How do you discribe a sex scene keeping it light??

Hello there lovely writers! I’m here again with yet another question for you!
So, for those of you who don’t know I’m writing a romance story, the new adult kind, and I feel that is only logical the next chapter to be a bit more intimate.
For now I’m keeping the sexy stuff really light so I don’t make it too mature. Not that is something wrong with that, it justs that I’m not so sure that I’m comfortable writing like that. So my question is… how to you discribe a sex scene without too much details and keeping light? Because I struggle with that the past few days! Any advice would be really helpful!!!
Thank you

Focus on the feelings instead of body parts.

Also in focusing on the feelings, write more about the emotional/internal feelings, versus the sensations of the body’s response.

For example - Goosebumps spreading across the skin is a technically a “feeling“ but writing about the anticipation of that moment can go beyond just that physical description. Maybe undressing your partner feels like unwrapping the best Christmas present ever… Dipping into the more emotional/internal thoughts and feelings can keep it from being too graphic.

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I agree with @BridgesTunnels, by focusing on the feelings you can still describe a romantic scene accurately. You can also describe the actions of the characters without going into detail too much, for example:

When they joined their bodies together…
His hands and mouth explored every curve of her body…
She moaned and moved under his touch, unable to stay still.

Subtle descriptions that focus on sensations and emotions rather than the purely physical aspect will do perfectly.

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That was really helpful, thanks!

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I agree with @BridgesTunnels as well. The more explicitly you mention body parts and specific actions, the more “mature” it becomes. Focusing on thoughts and feelings is a great way to explore the emotional side of the sex scene. It’s also a good time to reveal/reinforce certain facets of the characters’ personalities. For example, timid characters will take longer to get over the embarrassment of being naked while bolder characters will rip their clothes off without hesitation. Touches may be hesitant and exploratory, or they may be possessive and demanding. Think about what matches with each character’s personality to make it feel more realistic.

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I agree with what everyone else said. Focusing on emotions helps to keep it light. I’ve also cut off the chapter or paragraph right before things would get hot and heavy - but I’ve only done this to keep more aggressive character’s sex scenes light.

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  1. If you don’t want to write sex, don’t do it! I say this because there’s been a proliferation of “how do I write sex as someone uncomfortable with writing sex” posts and nobody should be doing that. Only write it if you’re excited about it!

  2. One of the things I favor is making it clear they are going to have sex (they are naked, smooching is happening, the vibrations are right) and then simply going into musings while they are doing it. When done properly, there’s no break or fade to black; you just write out a smaller inner monologue: “being with him was intoxicating. I couldn’t touch him without wanting more. This paragraph was boring because Yves was just doing it for you to understand how it might look.” And then in the next paragraph you have them lying in bed clearly Post-Sex, and you do not have to say anything directly about sex and your readers know they had sex.

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Yeah I’ve noticed that as well. I think a lot of writers are trying to branch into new adult without necessarily fitting into the target audience of said genre (this isn’t anything new, but it has been popping up in the forums a lot). I remember when I first started writing romance, I was super hesitant to write anything too sexual because I wasn’t confident about writing mature content, given my lack of experience (real world and media exposure), but also because it just made me feel weird. I didn’t force myself to write anything I wasn’t comfortable with. A few years later that hesitancy disappeared.

So I echo what people have said above about cutting to black or focusing on sensations / emotions. But if you’re not sure you can tap into those things accurately (and comfortably), don’t force it just because of the genre.

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Yeah I thought about that too but it’s a little difficult because I’ve reached to a point the whole chapter is going to be about that. I can’t actually leave to the imagination,like they lived happily ever after type of thing. And i don’t think I have the option to postpone it either. It will became boring, in my opinion.

Thank you for your answers. It really helps!

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What key things are you not comfortable with, and what key things are you okay with? I personally am a very visual reader, and I don’t like it too well when I feel like I’m reading/watching porn. I like to focus on the relationship things, not just the sexual act. I want to hear about the moments when you first met, when you first started feeling attracted. And I want to know what made them decide to pursue that individual, as for many of us, attraction alone is not enough. We want to be able to feel your soul before we feel comfortable keeping your body close and such. I also like the subtle things that are not necessarily sexual, like the way the chick tucks her hair behind her ear, or the sound of somebody’s laugh. Eyes have a thing for most people as well. Explain the five senses to the best of your ability, the seeing, hearing, feeling and stuff. And don’t forget about the emotional feels. They are most important of all.

