So. It's that time of year again. You know, the all het up over RWA's lack of erotica and what the Sisters of the Immaculate Sex Scene (PBW's name, ain't it grand?) deem worthy of calling romance? Yes, convention is in the air.
Alison Kent and Julie Leto have something to say.
Cripes, sorry for my numerous typos in comments and double posting because my PC is fritzy for some reason today.
Angela Knight has a brilliant post from March but it sums up a why sex scenes are important.
My personal belief is that somebody who writes mechanical sex solely to placate a publisher and make money is a lot more guilty of being a pornographer than I am.
No matter how much some writers might like to pretend otherwise, at their core, romances are about a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, not a purely spiritual union of souls. After all, when was the last time you read a romance staring Ghandi?
I’ve heard writers argue that their readers don’t care about sex, that in fact, they skip the sex scenes. My response is: then you’re doing something wrong. Anytime a reader can skip any scene in a book, the writer has screwed up. Every scene should advance the plot, characterization, or conflict -- preferably all three. That includes love scenes. A scene your reader can skip needs to be rewritten.
[...]Every time the hero and heroine go to bed together, it should reflect where they are in their relationship. In fact, ideally you should be able to read through the sex scenes alone and track the progress of the romance through the book.
[...]Remember, too, that each love scene should not only mark the progress of the relationship, but advance it. The characters are sharing a deeply personal interaction, exposing themselves to each other emotionally as well as physically. It should change how they relate to each other.
I was talking to my Dh about this yesterday. (Yes I talk to him about everything) And he had an interesting perspective. He said, "Then they aren't getting it good enough."
I pushed his arm. "Stop it, that's not nice."
"No. Really. If it isn't making an impression or cementing your relationship it isn't good enough."
He's right. Sex, like any other aspect of a relationship needs to grow, and that growth shows within and without. As writers we need to portray that honestly.