What makes a good sex scene?

I am terrible at writing sex scenes. Just straight up garbage. It is by far, I think, my biggest weakness as a writer of erotic fiction. So…I want to improve!

What do you guys think makes a sex scene particularly hot? How can it be made to seem authentic and exciting?

Also, do you guys have any good examples of particularly well written sex scenes that you could share with me to study?

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My usual approach is to put myself in the scene as the participant whose POV I’m writing from. If you were them, what would you be thinking/feeling (emotionally)? What are your five senses doing…seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling (as in sensations)? What would you want to happen next? Possibly different from that, what are you expecting will happen next?

Now that you’ve got that bit done, go back and figure out what all the other participants are doing with those same questions. It’s less important if you’re not writing from their POV, but it can still affect things like dialogue and actions, so write anything in that might change as a result.

Lastly, re-read the whole sequence and make sure it makes sense. Then, later on, go back and re-read it. Sometimes, you know what you mean at the time, but when you read it back later on, you can’t figure out exactly who was supposed to be doing what. I know there’s been a few times where I’ve failed at that myself. :slight_smile:


Rimming and buttplay, lots and lits of rimming and buttplay.


Okay, joking aside, I agree on it being one of the hardest and sometimes most frustrating thing to do.

On the erotic stories I wrote I found the first came easy, the second with some push, and the third needed multiple passes.

I also find myself completely divorcing myself from the erotic nature of what I am writing. Yes its a sex scene but I cannot be horny when I’m writing it. I have to be logical and story driven. Which, when I think of it, is my advice - I can’t be sexy when I’m writing because the scene takes my creative focus.

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In general, what makes a hot sex scene to me is not the activity. It’s the context and setup. Specifically it’s about the emotional investment you have in the characters. If you have a guy just walking along and then shoving his dick in another faceless guy, what’s the point? But if you begin to pour your empathy and trust in a character and you follow him, care for him (whether he’s a bully or not), you want to experience what he’s experiencing.

To me that’s what makes all the difference.

The next time you find a story with a good sex scene, mark it as a favorite. Then don’t read it for a couple of weeks. Then return to it and just read the sex sequence to see if it has the same effect out of context. I bet most times it’s not as powerful or not powerful at all.

I admit the exception to my belief above is when a writer comes up with language that is so unique and unusual that you are carried away. I read a story like that within the last 6 months: the author had an unusually large vocabulary and used it so artfully and unexpectedly in coming up with verbal descriptions that no one had ever thought about. (Wish I could recall what story it was!)


Interesting - I’m the exact opposite! If I’m not horny, I can’t write a sex scene worth shit. On the other hand, it’s often helpful to not be horny when I’m proofreading. If I’m too turned on, I tend to miss mistakes more.

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I like to read about the male body, so I describe the shit about the bodies involved, and make sure I’m turned on when I read it. If it doesn’t turn me on, what’s the point?

The other I try to do, often unsuccessfully, is use the sex to show something of the dynamic between the characters. Is the sex a power struggle? Is one person more selfish than the other? More dominant? Caring? Insecure? That stuff doesn’t directly add to the heat, but does often make me identify even more with the characters which does indirectly turn me on more.


I don’t know what makes a good sex scene in writing, but personally I think that it depends on the writer and what kind of sex scene they are trying to portray. Each writer finds different things attractive and writes sex scenes, often times at least, with their own preferences in mind. I think that there’s a hurdle early on for most writers where they feel like they need to make what turns them on more “tame” or “accessible” and it trips them up an awful lot. I think that struggle comes from a desire to write a story they want as many people to identify with as possible while at the same time expressing their own sexual identity. At least. That’s what ive gone through.

Kind of like @nycboot I enjoy the context of scenes in porn. Im completely capable of being satisfied by the visuals of sex alone, though my taste in men is heavily biased(who’d’ve thought?). The reason I enjoy this site so much is because it inherently focuses on the “why” part of the sex. Why are these two having sex? It doesn’t normally just focus on the sex itself, it has to give you a set up. I love how creative our writers can get when they start to play around with that question. Give me enough of a look into a characters life to understand them and the sexual tension, or attraction, that’s happening. Then play around with how that sexual act can happen. Where can it happen? Why? Tease it. Make me believe it can happen anywhere, at any time. I like the playfulness of it. You have nearly infinite possibilities with the premise of “mind control”, or “hypnosis”, or whatever niche you fit into here. As long as you have fun writing it, and aren’t afraid to publish it on here or share them with other writers, then you are bound to get better at writing sex scenes.

How about adding some dirty scenes with porn and sex toys for your story?

I want to continue my words about it.

One of the biggest hurdles writers of any stripe have is visualization and detail. I feel like if you work on your detail that will help.

For my two cents, I usually find that sex scenes are most immersive and hottest when the writing sounds like the thoughts of a person who’s really immersed in some really hot sex. This tends to involve abandoning a lot of the classic markers of “good writing”, since most of us are not master wordsmiths when we’re getting lost in boning down. Simple sentences and simple vocabulary. A big, if not total, focus on the five senses and the emotions at play. Literal descriptions, only getting figurative when it makes the sentence even simpler than a literal description would have; for instance, “he stretched out over me like a cat” is a little simpler than “he stretched out over me with his arms past my shoulders and his back arched”. Dialogue usually a little broken and grammatically lazy and repetitive—when I’m really getting it good, I can barely put a sentence together past saying “fuck” over and over, and I have an easier time getting into a scene where the characters only stray so far from that.

The major sense in which I appreciate “braininess” in sex writing is making sure you don’t let any changes go unsaid; if a dom character grabbed a sub character by the neck and pulled him closer, I want to be able to reaaaally easily find the sentence where you said that, and the sentence before where you said what position they started in, and a sentence after where you say what position they end up in. I read a lot of otherwise hot scenes where I just can’t quite keep track of the action because the author imagined the characters changing or moving but forgot to tell us about it.

Hope this gives somebody out there some ideas! Lovin what y’all are doing.

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