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Summary

“I don’t have a condom,” he said, the look on his face showing the same disappointment she felt when he stopped her.

But her disappoint quickly disappeared and relief took its place. Ada’s cheeks flushed, and she began to twist the gray sheet around her finger. “About that…”

“Ada,” Tom said, his pitch higher than usual, “did you bring condoms?”

The flush of her cheeks began to burn from the stare her eyes were avoiding but entire body felt. “I bought some while we were at the grocery store,” she admitted finally.

It wasn’t like she’d planned on seducing him tonight, Ada just wanted no setbacks when the moment finally came. She had every intention of just keeping a couple in her purse and had zero expectations in using them tonight. “You know I like to be prepared for stuff.”

He formed a nearly perfect straight line with his mouth, but the slight curve in the corners gave him away. “Where are they?”

It was then that her heart felt as if it’d stopped completely. “The bathroom,” Ada said so quietly she could barely hear herself. “In my purse.”

He pulled his pants back up, not bothering to fasten them, and scooted off the bed.

Ada’s eyes followed his every movement, her fingers reaching up to her lips, still puffy from the greatest kiss of her life. The recent memory of them left her feeling dizzy, needy. She could only imagine what she’d feel after number five if number three left her feeling like this.

He came back into the room with a single condom and set it on the bedside table, then picked up her phone and turned it off. “You’re sure about this?”

In others’ eyes this would all be happening too soon, but in her own, Ada had been waiting a lifetime for the love Tom was giving to her freely. And not just the in love , but the innocent love he’d shown her time and time again since they’d met.

Rather than answering aloud, Ada placed her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him down to her and captured his mouth with her own. Her response wasn’t like her first one with him. It wasn’t testing the waters, and it wasn’t hesitant. This time there was no holding back.

Tom moved his body above hers, his mouth remaining on hers as he shifted slowly until she was fully captured beneath him. His tongue slid into her mouth, ravaging and tasting her.

There was no distance between them, yet he still didn’t feel close enough. Ada’s hands reached for the waist of his jeans and she pulled them down as far as she could reach before he took over, lifting himself just enough to kick them off until she heard them fall to the floor. Ada did the same with her own before he laid back down against her.

Skin against skin, Tom finally felt close enough. He was close enough where she could smell the faint sweat from the summer’s heat that glistened his skin. She could feel the breaths he took and she breathed them in as her own. She could hear his heart pounding against her chest. Most of all, she felt his erection pressed against her.

Tom brushed his lips across hers, a feather-light touch. Not wanting him to hold back, Ada whispered for more, causing a slight grin to cross his face before it disappeared against her lips. His fingertips trailed up and down her side as he kissed her tenderly, small butterfly kisses that became more passionate with each that passed until his mouth began to devour hers.

As the kisses grew stronger and began to fill with a sort of urgency, Tom’s body moved against hers and Ada gasped at the sensation. Every movement brought her closer to the edge. He wasn’t even inside her yet, yet Ada felt like she was about to lose her mind. Her body instinctively moved with his in perfect harmony, his erection sliding across the most sensitive part of her. They moved together with every kiss, and as the kisses grew heavier, his erection became firmer, quickly taking Ada to new heights.

Convulsive waves of pleasure crashed through her, leaving Ada panting and sweaty.

It was then that Tom reached for the condom, keeping his gray, darkening eyes on hers as he ripped the small foil packet with his teeth. He lifted his body and slid it on with ease before lowering himself again, his erection pressing against her entrance. It was there that he paused to wipe the hair from her face.

Tom’s lips pressed against her glistening forehead, then moved to her nose before finding their way to her mouth. As their lips connected, he entered her slowly, as if he worried he’d cause her pain if he didn’t take his time.

Ada moved her hips upwards until he was completely inside her, causing mini shocks to travel up her body. Words she never thought she’d have the balls to say came out of her mouth. “I don’t want you to be gentle.”

Tom’s scrunched eyelids opened to look at her. “Too damn bad, because gentle is the only way I’ll last over ten seconds.”

A grin took over Ada’s face. She supposed it must have been a while since he’d had sex. Not nearly as long as her, but it was likely different for guys. “Well, I already got what I need, so…”

“Oh, you’ll be getting at least one more of those,” he fired back. “You just have to give me a minute.”

Ada attempted to rein in her grin, though her entire body felt filled with unrelenting glee.

She had him now; body, mind and soul. He was hers. As soon as he entered her, the rest of their restraint had disappeared and it was pure bliss. And when he began to move himself inside her, that bliss skyrocketed. This was everything she wanted and so much more.

