I’ve seen this question arise frequently in the writers’ groups that I’m in: how do I write an erotic sex scene? The answer may seem obvious to some, but I thought I’d share my approach.

Read

I’d recommend reading erotic stories to see how other people write sex scenes. Some will be well written, some will be poorly written, but it will give you a sense of how such scenes are played out.

I would further recommend focussing your reading on the type of sex scene you want to write. Will your characters be both male? both female? transgender? Do you plan to have more than two people in the scene? Make sure you read scenes that are reflective of the type of scene you want to write.

Imagine

Before you begin writing, try to imagine the entire scene in your head. Who will instigate the action? Will one partner be more dominant than the other? Imagine the feel of their skin touching, how they smell, taste, sound. Don’t just write about the act of sex. Describe them getting undressed, the foreplay, and what happens after (do they cuddle? does one get up to take a shower right away? do they fall asleep in each other’s arms?).

There is so much more to sex than people playing with each other’s genitals, so keep that in mind as you imagine the scene.

Write

Once you have a good grasp on how erotic scenes are written and have imagined the scene you want to write, then the next logical step is to start writing the scene.

When I write a scene I just let the scene I imagined replay in my mind as I write. I try to describe everything as best as I can. When I’m writing, my personal preference is third-person limited, so I will describe the scene from only one character’s point-of-view. I will describe how the other character is reacting to what’s going on (sounds, movements, dialogue), but I try not to hop between the characters’ heads during a scene.

After I’ve written the scene, I go back and re-read it. I check to make sure everything makes sense and that I can still visualize the scene that I wrote the same way I had originally imagined it. During editing, I often will add additional details I may have left out, along with cleaning up all the grammar, spelling and other errors.

That’s my process for writing an erotic sex scene. I hope you found this useful. Please feel free to leave me questions in the comments below if you want more clarification on any particular point.

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