Sex Scenes ~ Sunday Spotlight by Lirtle


Sex Scenes:

Sunday Spotlight

How many? Boring? Necessary? Exciting? Dislike them? Love them? For the Story? For the reader? For the author? For the publisher?

What say you?

I don’t need them in every story I read, even those labeled specifically as “romance”. I just don’t. If it fits the characters and the story, making sense for the circumstances, then I’m all for it. Gimme gimme gimme. If it’s a deft mix of physical detail and emotion, no matter what that emotion is, I’m all for it. Gimme gimme gimme.

If it doesn’t fit the story, making little sense for the setting, don’t gimme. If it’s filled with physical description only, no connection, – which isn’t the same as a non-connection between characters, which carries with it an entire set of emotions unique to that – then don’t gimme.

If it’s filling a quota beyond the author’s control, I would say please forgive me for skimming, but I don’t need any permission to do that.

I’m mostly talking about fiction here, not erotica, which somehow resides in its own universe. Though, erotica can be fiction, too. Ah, a sticky wicket, eh? Erotica: a conversation for another day? Part of the conversation?

The Flipside

Then again, people have sex because it’s enjoyable, so if the characters are in a place mentally where the sex is a positive part of their relationship, why not do it? Why not show it? Why not have scenes where, even if they’ve just been through something harrowing and are now safe (or not), they have sex to reaffirm (or affirm) that connection? It’s so very human to feel a strong need to for connection to, in fact, verify they’re still alive.

Why shouldn’t the characters get handsy while cooking breakfast, leading to sex on the table, or the floor, or up against the counter’s edge?

What I’m leading to is this: it doesn’t feel right when a reader, or author for that matter, feels the need to justify why or how a particular sex scene, or sex in general, is a necessary part of the story. People have sex to have sex, not always or necessarily or even very often to justify anything, except maybe their love and passion for each other.

(it’s ok, you can start singing, I’ve got Madonna running through my head now, too.)

This is, of course, putting aside for this conversation the other reasons people have sex: revenge, desperation, anger, etc.

Though, maybe we shouldn’t put those aside, as they’re just as valid reasons in terms of reality. For me, it’s not as much if the sex fits into the story but if it fits with the characters, lining up with their previous behavior, even if or when under stress. The why and the where are important, not just the how and the what.

I might be crossing over between multiple conversational topics here, but it was something I thought about enough, warranting this post.

I like sex in my stories for the reasons I’ve stated.

I don’t like sex in my stories that is filling a quota or attempting to maintain any false expectation based on an author’s previous works.

This could mean lots of sex, no sex, all types of sex, only certain kinds of sex, and everything in between. Most of the time, we all innately know when something feels right in terms of character behavior. By default, that usually means it works for the story. Roll with that.

The Conclusion…. Or not.

I think I’m both sides of this sexy, interesting coin. I bet a lot of readers feel this way. Or are definitely one side or the other, never the twain having a whisper of a dream of meeting. Or are still mulling it over, wondering, thinking back to your own reading experiences and the feelings you had about them in regards to le sex.

I think it means there’s no easy answer, no one answer and, like many things in life, will be a conversation without end.

Ultimately, what I hope it means is that we’ll continue to get more and more variation in our fiction. I love me some romance but I also love me some mystery, and crime stories, and paranormal, and more, and they don’t always have to involve sex and full-out romance for me to devour them.

But, ya know, don’t stop with the sexin’ either. 😉

Also, did I ask enough questions? LOL 🙂

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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6 thoughts on “Sex Scenes ~ Sunday Spotlight by Lirtle

  1. If only there was a simple answer – some magic formula that told an author exactly how much sex was right. All I know is that I get it right for some readers and not for others but – and this is important – it’s always right for me. I never think – I need a sex scene now. Or I better make this sexual escapade different to the last. I don’t plan what I write so the sex just appears. Well, not quite. I don’t find those scenes easy to write – but I do find knowing the story needs it at that point is something that comes naturally. Though to those readers who say – there was too much sex – I obviously didn’t get it right for them. ooops.

    • Lol @ oops and you’re definitely right, no easy or consistently “right” answer. Thanks so much for replying from an author’s perspective.

      Also, how in zee heck did I miss these replies?? Lol *notification failure* :p

  2. I just want a strong story. If there’s sex, that’s fine but not when it takes up half the book. I get bored and start skimming, then at the end I realize there really wasn’t much story. Also, I guess what matters to me the most is that the scenes have some basis in reality. Seven times in a row? Pretzel-like contortions? More talking during sex than at any other time in the book? Not for me.

    • Yes, I think the realistic point is a good one. Although, in some of the over the top stories, the “crazy” sex sometimes fits lol 😀

  3. Great post as usual Honeybunch!! I think you probably know my opinion of sex in a book…if it’s going to be in there, make it hotter than hot, tender and loving if that suits the story.
    If the story is good enough without sex e.g. Waiting for the Flood, Always Have, Always Will, The Gives Light series, most of the Foster High series (but none of Barbara’s books, cos that’s why I read ’em ;), they’re hot AND with plot which is unusual sometimes in a story that has lots of sex)…why bother putting it in?? For the gratification of the reader?? Because you feel you have to??
    Books can sell WITHOUT sex, and if there’s too much we more often than not, skim through it and miss something important. Sex does not sell the story for me, but I have to admit, it also depends on the mood I’m in, and if I want some hot man lovin’, then I have go-to stories for that 😉 I do not have many erotica/pwp stories on my bookshelves. Hope all of this makes sense…<3

  4. Thank you, Honeybunch!! <3

    And you make sense lol and said it yourself: it depends on the story. And the mood lol, and so many other things.

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