Personal interpretation is the beauty of art.
Another Good Morning Monday post! Go me!
In this week’s post, I wanted to talk about sex in books and, more directly, the lack of sex in books.
I quite often have reviews where readers mention in a negative light that my books often have a considerable lack of on-page sex. This is true, and something I could never deny: my books (not including the A. Voyeur ones) would never fall into the erotica category.
That being said, I also have quite a few reviews stating there is too much sex in my books. So clearly it’s a battle I will never win. Quite frankly, it’s not a battle I’m willing to fight. I write the stories the characters tell me to write and it would feel wrong for me to sway them either way. I would also never change a book to what I *think* my readers might want. I write the stories the characters tell me to write. I owe them truth in the delivery, not anyone else. Not even me.
I will read reviews sometimes so I can learn from them. I like hearing what people loved and didn’t love about my work. I am a firm believer in the adage “to each their own”, and I have no qualms with the opinions of others. In fact, I welcome them. After all, I’ve read books where there’s been, in my opinion, too much or too little on-page sex. We all like different things, and personal interpretation is the beauty of art.
So, why am I bringing this up now?
Spencer Cohen, Book One has no sex. None. Zip. Nada. Zilch. There is UST and a smoking hot kiss, but no sex.
Will some people hate that? Sure. Will some people love that? Sure. Will some people not notice or care? Probably. Again, with the battles I will never win.
I can say, without giving spoilers, that Books 2 & 3 make up for it. Which is fine, wonderful even, for those books. It fits the plot/characters/emotional need of those two books for the intimacy levels to be cranked up a notch or three. There’s nothing gratuitous about the physical development of this couple. They’re expressing their feelings in a physical way, exploring and learning what the other likes. It’s a natural progression of all budding relationships, if they’re inclined to be physical.
But in Book One, Spencer and Andrew are not there yet.
I’ve had one early ARC reviewer tell me she didn’t even realise there was no sex in the book until someone asked her. This is what she said,
“It’s unique, and sweet and damn hot even though there isn’t really anything steamy. It just works, the chemistry they have, the sexy innuendos and blushing moments …. *swoon* perfection!”
As a reader, I look for a well-balanced blend of characterisation, interaction, growth and development. If that includes sex, then bring it on. If it’s gratuitous and repetitive, I will skim. And if the characters have more sex than conversations, then chances are it will end up being a DNF for me.
So, what is, in your opinion, too much or too little sex in a book? Is it important? Is no sex a deal breaker? Is too much sex a deal breaker? Is it even an issue these days? Should it be explicit, implied, or completely off-page? Should it be there at all?
Comments, opinions and thoughts? Hit me with them. And remember, no one is right or wrong.