I’ve grown to be very comfortable (and even confident) with a lot of the things that I write. Shying away from rougher subject matter is something I don’t do quite as often as I used to. From amoral characters to the their death scenes, I’ve learned to handle scenes that tend to make me upset or uncomfortable. But there is one subject matter that I struggle with to this day; intimacy. I struggle a lot with writing a “spicy” scene, to the point where I’ll craft characters and plots in a way that allows me to avoid that all together, or at least, I used to. For the past year, I’ve made it my mission to challenge myself. I’ve attempted to carry that mind set out, even on this blog. But the one thing I tended to avoid was intimate scenes.
Intimacy can allude to many things. Characters getting to understand one another on a deeper level isn’t something I’d call a struggle for me. The type of intimacy that was always difficult for me to write was anything to do with the act of sex. Because of this, I would avoid writing romance all together; in both my own stories and in fanfiction (a guilty pleasure of mine). But as a writer, the idea of avoiding an entire genre because of a small facet of it left me feeling disappointed in myself. As such, I took some steps to figure out how to go about writing a sex scene.
Read it to Learn it
Though jumping head first into something can be helpful, I’m someone who tends to need to take baby steps, especially with something that makes me feel uncomfortable. Now to preface this, I am an adult and have a healthy understanding of this type of intimacy (though even writing this leaves me feeling at odds). That being said, writing these things out is a completely different ball game, for me anyway. Reading how others would go about visualizing the act in their own works was helpful in how I learned how to do it myself. Keep in mind, I would avoid some works that don’t do so to your writing standard; take that how you will. This also helped made me feel a bit more comfortable in writing these scenes.
A Scene is Still a Scene
When I write a story, I want every scene to have something that grabs my readers. The same is to be said with a sex scene. When I a say a scene is still a scene, it’s not to brush off the importance of it. To the contrary, I’m saying that every scene is to be written with a purpose. For me, a sex scene shouldn’t be there just to be there. It’s still required to be a scene that progresses the plot. Thinking of it in this way made it easier for me to write more intimate scene.
I’m not sure if a lot people struggle with this type of writing, but it’s something I’ve been trying to get better at over the past year or so. I hope this is helpful.