Tag Archive for sex scenes

Free Webinar: Making Intimacy More Appealing

“Ready for round two?” she whispered. “You bet,” he said.sexscenes copy

Round two in this case is a repeat – by request – of my free webinar: “Sex Scenes: It Starts Between the Ears.”

This intimate conversation begins with a question: Which sells, sex or sexy? The short answer is, both sell. Some audiences are impatient, others prefer drawing a little tension-building romance and seduction. The act – and the writing of the act – are of course intensely personal. As with any form of writing, the more you practice, the better you get. But practice what, and how?

Join the webinar on Tuesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. for a look at the art of seducing your readers with scintillating prose that appeals to our most primal instincts.

The sign-up sheet is here.

 

To follow Steve’s “Back Story” blog, follow this link.

7 Tips for Better Sex (Scenes)

A hot young couple. Alone at last. He hisses, “Tell me what you want.” She murmurs, “You know what I want.”sex copy

Now Imagine a couple married 32 years in the middle of a garage that hasn’t been cleaned since their 20th anniversary.

“Tell me what you want,” he shouts, exasperated. She is equally frustrated. She wants to park in the garage, but can’t because of the mess.

“You know what I want,” she says.

When it comes to sex scenes, context, tone and tenor matter more than size.

As writers, how do we capture the sexual tension as well as the act – for the two are not the same – in a way that is arousing, revealing – in terms of character development – and which successfully moves the story forward?

Here are seven tips:

1 – Use Sex Scenes To Expose Your Characters

Well-written sex scenes are titillating, sure, but they can also reveal personality, creativity, and other traits. Is she comfortable enough to guide him? If so, does she whisper directions? Move his hands? Change his pace? Are these two givers or takers? Traditional or experimental? Talkers or quiet? Are they clumsy? Athletic? Patient? Frantic? Do they want the lights on?

2 – Eroticism Should Advance the Story

This actual line from a work of fiction does not advance the story: “When he slid his tongue into my mouth, I felt like a pork loin simmering away on the stove. All warm and mushy.” When the passion has subsided, we should be further along in the story than when clothes started flying.

3 – Treat Sex Scenes Like Any Action Scenes

Sex is not new. Courtship is not new. The chase is not new. Everyone knows a lot about the subject. If you’re going to tackle sexual tension and the act – or its many variations – you must work extra hard to make your prose unique. As Kerouac said, “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”

4 – Be the Bikini

A skimpy bathing suit or short black dress is more erotic than a naked body.  There are things readers do not want to see, hear or smell in sex scenes. Leave a little to the imagination. Be the bikini.

5 – Prevent Premature Evacuation

We speak in fiction of breaking the dream – of writing something that is so jarring it stops the reader cold. It could be a line of awful dialogue, a factual error, or an inaccurate description of a city. Or it could be plain old bad writing – a confusing sentence or a participle dangling.  Commit any of these infractions and your readers will be gone – premature evacuation.

6 – Beta Test Trusted Readers

That means well-read folks (professional writers or editors if you know or can afford them) who will give an honest reaction to your work.

7 – Attend to Before and After, as well as During

Before: What makes sex sexy is all that goes on beforehand – the eye contact, the sparring, the walk to the door. Just as you only get one chance to make a first impression, the first kiss is also the last first kiss. The path isn’t always smooth. That’s okay. Bumpy is fine so long as the bumps are intended and believable.

After: Theoretically, there’s no more tension now. What’s going to keep the readers interested? The cliché is that women want to cuddle; men want to get out as fast as possible. Avoid the cliché, just as you would with anything you write. What they do and say here is important. Be creative.

What else goes into a well-planned sex scene?

 Follow Steve’s “Back Story” blog by clicking here.

 

Dial Up Sex Scenes Webinar 3/11

Tune in 3/11 & 3/28

Tune in 3/11 & 3/28

Which sells, sex or sexy? As we know, the answer is, both sell. Some audiences are impatient, others prefer drawing a little tension-building romance and seduction. The act – and the writing of the act – are intensely personal. As with any form of writing, the more you practice, the better you get. But practice what, and how?

Attraction, they say, begins with the eyes. Male or female, we see something we like and quickly – almost primitively – begin plotting to get it. Sometimes the plotting is deliberate and obvious; sometimes it’s sweet and subtle.

Where does it happen? Why does it happen? What do our eyes take in? What smells are in the air? Where does attraction strike and how long does it take to go from mutual appreciation to a shared laugh … to hands touching … to a private setting and then to a first kiss? Or does it all happen in plain view – say on the beach at sunset – or at 2 a.m. in a club with music blaring and the bass cranked up so high, it feels like your own heartbeat?

Most relevant from the writer’s perspective, how do we capture the sexual tension as well as the act – for the two are not the same – in a way that is arousing, revealing – in terms of character development – and which successfully moves the story forward?

I hope you’ll join me for a webinar that will explore these questions and many more next Tuesday (3/11) at 7:30 p.m. and/or on March 28 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Mark your calendars and sign up here.

Follow this link to subscribe to Steve’s Back Story blog.

