At my writing meeting this weekend, we discussed how to make sex scenes count, which led us to a discussion on how sex in books has changed over the years. It used to be that implied sex was called sweet. Now they tell me that books with only one sex scene are considered sweet. I guess the norm used to be just one sex scene if any. Now? Those rules absolutely do not apply.
Are writers putting them in just to have them or is there meaning behind each and every one? Is the scene character driven? According to our guest speaker, Ann Voss Peterson (who was amazing, I might add), it must be. If it's not, that's when readers skip over it because they can tell it's forced, faked. And not just the "sex" scenes. Each "love" scene must transform our characters in some way or at the very least, give us a glimpse into their inner fears, conflicts and turmoil. We all have such things that exist within us, so why wouldn't our characters?
Some books in mainstream romance have multiple and I mean MULTIPLE sex scenes. Many times it is done well and I get the realness of each one. I think paranormal is more apt to do this because we are often dealing with otherworldly characters and sex can be a major part of their existence. If there were a book written about a vampire or a demon with little to no sex scenes, I for one would be sorely disappointed.
For me, these type of scenes are not easy to write. There are so many things to take into consideration. What will people think? Is it too much? Not enough? Too raunchy? Too vanilla? Will people talk in whispers when I walk by after reading my book? These things shouldn't matter. I should write them in accordance with what my characters would do. How they would act and feel based on who they are and what is inside them and how it will change them.
So how about you? Does it bother you to read sex scenes? Do books have too many? Not enough? Have we gone too far?
SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi