Now that I have your attention… Hahaha. No, really, I love sex–I dare say we all do–but I’m finding more and more that I have to read emotion with my sex, not sex for sex’s sake or just to make a book hotter. If you notice, I only tell you about books (or book series) I have really enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t read others in the mean time. Yesterday I read what was billed as an erotic romantic suspense with BDSM elements, so of course I expected the sex to be hot, but the whole story took place over the course of three days. I can believe lust in three days, I can believe in sex in a few hours, but from meeting and getting shot at on day one to undying eternal devotion on day three? Yeah, not quite working for me. That’s not to say this was a bad book, it really wasn’t, but the next books in the series will probably remain unread.
Of course, I’ve heard the same kind of stuff in reference to my own writing, so maybe I’m just being overly bitchy. When the first few chapters of SPEEDING went up, I got an email that read, “It was awesome until this line: Tossing a fifty on the table, Reid picked Kendall up, wrapping her mile long legs around his waist, and walked them out of the restaurant. He carried her easily, never releasing her mouth for more than a breath, until he reached his truck.” And another that read, “You know it must be love if there’s public sex involved.” And, I’m not saying everyone should sleep together on the first date (much less in a parking lot against the side of a truck), but that’s what happened for Reid and Kendall. *shrug* At the same time, I feel like in the beginning it was lust and chemistry before it evolved into love. Hell, I slept with my husband after our first date, so it wasn’t that big a stretch for me to relate to Kendall.
So…. That leads to the big question of the post. What are *your* thoughts on sex in a romance, erotic romance, etc?
Pamela Clare said:
I need emotion with the sex, and I need the sex to mean something for the relationship. I need it to carry the relationship forward in some fashion and to express who the characters are and how they feel about each other beyond their genitalia. Shagging for the sake of shagging is erotic and not romance, in my humble opinion. Erotica is great, and there’s a place for that. But speaking specifically of sex in romances, I need it to be more than Tab A, Slot B and a bunch of funky positions.
I find it very hard to write love scenes. It’s just a struggle every single time, no matter how inspired I am.
If I purchase a erotic themed ebook that is less than 100 pages – you know the sex is going to be fast and quick. After a while you learn authors and how they write and what to expect from them. If you read a Cherise Sinclair or Lorelei James or even a Kresley Cole book you know the sex is going to be hot but there will be a good story to go along with that sex.
I am a big fan of romantic suspense and you never know what kind of sex your going to get. Sometimes the suspense is more on the forefront than the sex – sometimes the romance/sex is – and sometimes its a perfect blend of both.
I used to be a huge fan of the short erotic ebooks but after a while I needed more substance.. I still occasionally read them when I need a big dose of nasty 🙂
There are also books that use other things in place of sex that is just as hot. Spanking romances are that way.
Norah Wilson (@norah_wilson) said:
I’m totally with you, Hayden. That’s why I prefer a longer read. It’s hard to sell happily ever after in either a short piece of fiction or a short time line. I might buy it in 3 days (or even shorter) if it was the most intense 3 days of their lives, and not just intensity in the sack! Remember the movie Speed? ,-) I totally believed that, so it can certainly be done believably.
But generally I like a longer build up, more relationship building. Actually, I kinda want both words – the great build up *and* the really hotly written sex. But if I have to sacrifice one or the other in the book I’m reading, it might be (gasp) some of the sex. Because IMO, the real voltage comes from the attraction, the yearning, the anticipation, the sheer sexual tension, and then the payoff. And that needn’t mean once they’ve done the deed, it’s over. I think your challenge, Hayden, after the early sex, is to then deepen subsequent encounters and show the bonds of intimacy and attachment begin to grow. If you can show that,you can make the reader weep at the black moment when it appears the lovers can’t be together. BTW, I think external circumstances of the extreme variety can expedite the process, since it lets your H&h see each others’ true character under pressure.
I don’t read books that are just sex, sex, & more sex. I find them boring & repetitive. I prefer more tension & build-up than a book with a lot of sex. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love a book with some steamy sex. Just not when it’s mostly sex. I love romantic suspense with steamy sex like Pamela Clare’s books. Her books have the perfect blend of suspense & sex. I recently saw a comment about a certain author that said her books were 85% sex & 15% plot. That would never work for me. I’m rather picky about sexual content in books so I usually just read authors I’m familiar with or that friends who know what I like & don’t like recommend. I hate to get all into a book & then a certain something happens & the book is ruined for me. I also read books that have no sex. It doesn’t matter to me if there is sex or not as long as the story is good. And I’d like to say that I’m not trying to bash any authors here. I’d never do that. I appreciate them all sharing their talent whether I read their books or not. I’m glad that there are so many choices & something for everyone’s taste. And by the way, Hayden, I love SPEEDING & your other stories! I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Pamela Notchey said:
Well said, Everyone, and agreed.
I love a steamy, sexy read but the sex has to have purpose, drive the plot forward. It has to facilitate the story, even if it’s an A character doing it with a B character, or if it’s only a one night stand. If it doesn’t fit or make sense, I lose interest in it and often in the author as well.
I LOVE to read it all…. I thinks I prefer to read a great plot with romance and sex, but come on a little staright DOWN & DIRTY doesnt hurt at all…. 🙂
Hayden you BEYOND ROCK….. and the balance in which you write is AWESOME….
Also check out my blog because you won an AWARD…..
Great things are coming your way my friend…..<3