July 2, 2012

writing steamy scenes

Blogger's Note: I am pleased to welcome Sara Brookes, author of Chasing Sin, to Change the Word as part of her Goddess Fish blog tour. In addition to offering great insight into writing blush-worthy scenes, Sara will also be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter on her tour. So leave a comment on this post for your chance to win. You can follow the rest of the tour and comment on other posts for more chances to win. Thank you, Sara.

Writing Steamy Scenes

By Sara Brookes
Guest blogger

Reading erotic romance/erotica can be exhilarating and certainly cause you to blush a few different shades of red. I know I adore reading the genre any chance I can get, and I’ve read my fair share of books that have caused me to blush.

Writing erotic romance/erotica, on the other hand, is exhausting and, believe it or not, there’s very little blushing involved. Why?

Take for example, a sex scene in one of my books. Depending on the speed with which you read, that sex scene can last anywhere from a few minutes to, say, ten minutes. Maybe longer if you like to savor it a bit. *g* Writing a sex scene however typically can take me anywhere from hours to days. Even weeks.

Not only that, a writer will typically read a scene countless time during the editing process. So we don’t look at a scene just once. To guess, I’d say I can read over a sex scene at least a hundred times between inception to publication.

See, when I write a “blush-worthy” scene, I have to worry about the choreography of body parts. The technical aspect of how bodies fit together—and how they can’t. There’s pacing to think about. The rhythm of things. *cough* All of those things are important to build a successful sex scene. When you have to focus on the technical aspects so intently, it can certainly cause you to get over any inhibitions. Think about asking yourself  “Can Tab A really fit into Slot B that way?” more than a few times in one day. *g*

That all said, writing a sex scene isn’t all technical. I can’t forget about the emotion and passion that has to come through the page as well. One of my favorite things is when I’ve put all the pieces together. It means I get to sit back and read how both the technical aspects and the emotion come through the page for the reader.

If I feel as if I’ve nailed it, then I know the reader will experience those blush-worthy moments.

About Chasing Sin

Every spring, Kate risks her life chasing violent storms. Tired of watching her take unnecessary chances, two of her closest friends offer a different thrill. Devoted lovers Snyder and Tripp don’t just share a passion for nature’s fury; they long to have the fearless woman between them.

Though she is reluctant, she also knows the proposition is too irresistible to refuse. Her acceptance leads to an explosive night of no-holes-barred sex for the threesome. However, when morning dawns, she realizes this type of unusual relationship isn’t one she belongs in.

Despite her best efforts to keep the men at arm’s length, Kate finds herself facing down the storm of the century with them at her side. With Mother Nature intruding, the trio discovers shelter in each others arms. With the hurricane raging outside and passion raging inside, everything is at stake.  
Excerpt of Chasing Sin

“I spent so many summer’s baking to a crisp right on that very beach. It’s hard to let that kind of thing go.”

“A teenage Kate in a bikini. I would’ve liked to have seen that.”

“I wasn’t much. Pretty gangly as a kid. No boobs to speak of.”

Tripp scooted closer, wrapping his arms around her as he pulled her against him. “But yet you’ve blossomed into the gorgeous woman you are today.”

He felt so good against her. So right and someone she could get very used to getting lost in. It was dangerous to feel so comfortable here in his arms, but a few minutes couldn’t hurt, right?

She buried her nose in his chest, inhaling the familiar scent of his soap that mixed with the sharp salt air from the water. “I don’t deserve you two.”

“Bullshit, you have every right to be with us.”

Those soft words were a weight in her chest, and despite the pain it caused, she pulled away from the warmth of his body. He muttered a protest as she hopped off the railing. She stopped after opening the door and glanced back over her shoulder.

He looked so damn handsome sitting there with the panoramic view of the beach spread out behind him. Disappointment darkened his gaze and she fought to find the courage necessary to walk away.
A gust of wind blew through the porch, whistling against the aging planks. The sound reminded her of the violent storm that had gotten her into this predicament in the first place.

Instead of courage, that reminder gave her the strength to do what she had to.

“I can’t, I’m sorry.”
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  1. When written well erotica can be an excellent genre. I can fully imagine how laborious editing it can be though. I've written erotica a few times myself, and making sure you have everything in the right place is hard. (no pun intended) *G*

    1. LOL - great pun Clare. It's hard to do but so very worth it.

  2. I can't imagine how tedious it must be to reread the same scene over and over again trying to tweak it so it's just right. Great writing means great scenes and a great story. Congrats on the new release. Can't wait to read it. This book sounds fantastic.


    1. It can be tedious, but those are the kind of details that I enjoy picking apart, Joanne. Thanks so much!

  3. The editing makes all the difference! Sounds like a great book...


  4. Thanks so much for having me here today to share this process!

  5. I am really glad when an author realizes that erotica has to be sensitive and not just all action.

  6. "Blush-worthy moments" - that is it exactly. That's why you read erotic romance. Great that you see this.