It will be a while before the protagonists, Claudia and Sagan, from my current WIP have sex. So why am I inspired to create a post about writing sex scenes now?
I reread MJ Rose novel “The Book Of Lost Fragrances” and I was impressed with the intimate scene between Jac (female) and Griffin. That led to me switching from reader to writer and breaking down why I liked it. Which led to me generally examining what I like and don’t like in terms of sex in books.
Side note: If you aren’t familiar with M J Rose I highly recommend her. Her genre is suspense that verges on romantic suspense. This novel ends in HFN (happily for now) not HEA so it can’t technically be considered romance.
What elements in the encounter between Jac and Griffin give me reading pleasure? It is from Jac’s point of view and we hear her feelings throughout the act. She is resistant to having sex with Griffin because he previously broke her heart. M J Rose writes of Jac’s body betraying her resistance because she was once addicted to his smell and sense memory leads her to seduce him. Her sense of smell is engaged in another way also:
She talks about the inadequacy of chemistry to describe sex because sex is about movement and friction and that is physics.
The scene is playful and fun and sweet.
I will briefly mention that if you enjoy magical realism like I do – in Sarah Addison Allen’s novel “Garden Spells” the scene where Claire and Tyler finally get together under the magical apple tree is electric and enchanting.
I could name you several other authors who write memorable sex scenes but this blogpost would become a book.
No discussion of sex scenes would be complete however without addressing the phenomena that romance writers refer to as the ‘glittery hooha’.
GHH is used to justify events where, even if he hardly knows a female main character, or she is dumb as a post, a male main character will be her hero just to get with her because she is walking around leaving a trail of glitter flowing out of her vagina.
See urbandictionary.com to further explore this curiosity.
In summary, I prefer clever, fun seduction and playful sex situations. Slide part a into tab b or erect throbbing members springing free or fingers dripping with female honey are not my forte as a writer and I tend to skip such passages as a reader.
I don’t have any moral issues with graphic sex. I just find it boring to read and tedious to write.
If you enjoy that type of material, I recommend KristenAshley. All of her books, and she is very prolific, are filled with the gory details that I leave off the page. And yet, I read her enthusiastically. I skip over what I don’t enjoy because she is an excellent writer. Her characters are lovable, quirky, independent, strong women and, of course, alpha men getting away with things that would never be tolerated in real life boyfriends. She is also very adept at plotting and storytelling.
We’ve talked about sex but we haven’t talked about candy. Let me say this – when Claudia and Sagan venture beyond kissing, there will be candy.