Posted by: nancycurteman | March 6, 2014

Why Novels Need Love and Sex Scenes

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th-1Most novels need love and sex scenes. These scenes add a bit of romance and spice to a book. They put a reader in touch with the humanness of story characters. The purpose of love and sex scenes is to move the plot of a story and show character growth the same as all scenes.

Love scenes are about characters and their relationship to each other. Character background, personality, needs and experiences determine the kind of love scene you write. Your characters should decide the level of intimacy. Your readers will expect love and sex scenes that are compatible with the personalities of the characters you created.

The build up to love and sex scenes is as important as the scene itself. It should be gradual, but not too long, so it will provide the reader with the anticipation needed to hold his attention. Build up begins with the first eye contact and continues with the first words, the first touch, the first kiss and the final intimacy. During the build up, establish the feelings, motives, and attitudes of the characters involved. You need to set the stage for love scenes. There must be strong attraction between your characters. The emotional impact needs to be conveyed through their every encounter until the sexual tension reaches the breaking point.

The most romantic love and sex scenes are best hinted or implied, not described in boring, repetitious detail. Love/sex scenes in a novel are all about feelings and emotions, not mechanics. Let your readers’ imagination fill in the details.

The heart of a love scene should be the emotional bond between the hero and heroine. The scene itself should involve all the senses—seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, tasting. Show the characters reaction to every touch. Stay in the point of view of one character and use interior dialog to show the emotions and sensations of the character and her responses to what’s happening.

Love and sex scenes add excitement and warmth to most novels.

More tips:

How to Write Love Scenes that Generate Emotions Not Giggles
How to write Emotion into Love Scenes


  1. On first read, your premise and lead in sentence did not persuade me, NC.

    I flashed around for novels and stories I’ve enjoyed that did not feature love and sex scenes:

    Christmas Carol came to mind . . . until I remembered Ebenezer and the Ghost of Christmas Past going back to examine Scrooge’s youthful fling with Belle.

    Then I thought . . . kid’s stories!

    Shrek popped into my head . . . oh, right, the Ogre slays the dragon to get the princess.

    Nemo . . . oh, yeah, that started with a love story between mom and dad.

    Harry Potter . . . it all starts with a mother’s love for her child, strong enough to thwart He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

    OK . . . what about action adventure!

    James Bond . . . he likes his love scenes “shaken not stirred.”

    The Bourne Legacy . . . there he is, floating off into the sunset with her.

    You’re right. Love and sex scenes add excitement and warmth to most novels.


  2. Hey NH, Great analysis of the role of sex/love scenes in a variety of genres.


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