How to Write the Naughty Bits

How to Write the Naughty Bits

I’ve been asked more than once how on earth can I write explicit sex scenes? With my steamy new books for Dare, I’ll admit that I’ve gotten this question much more often. Of course, people always assume that somehow I’ve done every position I ever write about (in No Strings, that means steamy sex with a stranger! Or in Look at Me that means watching my neighbors go at it or in First Class Sin, it means eye-popping positions in the plane’s lavatory!).

Okay, this might seem obvious, but I write fiction. I am not the heroines in my books, though I certainly do live vicariously through them. So, the first rule of writing sexy, sex scenes is:

You don’t have to be a vixen to do it. You don’t have to write about your own experiences. You can—gasp—use your imagination! It’s a real thing authors do, I promise.

Also, as a side note, do mystery writers always get asked if they kill people? I’m just wondering.

The second reservation people always share is: I can’t write a sex scene. My mom might read it!

Well, yes, she might.  That’s why, as a courtesy, I’ll tell my mom or dad if they might want to skip this book or at least certain pages. But, the fact remains you can’t let a little embarrassment get in the way of writing.  I don’t write sex scenes while thinking of my parents. That would be weird.  I write to entertain, and that means stepping out of my comfort zone every now and again. Plus, if you let mum’s disapproval run your life, then would you ever have that second (or third) drink or buy those too high heels or too short dress?

People also ask me if I feel weird writing about sex, since, you know, it’s not much different than porn. I couldn’t disagree more. Porn is only about sex, and not about feelings or character development or plot movement (unless, I suppose, you consider the pizza guy arriving with a delivery a good plot). The sex I write about isn’t for giggles (if you laugh, I’ve done my job VERY poorly), and it’s not for titillation, either. Sex in my books means something to the characters, whether they know it at the time or not. Sex can bring characters together or drive them apart.

So, the third rule in writing a good sex scene is: Make sure it moves the plot forward or drives character development in some way.

The naughty bits CAN be the most fun parts of the book. And, that happens to be the final rule of a good sex scene: Have fun writing it, and your readers will have fun reading it.

Cara Lockwood