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'07 Authors Insider Tips

by Louisa Burton
Formatting Your Manuscript
Scams / Choosing an Agent
Pitching Your Novel...
From The Call to Published...

Hard Business
From Greg Herren
Who Is Telling This Story?
It’s Work, Not A Hobby
Where Ideas Come From

Sexy on the Page
With Shanna Germain
Plotting Erotic Fiction
Seducing Your Muse
Creating Characters...
Description, Action & Dialogue
Fucking on Paper
Ten No-Nos of Erotic Fiction
Climactic Moments: First Draft
Critique Groups
Revising Your Erotic Story
Finding the Perfect Markets...
Just Submit Already
Rejections and Acceptances

Two Girls Kissing
With Amie M. Evans
Verb Tense Confusion
Coming Up with Story Ideas
Attend a Writers’ Conference
The Fundamentals of POV
Should I Sign That?
Etiquette for Authors
Erotica is Serious Work
No Body Writes for Free...
Shameless Self Promotions
The Myth of Writer's Block

The Write Stuff
From Ashley Lister
The Time is Write
The Beautiful People
A Book by Any Other...
Synopsis: the Necessary Evil
Erotica or Porn?
Feedback Whine

2007 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
What's it like being a writer?
An Apology to Salespeople

Get All Worked Up
With J.T. Benjamin
About Secrets
The Perfect Fuck
About Choices
The Age of Consent
The Kingmaker
Kids and Sex
The Price of Beauty
The G.O.P.
All Worked Up About Hate
Real Men

Pondering Porn
With Ann Regentin
Good Sex: A Physics Lesson
Meet Frankenstein
Thoughts on the Orgasm Gap
The Very Bloody Marys
The Doomsday Erection
Online Threesome Porn

Sexy on the Page
by Shanna Germain

Fucking on Paper: Five Rules for Sizzling Sex

Shanna GermainRemember your first real kiss, how nothing could compare to it? Or your first orgasm? Ah, the mind-blowing experience of a first time. Something you can never recapture in real-life, no matter how hard you try.

But as erotic fiction writers, our job is to capture that first-time experience and put it on paper. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first sex scene we’ve written, or the forth or the four-hundredth.

Here are five simple ways to keep your sex scenes as sexy and fresh as that first time.

1. Use Your Character’s Worldview

Your characters have unique sexual backgrounds, turn-ons and desires (if they don’t, read Naked Men and Sultry Women for tips on how to make that happen). They see the world—and sex—in a way that’s different from anyone else. By using those quirks, you can create sex scenes that move beyond the "and then we fucked and it was amazing."

Using your character’s world-view allows you to say something common in a way that’s original to your character. In my story, "On the Tongue," (Sex and Coffee, Pretty Things Press), my narrator is a coffee taster, so he "sees" everything, even desire and sex, in terms of coffee and flavors. Instead of having him say something like, "I desired Rafi," I wrote, "No matter what I know now about Rafi, I can’t help the way he makes my blood move, high caffeine from heart to fingers."

2. Use Your Character’s Words

One of the common sex-scene mistakes is diagram sex, where it becomes a list of moving body parts: "I put the first two fingers of my right hand on her left breast as she turned on her right side and put her left hand around the base of my cock."

It’s easy to avoid diagram sex by getting into your characters’ heads and letting them describe their body parts and actions in their unique way. Some characters have a dick and you’re not going to be able to tell them otherwise. Other characters may have a cock or a penis, a rod or even a "Joey." Some characters fuck, some make love and others just "do it."

Do a conversation test to avoid the "throbbing manhood" trap. What would your character call that movement or that body part if they were talking to a friend or lover? No guy I know would say, "Come and sit on my throbbing manhood, baby," unless he was trying to be funny.

The other way to use a character’s words is through dialogue. Lovers often have a secret sexual language. In "The Sun is an Ordinary Star," (He’s on Top, Cleis) I gave my couple a secret language that revolves around the various S/M toys they use. So whenever the wife says, "Honey, you’ll have to get out the crocs tonight," the readers knows that she’s talking about a pair of nipple clamps. But she’s also letting her husband know something about her mental stage and the kind of sex she’s hoping to have.

3. Make Mistakes

Real-life sex is rarely, if ever, a perfect thing. After all, it’s two bodies coming together to do a bodily function, which makes it ripe for foibles, funny sounds, miscues and mistiming, and plain old mistakes.

