Archive for the 'Sex' Category

Your Mother Writes WHAT???
by Our Guest on February 12th, 2009

Children, parents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, co-workers, fellow school volunteers — we’ve all got ‘em and like it or not, every one of them has expectations of who we’re supposed to be. As moms, we are the source of all knowledge and wisdom — at least until our children reach middle school age, at which point we cease to know anything useful at all. But even so, according to my daughters we’re still supposed to uphold certain principles even if those principles appear to be completely ignored for the next several years. We’re helpful daughters, loving wives, respected members of our communities, not to mention the champions of morality and keepers of the American Way.

We’re NICE ladies, right?

Yeah, and surely nice ladies don’t think about, let alone write about…THAT!

Yes, well. The very best piece of advice I ever got when it came to writing love…no, let’s call them what they are…sex scenes was to put everyone you know utterly out of your mind. You’ve got to forget that eventually your dad is going to read what his little princess wrote, that your Auntie Matilda has a bit of a heart condition, or that your minister’s wife might happen to see your name glaring out at her from the romance shelves (because yes, even your minister’s wife probably reads romance). In fact, I once heard the fabulous Theresa Medeiros say that during church services, people would be passing her books over the pews for her to autograph. And it isn’t as if her sex scenes are what you’d call tame — oh no, indeed! What they are is passionate and intense and REAL.

Remember, it’s about your hero and heroine — and only your hero and heroine, and every scintillating plot point that brought them to this moment. It’s time to lock the rest of the world out of that imaginary bedroom — or mossy glade, kitchen table or the back seat of a limo — just as you would when you actually…you know…do it. I can guarantee you, you’re not thinking about your grandma then, so forget about her disapproving “tsk tsk” while you’re writing and thrust ahead, pump out those details, and impale your readers with some all-out, mind-blowing and darn it all, NAUGHTY sexual action!

Oh, and my husband adds his advice: lots and lots of empirical research. Typical man.

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Love is in the air…
by Annette McCleave on February 10th, 2009

I used to struggle writing love scenes. Not because I was shy about describing what was going on, but because of the very reason Jessa mentioned in her post yesterday—as a reader, I often skipped them. I felt they were necessary to show the developing depth of the relationship, but weren’t really critical to the plot.

Oh dear. I write love stories. How can a love scene not be critical to the plot of a love story?


So, I took a step back, thinking. I discovered I plotted love scenes as events that HAD to happen, instead of just letting the relationship run its own course. I orchestrated them, instead of letting the characters do whatever felt right. And by thinking that way, I had turned a very special and potentially defining moment into WORK.


So, I relaxed. I stopped planning the love scenes. Strangely, even when I consciously gave myself permission to write a story with no love scene at all, love scenes popped up. Why? Because they were the natural evolution of the relationship. I find the love scenes I pen now are both easier to write and more in tune with the characters’ personalities. They’re now tightly connected to the characters’ story arc and, therefore, an integral part of the plot. :smile:

I know there are more people than just Jessa and I who skip love scenes. Question: As a reader, do you find that there are more great love scenes written today than, say, ten years ago? Do today’s romance novels speak more to the true power of love, or less?

Romance writers do it for love
by Jessa Slade on February 9th, 2009


Currently working on: The big bad
Mood: Teeth gritting

Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

What better time of the year to talk about writing sex scenes than Valentine’s Day? Er, not that Valentine’s Day is all about sex, but it does tend to go there, doesn’t it? If it’s done right, of course :wink:

I’ll be honest here (and honesty is a useful tool for Valentine’s Day AND writing sex scenes); I often skim sex scenes when I’m reading. Not because I’m a vaguely repressed romance writer working out her problems in cheap self-therapy on the page, but because – like a long-term comfortable relationship where maybe the fires have dimmed a little – sex scenes can sometimes feel rote and perfunctory. We’ve all heard the tease about romance novels where you crack the spine at the halfway point and, whoopsie, fell into bed and had sex.

Even with whips and whipping cream – even with prehensile tentacles if you read the farther-out-there stuff – the sex has to MEAN something. I want my sex scenes to work harder, to get down and dirty, and go deeper…

Okay, I can see this posting has the potential to get me into trouble. But that’s exactly what I want from my sex scenes. The potential for trouble. I want to know that this scene is important – just like all the rest of the story. That clues and pitfalls and moments of truth are hidden in the otherwise eons-old insertion of tab into slot.

So how do you create a special Valentine’s Day – and a special sex scene?

Engage all the senses: The archetypical Valentine’s Day includes chocolate, champagne, roses, and a candle-lit bubble bath. So too on the physical level, a good sex scene should play with every nerve ending – the thick creaminess of the dark chocolate, the gleam of flame-light on slick wet skin, the rich sweet scent of the roses as the petals float across the water only to sink under a surging splash as he raises himself over her… But Valentine’s and sex scenes aren’t just about the physical.

Reveal more: Hey, we’ve all bought Valentine’s Day panties. And let’s just say the price does not reflect the square footage. I like a sex scene that uncovers something about our heroine. It’s a dangerous moment, that unveiling. In opening herself to the hero, she risks more than the twenty bucks spent at Victoria’s Secret. Our hero faces the same moment, but please don’t picture him in Valentine’s Day panties. I mean, unless that’s your thing. Although I’d go more Abercrombie & Fitch.

Find the core: No, you naughty-minded reader, not THAT core. Well, actually yes, that core too. But I was thinking of that defining moment that is the reason you cannot skim a good sex scene – it’s the moment the hero metaphorically pulls out the velvet Valentine’s Day jeweler’s box. Locked in that dark, protective box is a shining jewel that he will hand to the heroine for safekeeping. Will she accept? Whatever comes next (and you know there’s more to come), that bond will mark them forever.

A spontaneous sexual romp on a sunny Sunday afternoon is wonderful too – in real life and in a book – but the ritual that is Valentine’s Day and the crafting of a meaningful sex scene can be as sharp-edged and delicate as scissors wielded on a construction paper heart, with as many mixes messages as a box of candy hearts. The story that doesn’t miss a beat here can win my heart.

What was your most memorable experience of Valentine’s Day? The passing of those cheap little postcards in grade school? An impromptu game of spin the bottle? A proposal from your hero?

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