If You Write It, Will They Come?: Sex Scenes

So, boom. I was sitting there writing, making progress with my book. I have my novel open in one tab, next to my thesaurus.com tab, next to my plot outline tab, next to my target shopping cart full of things I’ll never buy. Long story short– it’s flowing.  Natural habitat and such. My characters are building and as their relationship intensifies I know what’s coming. It’s inevitable…the dickening is upon us. These two mature beings are going to have to seal the deal. Bake the potato. Bump uglies. I knew it would happen. Hell, I wrote it into the plot. But once I was actually there I had performance anxiety. What’s my approach? Do I go poetic with it?

He laid her down on a fresh bed of daisies in the backyard of his sweet grandmothers garden. It seemed fitting that the daisies Nana cherished for years would support the love blossoming between him and Caroline. “I love you, Caroline,” he whispered into the gentle folds of her ear. Her eyes filled with tears as she pulled him close and they became one. 

Or do I go full erotica?

Tiffany reached into his Levi’s and freed his throbbing member. She had never seen one so–

While we’re on this topic, writer’s, let’s retire the “throbbing member”. Are his dick and balls considered a boyband? Will his penis go solo at some point and expose Janet’s tit at the Superbowl?

I kid, but the dilemma is real. What type of sex scene do I want to write? I want to be authentic but tasteful. The passion should be palpable but not vulgar. I want to toe the line between Celine Dion and Cardi B, you feel me? I sat down. I was going to go for it. But just as the tips of my fingers touched the keys I stopped. How will I know what works best for my characters, their journey, and my audience? Would I offend? Would I disappoint? It was all too much.

I was having performance anxiety. Like most of my anxieties, it was simply me overthinking it. This sex scene is just like any other scene in the novel. It’s meant to foster a deeper connection between the characters and audience, move the story forward, and add another layer of complexity. I lubed up my fingers and dove back in.

Sometime later, after a lot of sweating and grunting — I was eating donuts — it was done. I lost my sex scene virginity. It was messy and awkward and a lot of “is this okay?” but it was there and it felt good. A big step. I know with practice and growth (bazinga) it’ll get better but it does not diminish the significance of this literary milestone. Yes! My novel has HPV.

Want to read that sex scene? Check out my novel on “Say When” on Wattpad: Say When. Did you get love right on the first try? Neither does Bridget but her choices have deeper consequences than you can imagine. Thanks for checking it out!

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