Sex is nothing to be ashamed of. Now, I know society doesn’t portray it as such much of the time, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not going to lie: the more comfortable you are with sex, the easier it is to write. Sex is one of the best aspects of our lives, and I have a few tips to help you write it as such.
Vocabulary: Obviously, the basis for all writing is words. Word choice is a tricky beast no matter what you’re writing and choosing the best words to suit your characters can be…daunting at best. However, unless your character is Dr. Nii, from Saiyuuki, or Faust, from the Guilty Gear games, clinical terms probably aren’t going to be suitable for your sex scene. And the only reason I’m even considering it suitable for either of them is because they’re insane.
The first key to writing sexy sex is using sexy words. Cock, ass, fuck, all strong words, but sex is a strong thing. Personally, I’d avoid using any clinical terms such as penis, vagina, and my least favorite, anus. You want to turn your readers on, not make them think they’re reading a health textbook. Just…think about what you would say during sex. Would you say ‘I want your penis inside me’ or ‘I want you to fuck my anus’? Honestly, if someone said that to me during sex…I’d…I’d really tell them to get out.
Another thing I avoid is overly flowery descriptions. Cutesy, flowery things tend to get very lulzy and you don’t want your readers laughing when you’re trying to be hot and sexy. Again, the only time something flowery and indirect is appropriate is if your character is a fruitcake. Like the Joker.
All-in-all sex is a graphic, lewd-ish thing, even if it's love-making, it's still sex. I wish writers would realize this and treat it as such. Sex can be awkward enough without having to add to that with clinical terms, then it just becomes uncomfortable.
Consistency: I’m going to be blunt here. If you’re writing a multi-chaptered fic and sex happens more than once, consistency needs to happen with all those sex scenes. What I’m talking about is if the first sex scene is very detailed and graphic, and the subsequent ones are not, I get pissed. I get very, very annoyed and disappointed. If something is graphic the first time, I expect it the next time, otherwise it seems rather inconsistent.
Experience: Experience is a loaded word when it comes to sex, and it can mean so many things on the writing front. I’m going to start with sexual experience of characters. Some got experience, some don’t. Sometimes you don’t want them to have experience, other times you do. One thing’s for sure though, if you’re writing characters with little or limited sexual experience, they’re probably not going to have totally perfect awesome-sauce sex their first time. I know I didn’t. Inexperienced doesn’t have to mean your character(s) are extremely nervous either, they can still be eager to mess the whole thing up. And that’s fun.
I am going to be quite frank with all of you since most of us here write slash. Anal sex hurts. Not always and not necessarily a lot, but it does have a tendency to hurt at some point. This is more of something to keep in mind rather than something that HAS to be done every slash sex scene. Personally, I think a little bit of pain throws in some realism, which is something I strive for in my sex scenes. Sex is rarely, if ever, perfect, after all.
I’m also going to say here in ‘experience’ that research is your FRIEND. You need to use and abuse this friend as much as you possibly can. In regards to writing sex, the best form of research is actually having sex. =D I know that most slash writers are women, and it’s physically impossible to have gay sex, but that doesn’t mean you can’t write totally awesome slash. At the risk of seeming vulgar and lewd, women can at least have anal sex, but I’m SOL on having lesbian relations. You lucky women, you…
Anywho! Another great research tool is porn. I watch lots of porn. Sure, most of it is exaggerated, but you might find something useful, maybe a kink you didn’t know you had?
This is a great resource for slash It’s an oldie, but a good site.
Dynamics: This is probably the trickiest and most important aspect to capture, but if you can manage to wrangle that beast, it’ll add so much to your story and your sex scenes. Relationships are inherently different when you’re dealing with a straight, gay, or lesbian couple. Different things have to happen in order to have sex in the first place, but also, society plays a big role in how we see these different couplings. Now, I don’t want anyone to think I’m being sexist, but society really does view that in heterosexual relationships, the man is on top, the woman underneath. This isn’t the case with gays and lesbians; we get to choose who plays what role. It’s an entirely different dynamic, there’s a lot more choice and options, but also some limiting factors as well. Lesbians, for instance, have to switch off to eat each other out, and toys are needed for real penetration. Scissoring is really the best way for both girls to be stimulated at the same time, but that makes it hard to kiss. Gays have a little bit easier time of things, what with two cocks and all.
