Let’s talk about sex. Seriously, sex in romance is important if it is done right. Long before 50 Shades of Gray blazed through the media women were enjoying hot sex in their romance novels. Erotic romance has been around for years. In all that time there was one really important factor to all that love making.
It moved the story forward.
Across the board, any scene written into a book has one major criteria to fit. One litmus test to pass. Does it move the story forward? Do you reveal something new about the characters? Maybe you share a major plot point? Perhaps one of your characters grow in some way? Whatever it is, it must move the story forward. Sex for the sake of sex is called porn.
Now, I’m not saying that’s bad, it’s just not romance. Not that I need to tell you, but erotic romance is called that because you get both the emotional stimulation and the physical. Whether the hero ties the heroine to a St. Andrews Cross and tortures some deep hidden nugget of her past from her or he simply lays her in the bed and fucks her into revealing her feelings for him makes no difference—unless you don’t like kink. Then it probably matters.
Even in erotica geared for women, there is some emotional connection between the characters. It doesn’t have to be a HEA, but just like the real thing, there must be something that draws the female to the male and it really does have to be more than his hot bod.
Once you get past the “moving the story forward” thing, then you have to deal with keeping things interesting. Every author approaches this differently. Some of us like to get the mechanics down on paper and then go back and layer in the emotion and romance. Others write it all in one fell swoop. Others write the emotional stuff and then go back to hit the mechanics. There is no wrong way to do it unless you skip the emotion altogether.
In Love Redeemed my challenge was keeping it hot without a lot of extras. The sex was exclusively between the hero and heroine. No toys and not much in the way of kink. How do you keep the reader invested and engaged? Plot, character development, and emotion. If your sex scene isn’t accomplishing at least one of those elements, and preferably emotion is always included, then you are doing your story, your characters, and your readers a disservice.
Are there things you hate about sex scenes? Maybe the same old-same old you wish writers would quit?
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Sorcha Mowbray is a mild mannered office worker by day…okay, so she is actually a mouthy, opinionated, take charge kind of gal who bosses everyone around; but she definitely works in an office. At night she writes romance so hot she sets the sheets on fire! Just ask her slightly singed husband.
She is a longtime lover of historical romance, having grown up reading Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught. Then she discovered Thea Devine and Susan Johnson. Holy cow! Heroes and heroines could do THAT? From there, things devolved into trying her hand at writing a little smexy. Needless to say, she liked it and she hopes you do too!
Love Redeemed (Book 2, The Market Series)
Brennan Whitling wants for nothing but the love of a good woman. He has a close family, good friends, and a successful textiles import business. But, a beautiful and elusive young woman he has only seen from afar haunts him. Until a chance meeting leads to far more than dinner.
Serena Freemont has only ever known the life of a prostitute. When an invitation to dinner by a handsome gentleman provides her an opportunity to experience life as a young lady, it’s too tempting to pass up. Much like the man issuing it. After a night of passion she must disappear or face his reaction when the truth is revealed.
To find happiness Serena must shed her past long enough to realize she is worthy of a future. To win her heart, Brennan must show her the redemptive power of love.
“Are you all right, Miss?”
For a moment, for this moment, she was a normal young woman experiencing the attentions of a handsome young man. Heat crept up her cheeks as he held her hatbox out, and the burning had nothing to do with the sun. “I-I— Yes, I am. Thank you.” His blue-gray eyes seemed to bore into her.
“I am so glad. I was sure you were a goner there for a moment.” He flashed a brilliant grin liquefying Serena’s insides instantly. “Please let me introduce myself. I’m Mr. Brennan Whitling of Whitling Textiles Importers and Wholesalers.”
“How do you do, Mr. Whitling?” Serena allowed her lips to curve up ever so slightly. “I am Miss Serena Freemont.”
“It is a pleasure. Might I interest you and your”—he glanced around the bustling street as his grin faded in confusion— “chaperone in a cup of tea?”
A wave of horror swept over Serena. Chaperone? Harlots did not require one of those. “Oh, Aunt Henrietta is in the bookstore, and I fear she will be in there a very long time. I am certain she won’t notice if we slip off for a quick spot of tea.”
“Excellent! There is a lovely little shop just up the street.” A beautiful smile spread across his face, causing her pulse to quicken.
He escorted her up the block where they stopped at a quaint little teashop. They settled in at a table and ordered a pot of tea.
“What has you on Bond Street today, Mr. Whitling?” They sat in semi privacy at the back of the shop.
“Oh, I was visiting some of my customers and taking new orders. I am very glad I was there to help you, and by virtue of said assistance make your acquaintance.” Did his already deep voice grow huskier? Their tea service arrived, dispelling the moment.
“As am I. Landing on my backside in the middle of the street would have been rather embarrassing. But in truth, thank you for your assistance today, and now the tea.” She lifted her freshly prepared cup to her lips and took a dainty sip from the delicate china. Through lowered lashes, she watched his graceful movements as he prepared his own.
“It is my pleasure on both accounts. You seem familiar to me. Have we met somewhere before? A ball perhaps?”
Are you a fan of book trailers? I have one for Love Redeemed, you can check it out here.