Sex is awesome.
It’s dynamic, sexy and it makes things more interesting pretty much every time.
I have recently been writing an novel/la that involves a bunch of sex and I’ve been learning as I go about the ways in which I want to approach it. I don’t read a lot of erotica or romance novels or even loads of stories in which there is a lot of sex, but I’ve still read enough to know what I like and what I don’t.
So here’s Star’s Dos & Don’ts for sex in stories:
Don’t use terms like throbbing member or glistening folds or heaving bosom. I’m sure the first time someone wrote that it was novel and maybe even evocative (probably not though) but by now it’s just dumb.
Don’t make sex sound pedestrian or clinical. Anyone can use the words penis and vagina and tits and ass, but if you use the words too much they’re excessive and if you use them only once in awhile then they can be jarring. There are always exceptions of course, like if you’re meaning to be shocking or you’re writing about medical kinks.
Don’t make sex a toss away. Don’t just throw it in to be evocative, make it mean something. Even if that something is that it means nothing, that’s better than just sticking it in where it otherwise might not belong.
Remember your most exciting sexual experiences, what do you recall? Was it the tension of the moment before the electric union? Was it the thrill of a glance across a room? Was it a subtle gesture? Was it the fun after a particularly cerebral relationship? Don’t be shy, use your experiences and your fantasies to your benefit and focus in on the things that matter most.
Think outside yourself. Now that we have you thinking about your own experiences, think beyond that (unless of course you’re sex connoisseur and have tried everything imaginable). Don’t be afraid of experimenting with orgies and same sex partners, kinks and fantasies. Don’t go overboard (unless you’re writing erotica) but don’t be afraid to add a little extra.
Use sexy language. I don’t mean dirty talk ‘ooh ooh you are such a sexy beast’, I mean find the poetry in the moment. Think about metaphor and rhythm and try to match your tone to the pace you want to achieve. Remember you are a wordsmith and you have free reign over the language, explore it, get sexy and have fun!
Finally and most importantly, investigate the relationships and how your characters interact. Explore more than their physiological feelings in the moment and see what happens. Sometimes the best sex is with someone you’ve known and loved for years, other times that could be fraught with problems. Find out what motivates the sex and that will set the tone. It doesn’t always have to be super passionate and steamy, it can be lonely, painful, meaningful, joyful, fun, desperate. All of this depends on your characters relationships with themselves or others though, so dig in and go wild!
Have I missed a spot?
Let me know!