Men act a certain way and women act a certain way, and how they act in one combination can be drastically different from another combination. Even with bisexuals, the way a bi-man acts with a woman is going to be different from how he acts with another man. Knowing the differences is the key to keeping your men acting like men and your women acting like women. Men are prideful and tend to bottle things up while women are more open and sensitive. It’s just the way we are, but these things aren’t absolutes. It’s okay to play around and make a man more sensitive and have a woman bottle things up. People are all different, but we inherently act certain ways whether we’re in a straight or gay/lesbian relationship.
To Fuck, or Not to Fuck: I did warn you all that I have a filthy Irish mouth, right? PWP should have sex, that’s the point, but whether to add sex into something plottier takes careful consideration. I am all for sex, but it needs to have a valid point in your story. People are so vulnerable and open during sex that this can be used to your advantage. You HAVE to trust someone to a certain extent elsewise it’s not sex, it’s non-con or rape. And even sex in the middle of a story for no reason can be very revealing, if utilized properly. Loose morals when it comes to having sex says something about a person, after all.
For sex to have a valid point, you don’t have to make the characters have a lengthy, in-depth discussion while doing it. Bruce may have the self-control of a god, and Clark is…Clark, and basically a god, but they’re still men; I can assure you the brains in their heads, behind their eyes, are not the brains being used if they’re nekkid and grinding against each other. This is where body language comes in. *Insert Ursula shaking her hips in an exaggerated manner.* Simple, small gestures can say a lot about a person during sex and the kind of lover they are. Gentle caresses, slapping away the bottom’s hand so the top can jerk him off; that can be either very controlling, or the top can just have the desire to do all the work, something Clark would be likely to do. Then you’ve got rough sex and ass-slapping; does the bottom like that, or does he put up with it for the sake of the top? Kissing is a big thing and some men don’t like to kiss, or they’ll only kiss someone they’re serious about. Of course, there is the fact that Bruce has a tendency to think and think and think when he really shouldn’t, and that can be rather distracting during sex. Certainly Clark would notice quickly that Bruce seems to be elsewhere, and he can either try to seduce Bruce back into the game, or stop all together. The possibilities are so endless I don’t even know where to start!
Sex is a powerful thing and you can use it to reveal things about characters that they may otherwise be too guarded to show. Like Bruce.
Pitching and Catching: In a straight pairing, the roles of top and bottom are already assigned. That’s not the case with gay and lesbian couples. Someone chooses to be on top, and the other on bottom. He, or she, who is in the dominant role is not necessarily the one in charge. Bottoms have more control than tops. Really, they do. It’s the bottom that sets the pace, and a good top, such as Clark, will listen implicitly and do what he’s told. Who’s really wearing the pants in the relationship, hmm?
Another thing I see a lot is the bottom position being treated as ‘punishment’ or it’s less pleasurable than being on top. This simply is not so. There are more bottoms in the world than tops, though typically, men switch but have a preference to either or. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, because they’re both fun and pleasurable in their own way. Being on top and watching as you drive your partner to orgasm is pretty fucking awesome. And being on bottom, knowing that your partner is doing everything to drive you wild…it’s nice. It’s really, really nice.
I like Bruce on bottom. And something unique to the Bruce/Clark dynamic is that while I’ve just said that the bottom has a lot of control, Bruce can’t physically hurt Clark, allowing him to be as aggressive and rough as he wants. Even still, I like Bruce on bottom. The man needs to be able to relinquish his control in a controlled, safe way, otherwise he’s going to end up in Arkham. I can’t think of Bruce releasing his control in a better way than in Clark’s arms, or underneath Clark~ Maybe pinned to the ceiling by Clark. X3
Sexuality: Some people are more comfortable with their sexuality than others. On a general basis, men are more comfortable with sex than women, but that is by no means an absolute. Samantha Jones (Sex in the City) for instance, is a highly sexual woman entirely comfortable with herself. And there are men just as insecure about sex as Samantha is in love with it. It’s entirely dependent on each character as to how out-going or reserved they are, but gender plays a role in that as well. This plays a big, big part in your bedroom scenes, or where ever they may be having sex. Which reminds me, those that are more comfortable with sex and their sexuality are more likely to have public sex. Those that are more reserved will probably like to keep things in-house, and possibly with the lights off.
