Join Prism Book Alliance® as Susan Mac Nicol goes Outside the Margins today.
I had an interesting review on my latest release, Damaged Goods, recently. I posted about it on Facebook and was gratified to see the responses. This was the gist of my post.
‘In a review for Damaged Goods recently I saw this written by the reviewer –
‘here I am reading and reviewing a book with no sex. Go figure. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of sexy time, just not any penetrative acts…yet. But with young and oh so horny Jax, I doubt that will be much longer. Dare is just too chivalrous to do more at this point.’
This made me think. For me the word ‘sex’ denotes any kind of sexual intimacy, whether it be oral, frottage, mutual masturbation, or whatever else happens to get the participants off to feel as if they’ve had sex with someone else. I don’t see the penetrative act as being the sex in a story. I do understand though that to others perhaps it’s the penetrative aspect that counts as sex to them. There is no right or wrong answer obviously- everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to it, so there should be no criticism here about anyone’s expressed views. It did make me wonder what everyone else’s view of ‘sex’ as an act was though when reading a book. Care to share your thoughts?’
The reason this reviewer said this about the book is because in Damaged Goods, the one main character is Jax, a young, gay, visually impaired man of eighteen. He’s never had a relationship, yet is wanting to have one so badly. The man who becomes his boyfriend, Dare, is older than him and doesn’t want to be the man who pushes Jax into anything too soon. Jax himself isn’t particular keen on the act either. As a result, there is no penetrative sex in this book at all. Lots of other hot and sexy stuff, but no actual dick in arse action. My thoughts are outline above, and some of the comments I received were quite enlightening.
Here’s a few of the responses:
For me, if it involves genitalia and deriving pleasure from said genitalia, then it’s sex, penetration or not. Requiring penetration limits what sex is and can be between partners. I write m/m, and not all gay men enjoy anal sex, full stop, and I’ve written books where there is no penetrative anal sex. But they still have sex, it’s just done in other, equally satisfying ways.
Sex can be anything you want it to be that brings one or both parties (or all parties if that’s what you’re into) to orgasm.
To me, sex has always been penetration. It’s something I think I was brought up believing. Everything else kind of has its own category/label
Usually when someone says no ‘sex’, they mean sex-sex. Yes, foreplay, oral, and frotting is sex, (the reader/reviewer know that too), but those others sex acts have their own words too. Sex (penetration) only has the one word> SEX. So if there is none, you say: ‘there was no sex’.
So many people seem to equate penetration with sex. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t in part because of the mind-set of “well, if he didn’t penetrate me, I must still be a virgin.” I like writing about BJs, frottage, docking, and more. It’s frustrating to hear that one of my stories ‘didn’t have much sex’ in it because there were few penetration scenes.
I thought it was a worthwhile topic mentioning here so I can ask people out there what they think about the whole debate? It certainly sparked off some reactions, all good of course.
~Susan Mac Nicol
Title: Love You Senseless (Book 1 Men of London)
Author: Susan Mac Nicol
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing
Publication Date: 10/09/2014
Cover Artist: Chris Keeslar-Boroughs
Genre: Gay Romance
A TASTE OF FOREVER
An award-winning chef with his own restaurant and an inexhaustible passion, Gideon Kent once had everything. Then came tragedy. It stole more than Gideon’s home. He hasn’t cooked since.
Until Eddie Tripp. Fun-loving and vivacious, the Norfolk redhead’s a real up-and-comer in Gideon’s kitchen—and other places. Slim where Gideon’s broad, easy-going where Gideon is growly, he and Gideon seem polar opposites, and yet Eddie conjures flavors that would tempt anyone with a taste for perfection. The sauce of love is already simmering, and this pair is about to dine on the most delicious dish they’ve ever prepared. Because Eddie’s been Gideon’s missing ingredient all along.
About Susan Mac Nicol
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