Cassandra Carr on writing sex scenes with life

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author and guest blogger Cassandra Carr. Cassandra’s debut novel, Talk to Me, was released in March by Loose Id.

 When you read a sex scene, do you ever think to yourself – how did that writer bring that sex scene to life? If you’re squirming in your seat or feeling the urge to fan your face, the writer has probably made the sex scene leap off the page (whoa, there’s a visual!). So how do we do it? Well, first of all, writing sex scenes involves much more than insert tab A into slot B, and if your sex scenes read like that you’ll soon have your reader either throwing the book across the room or falling asleep.

Take this example:

He pulled her panties off and then spread her legs.

Not very titillating, right? Now let’s try this:

Trailing the pads of his fingers up the sleek muscles in her thighs, he reached for the waistband of her navy silk panties. He started to pull ever so slowly, working the material over her hips and now her legs, reveling in the vision he was uncovering with every downward inch of the material. The scent of her arousal wafted to his nose.

Now, yes, I used more words in general in the second example, but what else did I do? I added senses – he’s feeling the sleek muscles, he’s seeing her body revealed, he’s smelling her unique scent. I also added details – what color panties she’s wearing, where his fingers are, etc.

It’s this “layering” – the adding of senses and details that really make a sex scene come alive. So the next time you read a great scene, ask yourself – how did the author weave this story so effortlessly and how long did it take her to make it sound effortless?

EXCERPT from Talk to Me

By the time the show ended and Jamie thought about how long it would take her to shut everything down for the night, then hustle herself off to the subway station and take the three different trains to get to her apartment all the way out in Brooklyn, she was truly afraid she would self-combust.

Drew ran out of the place like a bomb scare had been called in, so at least she didn’t have to worry about him anymore. Nonetheless, Jamie waited a good ten minutes past when she was finished with her nightly duties, then made her way back to the small production room where she and Drew had recorded his promo earlier. She knew a copy of it would still be stored on the computer in the room, and after scooting in and shutting the door, she booted it up. She told herself she needed to check it one more time before giving it to the station manager tomorrow, but who was she kidding? She needed to hear him but in a safe environment. Where she couldn’t do anything stupid. She needed his voice to weave inside her, through her, like a drug.

The rough yet strangely melodic sounds of Drew’s voice drifted over Jamie as she leaned back in her chair. Closing her eyes, she pictured his face in her mind — his to-die-for lips traveling down the length of her body, just as her hand was doing at the moment; his navy blue eyes, focused only on her as he brought her to orgasm… She reached the button of her jeans and eased them open, propping her feet up on the desk.

She couldn’t believe she was doing this at work, but no one was around, and if she didn’t do something to assuage this ache, she was likely to jump him the next time she saw him. Bad idea. Bad, bad idea. Fantasizing about the man was one thing; straddling his powerful, muscular thighs in the studio chair and offering herself to him was another. That thought brought another rush of heat to her pussy, and she moaned. She needed serious help.

At first she just teased herself a little, rubbing outside her panties, but it soon became too much. She needed relief too badly to continue to torment herself. As Drew’s voice continued to assail her from all directions in the small, windowless room, she pushed her hand down inside the waistband of her panties and through her curls until she found the damp center of her sex. The sweet smell of her musk wafted up to tickle her nose, arousing her even more.

Twirling her fingers as much as the constricting position allowed her to, she imagined they were Drew’s tongue instead. She let out a plaintive moan as the picture caused her juices to flow even more, soaking her fingers. Plunging two of them into her pussy, she pressed her thumb on her clit, craving the direct stimulation. Jamie gasped as shock waves of pleasure shot from her pussy through her clit and up her spine, her back arching. And through it all, Drew’s voice urged her to new heights.

Cassandra Carr lives in Western New York with her husband, Inspiration, and her daughter, Too Cute for Words. When not writing, she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out on Twitter. Her debut novel, Talk to Me, was released by Loose Id on March 22, 2011.

For more information about Cassandra, check out her website at, “like” her Facebook fan page at or follow her on Twitter at


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7 Responses to Cassandra Carr on writing sex scenes with life

  1. Amelia James says:

    When I write a sex scene, I’m constantly asking myself, “How does it feel?” so I remember to focus on the sensations instead of the mechanics. If it doesn’t turn me on, I rewrite.

    • I completely agree, Amelia. Sex scenes are not easy to write – they’re definitely work, but if you feel nothing while you’re writing it you’re doing something wrong. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Cara Bristol says:

    Emotion is key. Before and during the sex scene. Sex that occurs before there is a connection between the H/h is not particularly erotic to me. It’s a challenge to write a good sex scene…it’s even more challenging to keep writing them in multiple books. You find yourself drawn to certain phrases…and you also quickly learn that that there few sexy words. Most words used to describe sex are either clinical, crude or ribald–none of which help to create an erotic scene.

  3. Love the blurb. Sounds like a great book. Its great to meet a fellow Looser (LI author!), especially one that likes hockey!!!

  4. Keta Diablo says:

    Hi Cassandra (any our lovely Cara),

    Wonderful insight. The examples you gave were so spot-on. I really appreciate reading another writer’s take on scenes, whether sex or not.

    Best of luck to you, Cassandra, in all future writing endeavors. Sounds like you’re on your way now,

    Namaste, Keta

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