I recently got a great reader question about love scenes. Jeanette asked, “I’d like to know how you come up with your love scenes and what makes you pick each person to do the things they do to one another. Like, are you speaking from experience or hoping it’s what everyone can only dream about?”
Intriguing question that made me really stop and think, thanks Jeanette!
Love scenes have to function like every other scene in the book. They need a purpose and a goal, they need to move the plot forward, and they need to challenge and change the characters, either forcing them to grow or causing them to regress and reassess.
People who don’t read romances don’t get it at all, which is why romance readers are always receiving snarky comments about “trashy” books, which sometimes even go so far as to accuse them of reading “porn.” And yes, I’ve had to restrain myself from slapping a few of those sanctimonious snobs upside their dirty-minded heads. *G*
The truth that every romance reader knows is, it’s not just sex, is it? Because physically, sex is pretty much all the same. Variations of: Tab A goes into Slot B and (hopefully) pleasure ensues.
Just like in real life, what makes a difference in the characters’ experience is not what’s happening inside their bodies, but what’s happening inside their brains and their hearts.
I don’t “make” my characters do anything in any of my books, including the love scenes. They tell me what they’re doing, and I take dictation. Every scene springs from each individual, unique character and their different situations.
In fact, I have two upcoming heroines with almost the same issue to work though, but they need to be handled in opposite ways. Thank goodness their heroes know them well enough to realize it, and give them what they need, not what they think they want! *G*
Marisa Matheson, the heroine in my newest sexy romantic contemporary, “Devil May Care,” (available May 1st), is a wedding planner and a complete control freak. Her father abandoned the family when she was five, and she and her mother struggled, even going hungry at times. Marisa needs to be in control because she believes she can’t depend on anyone but herself, and does not believe men are loyal enough to stick around once they get what they want. And of course since she never lets herself lose total control, her sexual encounters have merely been so-so.
Then Irish bad boy Flynn Devlin roars into her life on a Harley, and teaches her that the world won’t end if she’s not the one in charge. She tries to tell Flynn what to do during their first lovemaking, which goes over about like you’d expect with a hot-blooded alpha male. We all know men don’t like to follow directions, don’t we? *G*
Instead, Flynn demands complete control during their first encounter…if she really wants him. Marisa replies “Hell to the no!” But eventually she can’t deny her desire for her hot Irish hunk. Flynn blindfolds Marisa in order to show her how to trust him and let go. She can’t see him, or direct him, she can only wait with growing anticipation for his next caress.
Their lovemaking is playful and spontaneous, and by the time Flynn is done freeing Marisa from her self-imposed restraints, she’s up for anything and everything! She achieves fulfillment and pleasure beyond her wildest dreams…and learns that the right man will put her needs above his own, and he will never abandon her.
In “Laws of Attraction,” the romantic suspense I have coming out in June, Mia Linden is a family advocate attorney. She was beaten by her father when she was a child, and betrayed by a close male friend as an adult, and doesn’t trust men. Her fear of being hurt runs so deep, her control so rigidly self-protective, she’s never achieved orgasm.
Then Dallas McQuade, a tall, dark and Texan security specialist strides into her life with deadly aim, a heart as big as his home state, and an uncompromising protective streak toward women. During their first few sexual encounters, Mia is still not able to come. When she finally trusts Dallas with the truth, he realizes what she needs from him…she needs to feel safe. So he puts her on top, puts her in control, while also maintaining the lead enough to guide her through the experience.
Their lovemaking is tender and warm and deeply emotional as Mia trusts Dallas and learns that he will never hurt her, or allow anyone else to hurt her. She opens her body and her heart to him…and finally reaches the pinnacle of pleasure linked in every way with the man she’s allowed herself to love.
Same issues for these heroines, very different solutions.
And as the various love scenes in both books progress, you watch each character grow and change—as individuals and as a couple—as their trust and love for one another deepen their bonds.
Each diverse situation evolves from what those specific characters need, and leads them to their unique and special Happily Ever After!
Visit Diana’s web-site http://dianaduncan.homestead.com/