Wednesday, April 19, 2006

HOW MUCH SEX IS ENOUGH?

Happy hump day (that's Wednesday, in case you hadn't heard that expression, not happy "humping" day *LOL*)!

Today's topic is about sexual content in books. Those who keep up with Mrs. Giggles know that she recently editorialized about erotica books and included the Brava and Blaze lines in her rant. Arguably, Blaze isn't erotica, but it's still a spicy line for Harlequin. Anyway, my question is, what is your criteria for an erotic romance? Should sex be central to the plot? What about a strong, engaging story that contains explicit sex scenes? What does it take to satisfy you? **BWG**

I've written both. In Love Lessons and Hay Fever, having sex was critical to the main plot. Heart of a Soldier, my latest, has a time travel romance plot that happens to have hot sex scenes between the hero and heroine. As a reader, I don't care. In fact, the plot can be a lot meatier (no pun intended!) than a sexual oriented story. But what about you as a reader?

Tell me, how much sex is enough for you? In an erotic romance, that is!

Nessie

23 Comments:

Blogger Bec said...

Ahhh Nessie, so glad you asked!

To tell the truth, this kind of thing really depends on my mood. Some days, I can read page after page of sex and no plot. On those days I'm not actually reading, I'm fantasising.

Other days I groan at the concept of a book without a better plot than "the more sex the better".

I write books with more plot than sex because that's generally more reflective of real life (okay okay, it's more reflective of my real life).

On still other days, just the thought of buying a book seems like too much of a commitment!

Oh! I didn't decide did I? I vote PLOT!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

As a reader, it doesn't usually matter to me. I'll read both types you described. However, now that I think about it, I guess I do tend to prefer books with good plots that happen to have sex in them a bit more than those that are totally sex-focused with little or no real plot. I also like those that have a nice balance of plot and sex.

Did I make any sense? LOL

11:10 PM  
Blogger LSB Author, Darragha Foster said...

There's a fine line between porno and romantic erotica. If any certain words are used, or if the act of orgams is spelled with a "u" instead of "come"--then I cringe.

I read a lesbian erotica book called "Rika's Jewel." It was a strange, but unique story--and there was a story! However, the sex was unrealistic.

I read "Slave Girl of Gor"--and generally, I've enjoyed the Gor series. Save that the Slave Girl of Gor says, "Rape me, Master." Uh, no. Perhaps Master should buy her a brain, instead. Yanno?

My mother says my books have too much sex and not enough violence. The 16-year old daughter of a friend of mine apparently read my first novel and was completely enthralled with the words "engorged bud." Hey...at least I didn't write, "he whipped out his purple-helmeted warrior of love."

I do rather enjoy a good bit of purple prose at times :)

Plot is important. Sex without plot is like a porno movie filmed in an empty house--i.e., no set. Just the carpet and bare walls. I want the walls filled with art and the carpet warmed by the glow from the fireplace.

D.

11:38 PM  
Blogger robynl said...

I prefer books with good plots that happen to have sex in them more than those that are totally sex with no real story.

11:54 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

When I read erotic romance I like a strong story with hot sex scenes. Even if there is only one scene, that's OK, as long as the story is a good one.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

"a strong, engaging story that contains explicit sex scenes"
That's what I like in erotic romance. And, I think a lot of juicy sex scenes are what make erotica. Give me lots of sex, sex, sex....

9:12 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

I'd like my life to be lots of sex with no real plot--especially no crisis moments. But I want a book to have a good story with some sex.

Good question!

Dee
www.deesknight.com

9:32 AM  
Blogger Christy Robin said...

I tend to lose interest in a book after the first sex scene. Unless it's really, really hot! That said, I prefer at least two scenes but it's according to the plot. Those action packed, run for your life type of books? More sex the better!

Robin

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer to have a good plot and strong characterizations over sex, unless the latter is written really well and the plot is reasonably well written...then I am willing to make a couple of allowances. However, I have read some books that have an awful lot in love scenes, but the authors manage not to stint on storyline. Well, there you have it...sometimes I like it as my main course and sometimes as a side, but I prefer to have all of the elements to the feast kept at high standards.

Little Lamb Lost

10:12 AM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Great discussion! Frankly, I agree with almost everything you all have posted. Readers can not live by sex alone**gg**

Thanks for your comments!

Nessie

11:47 AM  
Blogger Meljprincess said...

LOL! Good answer, Dee.

11:57 AM  
Blogger snowflake said...

I don't want a romance with a strong plot that just happens to have hot sex scenes. Nor do I want a romance that's all sex with a weak plot. In an erotic romance, every sex scene should be integral to the development of plot, character motivation/growth and romance. There's a reason for them to be there and the story would lose its effectiveness if you take away the scenes. Hope I'm making sense.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous blythespirit said...

I prefer a good plot with lots of hot sex that fits into it. Too much of a good thing just gets repetitive not stimulating. If it is the natural result of their attraction according to the plot, well more is better.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Robin49 said...

Now to answer your first question - I will let you when I have had enough. LOL.

Now in an erotic romance novel I want a plot that has me wrapped up in wanting to know what is going to happen next. I want the sex scenes in there too. It wouldn't matter how many scenes as long as they were hot :)

Peaches

3:12 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

In all honesty, I've not read a release from my publisher (Liquid Silver) that doesn't qualify as the perfect blend of engaging plot and hot sex. Yet, no two are alike, at least none I've read. Not that I've read them all, but I've read many. There are too many talented authors here to keep up with.

So many good books, so little time!

Nessie

3:47 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I like a story that has sex, lots of it. In an erotic romance I want to feel the emotions the h/h has during the act and I want it explicit. If sex is part of the plot then I expect a lot of sex and expect it to be explicit. That being said, I don't want a sex scene thrown in haphazzardly throughout the story. I can read porn if that's what I want.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Well said, Maria. Thanks for your input.

And thanks to everybody who blogged today. You had lots of interesting comments, the stuff that really helps a writer give you what you want in a book.

Nessie

5:41 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

I like a plot with my sex scenes. Otherwise it just seems cheap because if your trusting someone enough to be naked in front of them , you really should have some feeling for them.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Estella said...

I read most anything, but enjoy a lot of sex in a book, but must have a storyline.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Vanessa Hart said...

Thanks, Tamara and Estella. I appreciate your input.

Nessie

10:30 PM  
Blogger Tina Holland said...

Vanessa what a great topic!

I tend to like my erotica with more sex than plot...I love dialogue after a sex scene, when possible. I think you learn the most about characters and what motivates them.

When I write, I tend to put dialogue in with the sex scene. My current set of characters can't seem to get out of bed long enough to do anything. They are very frustrating!

Tina

11:34 PM  
Blogger Pam P. said...

I want a plot and emotions, sex or not - that's why I read. The more erotic sex scenes as appropriate to the story fine, but just sex scene after sex scene is not what I'm looking for in a book--there are other avenues to explore for that. I want to see some sort of relationship between the characters in a book called a romance.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Erin Katz said...

I think it all depends on the story. Some lead to the direction of more sex and some characters are very tempered.

6:10 PM  

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