Difficult scenes: sex

Yikes. Sex scenes are a…ahem…touchy subject. (Pun-tastic!) How much detail is too much? When does one cross from hot to sleaze? I’ve always been of the opinion that less detail is best, unless you’re writing erotica. I’ve also found that proper names for body parts can make a sex scene too clinical. Well, that, and penis is a funny word. Don’t get me wrong, vagina’s not much better. No clever euphemisms for me, either. No “throbbing manhoods” or “love puddings”. “Mound” is right out. That one was always unintentionally funny to me. And the word “moist” makes me cringe, always has.

I like to use more vague descriptions:

“Her hands, her lips, her tongue, her flesh, they drove all thought away. Every time Starbride thought she might surface, passion found her, wrapping her in its tight embrace.”

“When she had him alone, she didn’t speak, but caressed him…running her fingers and tongue over each inch of him as she revealed it.
He moaned as she caressed him, laughed when she tickled him, and shivered when she ran the back of that oh-so dangerous claw over his bare skin. He seized her thick green hair and tilted her whorled brown flesh up to his greedy mouth.
She took him apart and put him back together again so many times that he forgot the hour, the day, his name. ”

Those are two different scenes from two of my ms’s. I like to think of them as nonspecific. You get the idea of what’s happening without having it shoved in your face (ah HA!), or so I tell myself. ^_^ I have written a more specific sex scene for a sexier novel, but I still tried to stay away from naming body parts, except I do believe I used the word “breasts”. That’s about as far as I want to go with specifics.

How do you handle your sex scenes? Or do you stay FAR away from them?

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2 thoughts on “Difficult scenes: sex

  1. I love the way you did it! I’m not a big fan of the scenes that get too much into sleeze and less about the people or the romance. It’s a fine line and I think you handled it well!

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