As an erotic fiction author it goes without saying that sex and sexuality fascinate me. I love writing erotica, not just because of the titilation factor (of which there is much) but because lust and desire are such base emotions. We are all sexual creatures, of different levels and tastes, but it’s something that ties us together. I think thats why all stories are better with sex.
Sex births so many emotions within us. Arousal, of course, but also joy, satisfaction, and love just to name a few. Can you imagine what life would be like without sex? I’m not talking about when someone chooses to abstain for whatever reason, but society in general. Say, in a futuristic sense, if sexual activity became a ‘virtual’ thing instead of a living thing. Would we get the same benifits? Mentally, pschologically, and physically? That’s what books without sex make me think of. Sure life can be good without it, but is it truly living?
The Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich are among my top 5 favorites of all time. I love them. I love the humor, the quirky characters, the mysteries, and the writing. But in my opinion they would be soooo much better if Ms.Evanovich didn’t shut the bedroom door after a kiss. Same with all the Lee Child books. I adore them. I like the writing, the story-lines, the minute details Mr.Child puts into each one …except the love scenes. The hero, Jack Reacher,(Whom I lust after myself.) gets laid in every book. It’s usually clear it’s not love. The hero is a true loner, but he is a man women find attractive. Yet, there is never an actual sex scene in any of the books. The fact that author ‘closes the bedroom door’ on the love/sex scenes leaves me feeling ….incomplete.
I understand why some writers choose not to put sex scenes in their books. Just because I’m comfortable writing them doesn’t mean every one is. Some might not like to write them, might not feel confident in their ability to write them. Then there is the fact that some stores won’t carry books that contain “certain content”. The local Chapters store in my area won’t even let me do a booksigning because of “the content of your books” *direct quote* They sell them, they just don’t want to promote them, or me.
It also occurs to me that the T.V. shows that are the most talked about or popular (Both with friends in my daily life and writer friends) are ones that rarely fade to black. Not when it comes to sex, or violence. It’s one of the reasons HBO and Showtime have so many hit shows, because they don’t cut out ‘the good stuff’, and those shows are often touted as gritty, realistic, dramatic, engaging and amazing.
Am I making any sense at all? I’ve rewritten this post so many time to try and get my point across whithout sounding like I’m saying sex is the be-all and end-all of things. It isn’t. But it is part of us as humans. A large part of us. And I find it very discouraging when I read / hear people denigrate romance or erotic fiction simply because of the sex scenes or heat levels. It makes me wonder if those people don’t ever have sex. I mean, as writers we want our characters to feel real to readers, right? We want readers to connect with them on some level, more than one preferably. So why wouldn’t we include sexuality as one of those levels? Why deny such an integral part of being human? (And I’m not even going to get into how there is so much more to erotic fiction and romance novels than the sex.)
I know this post is sort of a ramble, but I’m curious to know what y’all think. How important is sex to a story? Does it matter to you if in that book (or movie) the sex scene ends with a fade to black? Think about your favorite book/series/movie….does it include sex scenes, or does it fade out when things get hot? If it does fade out….do you think you would enjoy it more if it didn’t?