1. ZIC3
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    ZIC3 New Member

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    Writing a Tasteful Sex Scene

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ZIC3, Mar 8, 2013.

    Ok yes I have real life sexual experience, but I'm not sure how to write this in a novel in a way it can still be tasteful, and have true emotional impact. You see, in my story is a 16 year old girl, her first boyfriend is 18, and they fool around in his living room, though they almost have full on intercourse. This is important because it's really supposed to represent her loss of innocence, and her solution for her insecurities. The boy is your stereotypical handsome, charming, false loving teenage boy. The girl finds comfort in him since he is one of the only significant male figures in her life, however, she's only been dating the boy for a short period of time.

    So the boy performs oral sex on her, touches her, and she receives her first orgasm,

    Is this too much? How can I write this in an appropriate way, and how about an actual sexual intercourse scene?

    By the way, I am a new member to this site, and I apologize for any awkwardness.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    As much as I am not one of those women who liked the premise of "50 Shades", I thought EL James did write some decent sex scenes. You'd want to tone them down, of course, and take out the ridiculous pain thing that is supposed to be enjoyable, but you should be able to get some ideas from it.

    For me, I don't think I can write a decent sex scene so I'm only referring to them having occurred in my novel. Some of the best monsters in a monster movie are the ones you never get to see. :)
     
  3. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Sorry I'm one of those guys who prefers not to be mature on the subject

    however recall feelings of passion during your sexual experiences, recall what made you feel what and how and when. You can completely dance around flat out describing it and use imagery of their emotions to display what both characters are feeling and how the experience went oooooor you can go in raw... (I had to)
     
  4. live2write
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    live2write Contributing Member

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    I find reading stories that just say what happens in the raw is quite boring. I have laughed at reading sexual scenes that made me think "wow really! She or he enjoyed it?!"

    Write the setting, the details, where are they (of course living room). What does it look like mood wise? Are they watching television? Did they just come home to an empty house? Are parents upstairs? Did they come back from a good date? Did it rain out?

    What are the actions leading up to him performing the act? Did it start with a kiss? Was he holding her while on the couch? Was there a conversation?

    When a man wants to perform the first act he does it willingly for her. It would be odd for him to ask her. Does she stop to question it or let me go? If she is innocent I would have the boy ask if he trusts her. Especially if he is the steriotypical boy.

    Describe the embrace, the surprise of the initial first feeling. How does he touch her, does she like it? Does she feel good? What are her reactions and how does he synchronize is actions? Is there a moment where he tries to take it a step further or does he hold back?

    You can write this in a literal or metaphorical way. However you also have to consider what the audience of the book will be. If it is young adult or focused on teenagers I would look into what a person of that age would describe the experiences.
    You can also write it poetically where there are hints suggesting the act without completely expressing the act. To be honest, even at a young age I was at the edge of my seat with these scenes and would think "that really happens" or "did that just happen"
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    Don't compare anything to fruits. Just sayin'.

    I would focus on how the main character felt rather than the act, maybe? Depending on what you're trying to get across.

    And considering your target audience (if it's YA) You might not want to make it to...'hardcore'. You could do this by omitting words of certain parts for example: (Is it appropriate to put an example here??) 'He put his mouth on me...' rather than mentioning the organ lol overall it makes the sex scene even better and makes the reader use their own imagination. Besides, teenagers...we're pretty much dirty minded people, we will easily fill in the gaps.

    Maybe take a look at this thread from some time ago:
    http://www.writingforums.org/showthread.php?t=40773#post759713
     
  6. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sex scenes can be cringeworthy, but also they can spice up a story, if handled well. Unfortunately, there's no way to actually teach anyone how to write them. Some people never feel comfortable with it while others dive straight in. You just have to try your best, and perhaps post it here for review, that's the only way anyone can tell you if it's any good and how you can improve it.
     
  7. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I'm also one for letting the reader use some imagination as appropriate.

    For example, in one scene I have my MC about to leave a holiday apartment and go for a run. His partner is in the shower. There's an interchange:

    ... Before she could finish the sentence he had ripped back the shower curtain, clamped a strong arm round her firm buttocks, and kissed her longingly and deeply in the tenderest of places, soaking his hair and upper body and most of the white tiled floor in the process.
    'What am I not going to get, my darling Lesley Waterson?' he teased, coming up for air.
    By the time she'd stopped sighing at the antics of his tongue, ...


    Not coarsely graphic, but the reader knows what's going on and will hopefully interpret that scene for themselves and put themselves IN it.

    Hope that's of some help just as an idea.
     
  8. Mot
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    Mot Member

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    Have you heard of the 'Bad Sex in Fiction awards'? I see you're in the USA, so probably not. It's a 'literary prize' (held by a serious UK based literary magazine) that aims "to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it".
     
  9. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    i think whatever you write it has to be realistic unlike swampdog's piece - He marched into the shower, clamped his arm round her butt and kissed her in the tenderest of places? Really? Have you ever tried going down on a girl who's standing in the shower? Forgive me for being blunt here but unless he's made of elastic and immune to gushing water in his throat that's just impossible, at the very least completely awkward and highly uncomfortable - there's no way either would get any satisfaction out of that, for starters she'd have to hop about like a one legged frog trying desperately not to slip on the wet white tiled floor he's just soaked.

