My completely uneducated opinion on how to write a love scene

Let me start off by saying I am not a romance or a erotica writer. I mainly write science fiction and fantasy. I also generally believe if sex is not part of the story, it has no place in the story. It is amazing how many movies and books are ruined by “sexing up,” however I am an adult, so I also believe that sex is a natural and integral part of adult romantic relationships especially marriage.

Because I believe this, it does come through in my own writing. For example: In Other Systems, Abby sees Brian and Helen were fooling around in the engine room, Abby leaves before she is caught watching them which means all she really saw is Brian kissing Helen’s neck and unzipping the top of her coveralls. Sexing up the book? I don’t think it is.  If the reader is shocked by a happily married couple having sex, there is something wrong with the reader’s ideas about marriage.

The same is true in my comic Out for Souls&Cookies, about the married couple whom take care of Rosie and Tycho (demons disguised as poodles) as you can see below.

However in my next two novels with the working titles, the Martlet and OS: Luna there are major romantic subplots. Now what do I do?

First I figured, hey, I am married and in love with my husband, so I’ll think abut the early years of us together. Hmmm. Dang it that was pretty useless because I am not an assassin or considering the colonial issues of Luna. And while no marriage is perfect, actually we really haven’t had too many problems that we were not given the tools to sort out during pre-marital counseling. Damn it!!!

So admittedly, my first drafts were not very good but now I think I figured out what works for me. I am sure that if you are writing a romance this is not exactly applicable, this is more about writing a fantasy or science fiction book with a romantic element. I also write generally in the context of 3rd person limited or 1st person, so the reader does spend some time in the protagonist’s head.

Since this is a subplot, I have no hard and fast rules over timing, this may happen over the course of a chapter or over several.

 

 

 

Step 1) Be true to the characters. Consider their true selves, how long they have been in the relationship, etc. The first time is different than the fifth time which is different than the hundredth time, etc. What do they want by approaching the person of their desire?

Step 2) With focus on the way the protagonist is feeling and experiencing the event. First glances at the person: I am not a believer of looking deep into my lover’s soulful eyes, but I am a believer of looking at the man or woman and being immediately interested in some part of them.

There should also be self body awareness: The feeling of being aware of the protagonist’s own body. Cold sweats while trying to be sauve, that sort of thing.

Step 3: Speaking to the person, maybe doing them a favor, or otherwise courting them–this goes for both men and women.

The body awareness should continue for awhile. Maybe they had a spicy lunch and now they are afraid of farting. Worse maybe they do try to silently fart, but let out a booming one. Or maybe it’s a silent but deadly, I don’t know it’s your story at this point. Reactions are everything.

Step 4: The touching of hands/arms, Closer touching hands to face or embracing for the first time. The continuation of courting.

Step 5: Kissing the cheek, moving to kissing the mouth

Step 6: Mouth to other body part–I am talking shoulders, chest, etc. Focus more on foreplay then actual sex acts.

Now depending on your writing style you may choose either to black out the scene…

or Step 7: depending on how steamy, you want this to go, hand or mouth to genitals–the warming up of the characters and Step 8: intercourse.

Here is a final tip: since I don’t write erotica, so I am not talking about anything other than sex. Kink would be problematic in these settings as they have their own logistics. If you know about a lifestyle and can write it well, awesome, but if you don’t, it will probably come through in your writing and muddy the subplot.

Good luck intrepid writers! Does anyone else have any pointers they would like to share?

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