I also run into this problem a lot because I write third limited and my protags are gay.
Personally I’m not a fan of epithets (the blonde man, the tall woman) because they always shake me out of a story. It seems weird to describe the POV character’s lover as “the sailor” or something because that’s … not at all how the POV character would think of / refer to them within the context of the scene. But again, just one person’s opinion. YMMV.
A while back I read a piece of advice re: writing third limited. When writing in a character’s POV, use mostly pronouns for them (call them by name only when necessary to identify them), because it’ll feel more authentic; I’d never refer to myself by name, only by pronoun, and deep third is more or less first with the pronouns subbed out.
This winds up working out really well for sex scenes. I’ll call one character mostly by name (unless I can use a pronoun and it’s explicitly clear what I mean). There are times when I have to shake things up a little – it’s not a 100% hard and fast rule by any means – but for the most part when I’m having trouble with phrasing because of my ‘rule’, it’s a sign that there’s something wrong with the scene itself. Either I’m going into too much detail, missing a transition sentence, or (most often) getting too itemized with my descriptions (X touched Y. X took off Y’s shirt. X took off his pants) and need to inject more scene, emotion, whatever.
I’m including an example from a scene so you can see what I mean
Arden swallowed back the swell of feeling that made his throat tight and his eyes itch, pressing forward until Valory’s thighs hit the edge of the bunk. “You’re overdressed,” he said, two fingertips tracing a line from Valory’s throat down to the buckle of his belt.
Valory needed no more motivation than that, it seemed. He twisted, wrestling out of the complicated shirt he’d donned for meeting with the Admiral and tossing it Illen-knows-where they’d find it in the morning. They stripped off boots, stumbled over trousers, laughed at their clumsy haste until Valory wore nothing and Arden had only his half-unbuttoned shirt hanging past his hips.
Arden’s breath stuttered. Valory wore nothing.
He wished — again — for a candle, for moonlight, for anything to better see by. With mouth gone dry he crowded Valory against the bunk, kissing him hard. Valory let himself topple and Arden was on him in an instant, straddling his hips and tearing his own shirt off over his head. He let himself touch, shaky hands running down the lean lines of Valory’s torso over and over.
Looking back at it, the basic idea is that I use Arden (POV character)'s name only when absolutely necessary and stick with “he” the rest of the time. Arden mostly calls Val by name; Val only gets a pronoun when the use of his name would cause an obvious prose echo and the pronoun doesn’t otherwise confuse the reader (or so I hope!).
I’ve also noticed that I try to get rid of possessive pronouns re: inanimate objects to prevent using “his” 10,000x in a row – so I’ll say “a belt / the shirt” or just “belts and shirts” instead of “his shirt” wherever possible. I also try to be creative with actions and the use of objects and space to help the reader know exactly who’s doing what (they’d know the complicated clothing was Val’s for certain in-context, for example).
Hope some of that was helpful. Good luck writing TheSex!