What makes an erotic scene tick? Hot sweaty animal sex…is that it? I’m thinking yes, but then again I have a tendency to write my stories around sex scenes, which never fails to leave me in a huge rut. However, when I come up with a fairly decent story (so my critique partners and editor tells me) I don’t want to admit I think in terms of sex scenes. I’m a romance writer who wants to make the story memorable. I have to add juicy conflicts, and compelling motives, and sweeping character arcs.
Never mind! Let’s get back to the sex!
Okay, so boy meets girl. Boy thinks girl is hawt…girl thinks boy is hawt, and then they have at it.
IT! Dun, dun, dah!
Where was I? Oh, right!
What makes it…sex…right for the story? How do sex scenes escape gratuitous status? How do they propel the story forward? These are all the considerations I have to take in when I’m constructing an erotic romance. I can’t just write stories around hot sex. I need to make the scenes necessary/fit the story.
I’m currently finishing up a second novella and I’m at a pivotal scene. It’s honestly the first time I’ve consciously kept every one of these questions in mind. I feel brilliant, creative, and very proud that I’m crafting the scene so no one sees it as just another opportunity for me to write sex.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to allow the hero and heroine to unleash their characters, grow further into who they are (in my mind) and reach a conclusion that moves them either forward—or backward—on whatever path they’re traveling. It really is that important to the big picture.
What’s your opinion? Have you read stories where the sex just wasn’t *gasp* necessary? Did it make you feel uncomfortable or want to throw the book across the room?