I’d like to welcome guest romance blogger, Phyllis Campbell.

Heart thumping, palms moist, she settles her shaky fingers on the keyboard. Millions of thoughts run through her mind, those that aren’t very good…at least that’s what her momma had told her as a young girl. Squeezing her eyes closed, pictures of half-naked men float through her mind and her mouth turns dry. SEX! No, it couldn’t be time to write the sex scene, could it? Her religious leader would certainly kick her out of church for fear of a bolt of lighting spearing down from heaven. What about her parents? Would her own husband disown her? Her poor children would have to walk down the streets with their head ducked from now on.

But she’s a romance writer. It needs to be written!

She swallows the lump of fear lodged in her throat and takes a deep breath. Once her eyes are open, she focuses on her story. Reminding herself it’s a natural thing, she proceeds, her fingers fly across the keyboard as if they had a mind of their own. His masculine scent of leather and spice fills the air, consuming every breath she takes. In her head, the scene unfolds, the hero sweeps the heroine off into another world where seduction and passion rule. Seeking fingers, curious kisses…

The more she writes, the wider her grin spreads. Her heart now beats a different rhythm. Her palms are moist for entirely different reasons this time. And in her chest…love grows. This excitement is the thrill she needs –the energy that gives her the courage to continue and not be afraid.

I don’t know about most writers, but I’ve certainly experienced this a time or two (or three or four) since I first started writing. Those who don’t read romance stories label us as ‘smut’ writers. All we think about is sex – twenty-four hours a day. My husband tells me this numerous times…and it isn’t for flattery. (grin) But there’s a bigger picture. The overall picture that nobody sees but romance writers. We aren’t writing about sex – we’re writing about love.

I write Sensual…don’t you just love that word? It rolls across your tongue like a lover’s passionate kiss. Makes you want to deepen your voice in a sexy tone, lower your lids half-mast and part your mouth. Maybe even swipe your tongue across your dry lips…

Okay, I’m getting carried away again. I need to get back to the point of this article. As a writer, when will you know it’s time to write the sex scene? I can’t believe how many times I’ve been asked this question. Do you know what I say? My answer is this… Listen to your characters. Between them and the theme of the story, that will tell you when. For my stories, my characters must have some kind of attraction between them, and as the story progresses, this attraction becomes the theme of my story. I LOVE to tease the reader—and yes, my poor characters get affected as well. They want it. Badly. They almost get it, but then something happens to make it not happen. Pretty soon they’re playing that sensual, teasing dance again and even take it a little farther…but just before they get what they want, it’s snatched right from under them. Finally I’ve created the build-up. I’ve made my reader WANT it to happen as much as my characters do. So now it’s time… Or is it? Like I said earlier, the characters are really the ones who’ll let you know when they’re ready. And when they are… WATCH OUT! It’s a fun ride for all!

Now let me tell you about an awesome Christmas anthology titled – “A Summons from His Grace.” This has three short stories, but it gets better. It’s part of a four-part collection. There is also “A Summons from Yorkshire”, and “A Summons from The Castle”, and “A Summons from The Duke.” The cool thing about this is our characters are all related. The Duke of Danby has summoned his children and grandchildren to Danby Castle for Christmas. Each story tells about those who made the trek—and why—and how they fell in love.

Please enjoy this EXCERPT:
As much as Calvin knew she really shouldn’t be in his room, he was reluctant to tell her to leave. Being close to her like this reminded him of how he enjoyed touching her—how he had cherished their first kiss and couldn’t wait for another one.

And here she stood in her nightrail. It was as if the stars aligned perfectly in the heavens and fate was on his side, because even the companion wouldn’t be disturbing their privacy tonight.

“Calvin, you shouldn’t say such a thing.” The tone of her voice wasn’t as sharp as it had been moments ago.

“I can’t help it. With you so near, it makes me want to touch you.” He bent his head closer to hers while his hands continued to hold her face.

She clutched his hands, and for a second he thought she meant to remove them. But she didn’t. Desire coated her blue eyes as they rested on his mouth. His heart jerked. She wanted this as badly as he did, despite her words earlier. Perhaps she was as confused as he was. But unlike Dorothy, when Calvin became confused, he didn’t cover it with anger.

