Reader Feedback: On Writing Sex Scenes

There are not a huge number of reader comments on the subject of writing sex scenes, but the ones that are there are really worth reading. Some highlights:

From Pam:

Isn’t it a truth that where trust is required, self-knowledge and knowledge of the other is essential? So sex scenes and battle scenes – a couple of ways to tell the truth about your characters.

From email:

[my favorite quote] “Would those of you who’ve never had sex, PLEASE stop
writing about it!”

Which still makes me giggle. I read it initially in a
discussion of the scary and anatomically impossible
things that some fanfic writers put characters
through, where it is extra-true.

From Robyn:

Part of the magic of a sex scene that does work is how it lets you see into these people, how they reveal new things to themselves and to each other as well as to the reader.

From Gerry:

It would be bad, I think, if an author got to feel obliged to be constrained on this or that – like when the Inquisition made Descartes tread very carefully.

From Jena:

Excellent suggestion re subbing “Then they had sex” to test whether the scene is generic vs. unique. I can see the same idea working for fight scenes, chase scenes, scenes about the weather, location, etc. etc.

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2 Replies to “Reader Feedback: On Writing Sex Scenes”

  1. Sara,
    I have been reading with great enjoyment your thoughts, analysis, and deconstructions of sex scenes. I have been too busy to answer, but read them I do. We are out there even if you don’t hear from us.

    Cynthia in Florida

  2. scary and anatomically impossible things that some fanfic writers put characters through

    Especially the straight girls who write manslash and who get the scenes down pretty well, emotion and feeling-wise and so on, but then have them do things that make anyone with a mind for visualisation wince and then stop reading because of how much it must hurt those poor characters.

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