Let's talk about sex. Come on, you can do it.

Sex or no sex? How about it blogger buddies?

Donna Weaver has brought up an interesting question in my last post about favorite romance reading material, and I felt myself compelled to share it with you guys. This does not only apply to romance but fantasy, science fiction, etc.

Should a book contain sex? If so, should it be explicit? Or, do you feel it robs from the story, interferes with the plot? In today's society sex is second nature.

The way I see it there are two extremes in writing.

1. Window steaming sex that has the characters climbing up walls to achieve desired climax...somebody turn on the fan, it's getting hot in here.

2. Subtle kissing, lights go off, leave the keys on the table in the morning while you're walking out the door so that we get the gist of what you did.

Which would you rather read, if any? Does the sex matter if the plot is good?

I have sex...LOL...that is to say that I have incorporated sex into my writing. Some is subtle, some explicit. In the world and with the characaters I've created it works for them.

I have also posed this question to the people I work with. So far Romance readers here are voting for sex, hotter the better. Those who read other genres really don't seem to care as long as the story is good.


  1. Bryce: I am a thriller enthusiast. Most of the books in this genre have sex as an implied event, often between scene shifts. I can't speak for the romance genre. But I would think one should be careful, or else you venture into erotica, which to me would be a different audience altogether.

    Poet: Sex ON books is pretty cool, man.

  2. I see the pseudonym has beaten me again. Curses.

    I have sex scenes in my novel as well, though I don't think I did a particularly good job with them. What a confession. I only went up to certain point, though. I wrote it to show the emotional bonding (such a female perspective thing) between the couple at that point and to forward a subplot. I didn't think I needed to show every intimate moment.

    I've read a wide spectrum when it comes to sex in novels, and mostly I care about whether or not it's appropriate for the scene. Sometimes a hot scene is exactly what is called for, and sometimes a fade to black is better. It's all so relative.

  3. Writing about sex truly depends on the characters. But then again, my characters seem to take over and run with whatever comes to mind. And of course, I have to go back in and clean up whatever messes they've made.

  4. @Bryce. My husband reads thrillers. He cringes whenever he gets to the sex scenes and skips to the action. I'd be linger on the sex and skipping the action. I like the Poet's take better. :)

    @L.G., Bryce is quick on the draw. I've heard that using sex to show emotional bond and character development is best. when I first started, I sucked. I mean I was too embarrassed to show anyone what I'd written. I think the sex scenes have gotten better though...I hope. :)

    @Shelly. My characters have a mind of their own to. I have to backtrack and do plenty of editing when I'm finished. :)

    Thanks for commenting, everyone. I always love to hear other writer's take on sex. We learn from each other. It's a neverending process.

  5. See, I'm a go to black kind of person. Heck, reading "Twilight" out loud to my husband made me blush. Scenes that are too graphic (for me meaning it'd be considered milktoast to someone into the really steamy stuff) make me feel like a voyeur. I'm not into peeking into my neighbor's windows, so that doesn't appeal to me at all. ;)

    Now, I do like the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, and her scenes are right on the edge for me, but I'm okay with them because what happens during the intimacy is absolutely core to the story. It's not there merely to titillate.

    Which, then, begs another question based on what Laila said about responses she's gotten to her question. Why do people read books with steamy sex scenes if the plot/storyline's not important? Sounds like it's to be titillated/aroused.

    That's not why I read a book. If I want that I'll go cuddle with my hubby.

  6. @Donna. I think that's why people read Erotica. There is no plot to the two erotica books I picked up while researching my genre, but I will tell you that they were beautifully written. And heck yeah, people are reading them to be aroused. Allow me to go a step further and say that I am certain that in a stale relationship erotica can work wonders.

    As far as romance goes, I like mine hot and steamy, that's no secret, but we all have our preferences. If we all read the same types of books, where would be the fun in that?

    Happy reading!!!

  7. Oh, before I forget, I should probaby remove my telescope from the window. ...^-^...

  8. I have put sex into my book, but I think now I've alienated myself from publishers that might like my "Christian themed romance." Oh well, I guess I'm actually writing woman's commercial fiction and if it's commercial...then it has to have sex. Right?

  9. There's definitely no sex in my writing. My first book didn't even have female characters!

  10. lol Definitely, Laila. It's just how it makes me feel. A former coworker likes to read it just because she needs a little something to spice up her marital relationship.

    The Desert Rocks - I think there's a market out there for more inspirational or sweet romance that leaves the reader out of the bedroom. The hot market (no pun intended) seems to be the steamy stuff though.

  11. @Desert Rocks. I'm glad I didn't go the Christian route. They would have booted me out. Commercial fiction should have sex. I don't think it's vanishing from society any time soon. :)

    @Alex. That is amazing that you were able to write a book with no women in it. Honestly, I think if I had to write a novel with just men, I'd wind up making someone gay. Thanks for offering your point of view.

  12. As long as they’re not gratuitous, indulgent scenes, I think they’re (generally) fine. Everything, sex included, should serve the plot. :)

  13. I'm still a little hurt about the "quick on the draw" comment. Couldn't you have waited until another post covering something besides sex to say that? :)

  14. @Everybody. I love this post. You guys are all cracking me up. Donna, your take on this is awesome. It's great to hang on to your ideals. Carrie, that is so true. Everything should serve the plot. Bryce, lmao, I couldn't possibly take back the quick on the draw thing. It was too funny. Laughing so hard I am in tears. Nice chatting with you guys. You'll have to put up with my reading material tomorrow. I took a vacation day from work again. Man, I love vacation. Planning on posting art stuff on Monday in honnor of our artist blogger friend. Everyone have a great weekend!!!

  15. Does fantasy mind sex with an enchantress count? Of course it does I hear you all say. It counts a little too much, especially when your protagonist is a young teenage male and the enchantress in question is a 40+ woman who should know better. Then I cut the scene entirely as it was just too creepy. But it will be back in book 2 -- or maybe book three. The scene ended before the ahh. 'action' started though, then cut back to what was the aftermath. Sometimes less is more. Unless you are making an HBO series, then more is more.

  16. @Travis. A cougar huh? I suppose it doens't matter if the young man is over 18. Definitely a good scene to add to a sequel.


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