Friday, August 1, 2008

SEX! SEX! SEX! Have I got your attention yet? ;-)

Let’s talk about sex. Yeah, I know, touchy, almost taboo subject. So, go ahead and get the cringing over. I’ll wait. I don’t mind…


*still waiting*

Okay, is everyone finished? Good. So, let’s talk S-E-X. To me, it’s a natural, beautiful act and I personally do not understand why it is such a hush, hush topic. My mother reared me to be open and honest about it, but upon becoming an adult she doesn’t want to talk about it—ever—and would rather pretend it doesn’t exist. She doesn’t want to discuss it in passing, not in jest, and certainly not seriously. This attitude from a woman who embraced the 60s? I am seriously flummoxed and have no clue what happened. But her attitude is similar to many attitudes I find here in the South. I love the South, but at times we’re rather prudish.

So, I ponder the question “why?” Is it because we still don’t understand what we’re doing when we have sex? Do we still feel uncomfortable having sex? Is it just another marital chore that I hear so many women talk about?

Well, for me, it’s none of those. And writing sex scenes comes naturally to me. Sierra and Sarah are right, sex scenes is more than just the mechanics. It should be steamy and brazen and hot. I write sex scenes hoping that the reader is feeling it, living it, as much in the moment as if they are the characters. I want them hot and all bothered after reading one of my scenes. If they’re not…well, then I failed miserably.

I’m not one of those folks that skim through or skip the sex scenes in a book. I have no problem with anyone that does that, but I want the sex in a romance. Sex is important in our own lives with our other halves, so to me it’s important in a romance as well. I just don’t want it on every page. There’s got to be storyline, preferably a riveting storyline. ;-)

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend. Stay safe.

6 deadly screams:

Alessandra said...

Well said Gracen, an excellent post! An erotic novel needs, well, erotic passages. I totally agree for a novel to keep me engaged and enthralled it definitely MUST also have a good plot, dialogue and characters the reader either loves or hates. All sex and no story would be boring in a novel as well as in life!

Cathy said...

I definitely don't skip the sex scenes in a book.

"I write sex scenes hoping that the reader is feeling it, living it, as much in the moment as if they are the characters. I want them hot and all bothered after reading one of my scenes."

A well written sex scene can only enhance a wonderful romance story.

Sarah Mäkelä said...

I FULLY agree, Gracen. I don't skip sex scenes. Sometimes I even look to see when the first one is in the book, especially if it's a couple I really like. I think sex scenes are important to romance. I also agree that if I don't feel hot and bothered after reading a sex scene, then it just doesn't cut it. EXCELLENT blog post!

*hugs* Hope you have a great weekend, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to ask a question:

When does a sex scene fit into a book and when is it just gratuitous?

I'm of the opinion that every scene, every action, every word in a book needs to move the story forward somehow, either by plot-point revelation or giving a deeper understanding of a character. Sexual behaviour in people can be very telling of how they behave in other areas of their life, either by comparison or contrast, and when a writer uses a sex scene for that perhaps as well as, well, titillation and arousal, that's when it works for me. Sad to say, not many authors do that very well (that I have read). There has to be a point and a purpose for it, to me.

In my own work, at least that in which the sex isn't the entire plot, I do struggle with making the scene relevant and not just gratuitous. . .so, how do you do it? Am I way off-base? And to you, where is the line between meaningful and gratuitous sex?


Molly Daniels said...

LOL:) My mom objects to some of the sex scenes too, and the language...this, from a HS nurse who 1)wrote sex ed manuals for 3rd graders and 2)let me read Clan of the Cave Bear at 17!

I guess when it's her own daughter writing it, she realizes at 60+, she's mellowing out??

Sorry...was busy this weekend and just now found this!

Gracen Miller said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. I had a very busy weekend and have just now been able to check the comments here.

Alessandra & Cathy, I agree totally with you both.

Vagabondsaint asked: "When does a sex scene fit into a book and when is it just gratuitous?"

That's a tough question. I think it's different for each group of characters. That may sound like a cop out, but it's true. For me it's when the characters reach that level of maturity in their relationship, when they need to take that next step. I think that's different for all of the characters. For some that may be sooner than later. For some, it may start out as just "sex", with no emotional attachment, but as the storyline grows, so do the characters and their emotions. I hope that made as much sense as it did in my mind. :-) I'm not saying that I manage to write books that have relevant sex and not just gratuitous sex. I strive for it to be relevant, but how it comes across to the readers and/or publisher is another matter entirely.

Some e-book publishers seem to encourage gratuitous sex (or so that is was the way I interpreted it anyway), but I feel safe in thinking that when on their submission page it specifically states that sex should occur within the first 4 chapters. Typically, that is not what I write. AND it's not what I typically want to read. I want an emotional connection before I a true physical connection.

I'm not saying I'm right in my thining either. I struggle with my writing on a daily basis and I hope I continue to grow and evolve with it on every book I write.

I've read books with too much gratuitous sex (some of them are even NY published) and after a while, it did get old and I got tired of reading sex, sex and more sex when all I wanted was storyline. I do think sex at the right time is a fine line between great and gratuitous.

Molly, don't you just love Moms? LOL. I wouldn't trade mine for anything in this world, but some days I'd like to strangle her (in a good way, of course...if there can be a good way ;-) lol). You probably get what I mean. I might "turn into my mother", but I'm praying I don't change that much into her.