How Not to Write Sex Tip #1: Be aware of moving parts & don’t be afraid of flab.
Okay, so my local RWA ladies are starting their own private blog where I’ll be posting this sex writing series. But I figured why not share that with all of you on my own blog.
How Not to Write Sex
Tip #1: Be aware of moving parts and don’t be afraid of flab.
Choreographing intimacy is no small feat. Unless you’re writing a zero-gravity sex scene set in outer space for romantic fantasy please be aware that gravity exists. A woman lying on her back will not have her breasts jutting upward but rather outward—with the exception of breast implants. They don’t move, wiggle, and physics don’t seem to apply. If you need examples of how real breasts look and move, feel free to watch The Tudors on Netflix. There is no shortage of real breasts in this series, especially season four with Catherine Howard. One to the reasons I love this series is that they stay true to the time period and the lack of breast enhancements.
Not everyone is blessed with breasts the size of cantaloupes or a six pack. Body parts can be flabby in real life and when writing we can use that natural “jiggle” to our advantage. Voluptuous is sexy. Having curves to grab onto is really hawt. One only has to look at the Renaissance when paintings depicted full-figured women as the epitome of sexy.
As writers we know that to show we use the senses—touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing can provide powerful sensory descriptions that catapult readers into a scene. Describing how the body moves while being aware of our body’s imperfections but writing them in a sensuous way can add authenticity to our sex scenes.
The human body is a natural, beautiful, and mysterious thing. Be aware of its anatomy, how it moves, and how that translates on the page as you’re writing a sex scene. Remember it’s all about the choreography and the chemistry between your characters and why they are having sex in the first place.
I read and sometimes review literary erotica. One of the my favorite stories that explores the body, how natural it is, and aging is Meeting Myself by Anya Levin in the BIG BOOK OF ORGASMS, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Cleis Press). It’s a story about self-exploration after she lost her husband. This exploration is not about the breasts but the vagina. And a lot can learned about writing realistic body description from this story.
Whether writing the male or female body, don’t be afraid to write a character with a body flaw that anyone can identify with. It makes your character feel three dimension or real because they are relatable. The key to pulling it off is to make the flaw sexy or have the character face the flaw. How does the character view their flaw? How does their partner view it? Does it add an obstacle or conflict to overcome during sex? Does it add humor to sex?
Sex is organic. So sex tip number one is know your anatomy and don’t be afraid of writing the human body the way it really is. Or rather don’t write Mary Sue sexual stereotypes that readers won’t relate to. If you’re afraid to put this on the page it will come across as uncomfortable. Explore what makes you uncomfortable and then write outside that comfort zone. If it makes the readers squirm in their seats that’s a good thing!