I write sex scenes. There, I admitted it. They are fictional sex scenes to be sure, but I have written them and soon enough some will be published in my book. Hopefully a few people will read my book and at least some of them will not skip the sexy parts so my writing will not have been in vain.
In my new immersion into the romance publishing world, I have learned that there is a continuum of description when it comes to sex. Some books merely allude to it and the protagonists perhaps share a kiss before they go behind closed doors and unwritten pages. Other scenes are full-blown-pages-long explicit scenes that include every grunt and shift in position. Mine fall somewhere in the middle. I think.
All of this comes up because as I wrote earlier, my publisher Secret Cravings, asked me to categorize my scenes as either one flame/no sex all the way up to five flames/multiple partners and detailed erotic description. I chose three flames since my characters think about having sex before they do, they enjoy having sex when they do, and they want to have sex again after they do. Kind of like real life. But I don’t use explicit* words because my characters don’t talk like that, and neither do I. It’s a fine line.
Some might wonder why I write them at all; if it is a good enough story you don’t need them, do you? My answer is this; my characters experience stress and emotion in their stories. They enjoy food and drink. Sometimes they are injured or betrayed. And they have moments of joy and laughter. All of these experiences are challenging to capture with words and paragraphs and pages. I don’t think that their experiences with sex should be treated any differently. I dared myself to write my first one and now I love getting my protagonists hot and bothered enough fill a few pages with their passion.
*Not that I am judging other authors using what I consider explicit terms to describe body parts. A character’s vocabulary helps the reader understand that character. So far, none of my characters has wanted to talk dirty to another. When one of them does, we’ll see how I adapt!