Sex Scene – a tutorial.
Some time ago, over a year ago and four sex scenes (and few romantic scenes that could lead to sex but didn’t or were related to it) I decided to write down some sexy scene and asked a friend of mine how to write such a thing, because I had no idea how to do it. Now I wish to share my own experience with all those who would like to write down such a scene, but are unsure how to do it.
My good friend, who wanted to help gave me a link to page where I found twelve (plus bonus one) advices about how to make the sex scene sexy. It was one of the best things I could read about sex scenes and I am still very grateful for that link. It is one of the most useful set of advices you can find in the subject.
Now, mostly I agree with what I read there, but I also have my own observations. Now I will share them with you.
First of all: the language you use.
Avoid using ridiculous comparisons, weird names for body parts and actions, medical language and vulgar or disgusting words. Also don’t stick to just one name of a body part.
Work on good taste when it comes to descriptions of bodies and actions.
Using strong language isn’t forbidden, but you need to adjust your vocabulary to the situation you describe, feelings of the characters and nature of your story. When you describe particularly passionate sex you can go into more crude language. For example (yes, it is gay sex scene, because sex is universal):
“He rammed himself into his lover and wasted no time, his passion burned like fire when he moved fast, with barely contained might. His lover’s muscles tensed but the other man threw his head back and uttered a short growl.”
If you write about violent situation, using vulgar or disgusting words is excused. Another example (note, I do not support sexual violence but I create this example just for sake of the exercise):
“His victim cried in protest when he just nailed her and began to fuck her, he just wanted to hurt that little whore so she would remember him well.”
If it’ll make you feel better, you may later make the offender pay dearly for his actions.
Also using just one word for a body part isn’t the best of ideas. If you only say “pussy” and “cock” for body parts and “fuck” for sex – then either don’t use any names at all or get yourself a thesaurus. I myself usually drop the lecture the moment I see that the author used immature language where someone “shoves his dick into her pussy” and then “fucks her until he cums”. I simply gag when I read yet another scene that uses slang and nothing but slang. This is one of the ways you DO NOT write a sex scene, it totally kills the mood. Remember to use varied vocabulary.
Another way to just murder the atmosphere is to use ridiculous names and descriptions. Consider this:
“He licked her nipples that looked like candied raspberries while he slid his wild lizard of love into her moist chasm of passion.”
You don’t want to do this, unless you write down a cheap erotic novel or parody.
Another example is using medically-gynaecological phraseology.
“She inserted his penis in her vagina and began friction moves.”
As hot as a dead fish, won’t you agree? This is good for sex-ed lesson, not smut scene.
So… how to write down a sex scene?
Let’s start with eroticism. People usually confuse it with nudity and wagging private body parts or taking ridiculous poses that may seem to be good idea but in reality it just looks weird.
Important thing: NUDITY ≠ EROTIC.
Again: bare arse is not sexy in itself; it is just place where the farts come from. Neither are boobs – that’s just milk factory.
You have to put it in context so it can gain any sexual value. Also naked woman or man is not hot. Sometimes people in clothes can be far more sexually attractive than someone without clothes. If you want make someone naked sexy, get him dressed first and then make them undress, it’s all about revealing something that was previously hidden. If you start with someone who is already naked, cover them in some way, it may be just dark room where the light will simply reveal some details while the shadows cover others. I know that most men are all about watching, but touching is so much more fun. Eroticism is a game of imagination.
“He was hiding in the shadows but pale moonlight revealed his silhouette, he moved with grace of a wild cat under the cover of darkness.”
“Her curves were covered in loose silk dress that flown from her body like waterfall, every move made the light fabric to move slightly around her but never revealed enough leaving wide field for imagination. There was only way to confirm the wild guesses.”
Another trick is to make a neutral body part charged sexually. Take an ankle, it’s a joint, easy to injure, but consider something like this:
“He observed her figure: she had medium length pencil skirt, her light beige stockings enveloped her shapely legs while her feed disappeared in her cute looking shoes on not too high heels, her ankles arched slightly and their outlines ran smoothly up, her feel moved gracefully when she walked. He could imagine how these divine ankles would fit in his hands; he almost felt how smooth they were.”
You don’t have to think a lot about where these touches would lead, do you now?
Another issue is reality versus fiction. By fiction I mean simply porn, and by reality I mean the everyday sex that “regular” people have.
Starting with porn: it’s not real. People don’t have sex that way. No one switches their position ten times in a row (so the camera operator can take a better angle). In porn film all is made for show. Plus people in it are professionals, they’re actors (yes even a porn star has to be at least decent actor or actress), they have experience with weird positions, they wear make-up and use lubricants (seriously you didn’t think they really feel so horny after who knows how many hours of humping before camera?). Home-made porn is another story, but still it is deliberately made sex tape meant to be just that: a sex tape. It’s all for show (even if meant to be watched by its creators exclusively).
Then we have the ordinary, everyday (or every night) sex. In one book that I’ve read (“Sweet Silver Blues” by Glenn Cook) one of characters speaks words of wisdom about fornication: “(…) there is no sight more ridiculous than people coupling.”
There is even an anecdote about how ludicrous sexual act looks like.
