I don't write sex scenes, and maybe that's a mistake.
Now, I write sexy scenes. I write my characters in the shower, en route to bed and post-coitus. I write them wherever I can show their sense of intimacy, something meaningful about their character, or even just a snippet of really funny dialogue.
But I don't write sex. I assume anyone reading my novels knows what sex looks like, and as I don't write romance or erotica (not for public disemination, anyway), it seems a bit unnecessary to me to write a sex scene per se. Besides, even if I wanted to, there is no word I can use for the male organ with a straight face. Including the phrase "male organ", just so y'all know. Clinically, I can say "Penis penis penis" all day (not that this often comes up as a necessity), but when it comes to fiction, saying such a thing seems odd and medical. The slang all seems too rough. And the female side of the house -- that might be worse!
Sometimes, I read writers' worries that the lack of sex in their books makes it seem like a YA book or whatnot. This always makes me pause and try to remember how many books I've read have had sex scenes in them; honestly, there's no single trend among the great ones (or the terrible ones, for that matter). Some have sex; some do not. Where it furthers the story, it's a good thing, in my opinion. I've just never had a story that required a sex scene.
But if I ever do have a sex scene to write, I'll be looking up this guy for some pointers (links only for the mature, hmm, which by the way I hope you are if you're reading this, just because I said "penis" all those times. And again. Which is not something you should do if you're writing a sex scene, it turns out -- ruins the mood).
Do you think sex scenes help delineate an adult novel from YA? I write so-called "transition" fiction (about girls in college/early 20's) that tends to fall on the line between to some extent, so I wonder if leaving sex scenes out is a mistake. And if you write sex scenes, what are your favorite pointers?
1 hour ago