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As an author, how detailed should sex scenes be?

Woman holding paper heart in front of body
How much should be left to the imagination?

As an author of lesbian erotic romance, I often see a question on social media, - should love scenes be explicit? If that means describing what happens during lovemaking or even just plain sex then given the right context – yes! I say that with one proviso, it should never be crude. From what I read, much is and the reason is not the subject matter but the often-invented words describing the action.

I’m not sure what is worse, scrimping over the event, fading out of the scene – the door closing. Then a swift move to – afterwards! Everything left to the reader’s imagination, when surely, we wanted to know what happened. Alternatively, a full description but using crude descriptions like “Cunnie” or “love hole” – honestly, why invent words when the anatomical description fits just as well and adds a sense of realism to the scene. My writing is based on two main factors. I write about what I know, I describe what I see. I place myself at the scene or in the scene. That is what I write.

I’d be hopeless at writing fantasy or sci-fi. I can’t place myself there. As a lesbian woman who has been in relationships where I’ve engaged in hot, dirty sex, I find writing about it easy. I’ve been there, I’ve been there, smelt it and tasted it. I have no problems sharing this with my readers. I’ve just finished The Puzzle, where two troubled women meet by ingenious means. Both lesbian, they have had previous relationships and slowly they begin to engage. As in all my books there is a more than a hint of BDSM, certainly more than a mere taste of erotica. It gets very full on.

Gemma, a character in the book, decides her hairy, would-be lover, Rachel, needs to be shaven, this is how I described that event.

‘I’ve never shaved a woman’s vagina before, or even spent time looking around. I’m going to love this and I suspect weekly maintenance?’ I replied.

‘A mutual pleasure, a 69 with razors. Shall we get open cut-throat razors to ramp up the tension, razor sharp blades amongst our most precious possessions?’ She asked.

‘The ultimate in trust, my god that is so erotic, so kinky.’ I replied, picking up spray foam, parting Rachel’s cheeks and squirting soap the length of her hairy crack. I went to work, starting at the most northerly point and working back down. Her hair removed easily and soon the bowl had fluffy surface. I wondered how Rachel planned to dispose of it, I had thought of suggesting drying it and using it later to stuff a pillow, but she seemed genuinely hurt by my earlier comments. I was surprised to see a woman with an such amount of hair, I took that as a reflection of her origins which I suspected were southern European where women seemed swarthier, which was probably due to their darker complexion and hair colour. I’d got halfway and now I was looking at her anus, poking out through the soap. In all the time I’d known Anna who was always smooth and ensured I had been too; I’d never noticed hers. I’d licked it, but I was far too engaged in mutual pleasure to look at something which had a rather, ‘not to be mentioned’ identity. It was there but nothing more. It felt different this time. Some deft strokes of the razor cleared the object of my attention. I touched it, stroked it, I was even tempted to ease my finger inside its tightly closed centre. I resisted such a move then pulling her cheeks apart still further continued until Rachel’s rear end was done. I slapped her arse! ‘Turn over!’

I watched as Rachel squirmed around and lay on her back looking up at me, hands neatly placed behind her head. She had opened her legs obligingly so kneeling next to her on the table I could work on the remaining dark thatch. I’d never looked at a vagina in such detail; I could see lots of pink slippery flesh amongst the undergrowth. I gripped one hairy lip and shaved its outer surface clean of hair which stuck to the razor ready to be rinsed in a bowl now increasingly covered with what had preceded it. That done both sides I wiped her with a towel and before me, transformed was a sight of amazing erotic beauty. I wanted to bury my face into her core, to lick those depths and drink her arousal. She was wet, and it was pouring out of her.

‘Can we get this done; I need you upstairs Gemma. I’m close to exploding and I’m rather keen to do to something to you and from what I can read in your face, you wish to do to me too.’ Those were my thoughts entirely and after another burst of foam covered her pubic bush this was whisked away in an instant and I found myself standing facing a woman with the same thoughts as mine.

Two women, hot for each other. An erotic event described in detail but in my opinion without crudity because no invented words were used. Just those which identified anatomy precisely and with total accuracy. Obviously, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if the book description is read, there will never be any doubt as to its content.

Another question often asked is whether toilet breaks should be mentioned. Of course, they should, it happens, people need a pee! It’s real life, I often use it as a means to create a ‘time-out’ when a pause in proceedings is needed to break the tension between warring parties. There is no need to describe what takes place inside of course.

Later, the two women vent their sexual frustration. I did it thus.

An hour later we were wrapped tightly around each other, our legs gripped in a surprisingly neat way. We had eaten each other alive - literally. I never imagined my tongue and lips going where mine went and while I was less fresh than Rachel, she seemed to have no problems doing likewise to me. We had kissed, really kissed for the first time and shared our exotic scent and taste in the process. I had climaxed too, not hugely but certainly up there as the biggest I’d had since…. before!

Nothing crude there either but no pretence that oral sex wasn’t a big factor and where!

There may not be agreement on my approach. But it’s an honest approach because I describe what takes place. If I’ve spoilt what you’d have preferred to imagine – oh well, I can’t win them all.



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