Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Writing Sex

I’ve heard the opinion often enough that what we write is porn or nothing more than sex scenes strung together one after the other for no logical reason.

Writing sex is hard, er, difficult. It’s not a matter of sitting down and typing the same intercourse scene over and over. Although I have read those books and they bore me to tears. Writing a good sex scene, one that the reader has to stop at the end of because she’s tingly and a bit out of breath, is much more difficult than most other things about writing. Because sex in a book should have a purpose.

Now, sometimes that purpose is to get your heroine off. And that’s okay. But the best thing about a sex scene is that sex is rife with opportunity for depth of emotion. You can have major breakthroughs for your character, big emotions communicated without a single word spoken, deep insight into the main character - a good sex scene will leave you more than tingly, it’ll communicate something to you.

There’s a scene in Emma Holly’s, Personal Assets that is probably one of my top five favorite sex scenes ever written. Bea, the heroine of sorts, is under David’s desk and someone is in his office so she has to be quiet. Okay, so you know what happens next, that’s obvious of course. But Holly takes the office sex cliche and puts a twist on it.

With David’s cock in her mouth, we see how much Bea yearns for this man who appears unobtainable to her. Her yearning for him is so huge that it takes your breath away as you read. And we’re in David’s head and we can see how tempted he is but also how conflicted as well.

All in all, I think the depth of yearning by both characters against the backdrop of this scene where neither can speak of it for a whole host of reasons is a great example of writing good sex.

What about you all? What are some of your favorite scenes and why?

I'll run a contest! I've got a book coming out tomorrow, Fire and Rain. I'll choose a winner of an ARC from all answers posted at say, hmm 7 pm pacific/9 eastern!

Good luck!


Carolan Ivey said...

One of the most powerful sex scenes I've read was one in a book by Kathleen Eagle (I think the title was even "Fire and Rain", if I recall correctly!). The hero was a recovering alcholic who had been unfaithful to his wife in the past, and they had divorced over it. Trouble with their child brought them back into contact, and eventually to a complicated reconciliation - and that "reconciliation" scene brought tears to my eyes.

Cherie J said...

I think you do a wonderful job of writing sex scenes Lauren. They are very emotionally charged, an expression of love between the characters as it should be. I can't stand books that have these wham bam thank you ma'am type sex scenes. I always feel cheated by them. J.J. Massa also does some great emotionally charged sex scenes. Just the type of scene that helps build the relationship between the characters.

Cathy said...

I agree with Cherie about your sex scenes. They are intense and sexy and have such a great emotional connection that really works for me. Another author that does it so right, is Sarah McCarty. All her titles are wow for me, especially her Promise series. She writes about love/sex/trust/ and always pushes the sexual limits but it is done in a totally committed relationship with a definite HEA which I love.

nascarandbeans said...

I totally agree with the other posters your scenes are great.. and i too adore Sarah Mccartys work.
I have most all her books and love them.
congrats on the new release..Jolene

Sue A. said...

I also read Emma Holly and truly believe that the reason her sex scenes are so hot is because of the underlining feelings the characters have for each other. Without emotion, sex can be cold and clinical.

Cathy said...

Another author on my keeper shelf is Robin Schone. I love how she writes her sex scenes but I found that the nitty gritty realism of sex during that time period puts me off a bit, and I hardly ever reread her stories.

Michele said...

I can only agree with everyone's comments.
Between you Lauren, and Emma, you've both proved that writing sex scenes can be love scenes.
If we are emotionally thrilled that the characters are reaching out to each other in such a profound way and we FEEL that connection, then it's a joy to read.
And you have never disappointed your readers.

Pamk said...

Any in Lora Leigh's books. And sarah mccarty promises so much emotion in them.s

Denise A. Agnew said...

Ditto everyone! There are so many great love scenes written out there by authors who take the time to make sure the sex is a part of the emotion, and the emotion is part of the sex. Without the two tied together, the depth of the scene and the desire to read more can fall flat.

Denise A. Agnew

TJ Michaels said...

Congrats, Cathy!



I have to say that some writers don't only emphasize sex but the storyline and emotions of the characters are strongly written.. Just as some else says Lora Leigh is one of those authors.

Jennifer L. said...

The desk scene in Personal Assets is one of my all time favorites too! Another book that has some of the most powerful sex scenes is Menage by Emma Holly AGAIN! The emotional and sexual connection between the main characters is fascinating!

Shuck Ying said...

I appreciate a good sex scene like any other person but if it was all about sex and not much substance in the book then I would not read it. So it's got to have a storyline.

blackroze37 said...

the slow making love,
the making love,,
the fast making love,
then harder faster ,
then the move ur azz over-
i cant see tv sex