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How to Write a Toe-Curling Sex Scene That Blows Reader’s Minds

Let’s face it: a good sex scene is one of the most challenging things to write.

How do write an original, tasteful sex scene that’s completely unforgettable? Without being too vulgar?

For some writers, the challenge isn’t the description. It’s the taboo. The potential embarrassment. The sheer privacy of the act that makes it difficult for them to write about it.

In this article I’m going to give you the complete guide to writing an amazing sex scene.

Why Writing Sex Scenes is So Hard

No pun intended 😉

The reason writing sex scenes is so hard is because everything else in the story is stripped away. All you have to work with is the characters and their emotions. There’s nowhere to hide as a writer.

There is generally be very little dialogue. And few interruptions from other characters or action moving the story forward. Sex scenes are an interaction between two characters unlike any other you will write.

For some writers, sex scenes are hard to write because it’s such an intensely personal act. Sharing your thoughts, fantasies and experiences about sex with your readers isn’t easy.

Some writers find it liberating. But for others it’s painful. It all depends on your personal feelings about sex and your level of experience with it.

But have no fear! I’m going to share advice here that will make writing sex scenes easier for you. No matter your outlook on the subject.

Remember that if you don’t feel comfortable writing sex scenes, you don’t have to. It is not a requirement for most fiction.

But you should at least give it a couple tries if it could fit into your story. You can always delete what you write if you don’t like it.

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Does Your Story Need a Sex Scene?

This is the first question you should be asking yourself.

Just because you have written a great story with some fine characters doesn’t mean they have to bump uglies. Many stories are fine without a sex scene.

Sex scenes should never be forced. Don’t write one only to try and “sell” the story by including sex. Readers are smart, and they’ll see right through you.

Forced sex scenes will call attention to themselves and pull your reader right out of the story. And that’s not good.

Your sex scenes should feel “natural” and blend in with the rest of the tempo and tone of the story. It should feel like a natural progression in the relationship between the characters. Not like they did it just for kicks.

You should ask the question “Has sex changed anything between the characters?” If nothing has changed, then delete the scene.

You can replace it with something as innocent as a kiss. Or simply close the door and leave the rest to your reader’s imagination.

How to Write a Balanced Sex Scene

The first thing to understand about writing a good sex scene is that it’s a balance of two things — body and emotion.

The two participants perform explicit acts with their bodies during sex. And having sex generates certain emotions in each of the characters participating.

Let’s take a look at the different kinds of sex scenes.

The Five Categories of Sex Scenes

Here are the five categories of sex scenes depending on the balance of body and emotions.

Porn — 100% Body, 0% Emotion

Erotica — 75% Body, 25% Emotion

Adult — 50% Body, 50% Emotion

Young Adult — 25% Body, 75% Emotion

Disney — 0% Body, 100% Emotion

It all depends how much emphasis and description you put on the character’s bodies and emotions.

Let’s say your sex scene is super raunchy and full of explicit detail about your character’s private parts. You’re either writing erotica or a script for a porno shoot.

But what if it’s more focused on the emotions of the two characters kissing or having sex for the first time? Then you’re probably writing for a much younger crowd.

If you’re writing at either extreme of the scale, what to focus on is pretty obvious. That’ll make writing those types of scenes easier.

But most of you will be writing something for the adult or young adult audience. That’s where the balance gets a little tricky.

The rest of this article will help you find the proper balance of body and emotion when writing sex scenes.

Why Great Characters are Essential to Great Sex Scenes

Sex scenes in fiction are more about the characters having sex than the actual sex they’re having.

Don’t try to write about having sex. Write about specific characters having sex.

Almost everyone wants to have sex. But you need to show why your characters want to have sex with each other.

What do those characters want from the sexual encounter and how do they go about trying to get it?

Great sex scenes aren’t about anatomy, they’re about the characters involved.

Consider how the sexual encounter reflects their needs and desires. Or their inner lives, outer lives, and ongoing circumstances.

