September 18, 2008

Sex & Writing: Rachelle Chase, author of SIN CLUB

The Author

Rachelle Chase is an award-winning erotic romance author (SIN CLUB and SEX LOUNGE), noted speaker (How to Get Published by Accident, Aggressive Promotion for Penny Pinchers, and Making the Mundane Erotic), business consultant, and model. Rachelle also hosts “Chatting with Chase,” a live talk show featuring interviews with best-selling romance and erotica writers, co-sponsors the annual “Chase the Dream” Contest for writers with author Leigh Michaels, and was recently invited to be “the voice” on a new talk show launched by

Additionally, an excerpt from “Out of Control,” Rachelle’s novella in SECRETS VOLUME 13, was used in ON WRITING ROMANCE, published by Writer’s Digest Books, to illustrate how to effectively heighten sexual tension in a romance book.

She’s appeared on Playboy Radio, the Hip-Hop Connection, the Jordan Rich Show, and other radio programs nationwide. For more information on her books and contests, please visit

The Book

Night after night, his voice goes out over the radio waves, helping the lovelorn and the heartbroken. But Dr. "Love" takes his advice one step further, urging his listeners to take their lives into their own hands-and pursue what they desire…


Bored with a boring lover, determined to settle for casual sex, too focused on the sex lives of celebrities to worry about her own - Jessie, Sharice, and

Alyssa are ripe for Dr. Love's advice.

Chase the Dream Contest site:

SEX LOUNGE Finding Derek CONTEST site:

Click cover above to purchase SIN CLUB today!

The Question: Is sex an important component to develop in your writing? How are you able to weave it into a work AND also have a strong plot development?

I write erotic romance, so sex is VERY important. The way I weave it into the story and have strong plot development is by making sex a part of the story.

When my characters are doing nonsexual things or are talking about nonsexual things, there are sexual undertones. When my characters are having sex, the sex is moving the story forward – meaning, the hero and heroine are bringing their baggage, fears, dreams, etc. into the bedroom – and after sex, both are changed in some way. This change sends them down a new path, until their new beliefs about themselves are challenged up to and during the next sex scene, which then starts another change-and-down-a-new page chain of events, and so on. Until all the necessary change has occurred and my characters have become “new” people at the end.

So, while sexuality/sensuality is present in some way in every scene, it supports and emphasizes what is happening in the story. Sex is NOT the story.

Let’s take an example – this is something I teach in my Making the Mundane Erotic course. Because, a big part of making sexuality or sensuality part of the story is by making everyday, nonsexual instances, erotic.

It’s a technique I call “Layering” – where you add layers of sensuality to something mundane.

So, let’s say I’m starting Too Sexy for My Clothes, an erotic romance that reunites ex-jock, Zack Thomas, and ex-cheerleader, Samantha Hines in Sweetwater, Texas thirteen years after high school. They parted hating each other, with Zack leaving town. But Samantha’s called him back, because she needs his help. Zack insists she meet him at his motel room.

I’ve decided to open the scene in Samantha’s POV, because she’s the one with the most to lose. She’s angry, confused, scared, and filled with dread about meeting Zack. I know what I want them to say, so I jot down the dialogue:


“Thank you for coming.”

He remained silent.

“Are you going to help Kevin?”

“What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make small talk.”

”Then tell me what you want.”


Okay. I’ve got conflict in the scene, which definitely sets up the tension. So now I go back and layer in thought, action, reaction, and senses, trying to make as many of them sexual in nature.


“Thank you for coming.” Samantha’s words were forced.

Zack ignored her gratitude. Instead, his gaze raked over her, sweeping her face, resting on her lips, before moving down. Her breasts, stomach, hips, legs and back up.

“Are you going to help Kevin?”

His eyes returned to her face, expressionless. “What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make talk.”

”Then tell me what you want.”


Alright. A bit better, but it still needs more …


“Thank you for coming.” Samantha’s words were forced.

Zack ignored her gratitude. Instead, his gaze raked over her, sweeping her face, resting on her lips, before moving down. Her breasts, stomach, hips, legs and back up.

His look was meant to insult.

Her breathing became ragged.

“A-Are you finished?”


His eyes took another tour, slower this time, covering every inch of her body. Probing, and invading. Insolent.

“Are you going to help Kevin?” Her voice pleaded. Her body thrummed.

His eyes returned to her face, expressionless. “What? No small talk? Fond reminisces of the past?”

“I didn’t come here to make small talk.”

