All That Sex!
There was a time when few novels, even romance novels, had much sex in them. There were many
embraces and lots of panting and kissing and even some petting, but in a large percent of the books,
when it went beyond that, the bedroom door closed and the scene broke off right there to leave the
rest of the encounter to our own vivid imaginations.
By the time the new millennium rolled around, those bedroom doors were often being left wide
open--if the impassioned couple even waited long enough to find a bedroom. When it became clear
that a lot of the women who were buying romance novels were no longer satisfied with a closed-
door policy, some authors began to feel pressured to write out those encounters in more and more
I began to get messages from new authors who were working themselves into a tizzy over it all. “I
can’t write sex scenes no matter how hard I try.” “What if my mother or one of the ladies from the
church got the chance to read what I wrote?” “When I write sex scenes they read flat, with no sizzle
at all. Kind of like directions on how to install a dishwasher.” “I write those hot scenes, but it’s like
pulling teeth because I’m so uncomfortable about it.” ect…. All of them ended with a cry for help, a
“What should I do?” or a “How do you write them?” or something along those lines.
The truth is, anytime you try to write something that you don’t want to write, that you don’t like,
that you are uncomfortable writing, it’s not going to work out as well as it should. It’s never going to
be your strongest writing, the writing that will show off your real talent for story telling at its best.
Just because there is a trend for publishers to buy paranormal romances or erotic romance or
humorous romance, doesn’t mean you should try to pen one. You will do your best writing when
you spend your time writing what you enjoy, or at least writing within your own comfort zone.
If you are comfortable writing it but fear what others will think of you, well, that can hold you back
just as tightly. Maybe it would help to write under a pen name so you can put that worry away and
write freely. Sadly, many people will read a book where six women are kidnapped, tortured and then
hacked to pieces, with it all described in great gory detail, and not find any offence in it, but those
same people will almost hyperventilate over an adult couple making love with it being described
with any real details at all. Sadly, I think that says a lot about our world today.
So, the first step is to be honest with yourself and figure out what you enjoy writing, how far you are
comfortable pushing that door open, and if a pen name would helpful. When you know the answers
to those questions, then you’ll know just how much sex should be in your stories.
Don’t forget there are romance publishers out there that still buy books with no sex in them at all,
and others with mild sex, or limited sex. Even in a pretty hot romance, sex is a very small part of the
story. The romance is the sexual tension between two people who are falling in love, the tingle when
his hand brushes hers, the way her heart races when he stares into her eyes, the way the scent of
her perfume distracts him beyond reason, or the way his palms itch because he wants to touch her
so badly. A story can vibrate with sexual tension without one sex scene.
Some books to help you find your way. (Just click on the covers below to check out each book.)
Charlotte Dillon ~ www.charlottedillon.com
Copyrighted 2007 by Charlotte Dillon
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