It’s Always the Quiet Ones: Ah, my most favoritest thing ever: Dirty Talk. The first time I wrote dirty talk, I was nervous as all Hell. I was so afraid it sounded stupid; I needed my Bestie Without Testies to hold my hand through all of it. She’s such a trooper, capable of quelling my fits of fear and uncertainty, and boy, do I ever have fits. XD
People blurt out all sorts of things during sex, and these can be funny, hot, or very drama inducing. Yelling out the wrong name? That’s never a good sign. Dirty talk can get repetitive, but it’s hard to properly and eloquently articulate what you’re feeling or what you want when you brain feels like a giant ball of fuzz, in the best way possible. It’s so much easier to find a word close to you what you want and just moan it over and over.
Some people have very dirty, active little mouths during sex, others only say a few things like ‘yes’ over and over, or ‘fuck’. Those active mouths are the hardest to write, for sure. You want things to sound realistic, but you don’t want to go into that over-done porno area, either. Name calling is pretty common, as are cussing and demands. It’s usually the bottom’s tongue that runs away first, but tops can get loud and start swearing like a sailor, too. Then there’s back-and-forth dirty talk, with the top typically asking some lewd question, and the bottom answering in an equally lewd manner. This is very fun, especially if you’re doing something with plot. You can work aspects of your story subtly into the dirty talk, and maybe someone reveals something they didn’t mean to. Or, maybe they don’t reveal what was expected? Sex is a powerful force as are words, and when you combine them…hoo boy! The sparks that could fly.
Courage: I’ve fallen prey to self-doubt and loathing of the porn I’ve written at least…hmm, once per fic. It’s natural to feel nervous, especially when it comes to posting porn. I get nervous with every fic I post, doubly so if it happens to have sex, and this is why I have built a team of friends to help me through my posting jitters. My Bestie Without Testies cannot believe how insecure I can get when it comes to posting time, because I am a very confident person, but writing…writing is something else.
When you write, you reveal bits and pieces of who you really are. You can only write what you know, and invariably, the thing that most of us are going to know best is ourselves. Whether we mean to or not, we write using our own personal knowledge no matter what. With sex, you have to open yourself up to another person, and that’s embarrassing for most people. Posting sex is pretty much the same; you’re allowing other people to read your personal knowledge and personal experience on a deeply intimate subject. I’ve probably just made you all way more skittish about writing sex, but if you can come to terms with your nervousness and embarrassment and develop your comfort zone, you might find yourself with too many sex scenes and too little time to write them all!
Finding a friend that you trust to help with your porn-y bits is one of the best things you can do. I need a team to help me: two-three people who stroke my ego, and one who destroys it. It’s the destroyer one that I trust most to be truthful with me and tell me when I’m getting…too far out of line or when something doesn’t make sense.
Lucifer’s Last Words: It’s true I like to live in ‘Plot, What Plot?’ land, but even still, I believe these tips can help create interesting and insightful scenes that help and not hinder your story as a whole. I want you all to find your own comfort with your sexuality. It’s something only you can do in your own way, and it’s the best tool you have for writing any sort of sex scene.
I’m really quite serious that I could go on talking about sex until I die in 60 years or so, but uh, I’m betting no one wants to listen to me that long~ So, my parting wisdom is this: Take what you can from my advice and say to hell with the rest, but always, always write what makes YOU happiest. If someone has a problem with that, I suggest you tell them to go fuck themselves.
And now for some questions!
What are some of your favorites words, and words that you find sexy or hot? Words that are not?
What’s your favorite dynamic to write: het, gay, or lesbian, and why?
And now, the dreaded…How comfortable are you with the subject of sex? Does the mere mention make you blush, or could you go on in graphic details until someone has to shove a sock into your mouth? (People have to do this to me.)