Reviews for Enjoy It
Guest chapter 1 . 10/4/2012
Cmar's advice for love and sex scenes
Advice for writing love and sex scenes

As there appears to be very little advice out there on writing heterosexual sex scenes, I thought Id take a stab at it. This is meant mainly for M/F scenes, but much of it applies to slash also.

Many of you may think writing sex scenes is easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. While anyone can throw a few sentences together describing a sexual act, writing a good sex scene that is erotic, emotional, involving, and convincing in terms of characters and physical realities is surprisingly difficult. Just the terminology can be a challenge, not to mention avoiding clichs and repetition, and in the case of slash making it clear whos doing what to whom.

Now the usual question, who am I to be writing this? Im a huge reader, and have read my share of erotic fiction, including fanfic. Ive also written it, although only two of my NC-17 scenes have made it to a cringing public. Also, when it comes to the real thing, Ive read about it from scientific sources, can speak from personal experience, and have discussed the topic with various friends and more-than-friends over more years than I care to admit to.

What are You Writing, and Why?

Take the time to answer this question before you start. Are you writing porn, something that exists solely to be sexually arousing? Then, besides writing style, all you need to worry about is keeping your anatomy fairly correct, so you wont provoke laughter instead. Are you doing erotica, a story about fully-developed characters that happens to include explicit sex? Then youve got all the headaches of writing any story; having some semblance of plot, good characterization, etc. Are you writing a non-explicit love scene? These can have much of the story impact, and many of the challenges, of more explicit scenes. What you write depends on your taste, the purpose of your fic, and hopefully the demands of your plot.

Erotica may be a PWP (Plot, What Plot?), in which case you dont need much of a story, but you still should set up a situation that convincingly gets your characters in bed. It may also be explicit scenes included in a longer story. In either case, erotica is, in my opinion, one of the hardest forms of fiction to do well.

Part of your decision will be exactly how explicit you want to be. A lot of fanfic writers seem to think hot sex scenes are expected of them, that readers will be disappointed without them. I disagree. If you arent comfortable doing this kind of writing, or feel uncertain about the quality of it; if you want to reach a more general audience, or feel that explicit sex doesnt fit with the story, by all means do a fade-out before the body parts come into play. Many readers actually prefer it that way, and it may be better for the quality of your stories. While sex scenes used properly can show intimate details of a character and a relationship, all too often they simply bring the plot to a screeching halt.

You also don't have to write something explicit in order to write something erotic. The most important sexual organ in the human body is the brain. Suggestion, the description of a character's emotions, reactions, desires, sensations, writing that has us sharing those feelings... The reader's imagination will supply the rest.

Most of the rest of this page is rated somewhere between PG-13 and R; theres some frank discussion of sex, but nothing really explicit. If youre underage, please leave now.

Realism - How Much? Whats Realistic, Anyway?

They say to write what you know. Ive read some smut out there that made me strongly suspect that the author has never - or almost never - actually had sex. If this is your situation, it doesnt mean you cant ever write a good sex scene, but I think it does tilt the odds against you; I really think experience counts for something in this area. The sensations of sex, the feel of another body, the smells, the sounds, the mixture of intense emotions; even the clumsiness and the messiness; these are the kinds of things that have to be experienced firsthand, and that contribute to writing scenes that are both original and believable.

That said, I dont want to discourage anyone from trying. Everyone old enough to be writing a sex scene knows how it feels to be attracted to another person, and to be aroused, and can use imagination - and some research - for the rest. Also, you dont have to have experienced every act you write about, or women would never be able to write slash.

Fiction doesnt have to be strictly realistic. You may not want to deal with safe sex, or bodily functions kicking in at inappropriate times, or who gets to lie on the wet spot. You probably want to write sex thats better than the real thing, which can be messy, embarrassing, uncomfortable, and unsatisfying. Thats all fine, and in fact many readers prefer idealized fictional sex.

However, I personally cringe at fics that are blatantly unrealistic or depend heavily on clichs, and youll lose your readers quickly if it sounds like your characters are doing something physically impossible. So here goes, with a few basic facts and guidelines, based on the non-realisms Ive most often seen in fanfic. How much realism you want to actually apply is up to you.

