When it comes to getting in the ~mood~ there are a lot of things you can do to "get it hot in here," and, uh, "take off all of your clothes." There's something to be said about sexy playlists and a suave-smelling candle or two. If you're skeptical, you don't have to take it from me. Those ideas are straight from the following sexy tips from romance novelists inspired by how they write their sex scenes.
When you think about it, romance novelists are high-key experts at setting the mood because, well, it's their job to do so. To get the scoop, I talked with romance novelists Jasmine Guillory, Stephanie Evanovich, Laura Lee Guhrke, Jill Shalvis and Josie Silver about how they write their sex scenes. The most important thing that each of the authors stressed was how setting the scene is about the mood from start to finish. For instance, Guhrke explains that her characters never magically jump into sex without a long period spent building tension between the two characters. And, this, she says, can work for you too! Evanovich reminds readers to never underestimate classics like some sexy whispering in a lover's ear. And, honestly, I would be like super surprised if you read any one of these author's scenes and didn't blush.
To learn more about how these romance novelists set the mood in their writing, check out the following tips. And, hey, you could definitely use some of these tips in your real life.
Sexual tension starts early on.
"The mood usually starts much earlier in the scene or the chapter, either with flirting, or fighting, or lots of not so discrete touching. It also usually starts with a lot of fun conversation (either in person or over text) that is usually not quite about sex, but always shows how much they're interested in one another. Witty banter isn't just for rom-coms, it works in real life too!"
When you go on a date or hang out with someone, the tension should build the minute you start hanging out (or over text even before you meet).
Mood is an intentional practice.
"If I do my job right, the reader doesn’t have to get in the mood to read. If I’ve done my job right, I’ll put them in the mood."
Shalvis exudes confidence with her tip, and so should you! Because you're truly hot stuff and whoever you're wooing should be fully aware of this. Set yourself up for whatever you find sexiest — put on a certain playlist, wear something special, light a candle, or exercise so you feel extra in touch with your body.
Pay attention to the little things like laughter, smells, and sounds.
"Music always helps to set the mood, as does wearing something that makes you feel your best. Smells are important too, perfumes are very personal and are best layered lightly so as not to overwhelm. But you know what I think is the best icebreaker? Laughter. Find something to do together that makes you laugh and the barriers will fall down. I’m thinking slightly competitive games like card games, truth games... I’d suggest throwing in a little lighthearted cheating too! Laugh, relax, and then when the moment feels right, go for it."
— Josie Silver author of the recently published novel One Day in December.
Silver's all about the details, and you could be, too! The smaller aspects of a setting are sometimes the most important.
Do anything you can to encourage sexual tension.
"My characters don’t jump into the sack too soon, and that creates anticipation and sexual tension. At the risk of sounding hopelessly old-fashioned, I think the same applies in real life. When tension and anticipation are allowed to build up, the mood doesn’t need to be created. To keep love alive later on, I think the opposite is true: jump in the sack with your partner as often as possible. It’s amazing how quickly you can get in the mood when you’re naked."
— Laura Lee Guhrke, historical romance novelist and author of numerous titles including the forthcoming Governess Gone Rogue.
If there's anything that these writers have in common, it's their ability to build suspense and tension. There's nothing better than foreplay that leads into amazing sex. Take a page out of their books (pun definitely intended) and see what it can do for you.
Don't underestimate good old-fashioned dirty talk.
"You can't force the mood! The mood is a beauty all its own. You can coax the mood though. My characters tend to get caught up in ambiance, lighting, music. And don't even get me started on romantically spoken, well placed, dirty talk whispered so no one else can hear."
— Stephanie Evanovich, author of four romance novels including the forthcoming title Under The Table.
Whispering in a lover's ear is honestly one of the oldest plays in the book. And that's because it works! Take it from Evanovich, this is a fool proof idea if you're looking for ways to spice things up.
OK, so, this advice was pretty steamy. If you're not sure if you should head to the bookstore for one of their novels or home to your partner for some alone time, you are totally not the only one. And, honestly, who says you can't do both?