Their love wasn’t just spoken, but expressed in every touch, every movement, every look and every kiss he placed against her skin. She felt it in the way he whispered her name against her ear, the way he entangled their fingers and bodies. She wasn’t just desired in that moment, but truly loved. That alone made the moment magic and pure.

Tom kissed her again and again. Some fleeting and tender, others lasting and passionate. Fingertips slid across her naked skin, leaving goosebumps in their path. His touches were no longer hesitant, no longer brief or scared. No longer interrupted or held back.

Even when he allowed the rest of his control to slip away, she could still feel the gentleness in his touch and could see it in his eyes as she opened her own, whimpers of pleasure passing through her parted lips. By the look on his face, he was fighting release, but didn’t have to wait for long before the crashing waves of climax hit her again and he succumbed to his own.

Tom fell beside her and panted hard, his skin glistening from what they’d just done.

Sex.

Ada had just had sex with Tom.

Mind blowing, toe curling and body numbing sex.

Her legs felt like jelly, but Ada managed to turn her body to its side to rest her head against his sweaty chest. She felt at peace as she laid against him, settled in his embrace; she felt at home.

Ada’s love for him seemed to heighten, something she didn’t realize was even possible. She adored him more, trusted him more and felt more connected to him in every way. He was right when he said that sex was more than just a physical act, but that’s what it had been for her until him.

“What are you thinking right now?” Ada asked randomly.

Tom let out a quiet laugh. “That I wish I could have lasted longer. What about you?”

Ada couldn’t help herself.

“The same,” she replied with a smile in her voice, “And that you were way easier than I expected. I mean, this was the first time I really tried to seduce you and you folded like a cheap suit.”

Tom’s laugh grew stronger, and he gave her body a light squeeze. “I was thinking about how the things I do in life just seem better with you,” he finally replied honestly.

Ada looked up at him and used the little energy she had to press her lips against his. “And I was thinking about how crazy in love with you I am and how you exceeded my pretty fucking high expectations.” After he gave her another kiss, Ada laid her head back against his chest. “You really were easy to seduce, though. If I’d known that all I had to do was show you my boobs-”

“As much as I enjoyed that part,” Tom spoke above her, cutting her off, “I’m pretty sure it was you telling me you loved me that did me in.”

This was my first published sex scene. I didn’t want anything too graphic because they aren’t porn stars. Both of them have had one sexual partner prior to this and their relationship was first a friendship for a good long time before escalating to something more. Because they were friends before anything else, I wanted to show that mental connection, as well as the playfulness they’ve always had with one another.

Look at your characters. Bring their personalities into the sex scene, show a touch of vulnerability. 70% emotional (thoughts), 15% mental (how their mind is reacting to what’s happening), 15% physical (what the other person is doing, how their own body is responding to it, what they’re doing.

You can open up a thread in story recommendations and rather than requesting books, you can request chapters where sex occurs. Notice what phrases are overdone, what’s refreshing, etc.

Sex can add to a book or take away from it. Again, if they aren’t porn stars there is no need to turn them into them for sex.

It’s been about eleven years since I’ve had first time sex (not first time ever, just first time with a new partner). Unfortunately eleven years ago I was mostly just looking for bar hookups (sadly, yes, that’s how I met my husband. The one night stand that just kept coming back. I’ve turning thirty-five this year and the last time I had sex with someone for the first time and shared a real connection prior to the bom-chica-bom-bom was when I was nineteen. It’s been a long ass time.

Whether you have sexual experience or not, creating a sex scene is tricky because having sex and writing sex are two completely different things.

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On top of what everyone else has suggested, if you don’t want to fade to black, but also don’t want it to be too graphic, you can try using some imagery for the physical action. I challenged myself by making a mental list of sexual words and body parts that I refused to use – not that I’m a prude or anything, I’m all for well-written smut lol it just wasn’t that kind of story so it forced me to get more creative when describing the scene. You have to be careful not to over-do it with the imagery so it doesn’t come across too cheesy, but it’s a good way to let your readers put it together on their own as well.

I’m the same where I don’t feel comfortable reading or writing anything graphically sexual. I’ve put an example of a scene I did in a story a few years ago to kinda show you how I handled writing sex scenes. I think you can get away with not reallly giving many details if you build up sexual tension between the characters. And then I don’t think you really need to have a long sex scene if you know that the characters want to sleep with each other and you have some emotional/physical acknowledgement of what’s going on.

