ASK EM — How Naughty Do I Go?

Keyboard with Tips and Tricks Button.


Today’s Question: How naughty do I go with sex scenes?


My answer: Be as comfortable as your mind will allow. Also, as comfortable as your characters will allow.


Let me tell you a little story about a writer named Em. She was writing mainstream paranormals and struggling to keep the heat out of her writing. Those characters wanted to get busy and in a big way! But she kept reining them in, forcing them to keep it clean because that’s what she wrote.

Eighty-some rejections later, she let her characters do their worst. They had sex up and down the pages and in every possible way. BAM! Em got a contract. That was the start of her career. And also, this was a big lesson on write what you love *wink*.



If you read sweet romance because you genuinely love it, you aren’t going to be comfortable penning a 5-flame scene complete with anal sex and graphic language. You would be more comfortable with lots of sexual tension and a great kiss leading up to a closed bedroom door scene. Or a scene that fades to black.


However, if you love to read the really hot stuff, you have no trouble spreading the legs of your heroine for it LOL. Go as far as you’d like.


My ultimate advice is don’t go too far out of your comfort zone. Your readers will know this! Your hot, hot sex scene will sound stilted and dry, not scorching as you’d hoped.



If your sweet, innocent heroine is getting too down and dirty, it won’t fit with your story. She’s never had sex. She probably isn’t going to drop to her knees and give an amazing BJ or even know all those bad words like cock and sac let alone the tongue moves.


My advice is look at yourself and your characters. Also KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE! If you’ve written Christian romance up until this point, then you suddenly feel like throwing in some hand-jobs, it’s not going to fly with your readers!


Thanks for reading,



2 comments on “ASK EM — How Naughty Do I Go?

  1. Loved the article, Em. 🙂 It’s very true. You should listen to your characters and to yourself as you write. It’s never wise to sell your soul just to sell more books. Although I’m sure we’ve all been tempted.

  2. LOL…I wrote my 1st ‘hot’ book, then let my 14 y/o daughter read it. Her response? “Good story Mom, but I’ve read worse at school.” Yay….I’m hot but still on the tame side:)

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