Once you start to think about it in this way, writing a sex scene will never be the same for you again. It’ll never be a mere physical act void of character.

Remember that people aren’t objects. Men aren’t silly, sex-crazed fools cartoonishly overcome with lust. And women aren’t helpless dolls or damsels in distress waiting for some big strong man to come rip her clothes off.

In real life people are much more multi-dimensional than that. And so are their desires for sex.

How to Show Character Depth Through Sex Scenes

Sex scenes are a wonderful opportunity to show character depth. You should reveal more about the characters personality as you reveal more of their skin.

Characters may surprise you and be more raw and vulnerable than you’d expect. They might reveal a side of themselves they don’t normally show others.

A confident man may have a moment of awkwardness or doubt. He may have trouble performing the deed due to a bad experience from his childhood.

A shy woman might turn out to be a total minx in the sheets. She’ll show her playful, mischievous side that takes readers by surprise.

Revelations of character will make your readers love your characters more. Readers want characters who are emotionally attractive, not just physically attractive.

And this level of honesty and intimacy is the perfect way to do it.

How to Build Anticipation for Your Sex Scenes

In order for the sex scene to have the most dramatic impact, you have to build anticipation for it. Your reader has to be eagerly waiting for it happen.

Like the rest of the story, you build up slowly and continually escalate until you reach climax. Same theory applies here.

If your characters are having sex before the 50% mark of the story, you’re escalating way too soon. You need to build up the sexual tension some more before you release it.

Think about what happens when you go on a first date. You don’t ring the doorbell and jump their bones the moment you see them. Neither should your characters.

Instead, show them eating, drinking, dancing, playing, flirting, teasing and kissing before you get to the hot and heavy stuff.

Tease, Then Separate

One of the best ways to build anticipation is to tease, then separate.

Tease the reader with a potential hookup between two flirting characters. Then separate them for some reason related to the plot.

One TV series did this for FIVE LONG YEARS before finally letting a long awaited romance bloom.

Longmire, is a crime/detective series based out in rural Wyoming. Sheriff Walt Longmire struggles to maintain order. All the while dealing with the loss of his wife a year earlier.

With the help of a younger female deputy named Vic, he feels reinvigorated and commits to running for re-election.

These two characters tease the audience for hours on end before finally hooking up. And it was well worth it once it happened.

But if they had hooked up in the first season, we would’ve lost all that tension created in seasons 2-5. The story would’ve focused more on the aftermath of the hookup instead.

How Character Tension Makes for Hot Sex Scenes

“Tease, then separate” is a great technique for building tension for the reader. But to take it a step further, you’ve got to create tension between the characters themselves.

The best way to do this is by making opposites attract.

One of my favorite writing quotes is by Linda Howard. She says, “If your hero is a firefighter, your heroine better be an arsonist.”

It’s a push-pull dynamic waiting to happen. Firefighter and arsonist. Cops and robbers. Cowboy and Indian. This helps to create a chase-and-be-chased of interaction that’s perfect for romance.

In the greater plot, the two opposites set up as enemies or opponents. But the development of a relationship between them raises some big questions for the plot.

When it comes down to the crucial moment, will love win out, or duty?

There are several movies that come to mind that absolutely nail this.

An English soldier and the daughter of an Indian chief share a romance when colonists invade 17th century Virginia.

This is cowboys and Indians, but colonial cowboys instead of the six-shooter type.

Want space cowboys and Indians? Ok, try Avatar.

Same basic setup. Two opposites from two opposing forces fall in love. When it hits the fan, who are they going to side with? Their lover? Or their people?

For a variation on this idea that builds tension to the max, watch Allied.

They’re already a married couple, so there’s no tension there. But his superiors suspect she’s a German spy playing for the other side.

If she is, he’s to kill her with his own hands. But if he doesn’t comply, he’ll be killed. Talk about tension!

