Let’s Talk About Sex: Part 2 – An After Hours Discussion

» 21 May, 2015 » Discussion » 9 comments



It’s been a few weeks since I turned to other readers/bloggers and talked about sex in books – and if we thought there was just TOO MUCH.

After I read all the feedback, then the comments on the post, more and more thoughts came sprouting up and I just feel the need to talk about it.

One thing I found I mistakenly did was not phrase my questions perfectly when gathering answers to the questions. I think the question, “Do you think there is such a thing as too much sex in a book?” should have split in TWO. Is there too much sex in A BOOK and is there too much sex in BOOKS, overall. My intention was to gather as much information as I could – without overwhelming readers with all the feedback – and I don’t think I got a good read on it, overall.

This is what I wanted to talk about. Because I feel like the demand is –  the naughtier, the better. In each review I find, there is at least a paragraph dedicated to this alone. Some readers even admitted to reading the more steamy books after a slew of non-steamy. Not judging – to each his/her own.

Sex sells. I hate to say it, but it does. It seems like 50 Shades of Gray opened up a HUGE can of worms when it came to explicit sex scenes. What’s interesting, is that sex has always been in novels – whether implied or detailed – but for some reason, that book set the mold and made it mainstream.

I have read pitches for books that comment on the sex in a book, and I have read people beg and complain about the lack thereof in some cases. I can’t say how much pressure this puts on authors to pump out the sexy times – but I assume it’s a lot. You want to please the majority and this will. Which = more readers, more hype thus, more money. But what about those of us that don’t mind the tamer books? That don’t mind the non-existent sex scenes? In my opinion, there has to be balance and there isn’t any. You piss off one group while pleasing the other. It’s got to suck.

Example. I read a novella a few weeks back that I was looking forward to for months. It’s a part of one of my favorite series but after i read it? I was so disappointed (and pissed, to be honest) that there was basically NO plot at all to the book, other than the two having sex; with some minor character development. Most readers LOVED IT. I didn’t.

Another example – chapter 32. If you read Jeanine Frost, you know what I am talking about. I feel like that chapter – er, sex scene – set the mold for what Jeanine can write and will be compared to ALL of her other scenes. I love that she can write explicit scenes but tame it down as it pertains to the characters and plot, other readers didn’t.

Am I over thinking this?

In any case. I don’t MIND IT – for the most part. I just feel like it’s hard to find a romance novel these days WITHOUT it, ya know?

I Turn the Spotlight On You
  • Do you think sex has become mainstream in romance novels?
  • How much impact do you think readers have on authors writing those scenes?
Share your thoughts in the comments!



Tonya is a 30 y/o mom, wife, avid reader, coffee junkie, junk food addicted workaholic and blogger.

9 responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex: Part 2 – An After Hours Discussion

  1. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    This is such an interesting topic. Here’s the thing – sex does sell. As an editor, I’ve found that my authors are adding more and more sex to their books – and they’re selling more. It’s just kind of a fact. I am not a fan of books where sex IS the plot – I don’t mind some sexy scenes interspersed with a solid plot, though. (For the record, most of my authors’ books don’t revolve around sex – they’ve just added a bit more as they’ve continued writing. 🙂

    • tonyalee

      I think defining “sex is the plot” is a key thing here. I feel like if sex even “over rides” the plot and is placed as fillers, is can BECOME the plot. A lot of people talk about Erotica being the genre where ” sex is the plot” but in doing some research lately, that isn’t really the case. There usually IS a plot to those novels.

  2. Pamela

    I totally agree with the fact that sex isn’t supposed to be the plot, unless an author is supper badass and manages to do it well. But, yes, it’s getting harder to not to stumble upon a detailed sex scene in romance books now. And while I don’t mind in the cases when it happens but it’s not in a play by play fashion, I do wonder if this is not heading towards a world where every 16+ girl in romance novels, or just books where there is romance involved, must have sex with her love interests at one point.

    • tonyalee

      Yes agreed and I’m curious as to why WE think that is. Demand? The norm? Is this just how it is now? And if so, how/why. I think there are many different aspects to consider

  3. Suzi Q, The Book Dame

    I don’t mind sex if it adds something to the story, but I don’t read books where sex is the main focus. I think that very often authors are writing to appeal to the adults who review YA (a subject in which I am preparing a post).
    I don’t like sex in YA. If the character is underage it feels too weird as an adult to even read it. I certainly can’t get all swoony over it.

    • tonyalee

      But I’m wondering what we mean by, “sex isn’t the main focus.” I’ve read plenty of erotica that had a storyline and it wasn’t all about the sex.

      I’m curious to read your post!

  4. Wendy @ Book Scents

    As long as there is a solid plot, I’m okay with it. If the plot is thin and it’s ALL SEX I’m like, really?

    Is chpt 32 that one chpt in book 2? That was like 20 min on audio, LOL. But there’s always a solid plot in her books (it seems like, so far) so the romance FITS in the scheme of things so no matter how explicit, it works. all depends on if the plot is there for me. 🙂

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