Writing Better Sex Scenes

Warning: This post is NSFW

If you write romance or erotica, or want to start in the genre, sex scenes either are or will become a large part of your writing life. However, writing erotica is totally unlike any other type of writing. Here are some things that I’ve learned to help start you on your journey.

How Often?

The first thing you should think about if you’re going to jump into the world of writing intimate moments is how often sex scenes will be a part of your story. One very important thing to consider when determining how often sex will come into your writing is if you want your story to be “romance” or “erotica.” Although it might seem like splitting hairs, the two genres really only differ in the amount of sex they feature between the main couple. In romance writing, the sex is optional, but can be used to supplement the plot. In erotica, sex scenes form a large part of the writing, are crucial to the plot, or significantly shape the development between the characters. I’ve seen that erotica should contain a sex scene at least every 10,000 words, though that seems too sparse for my own writing style. If your writing is highly character-oriented, your characters will guide whether or not sex every 10,000 words is appropriate.

The separation between romance and erotica is also important for appealing to your target audience. The majority of people like sex, and won’t complain if you toss them a scene or two. However, there are also people who would rather have plot than sex. Think about how you advertise your book. If you categorize it as “erotica,” people will expect lots of sex (but make sure it always has a purpose!) If you call it “romance” they might be more receptive to a story with more plot and characters.

When?

The timing of intimate scenes in your writing is crucial. In many erotic stories, the key is to find the sweet spot where the sexual tension and anticipation has readers on the edge of their seats. This can easily backfire, however, if readers feel like they’ve been waiting for ages and ages with the potential of no reward. All scenes in your book should revolve around conflict, especially if it’s a shorter story. Nobody wants to read a book where everything is going perfectly and everyone is happy all the time. Although longer novels may have some lighthearted moments to break up action-heavy or emotionally intense scenes, readers need to see the problems the characters are working through.

Your intimate scenes between characters will carry much more weight if they occur in moments that are filled with tension. I’d much rather read about two people who are unable to tear themselves away from each other, even when everything around them is going wrong, than a couple with a stable and predictable sex life. Never throw sex scenes in just for the sake of it. Each scene needs to contribute to the character’s relationship or situation.

Think about vocabulary

When writing sex scenes, the way you refer to anatomy will set the tone of the whole scene.

Here’s a small selection of words that you should NEVER use, unless your going for a comedy or parody. I did not make these up. I have seen all of these.

Rod (or “god of a rod”)

Whoopie Stick

One-eyed monster

Hoo-Haw

Box

Lady/Man-parts

Chocolate Starfish

Back Door

A lot of people use the words nether regions, member, manhood/womanhood, or sex (as in her sex/his sex). I personally have never liked these terms. In my opinion they create an almost stilted tone that ruins the natural and poetic feel of an intimate scene. In my opinion, the words used for genitals should be as unobtrusive as possible so the focus can be on the acts themselves.

These are words that I like to use (since I write MxM erotica, I can really only offer advice on male terms, though I’ll try my best to discuss female anatomy as well.)

Cock

Erection

Length

I would say by far that the anus is the hardest to describe, simply because it has the most stigma in its role in sexual play. Especially if you’re writing erotica with two male characters, the anus is going to come into play. I find the words “entrance” and “opening” to be most clear.

I tend to write in a very romantic fashion, so for me words which are less vulgar are typically better. I like to focus much more on the emotions than the physical acts themselves. However, if you are writing a BDSM scene with dirty talk, you can get really creative with the levels of obscenity you use. For example, I’ve seen “boy pussy” or simply just “pussy” or “cunt” being used to describe the anus when a character is trying to be derogatory in the bedroom (of course this relies on the demeaning notion that a woman’s anatomy is somehow inferior or shameful). Essentially, unless dirty talk is becoming a part of your characters time in the bedroom, I wouldn’t try to get too creative with the names. It can be distracting.

For female anatomy, the few times I’ve written/read erotica involving women, I’ve liked the words entrance, clit, folds, pussy, and cunt (although I totally understand how controversial these last two words could be).

Research

I imagine some people write intimate scenes just like they would any other scenes. For me it varies wildly. Sometimes I sit down on the couch next to my boyfriend with a cup of coffee and type away. Other times I watch something to get me in the mood before or during my writing. However, like any type of writing, it can require a huge amount of research. If, like me, you write about people different than yourself or acts you have never performed, it becomes crucial to research in order to make sure your writing is realistic.

Full disclosure here, you’ll need to read and watch a LOT of porn, more often than not totally objectively and without thinking about pleasure at all. If this bothers you, than you probably shouldn’t be writing erotica. Of course, everyone’s reasons are different. I write erotica because the different things that arouse people, the different things that sex can mean, everything we do to make ourselves feel good, totally intrigues me.