He brushed his lips across hers. Hesitating…prolonging the excitement building inside his body.

“Calvin,” she whispered. “Why are you doing this to me?”

Smiling, he slid his hands down her neck as he rubbed his cheek against hers. “Pray, tell me what exactly I’m doing?”

She closed her eyes. “You’re making me want things that aren’t possible. You’re bringing my body alive, something that’s never happened to me.”

He kissed her eyelids. “Dorothy, my lovely, this is a new experience for me as well.” He slid his lips across her cheek again. “Because my body has never burned so much for a woman.”

A small moan came from her as she searched for his mouth with hers. When their lips met, he crushed her in his arms, kissing her soundly. Her arms hooked over his shoulders as she held him tight.

He caressed his tongue with hers, and she responded so passionately it nearly had him dropping to his knees. Moving a hand between their bodies, he cupped her breast, which elicited another moan from her. Under his palm, her nipple beaded, and he became aware of just how naked she was under this gown. Eager for more, he broke the kiss to move his lips over her chin and down her throat.

“This should be wrong, but it feels too good,” she muttered.

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Phyllis Campbell is an award-winning, multi-published and best-selling author of romance; from the dark and mysterious hero who sends shivers up your spine to the feisty heroines who somehow manage to keep them in line. She’s been published with several small presses since 2006. Most of her reviewers have given her the title of “Queen Of Sexual Tension”. Married with kids (and three grandchildren), Phyllis has lived in Utah all of her life and enjoys family activities when she’s not writing her next sensual story.

0 Responses to When to Write Sex Scenes

  • I hope writers pay attention to you about writing sex scenes. As a reader, I find it can break the flow of the story if the scenes are thrust in, rather than feeling natural.
    I really like these Summons stories – connected stories and series are my favorites.

  • Thanks Diane! I totally agree that too many books are ‘forced’ with sex scenes. Readers can tell!

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Excellent blog! I loved the excerpt. And I agree, ‘sensual’ does just roll off the tongue.
    Brenna

  • I also write sensual and run into the same issues–when is it time for the first sex scene. Usually I have 2-3 sex scenes. I find it works for me to label each one, so I know the emotional impact at that particular time.

    • Susan – “the emotional impact” … I like that. It’s so true. Each sex scene needs to ramp up the emotional connection between the characters until we just can’t stand for them to part!

  • Give me the sex! Okay. Hi Phyllis. We’re friends from Champagne Books, so of course I”m going to comment.

    I think it’s great to tease the reader as much as the characters. The books I’m writing now have sex sooner in the book and then build the tension back up. It can provide a challenge for me the author.

    Michelle Libby

    • Michelle – I love the idea of the sex in the beginning creating a conflict so that you can ratchet the tension back up. That makes the next sex so mcuh more gratifying!

  • Hello, Phyllis,

    I love your intro!

    I agree 100% that you have to listen to the characters. I’ve written some stories lately where it seems to be taking them forever to actually do the deed – but I’ve come to understand that you can’t hurry this.

    I should say that I don’t just write “sensual”. I’m proud to say that yes, I write about sex. In addition to romance, I also write erotica, which is fiction about desire – sometimes, but not necessarily love as well, and sometimes not ending happily. The same rules apply though. If you’re putting in the sex just because you think it will sell, and not because the story demands it, then you’re weakening your work.

    • Lisabet – I love your stories. I must say you definitely create characters where their story demands sex and it’s always hot and definitely fits with the plot. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  • I totally agree about making them wait–as Michelle will agree. Sometimes, I drive her crazy.
    On the other hand, when I write erotica as Pepper Goodrich, they can’t get into bed quick enough 😉

    • Judi – It’s building the tension that makes that scene when they finally come together (pun intended) that much more rewarding. And in erotica it’s just kind of fun to throw them in bed together and THEN screw with them. LOL!

  • I like it when there is sexal tension. It makes it much more interesting when they finally come togehter. It’s just a mater of letting your charater’s tell you what they want.

    😉

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