Were all adults here. That said this post is not for children. I’m an adult and if you’re under age I would suggest you stop reading.
There, now that the children have left the room let’s get into it.
First, I have to say I’m not as anti-romance as you’d think. I actually enjoy romance….to an extent. I’m just not the exclusive romance type. You know, the books with the man on the front sporting a six-pack, low cut jeans that makes it obvious he’s not wearing underwear, a cow-boy hat and “come and get it” eyes. That’s just not sexy to me; perhaps because I don’t really see it as being manly enough. I mean sure, I see your oiled down abs but I’m just not impressed. I’m more interested in Romance that incorporates more into the story; romantic adventure or urban fiction if you will where the story is not exclusively about Mary Jane and the six-pack, which brings me back to my purpose of this post: Sex Scenes: Romance, Erotica, and Urban Fiction.
Dear Indie Erotica, Romance, Urban Fiction Writers,
Don’t overdo the sex. Just because you can mention every body part known to man doesn’t mean that you should. Even when it comes to love scenes, readers should feel sexy, aroused even, but not grossed out. Some books I can’t even get through because there’s no emotion behind the action. The character keeps it real and all but that’s not, in my opinion, enough to be enticing. There are some authors who can paint their sex scenes very well and for that I must say that my opinions are from a readers perspective since I don’t actually write erotica. That said, I am not placing judgment, I’m just saying that if your going to write about couples making love put some tact to it. You can mention body parts without being outright vulgar. Now days I just feel like I’m watching a really bad porno movie. Thing is, you can be nasty if you want (were all adults here) but there’s even a way to do that. The idea is to draw us in. Make us feel like we’re in the moment. Make it just as sensual and as intimate as you would if you were actually having sex. Tracy Brown actually writes very good Urban Fiction novels with some steamy scenes. She’s not an Indie Author but she’s a good example of how it should be done. Her books also have other themes incorporated so that its not straight sex (that gets boring after-while, there must be an actual story line people). White Lines for instance is a book about a woman and drug addiction and is a pretty good read. I have a few of her books in fact.
Now, about stories surrounding abuse…
Stories about physical abuse are going to be difficult despite how you look at it. There is no way to write physical abuse stories that are reflective of the truth and make people any less uncomfortable. I still believe, however, that there should be some skill involved. When people are physically abused its not just physical its emotional. This should be incorporated in. As you walk us through the incident, there must be a simultaneous emotional / mental explosion along with what’s happening physically. There is a way to show me the physical and the emotional pain experienced by the character without bluntly stating that he forced his you know what into her you know where. This shows me a glimpse of the abuse and shocks me, but it would be better if the feeling was shown instead of told. The classic: “show me, don’t tell me”:
“He tore down her innocence as if breaking glass, and replaced her inner walls with the maturity of his manhood. She was no longer a child, oblivious to the desire that felt like saliva between her legs. Just like that youth had escaped her. Had taken advantage of her perfection and replaced it with the wisdom to know why mama’s voice moaned in the nighttime. What she would give to go back and listen to mama hum the words to songs only grown-ups knew. Instead, she became a prisoner to the freedom of understanding as it dripped from between her legs. “
I’m not that kind of writer so what you’ve read probably sucked but the point is that books that include sex period requires some kind of skill. Erotica and Urban Fiction are not genres that give us the right to just blurt stuff out. It’s like I tell my husband all the time when it comes to comedy: “A whole bunch of curse words and vulgar language does not necessarily make it funny”. Too often comedians feel like they have to use such language just to make people laugh and it causes them not to be funny at all in my opinion. You don’t have to be nasty to be funny. The same thing applies to writing, it can be real and genuine without overdoing the sex scenes.