At some point we have come to consider the fact that it would be good to include a sexual encounter as part of the plot (unless we are writers of pornography or eroticism, in that case the moment does not matter, your reader only wants sex!).
If we risk writing a sex scene we must keep in mind that it is not easy. In Nigeria, Lagos we must be strict and follow the sex habbits. I have tried it without much success, because it is clear to leagues my lack of experience on the matter (not lack of experience in sex, ahem!). The subject is very complex and difficult, even for award-winning writers. If you don't believe it, take a look at the list of writers that appear in the Prize for Bad Sex in Fiction.
First of all, it is important to feel comfortable writing a real sex scene. If not, let's not take risks, the reader will share our discomfort and awaken the wrong feelings. If for some reason (religious, ethical, political, etc.) we are not born to write on the subject, let us stop. As a solution we can resort to that strategy that television gives us and that consists of cutting just when the situation begins to become hot to restart after intercourse (do not know what intercourse is?) Or the next morning, with the sun coming in out the window and the dogs lying on the carpet, with obvious signs of psychological trauma. In this way we present the matter without compromising our moral integrity.
I suppose the cause of discomfort is the fear of exposing some aspects of our life that are personal and giving the reader an idea (which includes family and close friends) about what we think of sex.
Another situation that prevents the correct writing of a scene of this caliber is that it will be impossible to do it if we have not experimented. It does not mean that if we are virgins we will not be able to write it, it will simply be difficult, considering that a part of literary creativity and inspiration come from previous experience. If this happens, do not worry, do a proper research (there are books and videos that can help) or dare to take the first step with a trusted friend, or pay for it (skip these last tips).
If we have decided to write about sex and we feel comfortable, we must know how to choose the characters (yes, the characters. There must be at least two. Otherwise it would be a masturbation scene and I don't think we want to write about it). Choosing the characters is very important, since people have sex in different ways: a couple of young people who will lose their virginity will have a different sexual relationship than a couple who have been monotonous for forty years of marriage and who have reconciliation sex, or of a sex addict who pays a prostitute to satiate her desire. The physical process may be the same in all three cases, but the motivations and experiences may be different.
Next we must keep in mind if the scene fits the genre we are writing. As I said in the heading, if we write pornography anything goes: the characters will be able to do it in the elevator, in the office, in the janitor's room and even in an amusement park. Our readers will not object, as they will be anxiously awaiting those moments.
Otherwise it happens with other genres, in which we will not be able to include scenes everywhere. For example, if our setting is a zombie novel in which the characters are fleeing, we will have few opportunities for a sexual relationship (few opportunities, I'm not saying that impossible, after all, our creativity has no limits).
Finally, and before dealing with the subject in depth, we must bear in mind not to focus too much on how realistic the moment can be, since it is proven that those who read this type of book look for something different from what they might find in their daily lives (or perhaps pornography, for those who consume it, is one hundred percent realistic). However, let's also not take things to the extreme of anatomically impossible sex.
Use of words
My recommendation is to avoid excessive use of purple and beige prose.
Purple prose consists of the makeup of writing. The author uses flowery language. Sometimes this type of decoration may not please the reader due to the use of sparkling, elaborate and to some extent puzzling adjectives. He'll think twice before continuing through pages and pages of slow, mundane, and violet descriptions. Example of purple prose: her throbbing manhood plunged into the velvet of my overflowing anxiety, to be possessed by her dominating gallantry.
Nor is it convenient to go to the other extreme with beige prose: few descriptions, simple sentences and absence of rhetorical figures. His penis was inserted into her vagina.
Proper documentation, the type of story, the style, the tone, our knowledge of vocabulary, genre and the time in which the events take place will lead us to the use of precise terms.
Anatomy and physiology
We must acquire a practical knowledge of human anatomy. If we describe anatomically impossible sex we will be ridiculed, even in front of a school boy. Let's investigate.
But let's not dig into pornographic movies and magazines! This kind of fun won't make you a better writer!
Go to the public library (yes, ask the librarian to see what his face looks like) or search serious internet pages. Remember, you are not looking for inspiration, you are knowing the human body, its names, functions and how they interact with each other at the time of intercourse.
To find out what the literary tone is, you can go through this entry.
Sex sells, it's true, but the reader identifies when we introduce a sex scene from scratch, just to get aroused or look interesting.
The scene must be the result of a series of organic situations and emotions, with a coherent and rational explanation of why these people decided, at that time and place in history, to do so.
