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Jodi Ellen Malpas Headshot

The Criteria for a Good Sex Scene

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I know exactly what I want to achieve when writing a sex scene. We want sex in novels just how we dream of it in real life. Toe curling. Mind blowing. Unforgettable. It's a sad fact that real life takes priority over self-indulgence and passion. So when a reader can grab a few precious hours to read my THIS MAN trilogy, I'm going to make this the best sex they've ever had.

The best thing about being a writer is that I get to make everything just how I want it. I get to make the sex perfect -- my perfect, which happens to be quite a few other women's perfect, too.

So, what are my key elements?

  • A god-like creature - Why would I make my hero any other way?
  • Tons of desire - Essential
  • Time - Three strikes and you're out? No thank you!
  • Details - I'm building a picture.
  • Music - Can put a reader right there
  • Feelings - Makes it so much more real
  • Gratification - I want my reader to sigh in appreciation and say, "That was so good."

Let's start with a god-like creature. It always helps. A strong, powerful man who will bring you to your knees with his stunning good looks and his blistering gaze. What also helps is that this god-like creature is utterly consumed by you -- crazily so. Anyone who has read THIS MAN and fallen for the prolific Alpha Male, Mr. Jesse Ward, will know exactly what I mean.

Desire. We need to feel desired. I think that that is the key. Knowing you blow a man's mind, that he craves you, is the biggest turn-on ever. What woman doesn't want to be taken so powerfully, so unapologetically -- be made to feel irresistible and beautiful. These characters are crippled by desire for each other and that desire explodes on the pages, making it just as enjoyable for the reader as it is, undoubtedly, for the characters.

Sweet time. No one wants a rushed job. You know, blink and it's over. No climax, no satisfaction, nothing to write home about -- pun totally intended. I take the time I need to achieve every criteria and make this good sex. As a reader, I want to know details. What both parties are wearing, the looks, the feelings, the atmosphere, the surroundings...everything. As a writer, I live the scene in my head. I picture and imagine it all, and I play music to reflect the mood, whether it's a hard, frenzied rush to detonation, or a soft, unhurried rollover to climax. The music I use in the THIS MAN trilogy has become a huge hit, and I always encourage my readers to listen to the tracks I mention. It catapults you into the story and, makes you appreciate the scene that I'm setting.

Here's the thing: A woman desires a man's desire. I've no doubt that my readers place themselves in the shoes of Ava, the heroine. That's what we do. We fantasize, imagine all of it is happening to us, and as a writer, I do exactly that too. It's no secret that I wrote THIS MAN for me. I wrote my perfect story with perfect sex and my perfect, imperfect man. I wanted to feel everything my characters felt. And I did. I placed myself in the shoes of Ava and I lived the story through her eyes, felt everything she felt. Knowing I have achieved this for countless women worldwide is just as perfect.

Whether sex in fiction or reality, the principle is the same. Satisfaction. Just like reality, the criteria for good sex in a book is gratification, and this is best achieved by helping your reader feel every element. I strive to make them feel like part of the story. That's my secret to writing a good sex scene.