Why I Dread Sex Scenes w/Anna Burke

Today I'm delighted to host Anna Burke on Let's Write About Sex.

Anna Burke lives in Massachusetts with her wife and their two dogs. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys making terrible puns, drinking tea, and gardening. You can follow her at @annaburkeauthor Instagram/Twitter or at www.annahburke.com.

Pronouns: She/Her

Sex scenes? I dread them, and here’s why.

1. They take forever to write. I could produce an entire chapter of action in the time it takes me to write one short sex scene.

2. Sex is a deeply personal experience. Getting it right on paper requires an equally deep understanding of my characters, which I don’t always have at the time I am writing the scene. Finding out you don’t know your characters as well as you thought you did is frustrating, but also exciting—and can result in some serious revisions. For instance, I had no idea about the whole Orca and Rose situation (spoiler alert) until I got to a certain scene, and then I had to go back and rewrite several plot lines to make everything work.

3. Sex is a pivotal experience for the reader. For some readers, it’s the reward. For others it is just a perk along the way, and for a few, like various family members I won’t name, it is something to be feared and avoided at all costs (sorry Mom and Dad). There is a lot of pressure to get it right. Things that a reader might let slide in an action scene or during a descriptive passage get no free passes in the sack.

Even one awkwardly placed word can throw off the whole thing (much like in real life). That’s intimidating!

Let's Write About Sex is hosted by Karelia Stetz-Waters, English professor, latte aficionado, rose gardener, and lesbian romance writer.