Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sex or the Story??

"If sex doesn't scare the cat, you're not doing it right."

Okay, I have to know: how many of you read romance for the sex? And how many for the story?

See, here’s the thing: I don’t write sex. I write a few scenes that might involve a kiss or two, a touch, some want, but I don’t delve into the bedroom scenes like I know a lot of romance authors do.

Why not? Well, I suppose it’s just not my M.O. I’m way more interested in the emotion of two characters getting together than the mechanics. I’ve read too many romance novels where the love, and the entire storyline, took a back seat to the scenes of “lust-driven pleasure” and “his quivering member” and “desire feathering up her spine.” And honestly, it’s a reason I resisted categorizing myself as a “romance author” for a long time.

I also have a hard time finding sex scenes that actually make me appreciate the moment and not cringe at the writing, so I’m less than inspired to try it myself. It seems as though clich├ęs run rampant in romance novels, [see above] and when I’m reading them, I just want them to be over, so we can get back to the plot moving forward and some interesting dialogue.

I like happy endings. I like watching characters struggle through conflict to be together. I like desire that strings you along. I like painful separation and exhilarating reunion. And while, sure, sex can play a satisfying part of the coming together (no pun ended), I’m just not interested in spending time writing about it. But I think that puts me in the minority of romance writers.

So back to my original question: do you read romance for the sex, or for the story? Or both?


Marianne Arkins said...

I frequently skip right over the sex scenes because I read for the emotion not the act.

Nora Roberts does a good job with her sex scenes IMHO because she focuses on the FEELINGS not on putting tab A into slot B. There is certainly plenty of sex in her books BUT she works up to it slowly, builds the emotions first and then the rest follows naturally.

I stopped reading Stephanie Laurens books because it they turned in to a sex-fest. If I want erotica (or romantica ... or whatever "ca"), then I'll read it. I know I'm in the minority, but that's the way it is.

If my writing won't sell because I don't delve into the act, then it won't sell. Such is life.

Judy said...

I'm with M. A lot of times I just skim over the sex scenes to get back to the story. Too many times romance stories I've read seem more like soft porn than romance... and I'm not that interested. If I'm in the mood for erotica, then I'll look for well-written erotica. :-)