Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wild and Wicked Wednesday: @dochappycamper REVISITS How to Write Explicit #Erotic Love Scenes #LGBT #manlove

The following post was originally published a year ago. A lot has happened during that time for myself, Sassy Vixen and the guest author in today's spotlight. Her post had the highest number of hits of ALL TIME here at SVP and I don't think it will give up it's spot any time soon. 

To celebrate how far we've all come during the last year and revisit a post that's just as timely now as it was then, I decided to share it again. Sit back and enjoy the fabulous advice from my friend and fellow smut writer, Kendall McKenna.
~The Vixen

I'm thrilled to have back here at Sassy Vixen Publishing, one of our favorite authors and friends, Kendall McKenna. As many of you know, she was one of the very first authors of M/M romances that I chose to read and have never regretted it for one moment! My alter ego Lia Michaels was so taken by the genre, she's completed TWO of her own...and Kendall along with Tyler Robbins were the inspiration for her to give it a try. Today for Wild and Wicked Wednesday, I thought I would just turn the whole post over to Kendall and let her have some fun. Come on out, Kendall! The floor is all yours...

Hello! I’m Kendall McKenna and I write gay porn.

Okay, not really, but I have your attention now! I just like to put it out there early that I write m/m erotic romances. If you haven’t yet ventured into this genre, you really ought to give it a try! Seriously! My first book, Brothers In Arms, is a good starter book. But anyway, what I want to talk about today is relevant to all the types of erotic romance.

Writing Explicit Erotic Love Scenes

I was recently interviewed for another blog and one of the questions I was asked was, what is easier for me to write; love scenes or action scenes? My answer was love scenes. The reason is that a well written action scene requires a change in the narrative style that isn’t natural for me, whereas love scenes utilize a narrative voice that is more in keeping with my natural style. For that interview, I focused on the differences between the two types of scenes. For this post, much of what I’ll discuss holds true for action scenes, as well.

We’ve all read them; those books with lukewarm love scenes, or love scenes that are obviously shoe-horned in just to have a love scene, or unrealistic (is that even physically possible?) love scenes, or identical to the previous love scene, or is absolutely out of character for the participants. I recently read a book where I skipped through the later love scenes because there were too many of them, they were all the same (blow job followed by penetrative sex), and none of the scenes did anything to move the characters or the story forward. It’s frustrating and unsatisfying when this occurs.

An explicit love scene serves the same purposes as every other scene in a story. It needs to strike an appropriate emotional note, it needs to move the story forward or contribute to character development, and it needs to hold the reader’s interest. These things are achieved through the construction of the scene, they don’t happen by accident. A successful love scene isn’t just a flow of consciousness, and it’s much, much more than simply describing how Tab A is inserted into Slot B.

We all have our own techniques for writing a hot love scene. While many writers probably have some similarities or commonalities, for the most part, we’re each unique in how we go about it. This is a quick overview of my process.

Story within a story

I approach each erotic scene as if it’s its own, stand-alone story. As a scene in a larger story, it becomes a story within a story. I write the scene like a three-act play, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Specifically; foreplay, primary sex act/orgasm, resolution (afterglow). This helps me with pacing, to keep the reader interested. I can establish the emotional states of my characters and take one or both of them through to where I need them to be at the end of the scene, and closer to where I want them to be at the end of the story.

Show don’t tell

I’ve seen readers use this in reviews and, having read the books myself, it’s obvious to me that they don’t understand what this means. Telling is something like this: “John was turned on, now that he was with Joe.” Showing is something like this: “John’s heart beat quickened, his breathing quick and shallow. The feel of Joe’s skin, the scent of his body, made John’s cock harden. He’d waited so long for this, now that he was finally with Joe, John’s head was spinning.” Rather than telling the readers that John is turned on by Joe, it’s more effective to show the effects of John’s arousal, to show how emotions effect the body and vice versa. Rather than telling the reader that John is nervous to be with Joe, saying that John’s hand trembles as he skims it down Joe’s chest helps the readers to both understand and relate to what John is feeling. If characters have years of history with each other, two pages of narrative explaining the history can get tedious and boring. A little narrative, a little dialog, a little memory recall gets the job done in a much more interesting and engaging way.

