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Draw on all five senses when you write a sex scene

In my previous post, I wrote about the “Bad Sex Scene Award” and how NOT to get one.

In Elissa Wald’s article “The Do’s and Dont’s of Writing Erotic Fiction,” one “do” is to draw on all five senses when you write a sex scene.

One way to do this is to break down the scene as follows:

First, make a list of the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Then, think of the characters involved in the scene and your scene’s setting—where is the scene taking place? Bedroom? Living room? Tree house? Dining room table? Middle of the forest?

Imagine your characters in action and then next to your list of senses free write whatever shows up—sentences, fragments, images, etc.

Below are some first-draft examples I may or may not use in my work-in-progress:

Sight:  …the bed’s lace canopy silhouetted the curve of her hip.

Sound:  Her breath kept time with the whir of the lopsided ceiling fan.

Touch: His fingertips made circles over her skin, picking up speed like the river’s swirling eddies, threatening to drown her.

Smell:  …the new-car smell of his leather couch.

Taste:  Her skin tasted like fresh lemons.

For each sense, try to list five or six images or fragments. Don’t use them all but choose those that resonate with your story the most.

For more tips on writing sex scenes, read my post, “How to Write a Good Sex Scene.”

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