Writing Sexy: Fae and Peter Get Close and Personal by John Ravenscroft – Fiction Columnist

I may be wrong (ask my wife and she’ll tell you that’s often the case) but as far as I’m aware I’ve never tried to write an honest-to-God sex scene before. You know, one that includes all those interesting noises and smells, one that details the various moving parts, angles, anatomical juxtapositions. I’ve written a fair few stories about lovers – even had them in bed together now and again – but the Actual Steamy Act itself? Don’t think so. Not until now.

Well, my time of innocence is at an end. If this novel’s going to move forward, Fae and Peter have to get it together, and being the characters they are that’s only going to happen if I make it happen. As for how it happens, no question: it’s got to be a case of Fae seducing Peter. Given his nature, his history and his rather unfortunate relationship with his mother, poor old Peter’s simply not the seducing kind. No, Fae’s going to have to flick his manly switches, get his electrical juices flowing, and generally turn him on.

All of which has certain implications.

I believe you have to become your characters in order to write them convincingly – and because I’m writing this novel primarily from Peter’s point of view – it’s a plain fact that in turning him on, Fae will have to behave in a manner likely to turn me on, too!


Like I said in a previous column, this business of growing stories is psychologically revealing – and whether you want to or not, you’re about to discover some of the stuff this poor, sad, ancient Englishman finds erotic. So if you’re under eighteen, go away and suck a lollipop. If you’re not, and you have a strong stomach… read on.

When I sat down and started trying to Write Sexy, I quickly confirmed something I’d already suspected. Producing such writing is far from easy. Which details do you put in? Which do you leave out? And what’s your ultimate aim? Are you simply trying to turn Gentle Reader into All Hot and Bothered Reader, or are there other things you want your erotic prose to accomplish?

I’m still trying to answer some of those questions, and am currently rewriting the scene – but here’s part of what I wrote initially.

Required background info. Fae and Peter are in Peter’s caravan, sitting at one of those small tables that clip into place beneath the window. (To create the bed, this table has to be removed – in fact it forms a section of the bed’s base. That practical detail turns out to matter later on.)

They’re sitting at opposite sides of the table, facing each other. Fae, as usual, is perfectly composed. Peter, as usual, is nervous as hell. There’s been a bit of suggestive talk and some highly-charged eating behaviour (on Fae’s part), but no physical contact.

So far….

* * *

Fae looked directly into Peter’s eyes. His habitual reaction when anyone did that – friends, colleagues, the kids he taught – was to look away, but this time he forced himself not to.

Fae smiled, and with her eyes still locked onto his, reached behind her back and pulled the cord that drew the curtains. She did the same with the curtains to her left.

‘Do yours,’ she said, her voice so low and breathy it was almost funny, almost a caricature of femme fatale. Caricature or not, it sent little electric shocks jumping up and down Peter’s spine. He swallowed. Was this really happening? Happening to him?

In the thinned-out light, Fae’s hair was like a fall of bright water. He almost told her that, or something very like it. He stopped himself just in time.


Lowering his gaze, he saw how the ends of her hair moved gently from side-to-side, stroking the surface of the table. Water on wood, he thought, water on wood. He imagined what it would feel like to have her sitting astride him, easing herself down onto him, her lips on his, her eyes looking into him, her bright hair falling about his face.

Oh Christ!

His head was heavy on his neck, so heavy it took real effort to look up again. But he had no choice.

When she saw she had him once more, Fae hooked her hair behind her ears, then raised the middle finger of her right hand to her lips. She opened her mouth slightly and sucked the soft pad of her fingertip, just as she’d earlier sucked the strawberry.

Peter watched her lips, watched the tip of her tongue licking, tasting. He swallowed again.

He followed her fingertip down as she lowered it to her left breast. Her breasts are full, he thought. Soft. Warm. Ripe. They pushed at the fabric of her blouse.

Oh Jesus Christ!

Under cover of the table he slipped a hand inside his trousers and eased his hardening penis into a more comfortable position.

Slowly, slowly, Fae began to circle her nipple, the dampened fingertip dragging her blouse’s thin, white cotton over her flesh.

‘Close the curtains,’ she said. That breathy quality again, low, musical, full of… what? Whatever it was, it ignited every nerve in his body. His hands began to tremble.

Gradually the universe contracted until there was nothing in it but Fae’s fingertip. Peter watched it moving, slow circles, round and round. The patch of blouse it tugged back and forth across her nipple had darkened slightly from the wet of her finger, and when she lifted her hand he saw how her nipple had already begun to bud, responding to her own touch.

‘Christ!’ he said. ‘Oh Jesus Christ!’

Fae smiled. ‘If he was here, maybe I’d get him to close the curtains.’

‘Sorry,’ said Peter. ‘Sorry. It’s just that… sorry.’

He reached behind him and tugged the cord.

Nothing happened.

He tugged again.


Fae raised her eyebrows.

‘Sorry,’ said Peter. ‘Bloody thing’s stuck.’

Copyright John Ravenscroft – 2002

For more information about John please visit his website: www.johnravenscroft.co.uk.

If you would like to have your own column at Author Network, email: beth@author-network.com

Black Expressions 4 books for $2 plus free gift