How To Structure a Sex Scene

Now that you’ve built the proper anticipation and tension, it’s time to release it.

If by this point in your story the two characters haven’t kissed yet, you should probably have them do that first.

You can see my guide on how to write the perfect kissing scene here:

How to Write the Perfect Kissing Scene

For structuring the sex scene, you want to follow the structure of the sex act itself:

1) Foreplay
2) Sex
3) Climax
4) Cool Down

Let’s take a look at how to write each part.

Foreplay

Before any physically strenuous act, it’s important to get warmed up. A foreplay is the perfect example of how to get warmed up for sex.

The kissing scene you wrote above is a good start to some great foreplay. But here’s a short list of other ideas to help your characters warm up to the big act:

  • One character gives the other a striptease
  • The characters turn up the music and dance around the living room
  • One character assumes sexually suggestive poses (bending over, etc.)
  • Sex toys
  • Sexting
  • Surprise a character with a gift
  • Play footsie at dinner… or more
  • Plan the sex before hand
  • Have one character not wearing any underwear, and tell the other
  • Whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears
  • Bump and grind secretly in public before getting home
  • Have one character groom the other, shaving, waxing, etc.
  • Board games
  • Have one character make the other a drink
  • Pretend you’re strangers
  • Trail of rose petals leading into the bedroom
  • Restraints
  • Blindfolds
  • Have one character take charge and tell the other what to do
  • Have one character give the other a bath
  • Strip Poker, or strip anything
  • Play with their hair
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Lap dance
  • Dirty Talk
  • Tickle fight, playful wrestling

Read through any Cosmo mag and you’re bound to find a million other ideas. Try to be unique and write something original if you can.

Sex

For the sex act itself, we’ll get to describing that in a minute. That is the most important part and requires its own section on how to write it.

Climax

For the climax, you probably shouldn’t announce it. It depends on your audience and the tone and style of your story.

But as a general rule you should just show the character’s reactions and body language to it. Remember, show don’t tell.

The Cool Down

For the cool down phase, you’ve got several options.

Do your characters quietly fall asleep in each other’s arms?

Does one nod off while the other stays up all night analyzing their new change in relationship?

Or do they take a short break and do it all over again?

Some writers have trouble transitioning from the end of this scene to the next. If you do, try interrupting the pillow talk with a phone call or a knock at the door to keep things moving.

Mix Things Up and Be Original

With these four parts to a sex scene, it’s easy to fall into a trap. So many writers create standard sex scenes that are boring and predictable.

Kiss, grope, oral, sex, yada yada yada… we’ve all been there done that.

So don’t be predictable. Mix it up.

Your characters might make love before they kiss. Perhaps one has a fetish they’d like to explore. All it takes is one new element to change up the sex scene and make it unique.

How To Describe a Sex Scene

Now that you know how to structure the perfect sex scene, how do you go about describing it?

There are five key parts to describing a sex scene:

1) Action — What the characters are physically doing
2) Description — Details of the five senses
3) Exposition — information and context not ‘in scene’
4) Dialogue — the character’s external speech
5) Thoughts — the internal dialogue going on in their mind

Here is brief example of each:

He grabbed her by the waist, pulled her closer, and ran his fingers through her hair. It was chestnut brown, flowing, and smelled like lavender. He had never been with a woman of such beauty before. “So beautiful,” he delicately whispered in her ear. He wondered what a good looking uptown girl like her ever saw in a blue collar backstreet guy like him. ;-P

Action — He grabbed her by the waist, pulled her closer, and ran his fingers through her hair.

Description — It was chestnut brown, flowing, and smelled like lavender.

Exposition — He had never been with a woman of such beauty before.

Dialogue — “So beautiful,” he delicately whispered in her ear.

Thoughts — He wondered what a good looking uptown girl like her ever saw in a blue collar backstreet guy like him.

Look how much information is jam packed in five short sentences.

