Well, I did it! I finally wrote a sex scene for my romantic- comedy-Regency-mystery novel.
I feel very proud of myself.
Because it’s not an easy thing to do.
Especially if you grew up as a ‘good girl’ like me and weren’t suppose to mention S-E-X, let alone think about it, let alone put it in a book, graphically, using words like ‘nipple’ and ‘erection’. But, by gosh, I’m almost 40 and a mother of 2! I’ve ‘been there, done that’—so why can’t I write about it?
I have to tell you: it was very empowering! It takes nerve & a certain fearlessness. I’ve always admired writers who can do it. Like Romance writers. As much as I might cringe at some of the conventions of that genre (such as cowboys and falling in love with your kidnapper) I nonetheless admire their ability to write erotically. And to entwine the erotic with the emotional.
A round of applause for the sassy lassies of Romance!
Because it’s not as easy as it looks.
This is what I had to do to get ready for The Big Event:
1. Read a Romance
I grabbed a Jayne Ann Krentz and settled in…because watching someone else do it helps you to do it, too…er…you know what I mean. Because if Ms. Krentz can write about orgasms and still look her mother-in-law in the eye, then so can I!
2. I Had to Make Sure My Characters Were Ready.
This wasn’t about gratuitousness or sex for sex’s sake. It had to fit right…er, feel right…er, fit in…what I mean is, the characters had to be ready for it. It had to make sense as something that the characters would do. Given that my character is a Jane Austen-esque heroine, I had to tread carefully. She’s a widow, though, not a virgin…and her overly-controlled world is being shaken up right now. It made sense that she might lose control in other ways.
And I didn’t mind turning the Jane Austen conventions upside down a bit.
3. I Had To Decide: Long or Short?
I’m talking about the length of the scene. (What did you think I was talking about?!) In my novel, I’m only at the beginning of the middle. Thus, I didn’t want to divert too much of the reader’s attention by going on for pages and pages. I only wanted a little bit of sexiness—just enough to up the ante between my heroine and 1 of her 3 male suitors. It’s a rule, it seems, in the Bodice Rippers: they don’t get everything right away. You’ve got to leave everyone wanting more…
So there, I’ve confessed it. Now everyone knows that I’ve had sex, I read Bodice Rippers and I just wrote the word ‘erection’.
And in case your wondering, yes, her bodice actually does get ripped!
Oh my, I might have to go take a cold shower now!
PS. I’d love to hear about your writing experiences in this matter. How do you handle it?
PPS. I just discovered @LisaFoxRomance and others at Elora’s Cave Romantica book sellers! Yowza! Makes my little scene look so tame! Hat’s off to you all for your daring-do and for providing timid writers like me with the inspiration to walk out of our comfort zones!