Anyone who thinks otherwise has probably never really done either well.
Or been very, very lucky.
Why do I bring this up today?
Well, first, because I just read a “first time” sex scene in that book that was already annoying me. (Proof that even someone who has been writing for decades can have an off book.)
Prior to that scene I kept wondering whether the focus on a teenage boy’s wanting alone time with his girl was even relevant to the story. (Although admittedly more relevant than the two pages spent on finding and describing a latrine.) So, I’m wondering that and then had to read this awkward little sex scene that really did nothing for the book.
So, there’s that.
And, second, there’s a thread on one of the author forums about writing erotica. (Actually, there are multiple threads on multiple forums about it.)
Seems people think it’s easy to do. They figure if sales are slow in their chosen genre they can just slap together a little sexy, sexy time and BOOM! success.
Or they think that including an explicit sex scene somehow lessens the rest of the story.
Wrong. On both counts.
Have you tried to write an erotic book? To keep it hot and sexy the whole way through?
Also, if done well, a good sex scene, even in a non-erotic book, is as central to the plot as any other scene.
(As a side note, it doesn’t have to be a sexy sex scene to be a good sex scene.)
Here’s a great quote from Stacia Kane that I’ve paraphrased just a smidge.
A great sex scene should:
“illuminate the most private acts of your characters,  demonstrate their connection, their trust, the depth of their feelings (or lack thereof…), their desire for each other, the moment their relationship deepens and changes beyond anything they’ve been through before, while also strengthening the story, increasing tension, and adding complications…”
That, friends, is not easy to do. In any scene, let alone one where you have to find a way to describe intimate acts in such a way that people believe it instead of laughing at you…
And, on that note, I am off to gorge myself on turkey, because it’s Thanksgiving here in the States. Possibly my favorite holiday because there’s lots of good food, family, and no gift-giving awkwardness.