Sunday, February 26, 2012


By Ursula Renee

After reading a number of books where the throbbing member entered the fluttering canal, taking her breathe away as the passion between them erupted into unspeakable depths, I began skipping the sex scenes in romances. It wasn’t that the authors were not creative. In fact, the scenes made nice instruction guides for the adventurous reader, who wanted to experiment in real life. The problem I had was that the scenes did not advance the story and would not have been missed if they had been eliminated from the book.

A romantic novel focuses on two people overcoming internal and external obstacles in order to be together. Every scene, including the sex scenes, should advance the plot, and not be thrown in as a filler or because it was expected.

Before writing a sex scene, I have to study my characters, learn what drives them, and figure out what they stand to lose and/or gain emotionally when they come together. Even if the characters are having sex to satisfy a physical need, I have to understand why they choose that moment to give into their urges – what prevented them from doing so earlier or waiting until later? Using what I learn about my characters, I continue the characters’ development during the sex scenes by focusing on the emotions rather than the act.

As I eventually discovered when I found a book that forced me to read every word, the most powerful sex scenes are the ones that allow the characters to grow.

Ursula Renée is the PRO Liaison for RWA NYC. She writes historical romances and romantic thrillers. When she is not writing, she enjoys photography, drawing and stone carving.

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