.


  1. Hi Vickie! I stumbled across your blog because I read your comment on 10 Things I Hate About Sex Scenes. I really liked what you had to say. When a story is pure erotica, there is some leeway. Readers expect to read about sex. It's pure fantasy. But when the story is erotic romance or romance, there needs to be ROMANCE. Like you said, there should be a buildup of sexual tension as the relationship grows. For many women, there needs to be trust before they can enjoy sex. With some of the books that are out there, I'm afraid we're setting young women up for disappointment. When they can't perform the way their heroines can, they are going to feel like failures. When their partner can't perform like the heroes in romance novels, the woman might feel cheated. Couples have to work at all aspects of a relationship, including the sexual aspect. Sometimes people are preoccupied or tired or not in the mood. Sometimes a couple can feel out of sync with each other for weeks or even months. But when there is a true foundation of love, couples reconnect. Like you said in your comment on that other blog post, "Love is much stronger than all of that."

    I'm glad I discovered your blog!

  2. That's so true, Tricia! So glad to find a kindred soul out in ciber space!