ASK MIMI #6: How to Write Sexy Love Scenes!

Hello again!

Playing a little catch-up with all the fun questions you guys have been sending. This next one is a writing craft question. It’s also VERY BLUNT and DIRTY. So if that’s not your thing, look away. *Adults Only.*

Rosalind Nelson White wants to know:

Mimi, when you write a romantic scene, where do you pull it from? Something you’ve seen or something you know? And how do you make it hot but not go overboard but keep it intriguing to the reader?


Dear Rosalind,
Hot question! I’m sure this won’t be a shock, but I do put thought into my lovemaking scenes. And what I’m after is just as you described. It has to be hot, but not overboard. Mostly because I write variations of romance (i.e., suspense, comedy, fantasy, mystery), which for me means that the romance is still central to the plot, but it’s heavily blended with a non-romance-related plot (Like in The Librarian’s Vampire Assistant. Lots of other stuff is happening, but we always know the H&H relationship is there.)

Erotica is fine, no complaints here, but I personally never go too graphic because, point-blank, getting too dirty just doesn’t fit with my stories and the genres I write for.

As for how I come up with the scenes, I’m like most authors. It comes down to personal preference. If I’m reading a book and there’s a slow chocolates-and-strawberries sex scene that involves champagne in the navel and ice cubes on the nipples, I’m okay with it. But that is nowhere near as hot as two people unleashing their fiery carnal passion in one giant dirty explosion.

Maybe the way to think about it is this: Making love to your gentle, attentive, caring husband versus fucking him when he was your hot college boyfriend.

Both are great, but one is definitely more animalistic and carnal. That hot, spontaneous, “can’t keep my hands away and will make bad decisions” kind of sex is something we mostly associate with falling in love. Raging hormones. Laser-focused obsession on our sexual desire.

So on to your question!

I almost always go for the clothes ripping, because I personally think it’s the one thing us women probably enjoy most about those early stages of love. I’m not knocking the slow and attentive lovemaking (because, WOW, there’s something to be said about that level of comfort and a man who truly knows your body), but almost all of my novels are about couples falling in love. Falling. Not being. Explosion time!

Feels way off to me if they jump to the “comfortable couples sex” like you’d see after celebrating a tenth wedding anniversary.

As for the creative process, I pay close attention to movies and series (hello, Bridgerton) that make me blush. I try to note the elements that are heart pounding. Same goes for books.

On occasion, when I really, truly feel like I need to push the characters to a place I might not feel too familiar with, I will watch steamy films. But I can’t lie. I only watch the female/romantic stuff. I find male-oriented porn boring, shallow, and stupid. (Sorry, guys. Your porn sucks.)

Still, I try to remember that it’s not really about me! If I wrote books according to MY wants, you’d see three hundred pages of snacking and napping. My husband might pop in and give me a foot rub. He’d say, “Baby, the bills are paid, the dogs went potty, and the kids were fed.” SO HOT!!! LOL!

Joking aside, I pay close attention to trigger words. Both good and bad. For example, I dislike the word “clit.” Don’t know why, it just sounds like a car part or a weapon. “Unleash the clit!” But I pay attention to what my readers want so that my personal biases don’t filter in too much. I didn’t do that when I first started writing. Pussy and clit simply weren’t found in my bedroom scenes. Now I use words when I feel it’s going to make the scene work better.

I try to stick to words that feel a little dirty but don’t detract from the scene. Cock is acceptable. Thunder sword is not. Not in an actual lovemaking scene. (I’d use thunder sword as a joke in casual banter.)

Anyway, I believe that sex scenes in romance have to be organic. They have to make sense, they have to happen at the right time, and they can’t detract from the couple’s journey.

With that said, unleash the romance!

With love,

Mimi

WANT ADVICE?

Each week I’ll pick one question, or a few, from readers and aspiring authors about:

   – sex, relationships, & family

   – the writing process & business (trad. and indie)

   – unicorns, Big Foot, the Chupacabra, & traveling mermen

   – the Universe and random crap

   – all of the things I am not an expert in, but have an opinion on! (That pretty much covers everything above.)

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS HERE: mimi@mimijean.net (Specify if you want to be anonymous or if I can use your first name. Include your hometown or state/country.)

2 thoughts on “ASK MIMI #6: How to Write Sexy Love Scenes!”

  1. Mimi I am with you on clit, pussy , cunt, we all now what it is . When it is constantly said over and over it becomes to much over kill for me as a reader. Once or twice is enough thanks for putting your spin on it . Because really I didn’t know what you were going to say. The pulling of the clothes let’s your mind go to where things are headed. As a reader it’s up to me to take my imagination and let it run wild. Believe me it does and it makes me smile and laugh to what I think is happening. Thank you for not thinking my question is not stupid. I would normally would not interact and ask questions stop laughing. What is it about Mimi and her writing that has intrigued me for over 7yrs. I think that’s right correct me if I am wrong. King was my introduction to you. Again thanks Mimi you are a Gem. ❤

  2. Love this!!! And thank you for being spicy but not erotica. I have another author that does really good action and plots, but she goes WAY over the top on every sex scene and it gets old. I love how you fit everything together so nicely.

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