Roni Loren’s Sex Scene advice


So what exactly constitutes a love scene? Are they only
important for those of us writing romance? Of course not.
A love scene can involve any number of things. It could
be that kiss that your readers have been rooting for since page three or it can
be full out swinging from the chandeliers romp (I’ll talk more about how to
choose the level of heat on Friday). But regardless of the type you’re writing,
it can make or break a story. Nothing will make me put a book down faster than a
cheesy or non-emotionally engaging love scene.
So let’s look at what can cause a lackluster scene and
then what you can do to make it sparkle so that your readers remember that
moment long after putting down the book.
What can turn a hot moment cold?
You’re squeamish
If you, the author, are not comfortable with the scene,
your readers will be able to tell. Do not write an erotic romance if the thought
of typing out four-letter words in a sex scene makes you cringe.
Shallow POV
The reader needs to feel like she is in the moment with
the characters. So make sure you use Deep POV effectively and don’t pull out of
Lack of character development
If your characters are flat, their love scene will be
as well. We need to be invested in the characters.
You haven’t established sufficient motivation for
the scene.
Don’t have them kiss/jump in bed/etc. just because it
feels like a good time. Make sure we know why they are doing this now.
That doesn’t mean that things can’t happen fast. Many romances have a love
scene very early, but you have to establish the WHY and get us connected to the
characters before that moment happens.
You haven’t raised the stakes
The risk of them getting together is nil and therefore
uninteresting. What consequences could happen now that they are giving in to
their love/desire for each other?
No change happens.
Love scenes should change the people involved–be that
good or bad.
The scene lacks emotion.
All we have is description of the physical acts and not
what’s going on in their heads and hearts. This can turn a great sensual scene
into gratuitous (and boring) porn. *yawn*
So what are some ways to make sure your love scene gets
readers’ hearts racing?

Make sure you’ve sufficiently built up
This is beyond VITAL. Without tension build up, a love
scene won’t mean anything. See this post.

Write in emotions.
Tell us what’s running through your character’s mind.
Often the emotions in this type of scene will be mixed, but let the reader know
what’s going on. THIS is the whole point of the love scene–how it affects the
Love scenes should be tailor-made
You should not be able to cut and paste a love scene
and drop into a different story. Only these two characters could have this exact
Conflict should still be present.
If both love each other, have no obstacles, and jump in
bed–snore. They have to be risking something. Otherwise, it’s just two people
doing it.
Use dialogue.
I love using dialogue in a love scene. Teasing words
can be great for tension. Dirty talk (a personal favorite of my hero in
Exposure Therapy) can be fun because often it’s pushing the other
character out of their comfort zone.
A sense of humor can come in handy
Love scenes don’t have to be totally serious. Kissing
or getting naked with someone can be awkward and a little humor and sarcasm can
help ease nerves and bring the characters closer together. I find playful
sarcasm sneaking into most of my love scenes. It’s okay for them to laugh,
Write what you feel comfortable with and what is
right for the characters
Love scenes don’t have to be fully described (although
they can be). You can shut the door and fade to black. It can be a simple kiss.
You have to be comfy with the amount you’re letting your reader see. And make
sure it’s appropriate for your character. If you’re character is a virgin, don’t
write a scene where she acts like a pro.
Don’t fear the naughty. If your story calls for a
little or a lot of dirty, and you feel comfortable writing that type of scene go
for it.
If your hero is a notorious badass and playboy, he’s
probably going to be a little raunchier in bed. And raunchy doesn’t have to mean
it’s porn. If you put in emotion and have built appropriate tension, even a
threesome with all the four letter words used can be engaging and romantic.
(Really, I promise.) And stop worrying about if your grandmother is going to
read it. You’re an adult, get over it. :p
Remember the POV you’re writing in.
If you are in the hero’s point of view, remember that
guys are going to think in a different way than the woman. He’s probably not
having flowery thoughts (maybe love thoughts, but not flowery). And he’s
hopefully not going to refer to his uh, friend, as his love sword in his head,
Speaking of love swords…
Don’t use cheesy euphemisms and purple prose. You don’t
have to use the clinical or crude terms (although you can depending on what
you’re writing), but use ones that don’t make your readers laugh or roll their
Make sure it’s the right time.
Don’t put in a love scene just cause you think you need
one. Motivate it properly. And it MUST move the plot forward and change the
people involved in some way. Every scene has to have that
Sources: Writing
Erotic Romance
and Fiction Factor.
Another great source (for the 18 and up crowd) author Stacia Kane’s Sex Writing
series of blogs.
And last bit of advice: if your heart isn’t racing
while you write the scene, you’re doing something wrong. You should be
anticipating that scene as much as you want your reader to. The first love scene
I wrote for my romance, I was sweating by the end of it, lol.
So do you have any tips on writing these scenes? Do
you find them difficult to write? (For me they are hard, but so much fun at the
same time.) What’s one of your favorite love scenes from a book/movie/tv show?
Which author do you think writes the best sexual tension/love