Trying Not to Embarrass Your Mom

15 Oct


I have written more than a few books. All of them are mystery-thrillers however buried within the mystery is often a bit of romance as well. What good story can survive, after all, without a little smooching? Any fiction novel just isn’t complete without a torrid sex scene of two. Which brings me to an age old questions most writers have to face sooner or later….how hot should I make my sex scenes?

When I wrote my first sex scene it was in the throes of the story. My main character met a lady became overwhelmed with passion and they did it, right their on the hood of 1968 Mustang. Yep it was hot and it was steamy and it got me yelled at by my mom. Keep in mind that I was 15 at the time and I am pretty sure that my mom was still holding out hope that I was oblivious to anything having to do with sex at all. She read it, yelled and then later, said that while it was a good scene, it was also inappropriate for a high school short story assignment. Needless to say I had to write a whole new story void of anything sexy.

Now days I am quite a bit older and my mom has become less inhibited so I have a little more freedom when it comes to inserting those scenes but my mom did have some advice for me that I took to heart when it comes to writing those types of scenes. She said, “Sex is okay as long as it’s a part of the story, never forget that”. What did she mean? Well it’s simple really; if the sex is a part of the natural flow of the story put it in. If you are putting sex in for the sake of sex…don’t, it won’t work.  We have all read authors who think that a chapter isn’t complete without sex; those writers bore me. Sex sells, that’s true but if you want to be known as a novelist and not a chapbook author, only use sex where appropriate. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of writers out there who write what my mother refers to as “smut books” and that’s great if it is your “thing” but it is important to draw a line in the sand if you don’t want to be known for those types of books.

So how do you gage when sex is too much? I have to go back to what my mom said; it’s good as long as it goes with the flow of the story. We all know how it works…two people meet, fall into passion, whether it is love or desire, and have sex. Afterwards how they react to each other speaks volumes of them as people, their relationship and even progresses the story along. That is the right amount of sex. Your reader wants your story to be as really as it can be and, let’s face it; most people are not falling into bed every other minute so keep that in mind when you are creating. And guys, try not to embarrass your mom too much…make sure that your sex scenes come with a little class whenever you can.

© The Writer’s Advice, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.


Posted by on October 15, 2022 in Character Studies, Writing


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2 Responses to Trying Not to Embarrass Your Mom

  1. October 15, 2022 at 11:03 pm

    Haha this made me laugh!

    I completely agree though. I recently read a book that had a sex scene thrown in that jarred me. Sex scenes don’t bother me but this one didn’t sit well with the novel, or the picture I had built up of the protagonist. I had been picturing her as a strong female lead who wouldn’t be interested in cocky d-bags for her sexual encounters. I certainly had no problem with her engaging in casual sex, but her choice of partner for the encounter was just all wrong. It left me wondering if the author (a middle aged male) had a perception that all smart, attractive women in their twenties like a certain (d-baggy) type of man. And this was after one of the early scenes showed her as annoyed at a man for accidentally sneaking up on her sunbathing topless. It was just confusing!

    I am writing teen/YA fiction, of the type where there is no need to shy away from sex scenes, but I’m finding that the piece I am writing really has no need for sex. But then, my character is not a prude either so it is going to be a fine line.

    • thewritersadvice

      October 15, 2022 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks. I have recently come across a lot of writers just throwing those sex scenes into their stories whether they belong or not. It’s frustrating. The sex should enhance the story not the other way around. Thanks for the comment.


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