We have the physical action of him pulling her close and running his fingers through her hair. We know what her hair looks like, feels like, and smells like.

We also know she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever been with. Not just because of the exposition, but also because he says it.

Lastly, we know that there is some class differences because of his thoughts. Uptown girl meets backstreet guy.

To describe a sex scene, start with the main actions, then describe them and the characters. Pick a few points to reveal some exposition, but don’t overdo it.

Next you add in your character’s thoughts. They will think a lot more than they actually say, so start here and then filter for dialogue.

Then finally you add in the dialogue. It’ll mostly be compliments, instructions, dirty talk, or confessions of love.

Following these five steps will help you write a better sex scene. No matter what kind of love they’re making or where they’re making it.

10 Tips for Writing Great Sex Scenes

Here are 10 more tips for writing amazing sex scenes. Be sure to remember them when writing your next sex scene.

1) Use All Five Senses

Sex is much more than sight and touch. Sweat and saliva is the perfume of lovers, so be sure to include it.

Men and women both wear cologne and perfume. Describe what makes their chosen scents unique and intoxicating to their lovers.

But there are also other scents in a sex scene as well. First is the character’s body odor, and it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Particularly if one has been sweating and recently come home from the gym or work.

You also have the scent of the room. The candles, cookies baking in the oven, or the scent left from the fabric softener on the sheets.

Another thing to describe that you’ll find in the environment in the sound. It can be music or the TV playing in the background. Or the sound of strangers nearby if your characters are secretly having sex in public. Maybe it’s traffic noise from the street if the window has been left open. The options are endless.

When it comes to taste, mainly stick to something sweet. You can’t go wrong with honey or fruit. Make it pleasant.

2) Sex Can be Funny or Awkward Too

Think about the worst sex you’ve ever hard. There’s a good sex story buried somewhere in there. Or at least some funny or awkward detail you can use. So use it!

Think about what it’s like to have sex with someone new for the first time. Yes, there is certainly the thrill of experiencing a new lover and releasing all the built up tension.

But there is also the clumsiness of bad coordination and bumping into each other. It’s the awkwardness that comes along with exploring a new body for the first time.

Plus people often think a lot during sex, and not just about the sex they’re having. To do lists, remembering to take out the trash, that commercial for a new car they saw last night, etc.

While these kind of thoughts aren’t the best for new lovers, they are perfect for a couple that’s been married 30 years. It’s reality.

And don’t be afraid to make the awkwardness a little funny too. Characters can hit their head on a ceiling fan or get painful cramps in their feet in and make for some light humor.

But make sure it fits in with the rest of the tone of your story. Don’t write something over the top hilarious for a story that’s supposed to be a serious drama. It won’t fit in and will distract the reader.

3) Explore Different Places to Have Sex

Even if the sex itself is boring and predictable, one way make it new and exciting is a unique location for the act.

Sex doesn’t have to be restricted to the bedroom. Think of all the places you can have sex inside of a house. The living room, the kitchen, the shower, the garage, the back patio, the pool and so on.

Here’s a short list of other places your characters could have sex too:

  • Hotel Room
  • Rooftop Deck
  • Car
  • Beach
  • Movie Theater
  • Back Alley
  • Gym
  • Wilderness
  • Balcony
  • Boat
  • Elevator
  • Park or Playground
  • Restaurant
  • Dressing Room
  • Amusement Park
  • Sports Game
  • Train, Bus or Plane
  • Workplace

You’ve surely seen or read a sex scene taking place at one of these locales before.

But some can feel a little cliché. Especially the beach.

So be sure to explore locations within the main setting to keep your sex scene fresh and original.

Instead of sex on the beach with the waves crashing up against their bodies, try something else. Maybe your characters sneak off from a bonfire and climb up into the lifeguard tower and have sex there.

Instead of a car, why not a police car? Or in a car wash? Instead of sex in the office of a bank, why not the safety deposit vault? The options are endless when you use a little imagination.