“Then tell me what you want, Sammy.” The same tone. The same words. Only thirteen years ago, she’d stood on tiptoe and traced his lips with her forefinger, dipping inside. His tongue had circled her finger. He’d suckled. She’d gasped, the hot wetness causing a flood of moisture elsewhere. Lower. Where she’d wanted him to touch and kiss and lick. And her gasp had made his eyes narrow, darkening to jet black.

I want you, Zacky.


© 2008 by Rachelle Chase. All rights reserved.

Do you see how the scene has a sexual undertone, even though it’s not about sex? Comments? Questions? Want to try your hand at making the dialogue above sexy? Or want to share your own example – either something that you’ve read or written?

I’d love to see your examples!

If you author and book title must be credited in the post if they are excerpt someone else’s work, PLEASE make sure to state the author and book title.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of SIN CLUB.

PLUS, I’ll award a copy of SIN CLUB and a sexy bra sachet and bodice key chain to the person who leaves the example I like best. As I stated in my post, the example can be either one they created or one found in a book.


What's hotter than a sexy excerpt? An audio one! Check out an audio excerpt of SIN CLUB here:

You can get a second taste of SIN CLUB below. Excerpt from “Sharice: A Sinful Phone Call” in SIN CLUB by Rachelle Chase

Oh. He meant he wanted them to take a shower together. A frisson of discomfort bubbled in her stomach. She hadn’t taken a shower with a man since Darrell.

There’d been candles and champagne, which they hadn’t touched until afterwards, so anxious they’d been to fuck. Only, it hadn’t been just a fuck – or so she’d thought, until she’d walked in on the same scene with him and her best friend mere weeks later. It didn’t take a doctorate degree to know that he just wasn’t that “into” her.

She stopped in front of the sink, causing Jamal to turn back to her.

She tried to remove her hand from his grasp.

He held tight.

“You go ahead. I’ll shower after you,” she said.

“Hmmm,” Jamal released her hands, sliding them up her arms, his gaze following their action, as if there was something interesting to their movement.

Trailing her shoulders, they circled inward, tracing the scoop neck of her shirt, to the hint of cleavage.

Her skin prickled under his path.

Her breath hitched, though whether from the touch of his fingers or the intense way he stared at her body, as if memorizing every line, she didn’t know.

His fingertip dipped into the valley between her breasts, before moving down. Both hands rested on her waist.

“You want to take a shower alone?” he asked, his hands lightly stroking her waist.

No. “Yeah.”

He stared at her, his dark eyes taking in her eyes, before moving to her lips, lingering. When his gaze returned to hers, his eyes resembled melted Belgian chocolate.

Hot. Wet. Gooey.

“Okay,” he said, sliding his hands under the hem of her dress, over the outside of her thighs and hips, and up the sides of her body.

Sharice shivered, unable to stop herself.

“Lift your arms.”

“What are you doing?”

“Getting you ready for your shower.”


Marilyn Brant said...

Glad you posted a link on the Fiction That Sells loop, Chick Lit Gurrl :). I just saw this on my digest!

Rachelle--what a fantastic example you gave of layering in the sexuality!! I loved the way you showed this in three steps so I could literally watch as you developed and expanded the scene. Very, very helpful (and really hot writing, too :).

Poetic Genesis said...

Loved it! I don't write erotica but this surely makes me want to try. Great interview and response.


Rachelle Chase said...

MARILYN: Glad you liked the example. Ironically, I'm using that technique for my WIP now, as the dialogue is really flowing and I don't want to ruin my momentum by stopping to apply heat (which sometimes takes me awhile to get right). At any rate, glad it helped.

DARNETTA: There, see how easy it is? :-) Thank you for the compliment! I'm happy you enjoyed the interview.

Will Belegon said...

I love seeing a glimpse of how the process works for another writer. I can especially relate to not wanting to slow down the creative flow. I also find myself going back to expand on jotted dialogue.

Jennifer C. said...

I don't write erotica per say, but I do have a bit of spice in some of my writings.

I have to think about any books I've read recently with the layering that you speak of. I know I haven't personally written any.

Rachelle Chase said...

WILL: Great to "see" you again (I sat across from you at a booksigning - RWA National, I think)! Nice to know I'm not alone in my process. :-) Saw your latest book - wow! What a cover! Continued success to you.

JC: You don't have to find an example that uses layering. Instead, find a snippet that's full of sexual tension when there's nothing overtly sexual happening in the scene. Hope that helps. And good luck with your writing!

Fedora said...

Ooh, great topic, Rachelle. I'm not a writer, but I think the kind of scenes you're talking about really help ratchet up the sexual tension without being overtly sexual.