As for the tone, it should not be too lewd if that is not the objective of the story, or if the audience it is intended for is not the adult consumer of eroticism. We must be careful not to appear perverted in front of the computer and not take things to the limit of the unpleasant, because despite what we believe, there are still too many taboos in society regarding this issue.
Nor should we go to the opposite extreme by demonstrating a censorship morality, which prohibits any attempt at sexuality and expressing our ideology regarding sex (unless the book deals with such an aspect), especially when we address other topics such as death and explicit violence without hesitation .
My advice is to research, be clear about the audience we want to reach, and let the reader know before you buy our book. Children's literature, adolescent literature, housewives, straight male, gay, basement perverts?
Less is more, more is not better
If we avoid so much technical detail, we will surely be better served, however paradoxical it may be.
Here's a sex scene in which, with too few words, too much is accomplished.
The function of a sex scene, rather than showing something that we already know, is to achieve some kind of development in the thoughts and emotions of the characters.
Again, the opposite occurs if we write pornography, in which more is better, because the more details are described, the more emotions we arouse in the reader. In that case our function is to use the best weapons and stimulate the five senses. Smells, flavors, moans, caresses and positions play a determining role in extreme erotic writing.
One last tip. It is necessary to avoid the repetitive words that can appear when we describe actions, since as sex is a physical action, the emphasis is on what is happening beyond what is being thought.
Less is even more, much is not better
Although sex sells and is a pleasant experience, repeating it over and over in reading may not be. It is even boring. Those of us who practice sex regularly (presumptuous) know that it rarely varies, because if a specific position is the one that excites us to orgasm, we will always seek to do it and avoid changing.
Imagine, pages and pages of describing the position of the puppy. Tired, right? Also, being honest, penises and vaginas, at first glance, are not very beautiful organs.
There are talented writers capable of making each sexual encounter unique, unrepeatable and uninspiring, but they are experts. We are not, so let's not risk it. Less is more: let's vary the tones, places, motivations and focus of the characters. If we can do it, we will have succeeded.
Characterization of the characters
The sex scene can be quite a useful tool to delve into the characters in our story.
Through nudity we can show some parts of the body that went unnoticed and that may end up shaping the character. For example, an intriguing tattoo on a buttock, pirsin, or scar can be the starting point for a secret story.
It also helps us to know how the characters react when they are stimulated, beaten or violated. How is your behavior when you are in bed? Same? Does it change? Does that quiet and shy girl like masochism? Is that vulgar, aggressive young man quite a delicate gentleman in bed? They have it to order.
Readers can be pleasantly surprised by a scene in which that disgusting being in history becomes a spectacular lover. Everything is in creativity.
Where to do it?
Anywhere. When I say anywhere, it is anywhere. However, taking into account the culture and norms of public behavior, it is preferable to do it in the privacy of the home (unless we are talking about exhibitionism), an isolated place or at least behind closed doors. The bedroom is the most used, but anywhere in the house is feasible, from the shower to the stairs (I continue presumptuous).
Two people on a trip would have sex in the back seat or in the driver's seat, perhaps in a motel, although this would do well for lovers. Two office mates would do it behind closed doors on the desk, if they like the risk.
Here comes our ability to describe the space and the environment. Create an atmosphere of danger (for lovers who use a disco bathroom), of romance (for first-time boyfriends or husbands), of lust (for adventurers who cannot resist temptation). Although a trained writer can turn the quickie in the bathroom into a romantic and unforgettable moment
The ugly we do too
Importantly, not only the perfect-looking, sculpted bodies of the main characters should have sex. This has been sold to us by television. Any character in your story, regardless of their physique, marital status or situation, can be included in this theme. After all, all of us feel sexual desire. It is obvious that some will have fewer opportunities to find a partner or be accepted or will not awaken any feelings about their defects. Keep in mind that certain physical limitations can prevent a character from having normal sex. It doesn't matter, let's not be exclusive and add realism to the story.
Finally, it goes without saying that there must be nudity, or at least something. If we do not feel comfortable describing a naked body, we desist from doing so.
Ugh, how long was this entry. I remind you that my novel Héroes de cajón is now on sale. Although there is no sex, you will find humor, black characters (what a surprise!), Female protagonist (I dared in the first person) and superheroes.
If you have already read it, I appreciate any comment on Amazon or Goodreads. And congratulations on a review.
Kisses, hugs and lots of sex, spoiled and such.