LESSON Ten Reasons Why Your Sex Scene Is Terrible

Astaroth

[*screaming into the void intensifies*]
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Sex scenes are hard. (Pun intended.) Many new writers balk at the idea of writing sex scenes.

It’s one reason why erotica, romance novels, and adult roleplaying remain among the most maligned genres out there. Getting people invested in reading about sex is no mean feat, because one little thing gone wrong can send them hurtling out of their immersion faster than you can say “boner”.

The truth is that lots of people screw up sex scenes. There is a literary “award” dedicated to recognizing the worst sex scenes in published fiction each year, and there is never a shortage of nominees. There are numerous sites dedicated to snarky reviews of erotic fiction. Not even the most seasoned of writers are immune from some of the pitfalls of the erotic novel.

In my opinion, this is largely because no one ever talks about it. I’m not one to let things be swept up under the rug, so let me give you a nice little list of why Bad Smut is really, really bad.


ANNOUNCEMENT: An up-to-date, professional version of this article has been posted on the writing website Muse Inspired, which is owned and operated by our very own @Diana. Because of this, I'm removing the previous editions from Iwaku and AMOR. The good news is, it's been tweaked, I've been PAID, and you can still read the whole article for free here!
 
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CosmicWeinerDog

Left his fiddle at the Crossroads...
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I wish I could like this multiple times.
 
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Cerulean

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I lost it at #5s picture. xD Great article.
 

Banana-senpai

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This article is fun, witty and absolutely precise! :D
 
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MiNaGi

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Thanks a lot for this ! I must admit that I am definitely not a veteran in mature roleplaying, but I did improve just a little (?) since I started. I can call myself a bit proud of not using the ten words in the danger zone... I don't like to use them because I don't like to read them either so... xD
But is there a place to practice this? I know that I belong in the Teen Mature Roleplays being under 18, but I haven't really seen my chance to get anything started(writer's block and school). So I'm continuing stuff over Skype with my friends to make myself less awkward, lol.
 
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Azurai Wakahisa

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(( I have been looking for something like this FOREVER Thank you! ))
 

Quiet One

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I'm fairly sure you made up half the euphemisms in that first big chart. Cabbage field? Map of Tasmania? I'm sorry: even if you post an excerpt of them being used I won't believe they're real things.

And I'm relieved that I've not been guilty of a lot of what I've seen here.
 

Charlie

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:) This cannot be liked enough times... Wish I felt comfortable roleplaying more maturely, but too scared I'll slip up and make these mistakes even still..
 

Cammeh

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Light fantasy, historical, steampunk, some post-apocalyptic (think, biker rust-punk), anthro (non-anime furry), modern, some sci fi...this & that, I'm pretty random. I don't mind getting frisky as well!
:) This cannot be liked enough times... Wish I felt comfortable roleplaying more maturely, but too scared I'll slip up and make these mistakes even still..
Everyone makes mistakes. Remember, it's about having fun, not being perfect! We're all guilty of at least one of these things at some point or the other, but if you work to improve your writing, even the odd slip up won't kill the mood. Don't let the fear of making mistakes keep you from your fun!
 
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Ophelia

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Amusingly written and important! And please, dear friends, don't forget the clitoris.
 
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FleurDeLis

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I'm ecstatic to see this here, because it's dealing with stuff like this that brought me back to Iwaku in the first place.

My most recent RP haunt before coming back here was quite sordid, and I'm looking forward to submitting character profiles without having to include sexual orientation, a kinks list, and a plea to have SOME plot before my characters lose all their clothes.

Not to say I wasn't guilty of some of the above. The purple prose bit, for instance. *Shudder*
 

Roose Hurro

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This article is fun, witty and absolutely precise! :D
Unless all your characters happen to be non-human alien critters. That's when it actually gets fun... though I don't really know how the "witty" part would apply, unless you read relevant material from my writings. And... heh... find it amusing.
 
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SnowQueen12

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The workshop isn't created like a lecture and actually intended to be resourceful and amusing. I read it all the way through and found it very helpful for someone like me!
 
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Perry

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This is one of the besting guides I have read (have not read any other one in this forum yet.) and that is including some from organizations holding writing courses and workshops. It goes for the content as well as the way it is put. And I would like to claim that a great deal of it applies to roleplaying in general.
 
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Atmo

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Awww, but I like my tentatives at sex onomatopeia... Splurt splurt!