Pillow Talk

Breathless, sweaty, and dizzy of a sudden, Ross tumbled to the bed beside her, one arm still draped loosely around her. They would need to clean up and wash before bed, but, for the moment, he just wanted to lie with her in the drowsy quiet. So, settling his head next to hers, he blinked, and swallowed, and asked:

“Can we cuddle a bit?”

No mincing words, here: I think sex is an important part of any adult, loving relationship. It’s fun to write, too…though what’s more interesting is examining what happens around the main act. Pillow talk in these situations can offer a unique perspective on your character.

Trailer title from the 1959 movie; public domain image.

Lovers (and this includes men, here) are often much more honest with each other when they’re naked and relaxed, coming down from a sexual high. Just something about that situation, I guess, that opens people up. 😉

If you’re so inclined to write a sex scene, I’d suggest at least considering that opportunity of after-sex pillow talk, to broach some of your more sensitive topics. Perhaps your woman has body image issues, or your man has trouble with intimacy. You can potentially use this time to explore those, in a natural, conversational way.

Because honest communication is what truly makes sex sexy.

If you write sex, on what part do you like to focus: the buildup, the climax, or the denouement? If your story doesn’t include the convention of sex, how do you approach sensitive relationship subjects?

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4 thoughts on “Pillow Talk

  1. Great points, Mayumi. I usually include one major sex scene in my stories, and I’m really anxious about how I write them because I don’t want them sounding silly. I have more fun writing the buildup scenes where you can stretch the sexual tension for the reader as well as the characters.

    I like your idea about how people are more forthcoming in the aftermath of sex, and how that’s a great moment to introduce a conversation. I’ll have to keep that in mind for my pirate. 😉

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    • Thanks, Kate.

      It’s not always “cool” to have a vulnerable hero (or heroine, but some readers seem to have more of an issue with a vulnerable man), but I find them more interesting. Especially when they make a conscious choice to open up only to that one special person. Sometimes, it feels like men are socially designed not to be forthcoming with their emotions, so the cuddle time talking has been a nice way for me to broach some of the more sensitive/personal topics for those characters.

      Oo, your pirate sounds saucy! 😀 I can’t wait to read more about him.

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  2. I certainly agree that sex is a vital part of any real intimate relationship, so it should come through in a story that involves such. Though, as we’ve established, I haven’t quite grown comfortable writing the act yet. The buildup, sure. The afterglow, easy. But the real bonding and the lustful moments…still working on that.
    And all of that is something that really shines in your work whenever I read it.

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    • Thanks for the kind words, Shade.

      I was an English major, so I’m all about subtext (and having a filthy mind). 😉

      There’s never a need to describe the act. It can have its place, certainly. But, when you’re not comfortable writing something, it usually means your heart’s not really in it. You have a strong sense for buildup and waning action…especially when it’s tragic. That takes a lot of skill to keep a reader interested, too.

      You may never get to the point where you enjoy writing about the act itself. That’s okay. It’s often the least important of those three aspects of what sex is about, anyway. 🙂

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