Once, in an advanced age the philosopher Immanuel Kant received a gift from his students – a date with a prostitute. He gladly used this opportunity to find out what was so amazing in physical love. After finishing his, a-hem, empiric experiment, he left the brothel and his students asked him how he liked it. It is said that his answer was concise yet thorough: “The thing in itself is rather pleasant, though the movements unworthy of a philosopher.”1)
Then what to do? Porn is not real enough, real sex is just boring and dippy (unless something unexpected and funny happens). You simply go the middle way. You take the real sex and spice it up a bit. Avoid Viagra induced boning filled with typical porn dialogues/monologues that go like: “Oh Yeah! Faster, faster, harder, harder, deeper, deeper!” or something close to it. Even if your character actually took Viagra or another boner drug, loose the cheesy porn lines. You may keep moans and grunts though (they’re sexy, especially grunts), and don’t make your characters mute, people do talk during sex, they just don’t speak in porn lingo. It’s more likely that they will ask “Did you closed the front door?” or “Are you sure we won’t wake up your kids/parents?” than “Do you like my big cock?” and in any case the answer probably will be “Yup.”
You may also include other sensations, like smells and texture, but keep it in moderation.
And how about the sex in itself?
To have sex you need to have desire first, so take your time to build up the desire. Take your sweet time torturing your characters, don’t make them jump to the bed (or wherever) the moment they decided they are horny for each other. Allow them to suffer for a bit. Make it few days at least, maybe longer. Let them realise that they do want each other, that they do feel the sweet, sweet desire.
“He could smell her perfumes everywhere; his memory tormented him with silky texture of her hair. Her voice rang in his ears. There was no point in denying – he was obsessed. He needed to do something about it or else he would lose his mind. The mere fantasy of holding her in his arms set his blood aflame.”
This guy can imagine the sweet time he would have with his lady, but he still needs to get there. Remember, women are not granted prizes for men. Men need to get the lady’s attention, that’s half of the fun – to make them come together.
If your couple is already established, make the foreplay last, built up the sexual tension. Let them enjoy the look and feel of each other before they engage in happy humping.
“She smiled when he kissed her shoulders and neck. It was always the game of teasing and she knew the rules just as well as he did. Her palms gently moved down his chest and reached his waist where they circled him only to find his spine and slowly tickle their way up in one smooth motion.”
This pair knows each other well, they know their sweet spots, but they always play with each other so the sex won’t get boring. Make your characters enjoy the familiarity of each other but keep them re-discover their bodies.
If you want your couple to go wild, make them hungry of each other. Double the passion so the reader feels the rush, the trembling and the impatience. They just so hot for each other that they can’t wait any longer, fine, but it’s not mechanical fornication, there must be passion (even if they’re not meant to be couple). It doesn’t matter if they’re just doing it for the first time or if they’re already a couple. Make them burn.
“They didn’t want to wait any longer. Their bodies craved for each other. Like two addicts they just needed another hit. That was all they could focus on. They didn’t care if anyone would see or hear them. The only thing that mattered was to drown in their little world of pleasure.”
They’re probably doing it in public restroom. And knowing how cruel life is, there’s probably someone in the next stall (trying not to die of either embarrassment or laughter; or wanking).
And now the most important trick about writing a sex scene.
You do not write about physiological act of copulation, you do not write about the physical exercise of two or more people. Writing a sex scene is not about making a description of what people do with their genitals. Because sex is not in rubbing groins, it’s all in the head. And thus you have to write about what is going on in your characters’ heads, not just what they do with their bodies.
In practice it’s that you write that they have sex, you tell your readers what are they doing, what position they’re doing it in, but writing about them humping up and down (or side to side) is simply boring and having sex takes time. Sure it can be a quickie, but even then it lasts few minutes. You can mention squeaking mattress or thumping stall door, but that won’t do for a full sex scene. You need to tell people how your characters feel, what they think; you need to get into their heads more than you need to get down to their happy parts.
Let’s take another example.
“He entered her slowly and established his pace; it was pure bliss to finally be able to melt with her. Her skin was so soft and her body so welcoming. Finally he could show her just how much he wanted her with every move he made. Showing her that no other man could compare with him.
She felt wonderful, he was so passionate and yet caring, making sure not to hurt her but using just enough force for that amazing thrill. She just adored how he moved. His every touch made her feel like in paradise. She thought she could just drown in his arms, until a wicket little thought entered her mind. She reached with her toe and tickled the sole of his foot, in the moment of utter surprise she used his elevated position to topple him and roll into new position. Now she could take the lead.
He squeaked in shock and then before he could protest, she was on top of him, straddling him with mischievous smirk. He didn’t mind, the new position gave him divine sight of her body moving above him.
“Like what you see?” She asked moving is lazy pace.
“You bet.” He reached for her breasts to take full advantage of the new arrangement.”
Here you have combined description of character’s thought process, short dialogue and actions. Mind that I didn’t used even one word to describe their intimate parts – there was no need, you already know what they’re doing and with what. What make the sex in sex scene: is them playing a game, having fun with their intimate contact. And that’s also what you should have writing sex scene – plenty of fun.
1) Translation by me.
A downloadable PDF version in here: http://czarnaarcher.deviantart.com/art/Sex-Scene-Tutorial-483070617
Thank you, Each author should heed this tips.