Don't Close the Door: The Awkwardness & Purpose of Sex Scenes

I'm delighted to host Sandine Tomas on #LetsWriteAboutSex!

Sandine Tomas is an unapologetic bookworm and unabashed TV and film enthusiast. She writes from the heart and lets her characters tell their own tales--flaws and all. She lives in New York with her husband and two daughters and admits that there isn’t much she wouldn’t do for an iced caramel macchiato. Reach her at or follow her on Twitter: Pronouns: She/her


What makes writing sex scenes hard or intimidating?

To begin with, my inner 12-year-old wants to giggle and say, “Heh. She said ‘hard’.” And there’s the crux. It’s not so much embarrassing to write a sex scene as potentially awkward. Not the writing, but knowing my friend and excellent beta is going to read it. And then I get comments about where hands (or other parts) are placed and whether it’s physically possible. I’ve drawn stick figures in compromising poses to figure it out.

Still it’s easy to screw up. Case in point, I once described a scene that could only happen if someone had three hands. (This makes me appreciate tentacle sex more as a genre—easier to write.)

So what makes a sex scene easier to write?

Having your characters really into the moment. They don’t have to be cliche-like desperate. But they have to want each other like crazy. Personally I don’t go down the road of hate sex or anything that isn’t yes yes yes on both sides.

So horny characters make it easier to set up what they are seeing, hearing and tasting. Sensuality is important in these scenes.

The scenes that have stayed with me from books or stories I’ve read are the ones that went beyond the ‘what goes where’ to the heart pounding, eye staring, shameless moaning of two people whose entire beings are wrapped in each other.

Sex scenes are there to serve the characters and to fulfill a reader’s need to not feel a door close in their face just when things get good.

#LetsWriteAboutSex is hosted by Karelia Stetz-Waters, English professor, latte aficionado, rose gardener, and lesbian romance writer. Check out her latest release, Worth the Wait and email her if you'd like to be part of #LetsWriteAboutSex