4) Stay In One Person’s Head at a Time

“Head-hopping” from one character’s thoughts to another is already frowned upon. And it’s especially jarring during a sex scene.

It’ll be confusing and make it much harder for your reader to get caught up in the moment.

Stick to one character’s point of view to avoid confusing your reader.

5) Don’t Be Predictable

We’ve all seen it before. The romantic candlelit dinner. A long walk on the beach. Some tender, affectionate banter. Cue the passionate first kiss and… BORING!

Instead of writing a scene that will obviously end in sex, twist the reader’s expectations.

Maybe the perfect date ends in complete disaster. Maybe the date from hell surprisingly turns into the best night ever.

Stereotypes and clichés are waiting to be broken.

Ask yourself “What does my reader expect the characters to do in this situation?”

Write down the obvious answer, and then make sure you do something different.

Provide an alternative, but make sure it’s still true to who the characters are. It shouldn’t feel “out of character”. Make it believable, but unexpected.

One way to twist your reader’s expectations isn’t where or how the characters have sex. It’s when they have sex.

Like sex after a funeral. Sex at the kid’s birthday party in the jumphouse while they’re opening presents.

Think about what your characters should be doing in this moment, and then do the opposite.

This will help you avoid being predictable. Because there’s nothing that turns your readers off like predictable sex.

6) Don’t Censor Yourself In Your First Draft

Writing sex scenes can be a little taboo or explicit. So some writers can get a little uncomfortable writing them.

But be careful that you don’t end up writing something watered down that doesn’t do your lovers justice. Don’t let your conscious get in the way.

Remember that writing is rewriting. Whether you’re writing fight scenes, death scenes, or sex scenes. So don’t hold back. Especially on the first draft.

You can always cut back. If some part of the sex scene isn’t working or is a little too much you can always remove it later.

One piece of advice others have used to help them write sex scenes is to have a few alcoholic drinks and write in private.

It helps to loosen you up and let your inhibition go. It might help you draw out a few golden nuggets that help your scene come together.

The best way of writing sex scenes is to do the first draft, orgasm, and then start editing. You can be objective post-orgasm. :-p

7) Change the Tempo and Rhythm

Good sex isn’t static. And your sex scene shouldn’t be either.

Sex has a rhythm to it. Much like dance. Speed up, then slow down. And every middle tempo between.

Watch this sexy dance below with this young couple.

Notice how the dance changes the tempo. It starts off slow, picks up speed, and then slows back down again. Over and over.

This is the same type of rhythmic pattern your sex scene should have too.

8) Consider Clear Consent

Here’s a question you didn’t think you’d have to ask yourself about your sex scene. Is clear consent is important to you as a writer?

But in today’s politically correct culture, it’s a question worth asking. Some writers make it blatantly obvious that both characters are 100% interested in having sex.

This is quite different from many scenes from the past with questionable consent. For the perfect example, look no further than the Christmas classic, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.

This song has been getting banned around the country lately. Some people think the lyrics don’t show clear consent on the part of the woman.

But as you see in the video above, it can be flipped around too. The man can be the one trying to leave, and the female is the one throwing herself at him and trying to convince him to stay.

All in all, it’s a game of cat and mouse. It’s the chase. There has to be a little conflict and some obstacles to the lovers coming together. It’s “Will they? Or won’t they?” writ large.

Also, make the characters at least 18 years old if they’re going to be having sex. Even if the age of consent in your area is lower.

Why? Because California is where Hollywood exists. And Hollywood is the titan of the movie industry. And there 18 is the legal age of consent. There are no close-in-age exemptions either.

That way your story will be well-received everywhere, no matter the age of consent.

9) Consider Safe Sex

You’ll also need to consider if you want your characters to address birth control and safe sex.

In real life, people often have “the talk” before having their first sexual activity with each other.

But in fiction, that can often make for an awkward conversation. It will pull your readers out of the moment.

