And in honor of TT, I want to talk about sex in books. Or to be more specific, the things in sex scenes that drive me nuts and make me wonder if the person writing that scene has ever had sex.
1. The junk jamming hero. Okay, I know penises are wonderful things to have and have used on you. But they’re not wonderful to just have jammed into any old crevice without preparation. If I read an anal scene and the hero just thrusts in there without any prep (no stretching, no lube) it makes me want to sock him in the balls. Repeatedly.
2. The wailing heroine. It’s a general rule of mine that when I write sex the heroine can only scream or wail once during sex. When I read these women who wail and scream and cry out in every sex scene, it makes me snicker. Noise is sexy, screaming, crying, wailing, keening heroines in every sex scene? Not so much.
3. Sex scenes where I have to put the book down and try to position myself to imagine what the hell the couple is doing. Now this is something everyone does. I’ve done it. I think the problem is that the story is in your head so you know what it looks like but it doesn’t translate. That’s when editors come into play and mine have certainly said, “what the heck is her neck doing here?”
4. On the subject above, couples that kama sutra every time. Wheelbarrowing, sex swinging, upside down trapeze fucking, she’s got one leg wrapped around his neck while he’s hanging her off the side of a building and she’s singing the national anthem in French or somesuch. It doesn’t have to be in the dark, missionary or anything but if it’s so farcical that I shake my head, that’s not sexy. It’s confusing and over the top. Sexy isn’t about impossibility and wackiness of position, it’s about the connection of the characters.
5. Heroines that have hair trigger clits. Yes, some women come very easily, but the majority of women can’t come with only intercourse. They need a little help with clitoral stimulation. All these heroines who come the minute penis makes contact with vagina just aren’t realistic.
6. Authors who throw sex into every crevice of a novel with no real purpose. I like sex in books. I write sex in books. But sex is a device, like any other action. If it’s just tossed in every four pages, it becomes tedious and meaningless.
7. Authors who are clearly uncomfortable with writing sex but have added it because someone told them it was new/hot/now. It’s okay to close the door, that can be sexy too. Don’t write it if you hate it or feel uncomfortable with it. That includes writing genres you don’t like or feel uncomfortable with like MM and menages.
If an author is really feeling her characters and is into the book, you’re going to feel the heat. It doesn’t have to be a three way in a glass box suspended above Times Square. Show me the connection and I’ll see the heat. Even if all the author does is kiss and close the door.