How to Write a Sex Scene

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Title: How to Write a Sex Scene
Creator: Resonant
Date(s): January 2005
Medium: essay
Fandom: meta
External Links: How to Write a Sex Scene, Archived version (in medias Res)
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How to Write a Sex Scene is an essay written by Resonant in October, 2005. It was written and posted within the context of the slash community of which she is a part, and makes frequent use of quotations from and references to notable slash stories to support its points.

Example Fanworks Used


In the introduction to the essay, Resonant explains, "I'm not, strictly speaking, telling how to write a sex scene; I'm telling how to write a scene whose purpose is to be arousing. There are sex scenes that exist for other reasons -- to be comforting, for instance, or to demonstrate a lack of connection between two characters, or any number of other things. In pro-fic it's fairly common to read a sex scene that generates the same reader response as would a description of a stabbing -- it's not there to turn you on; it's there to give you a thrill of revulsion and fear...But I'm talking about smut here. If you're writing another kind of scene, you may still find useful points here, but you'll have to take me with a very large grain of salt."[1]

Four Main Points

The essay addresses four main points:

  • Make me yearn.
  • Pick one zing and stick to it.
  • Make the sex fit the characters (and not the other way around)
  • Choose your details carefully.


  1. ^ Introduction to the essay, accessed October 21, 2008