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Saturday, May 10, 2014


By Kathy Shaw

            I don’t like sex.

            Wait! Back up. I left out a word!

            What I meant to say was: I don’t like to write sex. (Love ya, Honey!)

            There are two kinds of sex scenes. The bad ones and the good ones. I’m going to review the good and the bad and totally ignore the ugly of sex scenes.

            Please remember the following statements are just my humble opinions. That said I feel I should warn you, I’m one of those people who believes if I have an opinion everyone is entitled to hear it.

            Let’s talk about the bad. You know, the sex scenes where we have four pages of tab A into slot B with no emotions in sight. Now grant you, there’s nothing wrong with this if you’re wanting to read (or write) a “sex” scene. These kinds of scenes are jarring to me when I’m knee-deep into a “romance” novel, but they have their place in the right genre.

            And then there are those scenes that reside on the opposite end of the spectrum. Passionate emotions pour from the couple with the fervor of Romeo and Juliet, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Tarzan and Jane all rolled up in one. Okay, maybe not the jungle couple, but you get my drift.

            They wax on to near nauseam about the depth of their partner’s blue eyes or the shine of their golden locks or maybe the smell of vanilla and sunshine that radiates from their every pore—or some such nonsense. The closest we get to any tab/slot action is the soulful claim that they fit together like two perfect pieces of the same puzzle. There have been occasions where I’ve forgotten they were even naked.

            But enough about the bad, let’s talk “good” sex. (Do I hear a chorus of “Yes, please!) Because really, there’s nothing better than good sex—unless of course it’s great sex. But I digress.

            Writing good sex is a careful blend of the examples of bad sex we just talked about. It shouldn’t be a block of emotional connections that switches into the “meat” of sex. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

            A touch should evolve both a physical and emotional response. Those responses should graduate exponentially with where you are in the love scene. Which makes sense, right? You don’t want them to have an emotional climax while still in the petting phase of loving-making.

            Writing good sex is very difficult, which is probably why I don’t like to do them. That being said, after hours of pulling out my hair, agonizing over just the right words and making sure body parts can actually bend and twist as I’ve written them; I am always pleased with the final draft of my love scenes.

            Always take into consideration when in the story the love scene takes place, the circumstances of both the physical and emotional situation of both characters, and above all else the storyline. If they need to have sex in Chapter One (God, help you!) make it happen believably.

             Final words/advice if you're an author: write what feels right.

            Am I wrong? Right? Or left some vital piece of helpful information out? Let me know. I’m always in search of an easier way to write sex.

            By the way, did I tell you that I have just agreed to write an erotic novella? I’m such a glutton for punishment!

            Kathy Shaw’s latest release is BLONDIE AND THE HITMAN, a Darla Bodecker mystery, and is a humorous mystery with a dash of romance. Buy her book here.  


  1. Interesting post, Kathy. I, as a reader, did not know sex scenes were so hard to write. They seem to come at the right time in the books I read. I will certainly appreciate the effort it takes in future books I read!

    1. Karren, I hope the blog didn't come off as whiney. Some writers can do sex with their eyes closed. (Hee Hee) I'm just not one of them. The best sex scenes are the ones where the reader is so absorbed in the story that they don't realize there's a world outside of what they are reading.

      Thanks for the comment. Hoped I entertained you!

  2. Yes, Kathy, your post was entertaining. IMHO, writing anything, not just sex, and writing it so it flows and is believable and compelling is hard. A book that reads "easy" took a lot of hard work. Every writer has certain scenes that are more difficult on a personal level so a writer may start in one genre but then gravitate to a different genre that's a better "fit." Fortunately, with indie publishing, you can find your own niche where every scene, albeit difficult, is a joy to write. Btw, that's a really cute book cover.

  3. Amen, sister! Well said.

    Thanks for the comment and the kudos for the cover. I'm very proud of it.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Caroline. And thanks for the help.

  5. The blogger crashed on me... Anyway, I said...I know a number of writers who don't like to write sex/love scenes. But for me they are a continuance of the feelings between the hero and heroine and can up the stakes or change the dynamic of their relationship. To me every touch and reaction is a part of the story between them. Which to me in some ways makes the love scenes and integral part of the whole love story.

    Great post, Kathy!


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