They go on an amazing date, fall in love, and are about to get naked. Suddenly one of them asks “When was the last time you got tested for STDs?”

MAJOR mood killer. Imagine if James Bond did something like this. It would totally kill the scene, if not the entire movie.

But if the discussion of STDs and birth control is “in character” for your story, go for it.

Since “the talk” is typically a little awkward, it’s most often seen in comedies. The setup is ripe for jokes and comical tension.

Watch this scene below from The 40 Year Old Virgin:

Another time where “the talk” would be appropriate is virgins making love for the first time.

They’ve never done it before, and are nervous as hell.

All the thoughts about the Sex Ed class they took in the 5th grade would come rushing back to them.

10) Make Sure the Sex is Physically Possible

Here’s a hilarious way to spend your Saturday afternoon. Ask your partner to help you act out your character’s movements for their sex scene.

You’ll be surprised how many sexy movements you’ve written aren’t possible real life. Especially if one character is a lot taller than the other one.

Remember that often during sex you’re using at least one hand to support yourself and hold your body up.

But in badly written sex scenes a magical “third arm” will come out of nowhere and make the position possible.

And no, I don’t mean “that” third arm either.

If you don’t check your sex scenes for this, you might miss something that your readers will notice. It’ll break their suspension of disbelief and take them out of the scene.

Once you’ve done that, also check for continuity. If your hero’s hands were just groping her bosom, how did they suddenly get tangled in her hair?

Remember that this is literature, not film. So the reader won’t “see” the movement of the hands up to her hair unless you describe it.

How NOT to Write a Sex Scene

We’ve covered what you should do when writing sex scenes. Now it’s time go over what NOT to do as well.

Here are a few tips that will help you write better sex scenes.

There Are Certain Words You Just Shouldn’t Use

When writing sex scenes, there are some words you should avoid at all costs.

And that’s because while physical description doesn’t make a sex scene, it can certainly ruin one.

If you use too many metaphors or euphemisms, readers will laugh when they should be getting turned on.

“He plunged his throbbing manhood into her pulsating velvety folds” is an example. It’s going to get your sex scene laughed at for sure.

But being too literal with your word choice can have the same effect. “He inserted his erect penis into her vagina” doesn’t get your reader turned on either. It sounds like something from a textbook.

Purple prose will make people laugh, and beige prose will make them yawn. So be careful not to use either.

So never use the word penis or vagina. And don’t compare a character’s manhood to a magic wand or call it man meat.

And don’t compare her lady parts to a hot, wet flowery garden of delights either.

This problem often arises from focusing too much on the genitals. Instead you should focus on the lips, hair, skin, hands, etc.

Often you can leave the private parts out altogether.

Take a look at these two sentences below:

“She reached for my manhood.”

“She reached for me.”

See? The second one that leaves out the private part reference works just as well. Try to write your scenes this way too.

When it comes to dirty talk or the character’s thoughts describing the action, speak in the character’s voice.

Dirty talk isn’t for everyone. Not every character needs to talk in porn clichés and say “Give it to me big boy.”

So when writing a sex scene, ask yourself “What would this character say?” and write it like that.

That way you won’t jar your reader out of the story by having a character do a sudden 180 degree turn.

Lastly, there are some words you should use extreme caution with. They don’t paint a pleasant picture in your reader’s mind:

  • Gushing
  • Weeping
  • Seeping
  • Turgid
  • Swollen
  • Purple
  • Wrinkled
  • Tumescent
  • Pert
  • Member
  • Bosom
  • Butt
  • Splay

You get the idea. Be careful about your word choice, and try to keep the language simple, yet punchy and evocative.

Don’t Let Your Sex Scene Distract from the Story

One of the worst sins when writing sex scenes is when you let them distract from the main story you’re trying to tell.

Your sex scenes shouldn’t turn your story into a porno. They shouldn’t happen just to happen. They should move the story forward.