 

Let’s Undress a Few Sex Scenes

Illus3-Dan&RuthieWhich sells, sex or sexy? As we know, the answer is, both sell. Some audiences are impatient, others prefer drawing a little tension-building romance and seduction. The act – and the writing of the act – are intensely personal. As with any form of writing, the more you practice, the better you get. But practice what, and how?

Attraction, they say, begins with the eyes. Male or female, we see something we like and quickly – almost primitively – begin plotting to get it. Sometimes the plotting is deliberate and obvious; sometimes it’s sweet and subtle.

Where does it happen? Why does it happen? What do our eyes take in? What smells are in the air? Where does attraction strike and how long does it take to go from mutual appreciation to a shared laugh … to hands touching … to a private setting and then to a first kiss? Or does it all happen in plain view – say on the beach at sunset – or at 2 a.m. in a club with music blaring and the bass cranked up so high, it feels like your own heartbeat?

Most relevant from the writer’s perspective, how do we capture the sexual tension as well as the act – for the two are not the same – in a way that is arousing, revealing – in terms of character development – and which successfully moves the story forward?

I hope you’ll join me for a webinar that will explore these questions and many more on March 28 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Mark your calendars and sign up here.

Follow this link to subscribe to Steve’s Back Story blog.

 

Listen: The Most Potent Sexual Organ is Between Your Ears


When we were together, locked like scissors,

nicely buzzed on mini-bar tequila,

she reached down and …

I recently posed the following question on a Google+ group called, “The Inner World of Erotic Dreams:”

As an author, I’m wondering whether words by themselves can stir the same (or even more intense) feelings than pix or videos. This scene is from my novel Bella.  Please try to imagine the same scene as played out by actors. Would you take the time to read the words, or would you rather watch the video? If you take the time to read the scene, please tell me any thoughts it provokes.

FROM BELLA

We took the side entrance stairway to our rooms. Isabel climbed the first wooden step, turned and faced me. The extra inches made us the same height. I put my hands on her waist and we kissed very gently, our bodies barely touching, as if we hadn’t already been together. “I’m not sleeping with you tonight,” she murmured, her lips still brushing mine. I said it was all right. All that mattered was the moment, the feel of her flesh beneath my mouth and fingers, the salty breeze blowing off Charleston Harbor, the thrill of playing out a private moment in public. We might have stayed that way for two minutes or twenty; I couldn’t tell. When I stroked the back of her thighs and dared a caress under her dress, I discovered she was naked underneath. She uttered the soft moan that I remembered from Hank’s pumpkin-colored Mustang, and I knew I’d lost more than my sense of time. I pulled her to me and, for the first time, she resisted. I kissed her neck. “Come to my room. Your heart’s so loud I can hear it. And this … ” I said, reaching between her legs. She laughed and broke away. I kept a hand on her waist. “Don’t you want to feel our bodies touching without clothes?” she smiled naughtily and spun around. When she turned back, her blouse was open and her bra was in her hand. She undid my shirt one button at a time, not even bothering to check the courtyard for spies. When the shirt fell open, she hugged me and kissed my chest. “Nice,” she murmured. “You were right.” I assumed the teasing was over and tried to lead her to my room. Again she pulled back, drawing her blouse closed and climbing two more steps. “Not tonight. I can’t after what happened today. Don’t be mad.”

Mad wasn’t quite the word.

WORDS STIMULATE

The response in my informal focus group was clear – words can trump images. Said one member, “Words can be more powerful because they require the reader to engage the imagination.”

Why so much porn then? One group member said it’s like everything else. We want instant gratification. Never mind that pleasure delayed is often pleasure intensified.

Which gets to another question for authors trying to weave erotic scenes into their stories. Which sells, sex or sexy?

For me, there are two “don’ts.” One is, don’t indulge in sex scenes simply because they’re available. There must be a point, and the scene must reveal something you haven’t shown yet about the characters, and move the story forward. The second is, don’t lapse into the afore-mentioned porn, or worse, unintentionally funny porn, full of acrobatic acts and contraptions that are better left to professionals.

UNDRESSED AND EXPOSED

Think of all that can be  exposed (no pun) by a well-done sex scene: confidence, creativity, knowledge, skill, consideration, and patience, or – uh-oh – insecurity, ignorance, clumsiness, and selfishness. What does the reader take away from a character who wants the lights left on, or who chooses the kitchen over the bedroom, or who slides a zipper instead of tearing it open? What are we to make of Bella after she sleeps with Danny and then says, before anyone’s breathing returns to normal, “You need to go.”

The truth is that, as in life, sex and sexy both sell. Some audiences are impatient, others prefer drawing a little tension-building romance and seduction. The act – and the writing of the act – are intensely personal and subject to another truism, that the more you practice, the better you get. Funny that this is the case, since we are all born with a powerful instinct to procreate and communicate.

If you have written or read a novel where clothes fly and bodies tangle, you probably have some thoughts to share on all this. I’d love to hear them.

 

Follow Steve’s Back Story blog by clicking the green or orange icon on the blog homepage.