So you all know by now that I’m writing a relatively light, humorous book.

Wait – I have written a relatively light, humorous book. (Must give myself credit there.)

The trickiest parts of the whole novel for me (and the sections I’m revising heavily) involve sex. First, I’ve never written sex before – so that in and of itself is new. Second, I’ve found it difficult to balance the light humor in most of the book with sensuality. I mean, I’m not out to write erotic romance, but a sex scene should be sexy, or else it’s just a waste of pages, right?

So, how to write a humorous sex scene while keeping some bigger emotions in play? I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. I’ve unfortunately learned how to write a sex scene that is unintentionally hilarious. But that wasn’t exactly what I was going for. I’ve also learned how to write sex scenes that take themselves far too seriously and just take too darn long. Thank heaven for brutally honest CPs, is all I can say.

My questions to you: Do you try to, um, insert humor into your love scenes? Can you think of published authors/books that do this well? Or does it bug you to giggle in the middle of a sexy sequence?

12 comments to “Do you giggle during sex?”

  1. CM
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 12:46 am · Link

    I do, in fact, giggle during sex. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with other people doing so.

  2. Sara
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 12:47 am · Link

    Uh, I’m finding it a little difficult to write sex without ever having had it… but thankfully I’m working on the last one (I hope!) right now. I just feel like I’m repeating the same phrases over and over again. But a little laughter in sex – whether intentional or unintentional – is, I think, a wonderful (and fairly natural) thing. Lillian and Marcus from Lisa Kleypas’ It Happened One Autumn come (pun not intended) to mind. And one of my very favorite love scenes in one of my very favorite romances- between Deb and Gray in Elizabeth Thornton’s Dangerous To Kiss – definitely contains laughter. Wow, the ramblingness (my new word) of this post is probably due to the pain meds. Sorry. Wisdom teeth suck.

  3. Gillian
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 5:02 am · Link

    Oh, I had to put 2 cents in on this one…

    CM is totally right. When sex is new and novel, it probably involves too much intensity, but it is in reality quite funny, and a source of pleasure , which could easily lead to giggles. Or a bout of raucous laughter.

    V. Alexander’s “Love with a Proper Husband” has funny love scenes. The whole thing is light, and a delight to read.

    Good luck!

  4. Maggie Robinson
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 7:30 am · Link

    I was given this advice by my grandmother. Yes, Granny. You can laugh with each other, but not at each other, during sex. So as long as something is mutually amusing, it’s okay. I tend to laugh and cry, but that’s TMI.

  5. Tessa Dare
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 9:07 am · Link

    Oh, Sara – I know what that’s like. It does suck. I had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed under local anesthesia, drove myself home afterwards, and took nothing for pain besides Advil. I don’t recommend doing it that way.

    And yes, you TMI-ers, I often giggle myself. Laughter and tears are natural ways to release tension, and I think lots of women do one or both during or after.

    In my book, the POV has a lot to do with it. When I’m writing from Lucy’s POV, it’s always much lighter, much more humorous. When I write sex from her POV and it’s not funny, my CPs say it doesn’t feel authentic to her character.

    Jeremy’s POV on the other hand – way more intense. He does take himself too seriously, and his POV often reflects that.

    As for not laughing AT one’s partner – Hmmm. I must admit, there’s a bit of chuckling at Lucy’s naivete (or rather her denial of her naivete) their first time, but it’s very good-natured.

    But while we’re the topic and dishing TMI – here’s another quandry I have. I think it’s hot, both in books and in life, when the guy does a lot of talking. Telling the woman how beautiful she is, how much he wants her, etc. The problem I’m having is, my hero is not much of a talker, in general. Everytime I try to write him saying something like that, I hear him protesting – “I would so not say that!” In one scene, I get around that by having him think a lot of things he doesn’t say – but it’s not quite the same.

    What are the relative merits of talking versus silence in sex scenes?

  6. Alice Audrey
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 10:12 am · Link

    I had all kinds of problems with the sex scenes in Zackly Right. It’s a light hearted, extremely sensual Romantic Suspense. The first time they get it on is hilarious. I didn’t know if I could get away with it but my CPs loved it.


  7. CM
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 2:50 pm · Link

    Talking: I actually think that talking is the most underrated tool in the erotic toolbox, so to speak.

    Why would Jeremy say that? He’s in the throes of passion.

  8. Tessa Dare
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 3:55 pm · Link

    Well, CM, Jeremy insists I interject here and state that none of his erotic tools are underrated in the least. He’s had nothing but compliments, thank you. Any implication to the contrary is strictly the fault of this author.

    No, seriously. My next hero – gonna talk up a storm. Perhaps during a storm. But if I let Jeremy talk too much, some plot gets compromised along with the girl. Oh, I have learned so much from this book.

  9. lacey kaye
    · March 2nd, 2007 at 10:21 pm · Link

    Talking, yes. Always good. Giggling? I hear it makes for some interesting contractions down there

  10. Pam Skochinski
    · March 4th, 2007 at 8:49 pm · Link

    Wow. . . what a discussion I’ve wandered into.

    I just have trouble keeping count of body parts when I’m writing about sex. Perhaps I’m thinking about it too much!

    I’ve written a couple of sex scenes now, and each of them have been just as difficult as the previous one! My word of the day. . . ACK!

  11. Annie
    · March 4th, 2007 at 10:47 pm · Link

    I hope you don’t mind that I added your blog to my blog roll. Your book is already on my to read list. Good luck!

  12. Lenora Bell
    · March 5th, 2007 at 10:14 pm · Link

    Great discussion! I don’t think laughter is a requirement in a sex scene. It has to happen naturally and when it does, it’s usually a great tension reliever or shows a deepening emotional connection between the characters. But some of the sex scenes I write (and participate in) don’t have any giggling because there is so much at stake, so much tenderness and wonder and sensual reciprocity, that tears are more likely to flow than laughter. So I try to listen to my characters and judge what mood they are in. But I have to say that humor during sex scenes, if it’s done well, usually makes the scene feel more authentic for me. Because sex is so often about emotional extremes–crying one moment, angry or embarrassed the next, laughing…all in the same scene.