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Avoid Limping Love Scenes

legs-459660_1920Recently, I read to my critique group, and they started hootin’ and howlin’ like a bunch of drunken teenage girls. All because of my candy-ass sex scene.

I guess I’m sort of a prude. I don’t like writing about graphic sex. Reading, yes, but when it comes to him touching her whatever, or her doing X to his anything, it’s difficult for me. My mom’s still alive, for crying out loud, and she reads my stuff. And my kids! No, no, no.

Look, I was young in the 1960s. Sex, drugs, rock and roll, baby. But that was forty-plus years ago. Strangely, I’m more modest now.

Anyway, here’s the limping sex scene:

“…he tipped her chin up and kissed her, exploring her mouth with his tongue. She felt the heat begin, from her breasts, to her belly, to below.”

The word “below” is what got the girls all rowdy. They said it sounded Victorian, and I needed to be much more graphic. Then they started shouting out examples, which got progressively more outlandish and amusing, as my face got redder and redder. But I stood my ground. I swear to God, I refuse to include wet panties or furry mound in this book, and probably any other that I write.

But I read somewhere that a sex scene has to be like any other: it must advance the story. Also, according to this great article, by Jessi Rita Hoffman, it’s really more about what you don’t say. And the buildup before.

See, there’s a lot to learn about writing sex and love scenes. So get your fans out, blushing readers, and educate yourself. I’ve included some links below, and they’re fun to read because the writers are apparently so embarrassed they’re all reaching for jokiness. Enjoy the research! (This post was shared by Lynne Spreen.)

Sex in Fiction–Do They or Don’t They?

How to Write a Good Sex Scene by G. Doucette

Twenty Steps to Writing Great Love Scenes by Karen Wiesner


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