Writing sex is difficult enough – not least because it’s intimate, but intimacy is just one hurdle. The emotion and mechanics are tricky enough at the best of times. You not only have to describe the scene well, you have to keep it on the page! Okay, so forget your own emotions getting in the way. Forget the cold showers, the mind-blowing, eye-crossing sweaty thoughts and your inability to type coherently. What really bites is the knowledge that however the description ends up, EVERYONE will be able to see it once it’s out there.
Your sex scenes have to be good. You cannot, as a writer, afford to be clumsy in this (if the scene is meant to be clumsy, it still has to be expertly written. You still have to get it right). You are, after all, exposing yourself in a very unique way. Here, you are vulnerable, not only as a writer but as a person. This is too close.
Composing your words and putting a description out there for people to look at and pick over, has many drawbacks. It’s like public speaking. No, it’s worse than that because it’s intimate on so many levels. What if it’s wrong? What if it’s stupid? What if people laugh and it’s not a comedy? What if you haven’t caught your readers so they just don’t connect with what you have put on the page and it all becomes so very clinical? There’s a myriad of things that can go wrong.