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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Barbie and Ken and INTERCOURSE?

How to write a great sex scene is being discussed in my writer's group at the moment. Fascinating, huh? Trust me, there were some GOOD suggestions there, and I'm going to share them with you later in this post, but first I wanted to talk about Barbie and Ken having, um, sex. Yeah, I typed that right.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I was watching one of my favorite shows, CBS This Morning and caught one of their human interest segments. It was about Desiree Holt, a well-known, traditionally published romance and erotica writer for Ellora's Cave. She's a 76 year-old grandmother from Texas who's written more than 140 titles since 2007. That's like a book every two weeks!

I love Desiree, and she's my FB friend for whatever that's worth. We've chatted, and I've read several of her books because they have great plots, characters, and most importantly, they're HOT. Maybe you're not into erotica or "mommy porn" as CBS smartly called it. That's okay. STOP reading this now, please, because it gets slightly worse.

Anyway, Bill Geist (my fav reporter) asked Desiree how she comes up with all these different and graphic sex scenarios. I mean, you can't just copy and paste one love scene from one book to the other, right? I'm sure some do, but Ms. Holt does not. Read this hilarious snippet from the interview to see how she writes those hot scenes.

HOLT:  That's why I have the dolls. (for sexual positions)
GEIST (OFF-CAMERA): ...whom she employs to determine what carnal acts are humanly possible.
HOLT: Sometimes it gets complicated, especially if I’ve got Barbie and Tina and Ken.
GEIST: Beautiful. Do you have more of these dolls? I hesitate to ask. (Looking at Holt's dolls on her bed.)
HOLT: No, I only have three at the moment. I broke two of them I'm sorry to say. (Looking sadly at broken doll.)
GEIST: Oh you did?
HOLT: Yes.
GEIST: That tells you something, doesn’t it?
HOLT: It does tell me that I'm trying too hard. Something wrong. Either that or the dolls need to be more flexible.

Funny, huh? It's even better if you watch it. The entire segment is only about 5 minutes long if you want to check out the link.

CBS Good Morning Show

And so, if you're having trouble getting your arms and legs and heated thoughts together, here's a list I complied from Mrs. Holt, of course, and from the wonderful writer's in my group. Read and, um, enjoy?

How To Write A Great Sex Scene:

1. Use dolls, such as Barbie and Ken. Only problem is the lack of flexibility.

2. Read all your favorite scenes from other books and think about what you like/dislike about them. Too much tongue, not enough? Think about what makes you blush or get flustered.

3. Write the technical stuff first...this arm goes here...those lips goes there. Then, go back and layer in the emotion.

4. Write about how you feel when you eat your favorite foods, only change it to sex. This would be dark chocolate for me. Or chocolate souffle. Or wine. Or fancy cheese. Or a grilled hamburger.

5. Get to know your characters, their quirks, their needs. Write. This one is hard for me because sometimes I don't KNOW the characters until the end of the story, which is not a good thing. But, if you fall in this category, see number 6.

6. Wait until you are done with your book and know your characters inside and out. Yes, this method is not productive and will probably having you rewriting and editing your book multiple times until you get it straight.

7. Watch HBO shows. Watch Rome, one of the best shows ever. Sex everywhere. Literally. Or if you want evocative emotion, Try True Blood the first season where Sookie and Bill consummate their vampire love. Sigh.

8. Remember your wedding night. Or the last time you got drunk.

9. Make a list of sexy words like: kiss, radiate, heave, shiver, length, dripping, plunge, core. Gah! I gotta stop!

10. Dial a friend. (Sorry, I'm so anal I had to have 10.)

NOW, to clean our palate of images of Barbie and Ken doing the nasty, I've found this sweet little pic for you to enjoy:

Ilsa Madden-Mills
Very Bad Things, a NA Romance Novel
September 2013

Awesome Book Trailer

**Thanks to A. Carina Barry for her additions to the list. ♥


  1. Best blog post I've seen in a long long time. *bows down* I'm totally gonna try some of these suggestions for my next book.

    1. BJ! That means a lot to me coming from you! ♥ Thank you!

  2. I LOVED this post Ilsa!! Thanks for sharing :) ~Tamara

    1. Aw thank you!! :) I like to be daring, I guess.


  3. As the soon to be newbie I will take all these suggestions to heart. Thank you! Can not wait for VBT.