The official blog of Jane Domagala

ADULT CONTENT - Writing a Sex Scene Part 1

I've blogged before about sex in adult fantasy fiction and the importance of it to add realism to your story. What I didn't go into was how to write a sex scene. Or more specifically, how I write a sex scene. I've always liked writing sex scenes. The characters are in a heightened state of emotions and it can be great for building character tension before, between or after the fact. Plus it's fun to get down and dirty sometimes, don't you think?

Let's begin with who's having sex. So...

Who's having sex?
When I start writing about characters in a new book I always love to explore the different sexual interactions between them. Who's having sex with whom? Sometimes the sex between characters is amazing and sometimes it's horrific. I always keep in mind that a sexual encounter can (and most likely will) change a character for good or bad. If you commit yourself to a sex scene you'd better be prepared for how those characters are going to feel/change afterwards. For example afterwards are they excited, awkward, ashamed, ecstatic, sleepy or just pleased that they've had sex? Throwing in a sex scene for the sake of it can be disastrous and pointless. At the same time the lack of sex shifts your book from adult to young adult. If there's no opportunity in your story for the protagonist to have sex then at least have them thinking about it. As most people do.

Plot can play a big role in deciding who gets it on with whom, but you also have to consider character development, character personality and the journey a character must take throughout the book. Personally, I like my protagonist to have a solid love interest (call me a romantic). But that's not to say they can't have dark/gritty sexual encounters that go beyond love. A domineering or manipulative character would be likely to use sex to get what they want.

Also, don't forget secondary characters. There's plenty of opportunities for secondary characters to use their sexuality (or lack thereof) to change or mess up the protagonist's plans. In short, I think about my plot and my characters and how a sexual encounter will inhibit or aid the story I'm trying to tell. Sometimes the most unlikely of characters can find their way to each other. What are your thoughts?

Part II - Set The Mood
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