SPA Girls Podcast – EP38 – Writing Good Sex Scenes

Self Publishing Authors PodcastThis week we decided to talk about Wendy’s favourite subject – sex! 🙂 Just kidding, it’s the favourite topic of all the SPA Girls… When you’re writing romance, there will generally be some form of physical activity that happens when people fall in love. ie Sex. Different genres have different heat levels, and it’s partially about knowing the conventions of your genre, but also about knowing what you’re comfortable with personally. This week we talked through what each of us personally is comfortable with, what we like when we read other romance books, and how to write a sex scene that will knock the socks off your readers. I hope you enjoy it! FAIR WARNING: The language in this episode is a little grittier than we normally go for, sorry about that. If you’re not keen on bad language and talk of genitalia, you might want to skip this episode (we’re pretty tame, really, but just in case…).

Remember to write what you are comfortable with (bedroom door open or closed?)

Be consistent as to the level of heat you use, because when your readers pick up one of your books, they will come to expect that the sex scenes will follow the same pattern as those in your previous novels. (Don’t add shark shifters if they haven’t been there before)

Some people (like Wendy) write steamy scenes without using to many steamy words (you know the kind). Write what works for you,

Also genre plays a part in the level of heat in your works. Take regency romance for example, the heroine is usually a virgin, which comes with its own set of problems. Whereas a modern day woman, is often not, and therefore more experienced at intimacy.

Always remember that you are writing fantasy, so swinging off the chandeliers in ecstasy is okay!

There is a big difference from writing erotically and writing erotica – Even if it is an erotic romance it’s still about the character’s journey, whereas erotica is about the sensual journey.

Is you are struggling to write a sex scene, remember the twelve steps of intimacy. Often missing a few of these out can change the pace of the scene.

Twelve steps of intimacy

1   Eye to body (characters noticing each other’s bodies)

2   Eye to Eye (first actual interaction between couples)

3   Voice to voice

4   Hand to hand or hand to arm. (Them touching for the first time)

5   Arm to shoulder (Head is a vulnerable place to touch, so if someone puts their arm around you it is a gateway to more intimacy. If you like it, that is!)

6   Mouth to mouth

7   Hand to head

8   Hand to body

9   Mouth to breast

10 Hand to genitals

11 Genitals to genitals (va va voom!!)

It’s important to build the tension and chemistry between your hero and heroine from the get go! Readers often like the journey to sex more. Set the scene!

Sometimes it can help to take your characters out of the bedroom and move on from the missionary position. Broom closets, tables, the options are limited.

Remember that a sex scene should have all the structure of any scene. Consequence, conflict, if it starts on a positive it should end on a negative etc. Don’t throw a sex scene into a story because you think it is needed. The scene needs to move the book forward like any other scene.

Just get it down!! After the first sex scene I promise the next one will come easier (no pun intended)

Try not to head hop too much, and use the character’s point of view with the most to lose.

Think about what words you use. Change things up, and be descriptive without using anatomically correct words and purple prose! (turgid sword or man flesh)


Chuck Wendig –

Sylvia Day –

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance – Alison Kent

How to Write a Dirty Story – Reading, Writing and Publishing Erotica – Susie Bright

Writing Erotic Fiction and Getting Published – Mike Bailey

Passionate Ink – A Guide to Writing Erotic Romance – Angela Knight

Jenny Hansen –…/using-the-12-sta…/

Terry Odell –…/12-steps-to-intimacy.html

SPA Girls

Author: SPA Girls

Share This Post On

1 Comment

  1. I almost wrecked my car listening to this!!!! Thanks for the info and the laughs. Here’s my philosophy on G-strings: I’ve spent my whole life trying to keep my underwear out of my crack, so why would I pay good money for something designed to specifically go ther?

    Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *