Throughout the years, I have written to various levels of sensuality. Some of my stories have been incredibly tame while others have been scorching let-me-get-the-fire-extinguisher hot. While each story requires a different mode of thinking when I’m writing because of the content, there is one item that will never change: the levels of intimacy. There are many articles written on this subject with good reason. For the romance writer be it erotic or sweet or sensual, the stages of intimacy are all the same.
Everyone is in agreement that these steps need no verbal queue but all lead from the first advance to intimate contact. It’s all in the body language, folks and body language doesn’t lie. If you need some lessons in body language, watch the Fox show, Lie To Me and you’ll learn everything you ever wanted about body language. They do it right. Now, there are others out there as well and then there are those where the author in us screams ‘why aren’t you reading the body language.’
When we write love scenes, it’s imperative that you follow these steps. Occasionally, you can skip a step if the story calls for it BUT for the most part, these steps need to happen for your reader to get into your story. We all know love scenes can make or break a novel.
Eye to body – This is commonly known as the once over. In addition, it is usually very subtle. The gaze will drop from the upper face, meaning the eye and nose area, to the lower face then on down to the upper parts of the body. Sometimes, the person will step back to get a better, fuller look at you. If that happens their whole, posture will change as they glance at you up and down to see how your face matches your body. This can happen in a covert glance or a frank stare. It can happen up close and personal or from a distance.
Eye to eye – Intimacy increases the moment two people have eye contact. The more eye contact, the more soulful the looks. The looks will become more and more meaningful as more are exchanged. If a person refuses to gain contact in this sensual charged moment they will send a message one is not interested. Think of the many books you’re read where your hero or heroine tries to catch the eye of the other only to be rebuffed.
Hand to hand – Contact is usually lingering but light. It can be disguised as being accidental or occurring in a social setting, which is considered acceptable. This would be like one putting a hand under an elbow to guide someone, two people reaching for the door handle at the same time or a handshake that slowly ends. It could also take on a comedic flare with the two bumping heads with hands seeking to soothe the hurt. Look at the way the Victorians or those of the Regency period acted toward each other and you will see this step everywhere.
Hand to shoulder – This behavior can again be hidden within what is considered socially acceptable behavior. Until this point, either person can withdrawal gratuitously without any real hurtful feelings. Once this boundary has been crossed, there is no going back without one’s pride being severely injured. This is just a touch to the shoulder for a variety of reasons, like getting ones attention, removing something from their shoulder or clothing. This is also a form of claiming ones territory and can be used to ward others off.
Arm around waist – This is the signal that one wants greater intimacy. This is the time to get out if one does not desire this relationship. Feelings will be hurt if one doesn’t respond positively to this gesture. It can take on many forms but the one most generally used is dancing. People notice each other when they dance especially if it’s an intimate dance.
Mouth to mouth – No, we don’t mean the rescuitation kind. LOL! This is the actual act of kissing where chemical information is passed from one person to another. If you don’t believe me, just Google it and you’ll be amazed. The kiss adds another sense to intimate contact and that is taste. The first sense, encountered way back in step one, is smell and pheromones are a very powerful odor for some. Taste can tell one all sorts of information about people like body temperature, hygiene level and a variety of other things. If the people are really involved in the kiss, their temperature will go up since the stimulation will cause sexual excitement. When people are emotional cold, they are usually physically cold as well which means they are not that interested in continuing the encounter. The more passionate a person gets, the more their temperature increases. All of this can be determined in your kiss.
Hand to head – This is a trust issue. The more one person trusts another, the more likely they will allow their head being touched. Women tend to do this way before men. Caressing ones head indicates an increasing trust between the two people involved. Our heads are extremely vulnerable and only someone we trust are ever allowed to touch us there with a negative reaction.
Hand to body – This fondling can happen through clothes or under them. Some people will close their eyes as they are unconsciously gathering more information about the person they are with. However, keeping ones eyes open while maintaining total eye contact is a more powerful gesture. There one uses even more senses, touch, sound, taste and sight as well as smell. During the physical portion of our encounter, our sense of smell is very powerful, as it will help us to become more in tune with our sexual partner, making us more sensitive to their unique smell. Odors are a powerful aphrodisiac, which helps to prepare us for a pleasurable experience and to etch our partner in our memory. The best source are natural smells, so keep the perfumes to a minimum.
Mouth to body – This can be very stimulating and a real turn on for both parties. Breasts and necks are very sensitive for both sexes as is the lower abdominal region. Fellatio and cunnlingus can be very rewarding as long as both partners are into oral sex.
Hand to genitals – Gentle caresses are always best in this stage. If you have gotten this far, intercourse is usually imminent. One can heighten the sexual tension in the story by making the characters get this far without fulfillment. Once one gets to this step, each partner trusts each other explicitly in a normal relationship. There are some other types of relationships where trust is never achieved.
Genital to genital – This is the final act in lovemaking. Everyone is different and the emotions as well as all the senses need to be utilized when writing a great love scene. Vaginas and penises are utterly boring when none of the stimulus is present.
Now, not all of these steps need to be present in your novel. Just remember, each step is a sensual journey. Everyone has their own idea of what sexy is and can be. Hot & Bothered can be anything from a touch, to a kiss to full blown orgasm. The choice is yours to read and write.
MuseItUp Publishing has a variety of stories to fulfill every need from tame to sensual to HOT. Go check them out today here.
Have a great week!