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Writing Sex Scenes

There’s a thread on one of the writer forums I’m on where we’re talking about love scenes. Every writer has a different approach to writing sex scenes. Here’s what I said:

“I love writing love scenes, which is probably why I write erotic romance. It’s so honest. The body doesn’t lie. Whatever a character is really feeling and thinking will appear in the scene in some way.

“If I really know the characters well, the scenes practically write themselves. If I haven’t worked out some element of characterization, I struggle, and it comes out more like porn. I don’t have the ability yet to write a scene and then add in the emotion – each gesture and caress comes from the history the characters share, the things they want to express to each other, and the fantasies that they love the most.”

That’s the key to how I write explicit content, right there. The characterization can’t be separated from the mechanics of the sex and feel authentic to me. The only time I do any advance choreography is when I’m writing a threeway, because otherwise I do lose track of elbows. And I admit that I always write f/f erotica in first person because otherwise I trip over the pronouns. But that’s as far as it goes, planning-wise. Every other thing has to come from the characters themselves.

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