Summary

It was Hive till Five. I was dancing, I was drunk, I was having a great time. Without Steve. Yet all I could think about was how much Steve would love it here – crappy American classics from the 90’s and early 00’s blaring and everyone knowing the songs. Nobody ever knows when the first time they heard Teenage Dirtbag was, and no one really listens to it like they’d listen to their favourite songs, but somehow everyone knows all the words. Even if you thought you didn’t know the words, it would come on and somehow you would start singing along. I truly believe songs like Teenage Dirtbag were part of the ‘collective unconscious’ that Jung discovered. Steve would know all the words, and oh how he would be geein’ it laldy, singing decibels above everyone else.

But Steve wasn’t there.

Steve wasn’t a part of my life anymore.

And after three more tequila slammers, and a vodka redbull I’d be happy to be rid of him, but I wasn’t quite at that stage yet.

“I’m going to get another drink,” I yelled at Chloe. She didn’t come up for air, and just gave me a thumbs up, before continuing groping her pull. The stamina the two of them were exhibiting was impressive – although admittedly pretty gross.

As I turned to walk away, I saw him there, dancing like an idiot. Of course he’d be here. Even with his shitty moves as the ones he was throwing he was still attractive as hell.

Fred.

He caught my eye, and smiled at me, and I found myself smiling back, and walking towards him.

“Aren’t you a little old to be in here?” My throat was getting sore from all the shouting over the music, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to be a problem anymore.

“Aren’t you?” It was a fair point, about half the folk in the club were freshers, but I was only 22 - still old enough to be a uni student, and my graduation wasn’t all that long ago. Or at least that’s how I reassured myself that I wasn’t too old to be clubbing.

“Go to the bar and get me a shot of tequila,” he said, “I’ll catch up with you in sec.”

As I headed to the bar, I saw him check his phone, heard him telling the guys he was with that Lacey wanted him home. I knew whatever happened next was going to be a bad decision, the type you majorly regret in the morning. But that’s what Hive till Five was all about.

The only bad thing about cheap booze on a club night, is that the bar is mobbed. At the end of the day, the club probably needs to be open until 5am, just so you can manage to get one drink. Fred caught up with me before I’d managed to get our drinks. He smiled at me, just the way he used to, and Steve started to fade to the back of my mind. When I smiled back, he put his arms on my waist. I put mine on his shoulders. And then we were kissing.

I can’t say who started the kiss, but I can say, that after all that time apart, nothing had changed.

I sent a text to Chloe telling her I was going home, and to have fun acting as a suction cup. In the taxi back to my flat, I knew what was going on was wrong. But I wasn’t the one cheating. I didn’t make him cheat. And to be frank, a that moment in time, I really didn’t give a shit.

When we got back to my place, we didn’t waste much time with clothes or small talk. We were in my bedroom in seconds, and found ourselves falling into our old habits far too easily.

His hands were on me, my lips were on his, and the voice in the back in my head reminding me this was a mistake was reducing in volume second by second.

Make it quick and fast we kissed we connected it felt good cut scene that’s as light as it gets.

No one would bat an eyelash if you write it this way.

You put your penis in. Your penis out. Your penis in. Then you shake it all about. You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn around. And that’s what it’s all about. Wooooaah! The Hokey Pokey! Wooooaah! The Hokey Pokey! Wooooah! The Hokey Pokey! And that’s what it’s all about!

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Well, you know I have the same trouble. It’s been years since I had sex with someone new as I’ve been with my husband for 8 years now. I’m just worried that I won’t be able to discribe the excitement they’re feeling the right way without it being too detailed. And I’m just not that comfortable with using certain words or actions but I want to make it sexy enough to create certain feeling to the people that read it.
See my dilemma?

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Since sex is a natural part of life, part of being human, and part of relating with someone, keep it natural. Don’t make a big deal of it. Don’t make it a a special thing or something that is led up to with nervous anticipation. Just keep it simple and part of the every day workings of the relationship. Let them stumble into it … no big grand production. Let them have fun and laugh and enjoy it. Sex as an almost other-worldly experience is pretty passe. Let it happen when they are cleaning out the attic. Keep it simple and real and it’s always very romantic.

just explain the feelings as opposed to the actual act.

Looking into his eyes, I knew this was the moment we had both been waiting for.

As we found ourselves sinking further and further into pure eternal bliss until we both exploded. Never, have I ever been this happy.

I think everyone will know what just happened.

pretend like you’re explaining it to your grandparents