Huh. That Was Entirely Unexpected

Or, I Think I Just Made Myself Blush

Apparently, doing it before an audience changes everything. Tonight I discovered that, somehow, writing a sex scene feels different when I know it’s for a book I am actually going to let other people read. 

I’ve written sex scenes before. Lots of times. In fact I often have the sex scenes written before I know the entire story.  If it turns out what I wrote doesn’t fit those characters, I just float it into a different story, boom, still useful words.  I do this because writing about sex is fun (after all, it can be a natural, zesty enterprise), and because it’s something I think takes the right touch to do well. Practice makes perfect, right? So it’s worth practicing.  And, you know, I read romance as well as writing it, so I know there is plenty of sensuality and sexiness and sometimes downright raunchy kinky whoa, Nelly, moments that remind me I’m not as sophisticated as I sometimes think. The fun, sexy times for my heroines are just…par for the course. 

But yet somehow, writing this scene to its happy ending was different. I think knowing it’s the first full-on sex scene I will be putting out for public consumption made me a bit self-conscious in the writing of it.  Is it too long?  Am I going into too much exuberant detail?  Is it even sexy sex or just boring sex that is little better than a catalog of body parts hitting other body parts?

I mean, I think it must be a little sexy if I made myself feel a trace of embarrassment. Surely? Oh, hell, and here I thought I wasn’t going to be one of those romance writers who blushes at the naughty bits. I thought I was a brazen hussy of an author who had no compunctions and no shame. I guess my mama can be proud there’s still a trace of my modesty left.

Time to go put on my stomping stilettos, though, because I’ll be damned if I let it get the better of me. Turgid erections* and creamy heat*, here I come approach.

Or, to quote everyone’s favorite space courtesan, “A challenge is just an opportunity in disguise.”


*Jokes! The former is a piece of romance meta-humor because seriously for a time in the early 90s every book written had a turgid erection in it. That seemed to last for hours because apparently none of those men had discovered masturbation yet by age 30.  The “creamy heat” is my favorite bad description of lady parts from any romance novel ever. Gold star if you can name the author who made it infamous….



Filed under Reflections on Romance, Writing

2 responses to “Huh. That Was Entirely Unexpected

  1. I prefer to keep my sensual moments as sparsely detailed as possible. I’m not a prude by any means, it’s just been ingrained in me that with “literary fiction,” less is more and sometimes a penis is just a penis.

    • I can certainly agree with you on both points! I think for me the balancing act is that I’m not writing literary fiction, but romance (genre). People read romance for different reasons but one of them definitely is sexual fantasy. So the question for me is how to properly satisfy the fantasy for those who want that, without alienating those who are reading for the romance (emotions) not the sensuality? I think many romance readers like both, but everyone’s spectrum is slightly different. But that’s where editing comes in. Better to write too much now, because it can always be trimmed later….

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