If you’re a romance writer, you already know what we’re here to talk about: steamy, sensual, and sometimes explicit sex scenes between your lead characters. Not every novel has explicit steamy scenes – there are, as they are known, heat or “spice” levels, with some romance novels containing little to no heat (perhaps only a kiss or two) while the very spicy titles often contain three or more explicit sex scenes. No matter what level of spice features in your writing, it’s important to brush up on what makes these romantic moments paint a lasting picture in your readers’ minds and leave them wanting to read more.

We’ve gathered some of the best advice from previous blog posts and podcast episodes for you to reference here. Read on for some great quotes and enjoyable listens from bestselling authors of romance, erotica, and more.

The Laws of Attraction: How to make sure the sparks fly when would-be lovers meet

“More than any other genre except perhaps horror, romance stories are all about us. Their objective is to evoke strong emotions in us, like longing and sexual tension, which we desperately want to feel. That’s why we read and watch romance. Of course the characters have to find love, but your job as a romance writer is to make sure that we do too.” – Paula Berinstein

“… write from the heart ultimately. And also … what turns you on? Is the other thing. If it’s gonna turn you on, like genuinely, then it’ll strike the chord with other people. … Be authentic, write about what you really… Because if you end up thinking about it, around writing the scenes and stuff, and you end up thinking about it and thinking it’s really hot yourself, there are gonna be people out there that share the same taste.” – Jade West

KWL – 304 – Writing a Spicy Series with Jade West
KWL – Ep 183 – Writing Great Romance with Jennifer Probst

“A good sex scene … I think it’s important for every writer to try and write a sex scene, even if it’s for his or her eyes only. I think if you tend toward erotic, darker sex scenes, you should try a sweeter one. By writing different sex scenes you are tapping into different emotions, and the key to writing a good sex scene is all about emotion. … [Emotion] is the component of it all.” – Jennifer Probst

“…fight scenes and sex scenes need to have some sort of emotional arc within them. … What is the character realizing about the relationship? What are they afraid of? ... You know, how are they feeling about this person? How are they feeling about the act? How are they feeling about the person’s gender? Like, how they feel about themselves, that’s almost more important, and you don’t have to write sex scenes or fight scenes unless you really enjoy writing them.” – Alex de Campi

KWL – 299 – Writing Your Way Across Mediums with Alex de Campi

Be sure to check out more helpful writing tips from other authors via our podcast or through previous blog posts! And, as always, happy writing from the KWL team.

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