Going too far in the "reality" direction can make sex unsexy, so it’s a fine line. But a few details showing your characters’ imperfections, insecurities or mistakes can add a sense of erotic reality to your scene.

4. Don’t Look Away

I once read a book on writing horror and one of the best pieces of advice I got was this: "Your job as a writer is to not look away." The book was talking about gory scenes, but I think the advice also applies to erotica. If you want to arouse your reader, you can’t look away.

This doesn’t mean that you have to explain every detail, every body movement and every shining drop of cum. It just means that you write about the desires that make you squirm with embarrassment, or describe the person’s body part that you crave most.

This is also the time to ask yourself: does what I’m writing turn me on? Does it make me excited or a little nervous or very wet? If the answer is yes to any of those, then your sex scene is likely in good shape.

5. Make Every Scene a Sex Scene

You can heighten the sexuality of your sex scenes by adding an undercurrent of erotica to the non-sex scenes. Foreplay is a vital part of erotic stories as it gets readers ready for the big scene, and it constantly reminds them that this story is about sex.

Think about that guy or girl you met or went out with once, the one that you knew you were going to sleep with as soon as you laid eyes on him or her. What did you think about? How her lips looked, whether or not she touched your hand across the table. Yes, you probably ordered dinner and ate and paid the bill at some point, but I bet you barely remember doing that. What you do remember is the way she put her hand on your back to help you out the door, how her fingers felt the first time she touched your cheek and how she smelled when she leaned in close to you.

Try to capture that heightened sexuality in every scene, whether your characters are driving a car or eating dinner. This way, when your characters finally come together, the reader is as ready for it as the characters are.

6. Bonus Tip: Make Sex Necessary

The best sex scenes are not something that you add on to the story just because you need a little arousal here. The best sex scenes drive the story, or change your characters in some way. They’re a natural outgrowth of all the things that came before, and they’re going to change all the things that come after.

In the S/M story I mentioned earlier, "The Sun is an Ordinary Star," the husband is nervous about hurting his wife, who recently had an operation to remove a cancerous tumor. By combining his fear and desire, the sex scene becomes about much more than just sex.

"Jesus, Stella, I’m sorry," he said. But even in his panic over hurting her, he couldn’t stop looking at her body. How her nipples were like stars too, a constellation against the sky of her chest. How her waist curved in and then swelled into hips. His cock twitched, sending a mixed flood of arousal and shame. Worst husband of the year award, right here.

So, that’s it. All I know about writing great sex scenes. Once you’ve conquered that, come back for my next column, The Rest of the Sex Story: Writing description, action and dialogue.

Other Places About Sizzling Sex Scenes

Shanna Germain
March 2007

"Sexy on the Page" © 2007 Shanna Germain. All rights reserved.

About the Author: Shanna Germain’s erotic stories have appeared or are scheduled to appear in dozens of publications and anthologies, including Absinthe Literary Review, Aqua Erotica 2, Best American Erotica, Best Bondage Erotica, Heat Wave and She is a fiction editor for Clean Sheets and 42Opus, as well as a poetry editor for the American Journal of Nursing. You can see more of her work, erotic and otherwise, on her website, Don’t miss her next column, The Rest of the Sex Story: Writing description, action and dialogue..

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'07 Book Reviews


A for Amour / B for Bondage
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Best Women's Erotica '07
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The Butcher, The Baker...
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C is for Coeds
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
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Cream: The Best of ERWA
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Coming Together for the Cure
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F is for Fetish
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Got a Minute?
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He's on Top
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Love on the Dark Side
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Lust: ...Fantasies for Women
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The Mammoth Book Vol 6
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Naughty Spanking Stories
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Quickies 1
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She's on Top
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Sixteen of the Best
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Amorous Woman
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The Boss
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Burning Bright
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Call Me By Your Name
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Dark Designs
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Equal Opportunities
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Gothic Blue
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Review by Ashley Liste

The Lords of Satyr: Nicholas
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Love Song of the Dominatrix
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Riding the Storm
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The Silver Collar
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Suite Seventeen
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Sweet as Sin
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Tiffany Twisted
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Top of Her Game
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Whalebone Strict
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Wife Swap
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Wings of Madness
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Dirt for Art's Sake
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Entangled Lives
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Impotence: A Cultural History
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