Friday, January 29, 2010

Writing Sex

Today’s topic is writing sex.

I recently finished the first scene of an erotic nature between Matt and Calvin. Now I don’t know whether you guys know this or not but this is the most difficult part for me. Not because I am a prude. Obviously I am far from it. But it has become the part I most dread writing in my books.

I’ve basically come full circle on this. In the beginning, when I was writing romances of the non-erotic kind I dreaded writing the sex part. Though even non-erotic books have become more explicit these days back when I was concentrating on them you still had to use words like manhood.

Writing sex back then was a struggle for me because I didn’t want it to sound like insert tab a into tab b and as someone who struggles with description in her writing most of all (characterization and dialogue are more my forte), having to do entire scenes describing sex was no fun. I did it and most of them came out all right, but still I would heave a sigh of relief when the scene was done.

Then, I had the great fortune of meeting Ava March. I don’t think either of us had a clue when we were first introduced how well we would work together and how good of friends we would actually become (we email each other several times almost every day).

If I had not met Ava, I would never have the confidence to write erotic romance even though that was what I myself liked to read. When I wrote my first to homoerotic romances, Another Chance and The Squire, I found the sex pretty easy to write for the most part. Easier than I expected. It was still a smidge difficult for me, but it was getting better.

Several books after the sex got easier and less burdensome. But then along about the summer of 2009 I regressed back to those initial days and it has become something I dread.

There are a few reasons. Most notable is you want each scene to be erotic without repeating the same sex every book you write. With as many books as I have out now you can see how this can become hard (smirk). Sure Alex and Craig are different characters from Calvin and Matt for instance but let’s face it they all have the same parts. Ask almost any homoerotic author and they will tell you they face this same dilemma.

Another for me is, like the point of view characters in my scene, I want to make the sex the best it has ever been for my hero. Both physically and emotionally satisfying beyond belief. This is IT for these couples. While in reality I know real couples break up sometimes and move on to other lovers, these guys will always be together and so their reward MUST be mind-blowing sex. Can you imagine the pressure? Lol.

I am only going to mention one other reason and I am going to mention it only very, very briefly. I allowed a comment made by someone to bother me so much that it haunts the scene every single time I write it. My dear Shayne knows what I speak of.

Obviously in spite of these mostly self-made obstacles, I still manage to get past the scene. I hope some day soon I won’t dread them as much as I do now, because I love it when a reader enjoys reading about the love between my men. It makes all the struggle well worth it.


  1. I just have to say that you do a damn good job writing those scenes, so all your hard work pays off! I've never read one of your sex scenes and felt the urge to yawn or yell "OMG! That's gross!"

    I read a book not long ago where the two main characters were having a picnic/rendezvous. I don't mind food in sex scenes; it can be HOT, but I got really squicked out when the author had one character use a piece of fried chicken to wipe up the remnants of some "special sauce." There was just something about the idea of greasy chicken skin and uh, well you know, that gave me a WTH moment. When I pick up one of your books, I know that I'm going to enjoy both the plot and the sex. I really appreciate the way you create tender scenes that are turn-ons rather than turn-offs.

  2. Ditto, ditto, ditto and ditto. LOL. For the official blog record, I think your sex scenes are amazing. As Eyre said, your hard work definitely pays off!

    And girlie - if not for you, I don't know if I would have had the balls to try my hand at m/m. No one else I personally knew even read m/m back then (all those years ago...LOL). It's so much easier to do something new when your friend is on the bandwagon with you. :)

    And Eyre - fried chicked with 'special sauce'? :-O ewww!!

  3. My thanks to both of you. You both made me feel so much better. I had a bizarre day today filled with some self-pity, lol.

    And fried chicken wiping up...ack!

  4. Eyre and Ava are absolutely right! Your sex scenes are always passionate. I think it's because your characters are so well written and because they have an emotional connection between them it makes it special when they make love. Your books have never failed to make me thankful that I have something cold to drink while I'm reading it! When I think of great sex scenes,immediately Kevin and Michael's kitchen scene comes to mind, as well as Thomas and Clark's desk scene and the balcony one as well! WHEW! Where's my cold drink at?
    As a newbie I totally understand where you're coming from. I get nervous writing them too.
    Like Eyre said, so many scenes kind of give me that 'Ick' feeling and although I know the author is trying to be erotic, there's a fine line between writing something erotic and loving and just plain gross.
    But, what I've learned from reading from both you and Ava, and some other outstanding authors as well, is that it's really about the connection between two people who are falling in love, and the beautiful way they can express it between each other.
    That's why I read and love this genre so much! As long as the characters have a deep connection between them, they don't need fried chicken with it's special sauce. *Shudder*

  5. Thanks guys for your kind words. And thanks to Sharon, too, for her very cool emails.

  6. Shawn,

    Thank you. From the replies and their similarity, you can tell we are not buttering you up but writing the truth about how we feel about your writing ability--all aspects of it, hun.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  7. Not sure what to add to what everyone else has said..

    You know I love your work and I try to keep my reviews to the generalities - but I will say, I have a hight regard for about 6 authors who do make smut fresh, different, and a must read every single word for me and I am pleased to say you are one...

    I can remember ever scene you write and even the logistic of arms and legs - I know it takes one person to tear down what many have put together, but pull up your big girl socks and do your thing...

    We love what you do...


  8. Thanks EH, your words helped a lot. I know I need to get over it, totally. :-)