Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Write a Sex Scene That Sizzles! A Guest Blog by Sara Fina

Indigo Skye: Ink and Art
Welcomes Author Sara Fina!

Sara Fina writes...
From the moment I became a 20-something my dating life fell apart. In 2009 I started over. I blog my journey. It's real, raw, and sometimes it's R-rated.
A surface-prude, I rarely talk about what goes on after the lights are dimmed. Sex is supposed to be an intimate moment between two people. If sex were meant to be shared with the masses, the masses would be included (ahem, don’t go there). That’s half the reason it’s so erotic, in my opinion. The secrecy of the events and the detailed information shared with a partner that nobody else knows make the moments special. Yes, I like it when your fingers graze my skin there. No, you can try all you want, but I’m not getting turned on when your lips caress me there. Hot, right?
When I started writing my blog, I never dreamed that I’d be dishing sexual endeavors. But as my readership grew and my relationships matured, I knew that I would have to share some details in order to keep eyes returning to my site. After all, while reading about someone else’s life, you want to connect with them on all levels. Life and literature would be boring without lust.

I started small, sharing a first kiss. Readers wanted more. I developed the story. The relationship grew. Naturally, the desire between the characters also grew, so as feelings progressed, so did sexual exploration. I struggled. How do we share those moments and feelings with readers and convey the emotional and physical bliss? The answer is simple, we don’t. Moments of passion are recreated only when you allow yourself to step outside of the actual events that took place, and determine what readers need and want to know.

I’ve developed several rules that help me write sex scenes that appeal to all readers (i.e. If you want a PG rating, I might be too racy. If you want NC-17, I’m too clean. But both will be curious and continue reading, seeking satisfaction, and visualizing themselves in my situation). These rules help me every time I start writing a sex scene:
Rule 1: Know your audience.
If you don’t know who reads your stuff, you’re never going to please them. I continuously email readers who comment on my posts, talk to others on Twitter, and research social networking profiles. In doing this, I know that I have a large group of 20-somethings that read (men and women) and I also have readers in their 30s and 40s. I gear my posts toward the larger crowd, the 20-somethings, because they empathize with the situations. The older group reminisce and live vicariously through my debauchery.
Rule 2: First time sex sells.
Nobody cares about sex that’s been had by the same two people, in the same bed for 15 years. It’s ‘boring’. They want the excitement of the unknown, the build-up, the climax. The moments in between when toes curl and legs tremble. New, passionate, and exciting sells. Old, comfortable, and monotonous does not.
For clarification, some of the best sex I’ve ever had came after learning what made the other person tick. But at that point, it’s all about communication, and readers don’t want to hear about that. They want to relive the moments that turned the internal heat up without much effort. Those are the moments when you’re about to embark on something that has never happened. It’s just a different kind of hot.
Rule 3: Be vague.

Reading is escapism. It’s walking away from daily struggles and indulging in some vicarious life away from work, from conflicts, or from every-day dramas. Getting readers to this point, however, is a bit tricky. In my world, it’s about presenting a situation that they can relate to, that will make their hearts flutter, without giving too much detail. You reach more readers this way.

Unless you’re writing pornography, I don’t think it’s necessary to give a detailed description of a gentleman’s throbbing member. Here is an example:

Jacob watched her walk across the bedroom, wondering if she would disrobe herself or if he’d have the pleasure of removing the remaining articles of clothing Lindsay was wearing. Suddenly, he became more aware of his excitement. Lindsay was also aware. She quickly closed the gap between them and, without taking off her clothes, caressed his throbbing member.

Those two words have become cliche enough that it totally ruins the build up of the rest of the paragraph. Instead, why not try something like this?

Jacob watched her walk across the bedroom, wondering if she would disrobe herself or if he’d have the pleasure of removing the remaining articles of clothing Lindsay was wearing. Suddenly, he became more aware of his excitement. Lindsay was also aware. She quickly closed the gap between them and, without taking off her clothes, satisfied his curiosity and desire.

I didn’t tell you what happened, but you have a pretty good idea. More than likely, your idea is not what another reader thinks about, but you are both in the moment, feeling the sexual tension, satisfied with the description.

Rule 4: Stick to what you know...or your fantasies.
If you haven’t experienced something, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to write about it organically. Readers pick up on artificiality. The best way to make a sex scene realistic is to be sure that you’ve participated in similar adventures (whether that means you’ve actually had similar sex or you’ve fantasized about similar situation).
The best writers do research on the time period, the motivation, the addictions, and the problems that might arise in their books. Sex should be treated the same way. If you haven’t experienced it, you should research it. I’m not telling you to go out and bang a stranger. If you have the opportunity to explore something you would like to add to your story line in a safe and loving way, do it. Or go watch a scene and take notes about it. You have options. Just make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Rule 5: Practice.

The only way to get better at anything is by practicing. The more you write, the better you become at the craft. Writing sex scenes is the same. I’m optimistic that mine will get better and better the more I write.

I’m opening the rest of this up to you, the readers. Below you’ll find a brief opening to a sex scene. The ending has been left open. How many different endings can we get? Read it, brainstorm, get your sexy on, and then leave a comment. Here goes:

Sitting across the room, Jacob thought he had made himself clear. Lindsay, however, was showing no sign that she had received any message. Their argument was still fresh on his heart, yet he knew that fighting any longer would be pointless. All Jacob wanted to do was make Lindsay feel the love he had been unable to put into words. He slowly rose to his feet. His piercing blue eyes were unrelenting as he stepped closer her. She watched as he placed his warm hand on the small of her back and, from there, ….

A Note from Indigo Skye: If you liked Sara Fina's sexy story starter and would like to see your conclusion published here on Indigo Skye: Ink and Art, get in touch!  I'm always happy to take a look at new work by up and coming authors!

I invite you to visit Sara Fina's blog, and connect with her online...

Sara Fina's Blog-

Follow her tweets on Twitter at-

Sara Fina's Facebook Fan page-



  1. The air between them solidified, almost coming alive. His touch was the gentle caress of electricity, gentle like the spark of life. Lindsay cried out in shock, in pain; not the pain of hurt, but the pain of ecstasy. 

    With Jacob everything was more alive. Water tasted like wine, lights blazed with the heat of the sun, and each kiss was an intimate wonderland of seduction. She was the rabbit hole and he was her Alice... 

    Jacob felt the stirrings of her flesh, the warm sensation of her skin giving off sparks. How could he have been so blind? He vowed at that moment, at the realization that for her the big bang was no theory, it was gospel, that he would never raise his voice towards her in anger ever again. 

    Moving as if through jelly, as if time slowed to a crawl, Jacob stared into her warm brown eyes and fell; fell like the fallen angel himself. He fell deep into her; losing himself in the warmth of the deepest black hole of love. Somewhere he sensed a pulsing bright light. Swimming back and forth, hither and there, he heard her whisper, " Tonight I am going to be every woman in your fantasy."
    Jacob became undone, and for once he knew exactly how to make the rabbit hole give up its treasures. What happens next will shock you...

  2. Very sexy stuff! Nice work with this story starter. I'd love to print the full version here when you finish it. Can't wait to find out what happens next!

    Indigo Skye