This leads me to the next topic:

Use all five senses

In real life, we use all five of our sense when we have sex. We aren’t necessarily aware of them all, but they do provide us with sensory input and enhance the experience. Using all five of the POV character’s senses enhances the story for the reader. His partner is handsome (sight). His partner moans (sound). His partner’s skin is warm (touch). His aftershave is strongest right behind his ear (scent). The sweat collecting on is throat is salty (taste). There is of course, an emotional reaction to each of the sensory inputs. This draws the reader into the scene and helps them relate to what the POV character is experiencing.

Don’t be afraid of language

Euphemisms and purple prose ruin an explicit erotic scene. I’m perfectly comfortable using the graphic, coarse words that make these scenes effective. Cock, dick, prick, erection, balls, ball sac, ass, asshole, come, jizz, spunk. ‘Velvet covered steel rod’ is soooo 1980’s. I of course, have to tailor the language to suit my character(s). For instance, I write about U.S. Marines. They use coarser language than a doctor or a lawyer would, because that’s just how their sub-culture is. They throw around words like ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ much more frequently. They’re more likely to use ‘jizz’ and ‘spunk’, less likely to use ‘erection’ than they are ‘hard-on’. Whatever the character’s background, I can’t shy away from the use of the explicit language.

My most recent book is a paranormal story called Strength of the Pack. It’s Book 1 in the series, The Tameness of the Wolf. The book is about U.S. Marines, both humans and werewolves, serving side-by-side in perfect symbiosis. I use erotic love scenes to further the plot, deepen the bond between the pairing, and intensify the inner conflict of the POV character. Because my characters are Marines and it’s set in Afghanistan, there are a lot of combat scenes, as well as the erotic ones. Writing the combat scenes was a struggle for me. I struggled to get them just right. In contrast, the erotic scenes were a breeze to write, and require far less editing along the way.

Curious about Strength of the Pack? You can read a little more below. 

Strength of the Pack
by Kendall McKenna


Lieutenant Lucas Young doesn’t know much about shifters. When Sergeant Noah Hammond is assigned to Lucas’ platoon, the Marine Corps’ True Alpha werewolf challenges the Lieutenant’s authority and his self-control. As Lucas learns to dominate and command Noah, he struggles against a strong attraction and deepening emotional bond.
During their combat deployment to Afghanistan, Lucas and Noah begin mirroring legendary partnerships. Their bond and their power grow as they survive dangerous combat and ambushes. When one of them is wounded in battle, they both must embrace the strength of their bond before they lose each other forever.

I’m sharing this excerpt exclusively,
here at Sassy Vixen!
Noah dropped the items in his arms and slammed Lucas’ back against the wall. His hands were everywhere on Lucas. The only place Lucas wanted his own hands was right on Noah’s naked skin. He ran his palms up Noah’s back, digging his fingers into the thick muscles of his shoulders. He pushed back against Noah’s kiss, rubbing their tongues together.

Lucas’ chest heaved with each raging breath. He ran his tongue over Noah’s upper lip just before he bit down on Noah’s lower lip.

“Fuck,” Noah snarled. He licked his way along Lucas’ jaw. “Need you against me.”

Lucas ran his hands up Noah’s bare chest, the heat nearly scalding him. Noah’s tags hung heavily against the backs of Lucas’ hands, his fingers tangled briefly in the beaded chain. Noah’s hands tugged at the hem of Lucas’ fleece, pushing it up over his belly. He’d never felt anything like the touch of Noah’s super-heated skin. The chill of the air was more pronounced in the wake of Noah’s touch.

“Too cold,” Lucas murmured against Noah’s cheek. “I don’t run as hot as you do.”

“I’ll keep you warm,” Noah replied, insistently tugging on Lucas’ fleece.

Lucas was helpless. He lifted his arms, and Noah pulled the fleece over his head, Lucas’ dog tags fell back against his chest with a soft, metallic clink. Noah was true to his word, and he immediately wrapped his arms around Lucas, lending the warmth of his body.

