Describing the Birds and the Bees

Describing the Birds and the Bees

A Lesson by Rosi S. Phillips

describing sex, examples and what to do and not do


Description. It's the thing that makes a great sex scene and also the thing that can destroy it. Too much description can overwhelm your readers, but too little description means the scene's over quickly, which can disappoint you readers. Writing sex is all about finding that medium where a hand is a hand, but long, tapered fingers can be so much more. 

Let's take three very different sex scenes and compare them based on their descriptions: 

By the Book

By the Book by Scarlett Parrish 
This book starts as a m/m/f, but the “f” part quickly goes away…leaving just Daniel “F*****g” Cross and Reece to get on with it, which was fine by me.

“Reece, I’m gonna come.” He sucked in a breath as I sped up. “I need…I want you to—“ His hips rose off the bed, forcing his c**k through my grasp. If the light was on, I could have seen him. Known whether his eyes were open or closed. Maybe he frowned.

All I knew was his lips parted beneath mine as he gasped for air, and when I kissed from the corners of his mouth along his jaw, he moaned softly.


“I want more.”

My strokes slowed, half to give him a chance to breathe, half to give myself the same privilege.

“Reece?” Slowly, from the hips, he pushed himself against me, moaning when I tightened my hold. “I want…”

More confident now, I stroked him faster, wondering how I could ever have been wary of this. Him. “What do you want?”

“I want…” He grabbed my wrist. “I want you to f**k me.”


Shadowfever (Fever, #5)

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning 
Barrons having sex. Nothing else needs to be said.

Oh, God, yes, finally! My head slams back into wood but I barely feel it. My neck and back arch, my legs spread. My ankles are on his shoulders and I suffer no conflicts. There is only need and the answer to it all shoving inside me – sleek, hard, animal dressed up in the skin of a man.

I look up at him and he’s part beast. His face is mahogany, his fangs are out. His eyes are Barrons. The look in them isn’t. It makes me wild. I can be whatever I want to be with him. No inhibitions. I feel him growing harder, longer inside me.

“You can do that?” I gasp. The beast was bigger than the man.


“Harder. Deeper. Come on, Barrons, More.” I feel violent. I am unbreakable. I am elastic around him. Insatiable. His hand is on the side of my neck, around my throat, half cupping my face. His eyes bore into mine. He watches every nuance, every detail of every expression, as if his existence depends on it. He f***s with the single-minded devotion of a dying man hunting God.



Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh (Review)
I’ve wanted a nekkid Hawke since we first met him in this series. It was worth the wait.

“Are you,” she gasped as he slotted himself against her, began to push, “like this” – a throaty feminine sound, her tissues liquid fire around him – “all the time?”

He wasn’t thinking much anymore, consumed by pleasure, but he knew one thing. “For you – yes.” Gripping her hip, he slid in another couple of inches, felt her nails dig into his shoulders.

And then…

He pinned her to the bed, and he had every intention of using that leverage for her pleasure.

One hand on her hip, he slid back out torturously slow…then slid in the same way. Sienna’s eyes flared open, held hi. “Do that again.” An intimate demand.

Teeth bared in a feral smile, he did. Then again. And again. Until she fractured around him, those tiny muscles squeezing so tight around his c**k he almost came. He wanted to pound into her, to flip her onto her hands and knees and mount her in the most primitive of ways, but that could wait.

[…]”Next time,” he murmured in her hear as he collapsed, his heart a f*****g drum against his ribs, “I’m not going to behave.”

Hot, right? That's the thing about writing sex, the act itself is always second to the emotion and dialogue. In the first one, you got more actions and dialogue, but there was still a good amount of describing. In the second one, you got more of the internal, followed by descriptions of the act. And the last one, you were really in the thick of it with descriptions. 

The point is one word, one action, one touch can make or break an entire sex scene. A properly placed phrase or word or hand can send readers to the bathroom for a cold shower. Trust me, it's happened to me.

So this week's exercise is all about description. Write a sex scene, but be aware not to over use or under use those descriptions. It can be 1,000 words, but not over that. Sex scenes shouldn't be ten pages long, or half a page, you need to find a correct medium. I'm not saying 1,000 is that medium but it's a start. Email me with any questions. 

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Rosi S. Phillips
Rosi S. Phillips


Rosi S. Phillips was born in 1993 with caramel colored skin, to a Nigerian immigrant father and a 2nd generation Finnish mother. With this background, International awesomeness was soon to follow. ..