    So unless you're writing a contortionist's version of the Karma Sutra, please keep it real or at least explain from the participants view how awkward or completely not working it is.

    "What is he doing down there?" she thought "He must have seen that in one of those crap pornos he has stashed under his bed. I know I'm just as inexperienced but if he thinks I like that he'll keep doing it. How do I direct him to the hotspot without hurting his feelings? Forget it, I don't think he'd find it with a satnav. Maybe I'll just fake it and hope he buys better porn... but if he bites me once more..."


    "Oww oww owwww! Where did she learn that? Who the fuck told her that felt good?" He took the back of her hair gently in his grip and slowed her bobbing down "Ahh that's better..."

    forget the hot spot bit but I think you could have a lot of fun with two teenage virgins exploring each other in that terribly awkward and possibly hugely embarrassing and inexperienced moment if you portay there thoughs rather than commentating on raw intercourse.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, it was 'firm buttocks.'

    I've just written one, ach. Quite superb, went for it. I do get fed up with the 'hew, less is more' rampant pinkie, china cup crowd. Although two concerns raised here. One is my usage of
    'my cherry,' he said
    and she pipped...' etc
    also they're lying on a beach/rock so I've managed a 'like mast behind, flapped sails in perspective, guided past the promontary to the haven of the bay...' which might have to go? Sort of proud at the mmt, will die in draft s'pose.
     
  11. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    dont give up the day job mat lol! Fancy a cucumber sandwich with your rampant pinkie hehe!
     
  12. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nothing like your very first post starting out with
    This is a relatively common question, and the answer is yes, you can do it. I own and recommend a book called The Joy of Writing Sex, that talks about this very issue. If you want to see some good examples of how not to do it, google the Bad Sex in Fiction awards, which are given out every November, I believe, and some very famous and renowned authors have won or been nominated for the award. (For bad, awkward sex scenes in literary fiction.)

    Focus on the feelings and emotions of the people involved, and on the before and after. Good luck -- it can be tricky, but definitely do-able.
     
  13. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    poster deleted worthless rant
     
  14. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    ZIC3: I have a suggest for you, make a list of all your favorite movies that have sex scenes in them, then watch the sex scenes in those movies and see if something in those movie sex scenes sparks an idea on how to write the sex scene in your novel.
     
  15. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    whilst wearing boxing gloves....
     
  16. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Mat entered the studio

    'Okay buddy. Get your clothes off and up on the bed.'

    'Like this?'

    'Oh my god. Well there's a market for everything these days. And...action.'
     
  17. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure this is the best way to get work done.

    I'm not so sure watching it on film will be helpful in determining how to write it -- I think it would be more helpful to read some good scenes from books. I disagree with, I think Ginger's suggestion above on FSOG -- some of the scenes were okay, but I wouldn't say they were great. I can't think of any offhand, though to suggest right now.
     
  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Sex will be the most intimately charged part of a sexual relationship, and the coy old habit of 'closing the bedroom door' really deprives the reader of a sense of connection to the couple and the story.

    My own novel contains quite a few prolonged sex scenes between my two characters, and I feel each one develops our awareness of what their relationship is like, from the start where their first encounters are joyous and tender, to the middle where their confidence is high and they are able to experiment and have a bit of fun, and towards the end, after some terrible things have happened, and they need to adjust to new feelings and altered circumstances. If I was to shut the door on their sexual relationship, this awareness would be lost.

    Again, you can't go wrong if you describe the scenes through the senses and feelings of one or both of your characters. Be as honest as you can about what sex is really like, and avoid cliches. But don't be afraid to celebrate the act, either. After all, it's what keeps the world turning, isn't it?
     
  19. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    I didn't offer a response to help the OP so that it could be criticised in such manner. You interpreted the passage your way. The object was to show that the language used doesn't have to be coarse. If you think the participants need to be acrobats, fine. That's your interpretation.

    Other readers will paint their own picture of that scene, and that was the object of offering it to the OP. ;)

    But your comments are not wasted. :)
     
  20. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry, I didn't think your response had a myriad of interpretations - it was fairly black and white, and impossible. Anybody who thinks that position is achievable, enjoyable or even remotely realistic should try it... but keep their first aid box handy.
     
  21. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    Then you haven't been trying hard enough. :p
     
  22. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    it's just way too much work lol!
     
  23. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Erebh is spot on. The position is probably one of the most uncomfortable and never to be repeated. This is probably why it's not a good idea to answer questions by posting your own work as an example, outside the workshop. You'll get critiqued on it anyway, and you might not like what you hear. ;)
     
  24. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aw, be kind to each other. I tried it in my father's shower conversion when I was seventeen and my backside went through the wall. Been a bath man ever since. Anyways I'm getting lustdog here and there's websites you can check where people write erotica. Pretty sad most of the time.

    Advice must be to strive for sincerity with all your writing, is the only way?
     
  25. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    OK, I can readily take that on board. Thank you. That'll be a big help in the future. Being new here, I didn't expect appraisal for part of a scene from a first draft. :eek: I was simply offering the OP alternative methods of describing sex scenes other than the use coarse/graphic language/imagery.

    Still, it's a bad day when I can't learn something. ;)
     
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