Emotional sex. Note that I am NOT coining the “love scene” euphemism. I do this deliberately-for now-though by the end, I’m hoping that’s exactly what sex will be, making love: sweet, hot, emotive sex that is unforgettable. And this can be done.
This wonderful article (link @ the end) discusses making your sex scenes emotional (and overcoming the fear of writing the dreaded sex scene).
Making sex emotional does NOT mean the characters have to be in love already. What it means is, they have to have inner conflict, tension, insecurities or physical or emotional limitations that add to the emotional wallop of the act itself, and add to tension later, if necessary.
Yes, exactly! This is how I’ve always written sex scenes, because those are the sex scenes I want to read. But I’ve never, ever seen anyone put this to words. Every scene in your novel should have conflict and it should move the story forward. A sex scene is absolutely no different.
Melissa James* gives examples and dissects them to show why they work. I highly recommend this article if you ever plan on writing a sex scene–romance or not.
*Website no longer available.