Remember that your story comes first. Always. You are telling a story. Not selling porn. Don’t forget it.

Also, your sex scenes should match the tone and style of the rest of your story. Otherwise they’ll feel out of place.

If you’re writing a comedy, the sex should be light and comical. If you’re writing romance, the sex should be hot, heavy and romantic.

But if you’re writing a serious drama, and your sex scene is something straight out of American Pie, you’ve got major problems.

So make sure that your story comes first, sex scene second. And that the sex scene doesn’t distract the reader from the story you’re trying to tell.

Don’t Repeat the Same Sex Scene Over and Over

Most stories will only have one sex scene. But if your plot requires more, make sure you don’t make the fatal mistake of repeating the same one over and over.

While sex is largely the same every time you have it, it is always personal and unique for every character. No two couples have the exact same sex. And neither should the couples in your story.

If it’s the same couple having sex, be sure to make each scene unique. Otherwise it’ll feel episodic like an adult film.

The motivations could be different. The experience could be different. The effect on the plot can be different, etc.

Try to do something other than change the location or who’s on top. Try to better integrate the sex scene with the rest of the story.

Examples of Bad Sex Scene Writing

Every year, Literary Review Magazine hands out their Bad Sex In Fiction Award.

They ‘honor’ the author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.

Here are some examples from previous winners of this hilarious award.

Bad Sex Scene Example #1

"‘You’re beautiful,’ she told him, going down on to her haunches and unzipping him. He watched her passport rise gradually out of the back pocket of her jeans in time with the rhythmic bobbing of her buttocks as she sucked him. He arched over her back and took hold of the passport before it landed on the pimpled floor. Despite the immediate circumstances, human nature obliged him to take a look at her passport photo."

Good God, how long are this man’s arms? And the urge to look at her passport photo? C’mon man you gotta be kidding me.

Bad Sex Scene Example #2

"Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone."

Really bad purple prose here. “Giggling snowball of full-figured copulation” and “clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation” are way over the top and completely unnecessary. 

Bad Sex Scene Example #3

"Bianca shivers with pleasure. Simon whispers to her with an authority that he has never felt before: ‘Let’s construct an assemblage.’

She gives him her mouth.

He tips her back and lays her on the dissecting table. She takes off her skirt, spreads her legs and tells him: ‘Fuck me like a machine.’ And while her breasts spill out, Simon begins to flow into her assemblage

Bianca grabs Simon’s dick, which is hot and hard as if it’s just come out of a steel forge, and connects it to her mouth-machine."

“Let’s construct an assemblage.”

Need I say more?

Examples of Good Sex Scene Writing

But there are plenty of examples of good sex scene writing as well.

Be sure to contrast these examples with the ones above. Try to determine what makes these scenes so much better.

Here are some examples from famous examples of great sex scenes.

Good Sex Scene Example #1

“I couldn’t get enough of him. I was tired and sore but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to sleep. I wanted the ache. I wanted him in me, all the time. His weight on top of me. I wanted to squeeze him in further and further. I wanted to watch his face. I wanted his sweat to drop onto me. I wanted to drop mine on him. I got on top of him. I’d never done it before. I couldn’t really believe it; I was doing this. I was inventing something. I held him and put him in. He felt deeper in me. I’ll never forget it. I was in charge and he liked it. I held his hands down. He pretended he was trying to break free. I let my tits touch his face. He went mad; he bucked. He split me in two. I pushed down. I couldn’t believe it. One of his fingers flicked over my bum. I did it to him. He lifted and heaved. I couldn’t believe it. There was no end to it, no end to the new things. He did something. I copied him. I did something. He did it back. He took me from behind. I pushed back, forced more of him into me. I sucked him. He licked me. I made him come on my stomach. He sucked my toes. The whole room rocked and Mrs. Doyle smiled at us every morning.”