I think Sarah Mayberry does this really well. Let me see if I can find an example and post it later.

Fedora said...

I'm not sure if this is a good example, but here the leads in _Can't Get Enough_, who have a history of conflict, are trapped in an elevator:

She shot him a look, seemed about to say something, hesitated and then spat it out anyway.
"I thought you were angry with me."
He shrugged. "You want to spend another five hours arguing or sitting here glaring at each other?"
"Good point. Okay. Top five movies. The first one is easy. _The Big Sleep_, definitely."
He couldn't help himself. "Surprise, surprise."
"Excuse me?"
"Everyone picks a black-and-white movie, preferably something with Bogie in it. Gives you street cred."
"But it's my favorite movie!" She sounded outraged.
He made sure there was a heavy dose of doubt in his tone. "Of course it is."
"Wait till it's your turn," she warned him. "Second movie would be _When Harry Met Sally_. I can watch it over and over and it's still clever and funny."
"So predictable, not even worth commenting on."
She threw him an exasperated look.
"You know what's predictable? You not agreeing with a word I say. I swear if I said the sky was blue, you'd disagree with me just for the sake of it."
She snorted with exasperation this time, and he found he was enjoying needling her like this.
"On what, pray tell?"
"If it was nighttime or daytime."
She half laughed at his lame joke, and he tried not to notice how pretty she looked and the way her breasts jiggled invitingly. Those damn breasts!
"Okay, third movie. Getting tougher now. Have to have a comedy in there, otherwise it's just way too boring."
She stretched one leg in the air, waggling it around aimlessly as she considered her options. Jack's eyes followed the hem of her skirt as it slid down to reveal more of her thighs. As if her breasts weren't doing him enough damage. But it was impossible to keep his eyes from the sleek, tanned firmness of her legs. She really had great legs. They looked strong, and flexible. Like they could grip a man hard around the hips as he--
"_There's Something About Mary!_" she said suddenly, and he threw a mental bucket of cold water on himself.

I'm sorry--this seems like such a long clip! And I'm not even sure if it makes the point! ;)

Rachelle Chase said...

FLCHEN1: Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks so much for posting a scene!

While the sexual tension between the two is not consistent throughout the scene, towards the end is an example of what I was talking about, i.e., there's the beginnings of eroticism where "nothing" is happening. So, yes, your example addresses my point. :-) Good job, Flchen1!

TamiC said...

Rachelle I loved the examples you used. I personally think that the scenes that just hint around at some sexual tension is what gets you all anxious for the sex scene to come, makes you keep reading.
I know you asked for us to give an example of it, but I can't think of one! I know I have read them in many books, but right now I am just at a blank. Thanks for the article though.

Rachelle Chase said...

TAMI C: Thanks! And I totally agree regarding the sexual tension. No problem regarding the example. I've got one for you. :-)

How about this? It's from Karen Robards, ONE SUMMER:

"You know what I used to dream about in the stir?" His voice was hoarse, the words low and fast and faintly guttural. "I used to dream about you. You were the only clean and good and decent thing left in my life, and I would dream about you. I used to dream about taking your clothes off piece by piece, and what you would look like naked, and how it would feel to f*ck you really good. I used to dream about that in high school, too. In fact, I got off every night for the last 14 years, dreaming about you."

Rachel's lips parted with shock. Speechless, she stared at him wide-eyed for what seemed like an eternity while her heart suddenly hammered and her throat went dry.

"I'm f*cking tired of dreaming," he said fiercely.

What do you think about that one? Does it work for you?

Fedora said...

Ooh... worked for me, Rachelle :) Thanks for the example!

TamiC said...

Yup that one definetly works for me!! You just made my day too, Karen Robards is one of my favorite authors!!!! That little snippet was great THANK YOU.

Rachelle Chase said...

FLCHEN1 & TAMI C: Glad you liked the example. That's from one of my favorite Karen Robards books. :-)

EVERYONE:Thanks so much for stopping by. BTW, I'll be picking a winner next week.

Rachelle Chase said...

So sorry for the delay in choosing winners - I was under deadline, but the book is DONE and has been turned in to my publisher. Hurray! :-)

Regarding winners ...

FLCHEN1 - You're the lucky winner of the book, sachet, and key chain. Thanks for taking the time to submit an example.

DARNETTA: You won my random drawing for a copy of SIN CLUB.

Please email me offline with you snail mail address and I'll get the prizes to you both.

Thanks to everyone for participating!