Kick Start Continued – XXX

Write a Sizzling Sex Scene?

Most of the writers I know do not write sex scenes, and those that do tend to favor the classic, traditional, old fashioned sex scene: inference, inference, inference – the sex takes place off screen, off page, in the mind of the reader. Guess what? A sizzling sex scene does not have to exchange body fluid or insert Tab A into Slot B (If you are one of my G, PG, or PG-13 readers, this is as erotic and/or pornographic as I get, so read on…)

In addition to everything else I did during a magical week in the mountains of Malaga, Spain, I wrote a sizzling sex scene that had one purpose: to reveal more about my characters. The sex took place off screen, but there was substantial foreplay and sufficient afterglow. Are you getting uncomfortable yet?

Inspiration for Princess Leia in the Casino Real, Murcia, Spain
Inspiration for Princess Leia in the Casino Real, Murcia, Spain

So, the basis of this assignment came from our lovely and talented instructor, Liz Engstrom and a supplemental text, her short, sweet, and spot-on book, How to Write a Sizzling Sex Scene.  According to Liz, most good writing follows the traditional three-act format, a beginning, middle, and end, the Set Up, the Conflict, and the Resolution, Act I, Act II, and Act III. A sex scene is similar – three parts – Foreplay, Sex, Afterglow. The main difference is a writer does not need the sex in ink, on the page, to have a great sex scene. I found, and this is me, the one who avoids viscous materials, tabs and slots, and so forth, to be true and very enlightening.

Interestingly, just like in real life, the most revealing parts of a character’s persona, the real character, is in the sex scene – it is where we are the most vulnerable, the most visible, and the most naked, literally and figuratively. Think about all the books that have been written that have sex in them – one, some, or all three parts, on or off page – and think how much was revealed about the characters. I think in some of the classics, where marriage and sex are probably interchangeable, stuff happens – big stuff. Pride and Prejudice is very powerful – Darcy and Lizzy finally figure everything out and the after marriage denouement is really the afterglow. How about the foreplay in that novel?

Another great book that jumps to mind, and I might be confusing the movie with the text, Phillip K. Dick’s amazing Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep  aka Bladerunner. The foreplay is unbelievable between Rick Deckard and Rachel a la Harrison Ford and Sean Young. Sure, there’s a complimentary sex scene, but in the afterglow, Harrison Ford’s character decides not to kill the android (Rachel) and live happily ever denouement after. Crazy!

Write a sex scene? Woe is me!
Write a sex scene? Woe is me!

So, what does this mean?

You can have a sizzling sex scene that can reduce your reader’s mind and heart to ashes by revealing your characters while they remain fully dressed.

Good luck, keep writing, and stay tuned for more from the Kick-Start-Your-Novel workshop/retreat and my other writing projects.

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