When I wrote Vacation with a Stranger, I included explicit sex scenes. These scenes include descriptions of the characters’ sex organs. I suppose you could consider this a mechanical or anatomical approach to erotic scenes. Since then, I’ve reconsidered what actually constitutes an erotic scene. Is it important to explicitly point out the erection or lubricated vagina? Does that make the scene light up for the reader?
I don’t think so. Vacation isn’t porn. It isn’t directed at a horny male audience. Explicit sex doesn’t require anatomical detail. The reader’s primary sex organ is her brain. Presumably, she has a good grasp of the mechanics. She knows what an erection looks like. Male readers have the equipment and certainly know how their penises work.
I have to admit that I like writing sex scenes. OK, I like sex. I love sex. It turns me on to write about it. That doesn’t mean I should publish material that inspires me to masturbate. Well, let me correct that. I don’t have to write mechanical sex scenes. It turns out that a good sex scene doesn’t need to include anatomical descriptions at all. For example, I find, “She could feel herself melting. He pressed against her, and she could feel his excitement…” I think that’s pretty hot.
It’s much hotter than reading about the physical components of their heat. My brain easily fills in the blanks. I get just as hot reading the less explicit text. What do you think?