One of the most difficult challenges I have as an author who writes books targeted for baby boomers is creating sex scenes. There are two in my novel, The Girl From Long Guyland, and two in the sequel, Bagels & Salsa.
Often authors choose not to include scenes about sex even if they would enhance the plot. “I rather close the bedroom door,” my talented author friend John Asher used to say. Practically speaking, many authors don’t want to deal with writing about something so personal. Why? When you write a sex scene, you feel like you’re exposing your naked self to the world, even though the scenes are rarely autobiographical.
Gratuitous sex scenes are just tacky, and I would never include a sensual scene unless it was instrumental in moving the plot forward and/or gaining a better understanding of the interpersonal relationship of the characters. My sex scenes are not graphic, but they’re not prudish either.
I stay away from classic romance terminology like “honeypot” “nub,” “sex missile” or “love canal.” My romantic scenes focus more on what the point-of-view character is thinking rather than every physical movement of the lovers. Bottom line, I try to render my scenes realistic: awkward, emotional, messy, tense and exciting.
The following excerpt is part of a sex scene from my novel, The Girl From Long Guyland. Protagonist Laila Levin, a seventeen-year-old virgin from the suburbs of Long Island is having an encounter with Chris Reynolds, a local hipster in the impoverished factory town where she is attending college. The year is 1969.
Chris grabbed my hand. “Come on, sweetheart. Let’s go upstairs and finish what we started last night.”
I followed Chris up the dark stairway to his bedroom in the attic. The room was very cold. A velvet curtain covered the window. Chris lit a candle.
I was shivering when we began to make out on the saggy bed. The stubble on his chin scratched my face as he searched my mouth with his tongue.
We rolled around in the bed. The worn top sheet ripped and the bedsprings groaned. Chris slid his hand down to my thigh. “You are one sweet chick.”
Was this a good time to tell him about my V status? “Chris do you remember—?”
He put his finger on my lips. “Shush.” Then he initiated some tricky tongue moves on my neck.
“Oh jeez, that feels sooo good.” I was more than ready. Strange new sensations ripped through my body. Sexy, tingly, wet. I sighed, noticing a bulge in his Levis.
Why had I always been so scared when I’d come this close before? My dates in high school or the time in summer camp when I ran away from Tommy Abrams. Tonight, I felt ready, confident, hungry for Chris’s touch.
But like last night we were suddenly interrupted. “Chris, you motha, get your white ass down here,” shouted Doc from downstairs.
“Screw them,” Chris said and slid my sweater over my head. Then he fumbled with the hooks of my bra.
But the voice bellowed from the stairway. “Christopher!”
Just like any scene in a novel, it’s important to keep the setting and plot in mind, know your characters, avoid clichés and include conflict especially sexual tension.
Lara Reznik - Author
The In-laws, The Ex-laws & the Outlaws (coming soon)