How To Write Good Sex Scenes

Originally published on McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

As an acclaimed writer of sexual fiction, I am often asked by readers, fans, and protégés how best to go about writing thrilling and realistic scenes of sexual congress. To them, I offer these simple tips:

Be descriptive

Imagine the sexual congress between your characters not as a schoolboy’s sketch but as a Dutch Master’s canvas, full of excruciating detail upon each pert nipple and goosefleshy thigh. Consider, as Vermeer did, how the dewy morning light falls about his ample foreskin or how her rosy loins tremble like a cello string struck by a moistened frisbee.

Use metaphor appropriately

Be not a humble anatomist naming body parts. Be instead a sexual Robert Frost, spinning a cocoon of golden prose around the sexual congress of your characters. Consider the situation and story. For example: “she granted his peach paddlewheeler passage up her mighty Mississip’,” or “their sexual juices swirled within her erlenmeyer flask, yielding a milky precipitate of passion.”

Complement the woman’s beauty

A mistake many first-time sexual fiction writers make is forgetting to remind the reader of the stunning beauty of the woman. Keep the reader engaged with phrases like “she moaned attractively,” “her gorgeous neck craned in ecstasy,” and “he gazed with astonishment upon her painterly labia.”

Don’t be afraid to get graphic

More often than not, sexual congress is not a tidy affair, and the sexual fiction writer should depict it as such, lest the reader begin to doubt that the sexual fiction writer has even participated in sexual congress himself. Make note of the “panoply of splashes about the bedchamber,” the “patina of sweat about his pubis,” and the “musk of coitus hanging like a cumulonimbus cloud above the dampened bed sheets, reeking softly of oregano and speck.”

Use rhetorical questions

Draw your readers into the minds of your sexual congregants with provocative questions like “Would he find her sheathe ready this eve?”, “Could he truly deny her wet lotus the fruits of his mangrove tree?”, and “Was it wrong to blossom here, where the first of the Apollo astronauts had given their lives so bravely?” Consider the Socratic method to be a sexual position as titillating as any other.

Raise the stakes.

Make the sexual congress suspenseful, pivotal, and key to the plot. I recommend having it occur right before a husband comes home, on top of a pile of highly confidential documents, or with a sniper perched sexually in a nearby window.

These tips are but the tip of the sexual iceberg, but I hope they are enough to help you begin your sojourn down the dimpled trail of sexual fiction writing. I wish you the best of luck in your own depictions of sexual congress, and encourage those with additional questions to please refer to my latest sexual Kindle Single: Love Gum.