The majority of women need more than simple intercourse to be satisfied. This means foreplay. It means time. It means a certain amount of the use of fingers, tongues, etc. on various body parts before, perhaps during, and maybe even after the act. I dont know how many times (not just in fanfic, either!) I've seen the man basically just whipping it out and sticking it in, and the woman being satisfied with this pitiful performance. Sorry, but in almost all cases thats really not the way it works. This kind of scene always makes me wince at what a terrible lover the author is making the poor guy look like.

Simultaneous orgasm is also quite rare in real life. Too bad.

Men need recovery time between sexual acts. This may vary from a few minutes (probably in a teenager) to an hour or more (probably someone over thirty or forty). Similarly, most men cant do it more than two or three times a night. (Theres tremendous personal variation, and again it depends on age, and on circumstances.) Women recover faster and can keep going longer, but we have limits too.

Inter isnt the only course. Related to point one. Remember, variety is the spice of life, theres many ways to have sex. People have mouths and hands too, and your couple will probably use them on each other, at least if they have a long-term relationship. Mild kinkiness can be a lot of fun, but if you get into heavy kink, make sure your characters are the type to engage in that kind of behavior. It doesnt have to be in bed, either. Sex can happen on the kitchen table, the floor, a bathroom, outside. Just keep a little realism; for example, if they do it on a hardwood floor, someones going to have a sore back.

Sex in water ranges from difficult and uncomfortable to impossible (unless youre fond of small tidal waves and painful amounts of friction). Believe me, I know. Same thing goes for sex with both partners standing up, unless its doggy-style.

Theres a lot of screaming and moaning that goes on in fanfic sex. In reality, most people dont make all that much noise. This goes double for men, who tend to limit themselves to a few discreet grunts and groans. This doesnt mean dont write your characters being verbal during sex, just dont get carried away.

Clothing: Most sex scenes will start with clothing on. There are all kinds of things you can do with it, ranging from getting just enough of it out of the way to removing it completely. Characters undressing themselves or each other can be very sexy. A few cautions here:

A shy virgin is unlikely to do a striptease.

Ripping off of clothes is dramatic but unlikely. I always visualize the other person screaming, I paid 50 bucks for that shirt! and stomping out in a huff. Clothes-ripping is appropriate in certain circumstances, between certain characters, but most of the time it isnt.

If some or most of the clothes stay on, make sure the act youre writing about is possible with them in place.

Unless the characters were expecting to have sex and dressed for the occasion, it may be better to avoid very sexy underwear or no underwear. Depending on the character, it may seem odd that they would dress like this everyday, not to mention both possibilities tend to be uncomfortable in real life.

Kink: (By kink I mean: voyeurism, exhibitionism, sex in public or other unusual places, leather, bondage, discipline, spanking, mind games, sex toys, mild rough sex; all consensual and with no one getting hurt.)

This kind of thing can be fun, and provide variety. However, youve got to consider whether your character would trust the other person(s) enough to, for example, let themselves be tied up. In real life, most people are more likely to indulge in such things with a steady sexual partner or a long-time friend with whom they feel very comfortable, but - everybodys different. Be aware that showing someone leaping into an unusual sexual act with a near-stranger will say something about their personality. So, dont be shy, but keep it in character.

Safe sex: This is really a matter of choice. I personally like to see it mentioned, especially in slash scenes, as it gives a touch of realism and makes the characters seem more mature and responsible. But its really up to what you feel comfortable writing, and will also depend on - you guessed it - the characters.

However realistic you want to be, there are a few rules its always best to follow:

Make sure your characters have the proper number of arms and legs, and other appendages, at all times. Dont describe an act or position that would require three hands or two head
alwayssometimes chapter 1 . 9/25/2012
loved it! this is the first fic with voldy that i have read, i didnt really like the sound of them but this was very good
EmMa-Is-TurNiNG-'Le'StRaNgE chapter 1 . 9/24/2012
I love your stories like this, you always write them better than anyone else! Well done:)
Mary Van Tassel chapter 1 . 9/23/2012
I didn't even read the summery i just love all your Narcissa story's! especially The ones with Rabastan !