My A-Z Challenge this year is about writing adult content in fiction – you will not find any adult fiction within the parameters of the challenge, except for illustration purposes.
Over the years I’ve discovered that there are tricks to writing tantalizing sex scenes. First is not employing overused phrases like “engorged member” and “heaving bosom.” Let’s face it, they’ve been done to death and thus have become fodder for ridicule. Inspiring an eye roll from a reader is more anti-erotic than titillating. So what is erotic?
The second thing on my personal list of how to write a good sex scene is subtlety. There’s really nothing worse than the feeling that you’re reading an organ owner’s manual. i.e. Her bosom heaving, she grasped his engorged member and rubbed it. Then…
No. Just no. Step by step instructions don’t work for anyone with experience. So unless you’re writing specifically for virgins, I’d suggest allowing the reader to use his or her own imagination. Think of it this way – your target audience likely knows what they’re doing even with the lights off. They don’t need you to show up with a megawatt spotlight and a bullhorn to ruin it all for them. Rewriting the previous example with this in mind; With a deep exhalation she reached down and took him in her hand, stroking and guiding… You get the picture, right? And if you don’t, you’re probably too young to be reading this. Go away.
The third and final point–and the one for which this post is titled–is onomatopoeia. For those of you who have grown a distance from grade six grammar, onomatopoeia is “the use of words whose sound suggests the sense.”* Depending on the softness or the urgency of the sex scene in question, there are just some words that sound better; that roll off the tongue and slip easily into place. “Blow me,” for instance comes across better as a whisper, whereas the phrase “suck it” has the sharp consonants that depict more of a demand. Shorter sentences provide a sense of breathlessness as the scene progresses toward its climax.
These are but a few techniques which, subtle in and of themselves, separate the passages that have a reader reaching for a fan from the ones that have ’em running for the toilet before they pee themselves with laughter. There’s an art to writing an effective sex scene. When you read one, you know it. Writing them takes practice, like anything. Like sex itself.
*Merriam Webster online