Answering requests from friends and family to write something a little more edgy, I knew that Promises, Secrets, Danger needed to be different to my previous books. The ask was for a storyline with a bit of a thriller edge to it, sexy and not all happy endings. Certainly, the ‘more sex please’ even though we are British, seemed to be a common request and piqued interest, raised eyebrows and encouraged cheeky laughter. Some subsequently described Promises, Secrets, Danger as ‘quite naughty really’ whilst others couldn’t put it down, so I think that response speaks for itself!

Johanna Jackson writes for Female First

Johanna Jackson writes for Female First

Tip #1 Thinking about the physical deeds of the sex scenes

When I started out writing sex scenes, I did feel a little embarrassed at first and wondered what people would think of me. BUT, I soon got over that with the realisation and acceptance that if everyone thought every act was one I had personally engaged in, then good for me! That idea made me laugh out loud in the beginning and kept me writing, but as the book progressed, I actually found myself becoming quite matter of fact about the physical activity. Thinking about each act more critically, helped allay both the embarrassment and any doubts as to whether I should include it or not. If you follow a similar thought process, you’ll find yourself thinking, no, they wouldn’t do that, they would do this, and so on. It does help get over the embarrassment by adopting that matter-of-fact attitude and actually, most adults on the planet have sex, so it’s pretty normal. You’ll find it easier to write about sex by keeping that in mind.

Tip #2 – Character Relationships

The next step is to think about the relationship between the characters. Is it a liaison? A short-term relationship? Or perhaps its long-term… which often changes as time progresses. Are the people involved still loving and caring of each other? Are they single? Is there another woman/man scenario, where the couple are meeting secretly and likely to be at it like rabbits, having raw, lustful sex, or are you thinking of a more loving sex-life, like that of a long-together couple? The relationship drives how to set-up your sex scene and what language to use; softer language, gentler terminology, sets a different scene to hard-core sex and rough/course language.

Tip #3 – Lead Character

Once you decide which character you want to lead the scene with, imagine them physically; what they look like and how they would behave when sex is on the agenda. Are they panting and prowling, seductive and wanton, or timid? Is this their first sexual encounter or do they have bags of experience? I included drug-induced sex to give my leading man a different angle. I portrayed him as a loyal husband, whose very essence was compromised without his knowledge, leading him into a more complex and willing relationship. Once you decide who will lead the scene, try to jump inside their head and imagine what they would want to do to the person who is willing, or even unwilling, to have sex with them.

Tip #4 – The Scene

Imagine the scene you are writing about and try to picture it as if you were an observer. Having thought about the relationship of your characters and what type of sex they will be having, will their physical act be private, or public? Will they be interrupted unexpectedly? Are they outdoors? In a car? In a hotel room? At home? Think relationships, character traits, who will lead, is anyone watching? When you begin to think about the scenario and build up to the final sex act, all of those pieces will come together (I do love a good pun). Remember to choose the style of language which suits the scene as well as your characters relationship.

Tip #5 – The Sex Act

This is where you should let your imagination run riot. Create the ultimate scene which suits your storyline by drawing on your own experiences, as well as things you’ve seen in movies, magazines and real-life; have you ever accidentally (or deliberately), caught anyone in the act? Finally, you have your inventive imagination! Are the lovers dressed? In the shower? In bed? Somewhere else? Try to match the sex positions to their characters and think about how they would interact with each other. Titillating readers keeps the pages turning. My husband loved Promises, Secrets, Danger and raised his eyebrows more than once, whilst work colleagues and friends said they’ll never be able to look at me in the same way again. I laugh and tell them they should never judge a book by its cover!

Promises, Secret, Danger is available now via Amazon.

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