Monday, 29 August 2011

Do you like it hot?

Recently I received a review for No Wings Attached, in which the reviewer pointed out the following:  
"There were moments where I thought Deleuze was going to show off some passionate scenes between the two but it ended up being that Celia would leave or she would just fall asleep or Tom would just peck her on the cheek and say goodnight."
I don't know for sure, but I guess she meant some steamy sex scenes, which I admittedly not have in the whole book, nor will there be one in book two. In my opinion, such scenes have no place in a romantic comedy and I'm also not a huge fan of them - for several reasons:
1. They are incredibly difficult to write.
2. They usually are so cringe worthy, it's beyond belief.
3. I want to be able to be in the character's head, meaning, I love feeling the emotions when she feels excited, sad, happy, lost, etc., but sex is something private and everyone likes to do it differently and as soon as I enter the bedroom (or place of happening) with a couple, I'm thrown into the position of the observer, instead of being in the MC's head. I personally find that unpleasant.
4. To me, a good romance lives without the erotica, I'd rather be left with my own imagination when he leads her into the bedroom (or wherever).

By all means, I'm not criticising the reviewer, she didn't like the book as much as others. I failed to fulfil her expectations; it just got me thinking what readers really want from a romantic comedy, though the stress in my book is on romance. I've read and watched a lot of romantic comedies and never found steamy sex in it and I wouldn't like it, I must say. I also have to confess, that I will pass on any book that has a couple in a certain posture on the cover. I find those covers cheesy and horrible. Might work for the genre erotica, but not for romance or romantic comedy. But there seem to be buyers, sex sells and there are plenty of publishers who use them.

It's not that I'm against erotica, though I don't read it, I have read a few books where the sex scenes were well done, and I'm going to write a book which will be littered with sex scenes as it's a big part of the character, but it's neither erotica, nor romance, it's contemporary fiction.

How is your take on sex scenes? Do you expect them in romantic comedy or romance or do you dislike them?

Here's the opening sex scene of the book I've referred to above:

The moonlight stroked the two bodies with its soft light. Their tight embrace made it difficult to tell them apart. Her fingers were tangled in his ash-blonde hair, legs around his waist.
'I want you.' Her breath came ragged. He grabbed her firmly at her hips and pulled them against him. 'More,' she groaned, leaning back.

Her body in his hands, he gazed at her face. Eyes closed, she licked her parted lips. It made him even harder. Another thrust and she moaned. He caressed her well-formed back, letting his hand wander up to her elegant neck, grabbed her long wavy hair, pulling her towards him. 'You're perfect,' he said, his voice staccato.
She opened her eyes, they were full of fire. 'Fuck me, babe,' she whispered demanding.

He didn't need to be asked twice. She was the one in bed that answered all his prayers. No fear, no taboos and a passion that every man could wish for. God, how he loved this woman. Her hot body pressed to his, he closed his eyes, feeling her moves. They kissed and became one, getting into a conjoined rhythm, faster and faster. He held back until he felt it she was ready, then she moaned once more. When she lost herself she couldn't keep her voice down. Every emotion audible. That's what made her special to him. With a sigh she let her head drop onto his shoulder, relaxing. He breathed heavily. 'I love you, Rachel.'

She didn't answer. When her breathing had slowed down, she lifted her head, kissed him gently, then got up and disappeared into the bathroom.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Sex scenes shouldn't, in my opinion, be in romantic comedy (unless it's for effect), same goes for general fiction. It's better to be ambiguous, I think it reveals a more skillful writer this way. Same goes for TV, off topic here but I watched the latest Torchwood and we really did not need to see John Barrowman naked and writhing with his new found friend.
    Heck I can't even write the word F**k without astericks so I guess I'm not the ideal one to comment, but no, sex scenes are best left to the imagination.

  3. Thank you, Martin. I think the same. Bridget Jones didn't have sex in it and it was a success, Charmed didn't have sex in it, it was a success. I went with what I like and therefore left it out. But I know a lot of people who love some steamy scenes, though just not in a romantic comedy.

  4. Sex scenes have to fit the tone of the story. 9 & 1/2 Weeks and Last Tango in Paris without sex? Snoozefest! Or remember the porn shoot scenes from Love Actually? Funny.

    None of the books I've written have sex scenes aside from of the fade-to-black variety (granted, I write action thrillers). Then I began writing smut (under a pen name) and it's wall-to-wall steamy goodness ;-)

    Again, it's all about tone.

  5. Oooooh, Mr Richer, you do surprise me :-)

  6. Stella, I'm guessing that her name isn't Rachel, right?

  7. I've always believed it better to allude to rather than be explicit Stella. Take no notice of idiots. If they want porn, they need to look elsewhere. lol :)

  8. Ruby: grins. Rachel Miller's her name.

    Jack: It was merely a question, the reviewer said what she felt, calling her an idiot it unprofessional. I know many people who don't like reading sex scenes and I know some who like it. I'm not a fan of them in romance, romantic comedy or chick lit. It just doesn't work for me.