Adding Emotion to Daring, Sexy Scenes

by Patience Bloom

You may not think that emotion is crucial to a sex scene. There is the cliché that sometimes, “It’s just sex.” But is this really true? Think about it: two complex individuals coming together for this intimate act, which will be different from any other coupling. How is that “just sex?”

In a Dare romance, it’s never “just sex.” There is always something else at play, otherwise, one might say the act is merely a tangle of moving parts. And we know of the science indicating that much of successful sex comes from the brain. With this in mind, consider how you can add emotion to those steamy sex scenes in your Dare story.

Every sexual encounter has meaning. Show that meaning. Does the busy heroine get involved with the *last* guy she should love? Why? Does the hero upend his life because he craves the heroine and can’t think of anything else? Is it just wild abandon in the coat room for no reason (though even no reason has a reason)? Or that lovely combination of things we like to call CHAOS.

Make the sex special. There doesn’t have to be an “I love you” or “that was the best ever.” Their time together should be unique somehow, in how they touch each other (literally and figuratively), maybe even where they are in their lives. Does she look at him a certain way that is unforgettable–or just plain fun–for him?

The sex should surprise them both emotionally. People have certain expectations when it comes to sex. How does this particular encounter shock them both? Were they used to something else? Show us.

Does the bedroom scene heal some kind of wound? This isn’t totally necessary but a way to strengthen the emotion. The hero may have lost his wife, blame himself, be unable to feel any kind of sexual desire—until this heroine. Or she might jump into intimacy too early—and is plagued by the feeling that love is not for her (but we love her). The hero may validate her and inspire her to see beyond sex. These are just options. As writers, you could come up with something brilliant!

Because Dare is sexually explicit romance, you can play with the idea that the character is thinking, “I really shouldn’t fall in love. It’s just physical.” Conflict is important because it brings out emotions and struggle. What is keeping the hero and heroine apart? Every character has baggage of some kind. Two sets of baggage and one big bed will make for a juicy and complicated story, especially if the characters don’t count on happily ever after. Isn’t it fun that they can have off-the-charts chemistry and the ultimate bonus of true love at the end?

The great thing about Dare is that explicit sex and mushy-gushy love coexist. Some relationships begin or blossom in the bedroom, and Harlequin Dare brings about real, fun, and emotional situations where the physical and the heartwarming thrive given the right combination of characters. So, when you explore the five senses in a sex scene, never forget what emotions the characters are feeling and thinking on this new, very sexy journey.

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