One of the questions beginning writers ask us most often is: “How do you know if you have captured the love in your characters’ lovemaking, and aren’t just writing a run-of-the-mill sex scene?” To answer that question, twelve writers offer their own thoughts and advice in this unique WriteSex Author’s Roundtable. Each Monday a well-known romance author will discuss the difference between a sex scene and a love scene, and show us how to charge an erotic encounter with romance. Look for personal insights and how-to tips from our participants in this first ever WriteSex Authors’ Roundtable. —Ed.
By Sabrina Luna
Hi! I’m Sabrina Luna and I’m an author of paranormal and erotic romance stories. Yes, I personally see a big difference between a written sex scene and a romantic sexual encounter. Over the years, I’ve written both.
When I started writing in the late 1990s, I was a member of an online group which focused on ‘erotica’. Basically, erotica consists of a scene or short story which focuses only on the sexual relationship between the characters. There is very little building of a romantic relationship and the primary goal of the story is to stimulate the reader’s libido.
Then, around the year 2000, erotic romance hit the book market. Romance stories which allowed the readers to enjoy what was happening to the characters in the bedroom became popular and, since then, there’s been no turning back. Nowadays, readers can find any level of sexual heat in erotic romance stories. However, in my honest opinion, well-written erotic romance stories show a growth in the characters’ relationships as well exploring their sexual chemistry together.
The last piece of short erotica I wrote had a sexually adventurous couple who were more ‘buddies’ than romantic partners. It was a fun story to write—but, as the author, I found myself hoping they’d get together in the near future.
What can I say? I guess I’m an erotic romantic at heart. The last few erotic romances I’ve written have focused on building the relationship between the characters and using their sexual encounters to spark and cultivate their feelings for one another throughout the story. And, at the end of the story, there is a commitment in their relationship. The couple can either live happily ever after—or my personal favorite kind of ending, happy for now.
So, to me, there is a big difference between a written sex scene and a romantic sexual encounter. And, although I enjoy writing and reading both kinds of stories, I prefer an erotic romance with both a good relationship *and* sexual chemistry.
Sabrina Luna is an author of paranormal & erotic romances and, recently, became an indie ebook author, too. She enjoys haunting bookstores and coffee shops, listening to classic rock, and attending movies and munchies with her fellow geek-peeps.