Writing sex scenes can be difficult and awkward, but should ultimately be rewarding. Those who write erotica or romance put themselves on the line because they expose a more intimate part of themselves. If you can get past this and find what works best for you, you’ll have one of  the best writing experiences of your career!

 

 

Tinyfic Thursday

Hi everyone!

Before I talk a little bit about where I’ve been for the past month(s?) and where I plan to take this blog in the future, I want to share a little bite-sized piece from my work-in-progress:

Jonah’s vision fragments and crashes in one sudden change. The end has swept by, out of reach, and he never grasped the shape of it.

My intention here isn’t to give any excuses. I don’t believe that is necessary, nor is it something anybody wants to read. Essentially, heath issues and completing my last full semester of university caused me to step back from social media for a while, though I have continued to write.

I’ve also taken the time to think about this blog and how I want to continue with it. I have decided that I will no longer be posting chapter-by-chapter updates of future works. My hope for the future is to sell all of my stories through Amazon, but post short “previews” here. Selling my stories through Amazon exclusively not only helps me pay for my groceries but also allows me to give more benefits to people who buy my books on Amazon.

If you have a Twitter and don’t follow me, I would highly suggest you do so: @KMorrighan. Twitter has become the most effective way for me to promote myself and reach other writers.  I will post the flashfiction that I put on Twitter up here as well. I will continue making review videos, which I will post here and on Youtube. I also have a few ideas I’d like to explore and write articles about, that I will post here at least once a month. 

Keep reading and keep loving! Comment or email me to let me know anything else you’d like to see!
K

Off the Cuff

Happy Saturday! Here’s a short story I whipped up today…

The crackling electricity of the cuff stings Jos’ wrist.

“According to the Martian New Technologies law of 3001, your right to free speech has been temporarily removed while you testify in this Court of the Law. Do you understand and willingly consent to this of your own volition?”

Jos swallows past the nerves in his throat. The cuffs they use in Courts of the Law, to ensure the wearer told the truth, are old tech. He’d learned about it in school, of course, but he couldn’t remember the date they’d been invented. At least thirty years ago, he thinks. Long enough ago that they shouldn’t have to tell him all about it before he testifies. It’s standard procedure, out-of-date like so many things about the Martian Courts.

“Mahsor?” The Courter asks from her high stand, towering above Jos.

“I willingly consent, mahsa.” He’s careful to hide the low-city accent in his voice. Me willin’ to agree, ma’.

Jos’ voice feels uncomfortable in his throat as he speaks. It’s the cuff, checking all his words on the way out. Wearing the cuff while he agrees to speak means he can’t agree simply because someone else is forcing him to speak. If he really didn’t want to say the truth of it, he would have said no and they would have let him out.

It matters, as he looks out past the high bench where the judge sits at the glass his family sits behind. His aunts stare at the screen inside the box, where they can see and hear him. His sister, however, looks directly through the glass across the long space to him. Her toddler son shifts on her lap. Her husband has an arm around her and is kissing her on the cheek.

It matters.

He is going to tell the truth. His whole family will know he wants to tell the truth.

A set of doors slides open and a Questioner, dressed in all black with black hair slicked away from his face, walks in.

“Mahsor Questioner,” the Courter’s voice echoes through the room, “As is required by Martian law, the Criminal in Question has been removed from the room.”

“Acknowledged.” The Questioner responds, voice low and official.

Jos had known in advance that his father wouldn’t be in the room. Not that it will matter, in the end. His father will know what Jos says today in this room. He will know that Jos’ sister hadn’t said it, had never believed it.

She hadn’t seen what Jos had.

“In your interview before this questioning, you told me that you think you can offer insight that neither your sister, nor her husband, can provide. Can you confirm that statement?”

“Yes, mahsor, I know more than they do.”

“Can you explain why?” The Questioner paces slowly in front of Jos’ seat.

Jos pauses before answering, unsure how to say it without using his street words. She movin’ up too quick.

“She…” He hesitates, “She had a baby when she was young. She moved out four years ago, before he changed.”

“So you are telling me you have a better understanding of who your father has become recently?”

Jos blinks. Hadn’t he just said that? Had he been unclear?

“Yes, mahsor.”

“Where were you on the night that your mother was murdered?”

Jos sighs. He’s told the story at least a dozen times.

“It was a Friday. I was at work.”

The Questioner says something to the Courter, drawing her attention to some document that confirms Jos’ story.

“So there is absolutely no way you are responsible for your mother’s murder.”

“Na, neva!” He blurts out, before he can stop himself. He clears his throat. “No, mahsor.”

The Questioner nods, paces back and forth a few more times.

“Do you have reason to believe that your father did, in fact, kill your mother?”

Jos sees his sister’s hand fly up to cover her mouth, tears streaming out of her eyes. This will hurt her. It will separate the two of them forever.

“Yes, I do.”