I don’t write romances for the sex. And, believe it or not, I don’t read them for it either.
What I look for is that feeling of falling in love. The chemistry. The heart pounding insecurity when you first meet someone you’d like to meet again and again and again.
I read them for the ultimate escape from reality. Because let’s face it, if you met one of these book boyfriends in real life, you’d likely never give him the time of day.
I write alpha-heroes with soft hearts. And soft women with stubborn resolve.
I write the kind of sex scenes that depict an affair of the heart and not a sleazy affair with the 2am bar drunk—not that a 2am bar drunk isn’t okay…when you’re married to him/her. (as long as my mother isn’t reading this, I’ll admit that I’ve been there) p.s. my mom just signed up for my newsletter.
When I first started reading romances I seriously skipped most of the sex scenes because what I craved wasn’t that skin to skin bond, it was all the tension that led up to it. I craved the relationship and banter and the quirky personalities. I craved to read the weird ways people meet and to discover what it was that makes us fall so deeply in love that we’ll never leave. I learned about struggle and conflict. I learned about places I’d never been and eras I’d never know. Most of all I learned what I wanted, and what I didn’t want, in a man.
I truly do give credit to romance novels for helping me recognize my husband when I met him. And no he doesn’t look like Fabio…thank the good Lord. But he loves me intensely.
The basic rule for writing romance is: 1. It must have a Happily Ever After 2. It must have sex, open or closed door (not my rule, this info came directly from an agent). Now, I will admit that the second rule has changed some over the years. We now have cozy reads and inspirational reads and reads with romantic elements, not to mention chick lit. So…yes, I could in theory, write a romance without sex, and I’ve fought the moral side of my upbringing for years trying to find the right balance. But I can’t do it. I can’t morally write these characters I love without giving them what they want.
These are not easy scenes to write, but I’ve found them to be important.
Truth: sex exists in more than just romance novels. It’s in almost every other book of fiction on the market. The romance genre is just an easy target for bashing it. And if we’re completely honest, it exists in our homes too. **blush** And thank you God it exists in the Bible.
My mom keeps asking to read my current book, but she doesn’t want to read a kissing book. Sorry, mom, there’s kissing, and sex, and body parts. When I hand over my precious cargo of words to a friend, I live in a little world of bashful denial. I simply ignore the fact that I wrote all those sexy parts. My characters have minds of their own and they write themselves.
So, fair warning my friends and family, I can’t stop you from buying my books when they’re published, but if you ask about the sex, I'll never admit that “Yes, I wrote THAT.”
Song of Solomon 1:2
Oh, how I wish you would kiss me passionately! For your lovemaking is more delightful than wine. (New English Translation)