Before I start in on this little rant, I want to preface this blog post with the following:
Everyone likes to read what they like to read. There’s nothing wrong with sweet romance vs. regular romance. I’m not writing this to tear down a genre, but because I’m tired of the stigma that comes with writing sex scenes. With that, let’s begin.
I write sex scenes. I don’t close the door on my character’s sexual interactions with one another. When I announce such a thing in a group of people the following reactions occur:
- “Oh, you’re a freak, huh?”
- “You write mommy-porn.”
- “But you say you don’t like gratuitous sex.”
These are just a few of the comments I’ve heard. Some involving the winking eye from the guys, the casual drop in conversation by the gals, and anytime a conversation veers to the inappropriate people get a little shocked when I say the discussion is a bit risque since I write such things.
No one ever imagines that it’s not about the sex. At. All. The physical act on the page is usually a very limited part of the equation. Why do you think Twilight was so popular? It wasn’t because of the sex since there wasn’t any. What is important is the emotions, the way the act propels the plot either by causing conflict, bringing the couple closer together, dividing them apart, challenging core beliefs, and the list goes on. Some of my favorite books involve sex scenes that don’t actually describe the body parts entering bodies and such, but how the characters emotions evolve throughout the scene.
Not to mention, not every book requires 5 sex scenes, even an erotic romance, the scenes must fit the characters themselves. Writer’s really do ask themselves if the scene is necessary. In editing, and critiquing for others, I’ve removed sex scenes and added in others. Sometimes the comments are for more intimacy and less physical description.
I don’t write mommy-porn, I write emotional growth and discovery. A lot of the sex scenes are about that. Pushing the limits of what the character believes sex is really about and forming a genuine connection between the two people sharing it.
Books I recommend that do such a thing:
Tell Me Lies by Jennifer Crusie
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Evening Storm by Anne Calhoun
The One In My Heart by Sherry Thomas
There are many more authors and books, but these are the ones that came to mind. What books can you name where sex is more emotional than physical?
Also, how do you think we can break the stigma?