Are your sex scenes feeling samey? Or do you avoid sex scenes entirely because of fear of that sameyness?
This is easily the most common complaint I get from erotica writers, and people wanting to spice up their writing. The sameness. This fear that all their sex scenes will or have been indistinguishable from one another. That they will get bored, or worse: their reader will get bored!
Well, friends, I am here to help. Maybe.
I’m writing this post because sex scenes should not all be samey! We’ve been banging each other for millenia! Human beings have been depicting eroticism in art for ages! As a species, I don’t see us ever getting bored of it, so there’s no reason why your writing should be any different. There are ways to infuse variety into it, and hopefully with a little practice and know-how, you can stop worrying about that rut and get excited about writing them instead!
I will not include general sex scene writing tips. This article is for variety specifically. If you’d like more generalized tips, check out my “Tips for Writing Sex Scenes”.
As usual, keep in mind that writing advice is not one-size-fits-all. Hopefully, you’ll find something useful in here! And you can always adapt advice to work for your particular style. So! Let’s get into it, shall we?
Sex is not Penetration
You know this. I know you know this. It probably doesn’t even require an explanation, but just in case it does, there are many ways to get to that good ol’ climax both without penetration ever occurring and also acts that can occur during penetration. It doesn’t always have to be dick/dildo in hole, pump pump, done.
Some examples of other sexual acts:
- Hand jobs
- Blow jobs
- Nipple play
- Rubbing naughty bits together
And that’s not even touching all the stuff you can do with kink and sexual positions to add variety. Kink offers entire worlds of sexual acts to explore! And there’s also a variety of ways to do penetration regardless of gender! Fingering, fisting, sounding, toys!
Play with Emotion
In some cases the sex may often feel the same because the characters are going in with the same headspace each time. Sex isn’t only about lust. Human beings have used sex since the beginning of time to vent a variety of feelings from boredom to frustration. From sensual love to hate.
Think about how your character’s emotions could affect the intensity of the experience. Try writing scenes when they’re not horny, when they’re feeling other powerful emotions.
Also, when you’re using sex to reinforce an emotional moment, you can make it more about the characters. More about their experience, what they’re feeling and what feedback or comfort they need so that it’s not all about the thrusting and bumping. It’s about the character development. That alone should be able to elevate it and set it apart from other sex scenes.
Use the Environment
Are your characters just flopping around on a bed every single time? That’s fine for real life, but in fiction, your characters need a change of scenery. They need to bang on tables and break them. They need to hump against a door and forget about the way its rattling until their roommate comes to make sure they’re okay. Give them a tumble in the grass and discover ant bites in their afterglow. Let their world bleed into their lust, let it flavour the experience.
Switch up Your Language
Just as emotion can affect intensity, so can the language you use. A romantic love scene may use more sensual language, softer verbs, maybe use more innuendo or hint at the acts taking place. You can’t do that with a hate fuck. A hate fuck should be wild. It should be uncontrolled and aggressive, so the language you use should reflect that. Be vulgar when your characters are feeling vulgar. Be sweet when they’re feeling sweet.
Don’t Always Make it Sexy
If you’re trying to entertain or turn on your readers, keep in mind that starting sexy, staying sexy, and finishing sexy will make your scene feel one-note, and can risk ending up boring and not sexy at all. Like any other emotion-based scene, it needs highs and lows.
Add laughter. Add moments of awkwardness. Add interruptions (Just god please no inner monologues! Not in the middle of a sex scene). It’s okay to get them dirty. It’s okay to exaggerate. Make it interesting and meaningful!
If you’re already doing some of these things, or most of them, and your sex scenes are still feeling samey, consider going more extreme. Maybe something’s holding you back. Maybe you’ve imposed limitations on these characters. “Oh, he’s so vanilla, he’d never do that.” Think about where your characters boundaries are and how other characters might push them a little.
If you have tips you’d like to add, slap em down in the comments below, or hit me up on twitter!
More Writing Articles by Sam Clover!
My first big event on the server since my return was a summer story collection (It’s still ongoing, btw). And being a moderate success, and having so many people show interest in having a critique circle again, it feels like the right time to buckle down and get organized for one.
Let’s step into a dark place shall we? One of fear, but also titillation. One where the shadows might whisper your name and lure you in. One where desire and terror swirl together into one. Let’s talk about Erotic Horror.
I bet this was a curiosity click, wasn’t it? Would have been for me too, to be honest. Hell, I had no idea I would write about this topic until 10 minutes ago when I was ranting to a friend about how many people brag about not practicing self care. It’s a weird flex, isn’t…
Sam Clover is an author of M/M dark romance. She swears like a sailor, gobbles up horror movies and m/m books like they’re going out of style, and runs an erotica discord server.
She’s Canadian, pansexual, demi-sexual, atheist, humanist, and loves all things sea-related. Especially pirates… And sea creatures. And Storms, waves, water, seaside villages, weathered wood, sea glass, delicious seaweed, and everything else that ever existed in the ocean at any time.