That was when Lucas noticed the lack of a bite mark on Noah’s shoulder. He lifted a hand and ran his fingers over Noah’s skin. He could still feel something, where the mark was supposed to be, but it was faded to nearly nothing.

“It’s gone,” Lucas murmured.

“We heal faster in wolf form,” answered Noah. “It dulls the pain, too.”

Lucas didn’t like it that Noah was walking around unmarked. Anger flared in his chest and he pushed against Noah’s hold. Lucas lifted his hips and pivoted, pushing Noah’s back against the wall.

Noah wrapped his arms back around Lucas, again sharing his warmth. He leaned his head back, as if offering himself up. Lucas spanned Noah’s ribs with both hands. Without thinking, he lowered his head and sank his teeth into Noah’s skin, just below his collarbone.

Lucas felt the bite echo on his own chest. Noah snarled, and his arms tightened around Lucas. Noah’s scent, the taste of his skin, overwhelmed Lucas’ senses. He expected stinging pain, but it never manifested. Instead, desire, affection and deep satisfaction flooded him.

“Oh fuck, Lucas.” Noah’s voice was low and ragged. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Lucas tore his mouth away, and Noah whimpered. He nosed his way across Noah’s chest, swiping his tongue over a patch of heated skin just beneath his other collarbone.

“Please, Lucas,” Noah pleaded.

Lucas bit down hard, resisting the urge to break skin. The relief and the ecstasy that rolled through him weakened his knees. Noah pumped his hips rhythmically against Lucas, his cock hard through his uniform. Lucas released the flesh from his teeth and licked at it soothingly.

He pulled back slightly to admire his work. Each of Noah’s collarbones was decorated with an angry red bite mark. Lucas sensed Noah’s triumph. It relieved him to know he hadn’t hurt Noah. He didn’t understand why this meant so much to Noah, but there was no denying that being marked in this manner met some deep, powerful need inside of him.

“I wanna feel you.” Noah’s words were slurred slightly.

Lucas looked into Noah’s face, concerned. Noah was flushed; his red, wet lips were parted as he breathed raggedly. His pupils were blown wide with desire, nearly obliterating the glowing silver irises. He looked at Lucas hungrily. Lucas was stunned as a powerful wave of need flowed through him. Much of it was Noah’s, but some of it was Lucas’, as well.

“You’re touching me,” Lucas said against Noah’s mouth. “You can feel me. I’m right here.”

“I wanna touch your dick and get you off, but you need me to keep you warm.” Noah emphasized his words with his hips flexing against Lucas’.

Lucas licked a long strip up Noah’s neck and felt him shiver. He bit hard on Noah’s earlobe. A violent shudder rocked Noah’s large frame, and he groaned. His hands tightened on Lucas’ back.

“This isn’t about getting me off.” He pressed his face to the join of Noah’s neck and shoulder, breathing in nothing but Noah’s scent and mouthing at the chain of his tags. Lucas reached between their bodies and unfastened Noah’s fly.

His hands trembled, and it made Lucas slow. He fumbled with the fastenings until he had them open. Noah’s cock slid out eagerly, lying hot and heavy in Lucas’ palm. He squeezed the shaft tightly and stroked from base to head roughly, repeating the motion when Noah unleashed a feral growl emanating from somewhere deep in his broad chest.

“I wanna feel you,” Noah gasped, pumping his hips so his dick slid quickly through Lucas’ fist.

“My hands are on you,” Lucas said, reaching his free hand lower to cradle Noah’s sac. “I’ve got you. Just let go.”

Noah’s brow furrowed, and he rolled his head against the wall. A fleeting image ghosted through Lucas’ mind, his own hard cock aligned with Noah’s, his hands stroking them both to completion.

Lucas’ dick pushed hard at his fly in response to the image. He gasped against Noah’s neck, and the scent made his erection ache more strongly. Lucas tore open his own fly and eased out his straining cock. Noah pushed his hips insistently against Lucas, demanding the contact he desired.

He aligned their cocks, root to head. Lucas pulled back slightly and spat into his palm several times. He spread the fluid over their hard shafts. He needed more slick.

