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July 10th, 2003, 05:58 AM
how do you go about writing a sex scene. are they ever nessecary, and if so, give reasons why. i've written a few in my time and i tend to make them short (no, not in the premature sort of way) about three or four lines, describing mostly the couple's feelings while they're "at it." i don't think this is a bad way of doing, i'd just like to get some perspectives on how others write sex scenes.

nb. i think it goes without saying that responses don't need to be gratuitously graphic. :D

July 10th, 2003, 06:28 AM
An excellent thread...

I tend to take an approach which I guess sits somewhere in the middle between yours Asraloth, and GRR MARTIN's.

I.E. I like to discuss the emotive elements of love making, but without the DOTHRAKI STYLE description. Sometimes I feel it is important... But only if it is important to the characters in the story.

July 10th, 2003, 06:44 AM
I have only ever written two scenes with sexual content, but neither were about a couple *cue Chef voice* "making sweet lurrve"
Both sex scenes were about power.
One was a typical geisha style assassination where the woman lures the man into a vulnerable situation ( i.e. butt naked) so she can kill the sorry bugger.
This was a quite descriptive piece of the seduction of her victim, which was done in a slow build up, until the victim is worked into a state of near sexual frenzy and is oblivious to all around him and hence a sitting duck.

The second scene was also seduction by by different methods, used by a slave master to "break in" his newest aquisition, via hypnotic music, mild narcotics and other stimulants to make her mood more agreeable.

Both scenes were paramount to the story.

As for proper love scenes, I would employ a degree of "leaving it to the imagination" and perhaps use metaphor and more description about emotions and sensations of the participants, rather than graphic description of the act.

July 10th, 2003, 06:58 AM
I'd like to read those Khan.

Yea, in my 'Distant Breeze...' tale, sex is important because the violation shapes the characters and shapes the plot. It is integral, but more about emotion than 'thrusting his love sword...' type pulp rubbish.

Lucky Joe
July 10th, 2003, 07:26 AM
And he rode that pony all the way to...

Oops sorry wrong thread, how embarrasing!

I've never written a sex scene, but if I ever do I think subtly would be the best approach (at least for me anyway) unless of the course the actual sex was vital to the story in some way and by not including it the story would suffer.

July 10th, 2003, 10:02 AM
I think that a sex scene is most important

a) when two people meet sexualy for the first time

b) when it plays a central part in the story (like Khan's scenes)

At other times, I either imply the act, or write about it in a few sentences. I try to avoid vulgar words like the C-words, for example, and things like that.

July 10th, 2003, 12:09 PM
It depends on what I'm doing, and what character pov might be used in the scene to present the scene. If you have two people having some fun, there are different emotions, sensations and inner thoughts than if it's two people in love or a scene where someone is being raped. Basically, you can go as graphic or not as you choose and feel comfortable about. I would not suggest trying to do a sex scene if you really hate the idea, as it's not likely to come off. However, if you want to challenge yourself and it is relevant to the story, you generally can't go wrong by concentrating on tenderness, or, if it's a sexual attack, the lack of tenderness thereof. It might help to pick a sex scene in someone else's book that you don't find "icky" and look at how they set it up as a general guide.

July 10th, 2003, 12:12 PM
Oh the mighty "c" words, nothing has me more rolling about with laughter, than when I read them repeated about 20 times in one paragraph.... lol..

Sex is a useful tool in the writer's box. It can be used in so many ways


When and how it is used can drive the story one way or another. Chose your moments carefully and your use of it wisely. Too much and it falls into bodice ripper country. Too little and you don't get the relationship across.

Practice writing a "full on" love scene then cut it down. Write it from various view points and again edit. By doing that I have found I find the level I want for the story I am telling. Also it is possible to hint at a relationship, to make it erotic without full blown sex scenes. Like all writing you have to try and find what suits you best.

July 10th, 2003, 01:55 PM
In one of my stories, a few of the characters are highly sexual creatures. They are seductive and irresistable and so it seems inevitable that prolonged scenes with these characters will end in sex.

That being said, sex can be used for a lot of things.

It's a natural tension breaker (if done correctly).

It is a natural motivation that a lot of people seem to overlook (i.e. kill the cheating bastard OR if I succeed, maybe she'll sleep with me).

It can be a way of getting information.

It can be a way of accomplishing a goal (i.e. the assassination thing or one of many ways to escape an undesireable situation).

It can be a way of showing trust and love.

It can also be a means to break down an enemy (i.e. put them in a sexual situation that they're uncomfortable with).

It can be a means to build character (i.e. character is in a sexual situation and realizes that they're not that type of person).

I'm sure that there are others, those are just the ways I've used it in a story I'm working on. I think that each method requires a different scene to describe what's happpening from rather obscure the shockingly graphic.

July 10th, 2003, 10:00 PM
great responses guys. it's a really interesting topic to talk about isn't it?
someone mentioned GRRM's infamous sexual scenes. i'm a fan of GRRM myself and find his sex scenes are graphic, but, they always serve either character development, or the story. i don't think the prudes that complain about the grpahic detail realise this. i think Martin's way is a good way to go about it. and it all depends on what you want to evoke in the audience. but throwing them in just for titilation is a little tacky if you ask me.