I have mentioned before the difficulty in writing good sex scenes because of a lack of verbiage for the bottom half of the human anatomy.
Moving beyond the problem of bratwurst, there are other writing faux pas an aspiring romance writer needs to watch out for.
I have written gay sex, heterosexual sex, and now lesbian sex. While each have gender relation has their own specific rules, there are general rules which need be applied.
- Keep track of limbs. I once wrote a fanfiction with a friend of mine and we were editing this story for publication on a fanfiction website. Something didn’t make sense. We read the scene–both of us–probably three times before it dawned on us as to what was wrong. Somewhere in the joyous romp we had misplaced a hand/arm. It had disappeared. An easy fix and a lesson learned.
- Unless it is S&M know what lube to use. I have no idea how many times I read gay fanfiction where the men were taking a shower and they lube they used was…soap. Ow. I had a male friend of mine once get excited when we went to a sex shop and found a peppermint flavored lube which the peppermint gave it anesthetic properties. The anesthetic properties was what excited him because, as he informed me, “Gay sex hurts, Honey.” If you are going for something kinky a little pain is one thing but if you simply want an average shower scene please think of something besides soap for lube. The most interesting lube used was in a story a friend of mine wrote about a vampire and werewolf–blood. The use of blood gave me pause and I had to ponder but in the end, it while not my cup of tea, it was definitely kinky.
- Use of food. Especially on women. Poprocks was one of my favorite candies has a kid. Then they disappeared from the general market for a while. I hadn’t really thought about Poprocks for years, as I was walking through an Adult Store (I don’t say sex shop on this one because they didn’t have much in the way of toys/porno) I spotted a package of Poprocks. Turns out this is where the wondrous candy had disappeared to. So it is a thing to put Poprocks on a woman’s vaginal area and eat it off. The sensation is supposed to be wonderful. Sugar+Warmth+Moisture=Possible Yeast Infection, especially if the woman is prone to Yeast Infections. While food can add spice to a sex scene, be aware of real life problems if not used properly.
- Place of the encounter. Shower scenes are nice. Tub scenes are fun too. However, be aware of limitations, taking in considerations for the size of your characters and the size of your shower or tub. Tub scenes, in particular there is going to be water everywhere after. Also if in trees, whoever is on the bottom, unless there is a blanket over the limb, or they keep part of their clothes on, they run the risk of getting splinters. Places outside of the bedroom are fun, as food is, but it is important to remember the difference in angles and again, make sure not to lose track of limbs.
- Try it out, do some leg work (so to speak). This does not mean people getting naked or having sex, while the author jots down notes, saying “Oh, so that is how it feels.” My friends and I liked to challenge ourselves with different scenarios. “Strip Twister!” Someone suggested. So we found a Twister Game and we played while observing and making notes of how the bodies would interact/touch. No one actually took their clothes off. It was a fun family night…only with fanfiction note taking. Another time we had a friend Hula Hoop so we could describe the movement of the hips correctly. We had one friend who (still with clothes on) let us tie her up with Japanese Bondage cords to see how it would restrict movements.
These are the basic/general rules I have found and believe to work universally no matter the gender of the couple. Other things to take into consideration: Hair length. If hair is up or down (long hair). Height difference between characters.
Romance is fun and is supposed to be an escapism, a fantastical, forbidden, passionate love affair. Yet, there is still the factor of disbelief. Not being grounded at all in the reality of human anatomy and physics leads to poor and lackluster writing which stops the reader cold from enjoying the awesome relationship the author is trying to portray.