Love Scenes

Love Scenes

So here’s another piece I wrote for the recent blog tour of the Dream Series.  It’s about writing the love scenes in the books…

I don’t know how any other authors feel about the subject of sex in their books, but for me, the very first thought that comes to mind when the story calls for sex is, “Oh, God!  My mother is going to read this!”  And then the same thought repeats, substituting “wife”, “friends” and “co-workers.”  That is not a happy thought.

But I’m an author, right?  I can put my embarrassment aside and write what the story demands, can’t I?

Eventually, yes, but not without a lot of angst and many, many false starts.  Writing sex scenes may come easily to some authors, but I am definitely not one of them.  It doesn’t help that the first time the subject arose, in “Dream Student,” I had another issue.  The book is written in first person; we’re inside the head of the heroine, a 21-year old college student.  So I didn’t just have to write about sex, I had to write about it from the subjective perspective of someone half my age, and the opposite gender.

But I’m an author, right?  That’s what we do, isn’t it?

Eventually, yes.  The one thing that I think saved me is that my heroine, Sara, is (especially when we meet her in the first book of the Dream Series) very shy and reserved.   That made writing the big sex scene of the book quite a bit easier for me.  By the time it happens, we’ve already gotten to know Sara a little bit, and it’s clear that even in her internal monologue, she’s not one for hyperbole.  Or for long, detailed descriptions of exactly how she’s touching and being touched in bed.  For her it’s more about her emotions, and you can see that in the finished scene.  This is Sara, asleep afterwards, dreaming about what’s just happened…

The moment of truth: she lies back, feels his weight on top of her.  Where he’s been tentative and careful and happy to let her take the lead so far, she feels the exact instant that he stops thinking and worrying, the precise moment that he finds that strong, confident place inside himself and just loses himself in the moment.

And at the end the feelings are all she has: his body and hers, and the sounds she makes: first gasps and then low moans, and finally a shout of pleasure.

As the series goes on, though, and Sara becomes a mature adult, she also becomes more comfortable with herself and her sexuality (as I became more confident as a writer with each book).  And so the sex scenes get a little longer and more detailed – but they still only appear when the story needs them.  In the fourth book, “Dream Family,” the one big sex scene comes at the end of the book, after Sara has been through hell and finally come out the other side.  She’s really “earned” a serious love scene, and so I had to give it to her…

I take his face in my hands, pull him to me, and I kiss him.  His arms surround me, but everything is slower now, more controlled – and at the same time far more intense.  His hand goes to that spot on the back of my neck, and my legs go weak; I throw my arms around his neck to hold me up.  Then my hand wanders down to his spot, in the small of his back, and I caress it just so.  It only takes the tiniest bit of pressure and his knees buckle.   

We stand there, holding each other up, until I finally break the kiss.  I take a step back from him and unbutton my blouse, letting it fall to the floor.  Then my jeans, and now I’m wearing only my underwear.  He’s still dressed, but that’s fine; I’ll take care of him soon enough.  First things first. 

I kiss him again; his lips, his chin, then his neck, and he gasps.  I bury my head there, and his hands cradle me.  Everything else disappears.  My eyes are closed, but all my other senses are almost overwhelmed by Brian.  His scent fills my nose, the salty, sweet taste of his skin is on my lips, the gentle pressure of his touch surrounds me, the sound of his heart beating in rhythm with mine is the only thing I hear – he’s my entire world.

It’s still much more emotional than explicit, which is exactly in keeping with Sara’s character…and I can give the book to my mother, my wife and my friends without blushing.  Not too much, anyway!

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