Writing a “real classy” sex scene

Always wondered about “the rules” for writing a really classy sex scene?

Well, have I got the article for you!

I’ll just give you a bit of a teaser, then direct you to Steve’s full article–believe me, it’s worth the effort to click through to the link. I’m still laughing…. Not to mention grateful as all heck I wasn’t drinking coffee when I read it.



Writing Sex by Steve Almond

Every single time I go to a party, or, at least, like, once every 50 parties, someone will approach and say, “Hey Steve, you sure do write about sex a lot. Any advice?”

I usually tell him or her that I don’t write about sex, that I write about desire and heartbreak and that I can’t believe someone as intelligent-seeming as he or she would reduce my art to lurid gymnastics. Then I ask for money.

This is rarely effective.

So I’m just going to go whole hog and — in honor of the spring that should be arriving any month now — set down my 10 Rules For Writing Real Classy Sex Scenes.

1) Stop having sex.

This is very important. Remember that the sexiest thing about sex is really desire, which is just a fancy word for not getting laid.

2) Never compare a woman’s nipples to:

a) Cherries.

b) Cherry pits.

c) Pencil erasers.

d) Frankenstein’s bolts.

Nipples are tricky. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and shades. They do not, as a rule, look like much of anything, aside from nipples. So resist making dumb-shit comparisons.

3) Never, ever use the words “penis” or “vagina.”

There is no surer way to kill the erotic buzz than to use these terms, which call to mind — to my mind, at least — health class (in the best instance) and (in the worst instance) venereal disease.

As a rule, in fact, there is often no reason at all to name the genitals. Consider the following sentence:

“She poured sesame oil onto her palm and reached for my penis.”

Now consider this alternative:

“She poured sesame oil onto her palm and reached for me.”

Is there any real doubt as to where this particular horndoggle is reaching?

I rest my wok.

Here’s the link to the full article for more of Steve’s “guiding principals”.

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