Short, punchy, effective. Notice how the private parts were left out of the description. “I sucked him. He licked me.” Not purple prose here.

Good Sex Scene Example #2

"The length of her body is the simple answer to what I am missing. It’s an odd sensation to have something in your arms and to still be yearning for it and you lie there and feel the yearning subside slowly as the actual woman rises along your neck, chest, legs. We are drifting against each other now. Sex is the raft, but sleep is the ocean and the waves are coming up.… I run my hands along her bare back and down across her ribs and feel the two dimples in her hip, and my only thought is the same thought I’ve had a thousand times: I don’t remember this— I don’t remember this at all. Katie sits up and places her warm legs on each side of me, her breasts falling forward in the motion, and as she lifts herself ever so slightly in a way that is the exact synonym for losing my breath, we see something."

Notice the balance between the physical action and the emotions involved. Things happen, and then the point of view character reacts to them emotionally. 

This is how you should pace your sex scenes. Actions, and then the emotional reaction to them, which leads to more action.

Good Sex Scene Example #3

In his room, I stripped naked in one minute flat and lay on the bed.

“Pretty desperate, aren’t you?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“For God’s sake, why? We have plenty of time.”

“How long?”

“As long as you want it,” he said, ambiguously.

If he left me, in short, it would be my fault. Psychoanalysts are like that. Never fuck a psychoanalyst is my advice to all you young things out there. Anyway, it was no good. Or not much. He was only at half-mast and he thrashed around wildly inside me hoping I wouldn’t notice. I wound up with a tiny ripple of an orgasm and a very sore cunt. But somehow I was pleased. I’ll be able to get free of him now, I thought; he isn’t a good lay. I’ll be able to forget him.

“What are you thinking?” he asked.

“That I’ve been well and truly fucked.” I remembered having used the same phrase with Bennett once, when it was much more true.

“You’re a liar and a hypocrite. What do you want to lie for? I know I haven’t fucked you properly. I can do much better than that.”

I was caught up short by his candor. “OK,” I confessed glumly, “you haven’t fucked me properly. I admit it.”

This is a good example of integrating dialogue into the sex scene. And it’s also a good example of how the description of the sex scene doesn’t have to be a mile long.

Why did the author make that choice? Well, probably because the sex was bad. No reader wants a three page description of bad sex. And neither did the main character. So in describing it, she made it short as possible.

Sex Scene Writing Prompts

Maybe you’re not quite ready to write the hot sex scene for that novel you’ve been working on. Perhaps you’d like to get a little practice first.

If that’s the case, here are some tips to help you practice writing good sex scenes for your stories.

Sex Scene Writing Prompt #1: Rewrite Your Favorite Sex Scenes

You’ve probably come across some hot sex scenes in other novels you’ve read. It can help you practice by copying those scenes down, word for word.

By writing another author’s words, you’ll practice writing in their voice. It’ll help you to get feeling for the flow of action and description used in writing them.

You should pick up some of their skill in writing good sex scenes too.

Sex Scene Writing Prompt #2: Describe Sex Scenes From Movies

I’m sure you’ve seen some good sex scenes from your favorite movies. For some extra practice, try your hand and describing them in detail like you were writing them for a novel.

If you can’t think of any good sex scenes to start with, here are a few that work as good examples to get started with.

Dirty Dancing gives you a scene that’s romantic and passionate. 

Crank gives you a scene that’s funny.

And Boogie Nights gives you something in between. But you’ll probably have to look on some adult sites if you want to find that clip 😉

Sex Scene Writing Prompt #3: Write Imaginary Sex Scenes

If you don’t have characters to write a sex scene with, you can always write imaginary scenes between two characters you already know.

These can be characters from fiction or people from your real life.

Imagine two heroes from the marvel universe hooking up. Or how about two friends from real life who haven’t gotten together yet.

Knowing what you know about them, how do you feel a sex scene between them would go? Would it be serious and sexy? Or comical and funny?

You get to decide.

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