Lucas lifted his hand to Noah’s mouth. “Spit,” he ordered.

Noah obeyed, over and over until Lucas was satisfied. He wrapped his hands around them both and stroked quickly. Noah’s gratitude was like a physical thing. Lucas’ hips pulsed reflexively at the feel his own tight grip. 

“Yeah, like that,” Noah groaned. “Fuck. Just like that.”

His arms stayed wrapped around Lucas. His warmth still seeped into Lucas’ bones. Lucas shivered, but not from the cold, when Noah’s hands slid down his back to cup his ass. He moaned into the sweat-slick skin of Noah’s throat.

Lucas started when Noah’s super-heated hands slid beneath his clothes and gripped his bare ass cheeks. Noah’s hands were as strong as they were hot, and he squeezed Lucas’ ass firmly. There was no discomfort, only exquisite pleasure.

The feel of Noah’s hands on his bare skin pushed Lucas closer to his climax. “Are you close?” He didn’t want to come before Noah found his own release.

“Yeah,” Noah answered. “Almost there.”

Lucas sped up his hands on their cocks. He stroked them both from base to head, keeping his grip tight. Somehow, in all the chaos, they managed to match the rhythm of their hips to Lucas’ hands. Heat swirled in his belly, and tendrils of pure sensation snaked up his spine.

One of Noah’s hands left Lucas’ ass for several moments. When it returned, he pulled Lucas’ ass cheeks apart and slid his fingers into the cleft.

Lucas knew what was coming, and he wanted it. His hands on their cocks faltered slightly when one of Noah’s fingers breached him. He moaned against Noah’s throat as the wicked finger pushed in deep and stretched him slightly.

“You feel so fucking good inside,” Noah murmured.

The finger slid out and was replaced by two. Electricity shot up the length of Lucas’ spine, and he pressed his open mouth to Noah’s neck as he cried out. He struggled to keep up the rhythm of his hands on their cocks.

“I’m coming, Noah,” he said between gritted teeth. “Fuck! Come with me. Dammit, come with me.”

Noah’s fingers in his ass slid in and out in time with Lucas’ stroking hands. He pushed them in deep and stretched Lucas’ rim when he pulled them out. It was all too fucking much, and Lucas felt his balls tighten and lift.

He didn’t want to be the first to go. Lucas wanted Noah to come and searched for a way to ensure he did. When a faint hint of Noah’s eagerness drifted over Lucas, he forced the connection to open wider. Lucas let go and started to come, dragging Noah over the edge with him.

Together they shouted and swore as hot come splashed over Lucas’ fingers and coated both of their bellies. A part of him knew they could be heard in the corridors and that it was more than obvious what they were doing. Most of him didn’t give a fuck. His body clenched hard as his cock shot out thick, white come, his asshole grasping greedily at Noah’s fingers.

As Lucas stroked them both through their orgasms, Noah’s body shuddered violently. He pumped his hips as his come coated Lucas’ stomach. Together, they made a huge fucking mess, and Lucas didn’t care. 

Noah’s body gave out first. His hand slid free of Lucas’ ass, and his knees buckled. Lucas released their spent cocks and steadied Noah, smearing their come even further.

“Fuck,” Noah sighed. His eyes were heavily lidded and he looked spent and exhausted. “Fuck.”

“Noah,” Lucas said sharply. “Stay awake long enough to help me get you into bed.”

Noah wrapped himself around Lucas, leaning so heavily on him that Lucas wasn’t sure he could support him. Noah collapsed heavily onto the bedroll laid out across the room.

When Lucas shifted to remove Noah’s boots and retrieve the tub of baby wipes, Noah reached out and grasped his wrist painfully.

“Don’t go, Lucas,” he pleaded, battling to hold off sleep just a few moments longer. “Just today, don’t leave me.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said soothingly. “I’m sleeping right here today.” He ran a hand over Noah’s hair, encouraging him to lie back. “I’m going to clean us up first. Then I’ll sleep right here.”

“I like the way you smell,” Noah muttered just before his eyes closed, and his breathing evened out.

Strength of the Pack is available from 

MLR Press 
and all major distributor sites!

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