Friday, February 4, 2011

Do you REALLY like it hot?

I think we’ve had a discussion like this here before, but I’m not entirely sure. So, at the risk of repeating myself, and apologies if I am, I’d like to ask readers:

1. Do you always like your reading matter hot?
2. Do you always pick erotica over romance?
3. Do you feel cheated if there’s only one in-depth sex scene in a novella/novel-length book—or do you prefer it if that’s all there is?
4. Do you sometimes/all the time skip sex scenes to move on to the main story?

I ask because although as authors we have publisher guidelines we must follow, I’ve often wondered what the readers really do want. Myself when reading and writing? I prefer the main story with sexual tension for the most part and only one big sex scene. That’s more than enough for me. I’m more interested in them as people and the plot. I wouldn’t mind one jot if there was no sex at all, and if I’m being really honest, I prefer reading no-sex romance books. That probably sounds weird coming from someone who writes erotica and plenty of it, but there you go.

How about you? A short post, but one that could lead to some interesting discussion! Let’s chat!

29 comments:

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I'm all over the place. To me, it depends on the story, the genre, my mood at the moment, etc. So I guess I don't have any particular preferences on level of steaminess I like.

Natalie Dae said...

LOL @ all over the place, Rhonda.

I'm just a boring cow who prefers it without sex. I don't mind reading it if it's there, but I wouldn't feel cheated if it wasn't.

:o)

Rhonda Stapleton said...

I wouldn't feel cheated if there wasn't any sex in the story...well, unless it was supposed to have it, right? haha

Regina Carlysle said...

I DO like sex in my reading but it doesn't always have to be graphic. One of my faves is The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and there was very little sex and not explicit at all but I was so caught up in the family drama that it didn't matter. I DO like romance but the book doesn't even have to be classified as a romance per se but I find the male/female interactions fascinating.


Of course there are some classics that I love too. To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and others that stir my heart. Those are the most memorable.

D. F. Krieger said...

I agree with Rhonda, it really depends on the book for me. I don't, however, like the H/H having sex once a chapter. I mean, there are only so many ways I'm even comfortable with knowing they did it. I read just as many 'other' books as I do erotica's and romance, so it's not a preference factor for me.

Melissa Bradley said...

If you're not going to give the details, skip it, I say. Implied sex is the worst sort of trick a writer can play on a reader in my opinion. I like to go into the bedroom with my characters. I don't need heavy explicit detail, but I need something. Especially after a steamy build up. I once read a story where there was all this heavy sexual tension and some naughty petting, but the actual sex was "the next morning..."

I also like a lot of intimate moments with soft touches, quiet words and comforting gestures. What a great post!

Have an awesome weekend. :)

Natalie Dae said...

Indeed, Rhonda LOL!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Same here, Reg. I can read a thriller with a man and woman as the lead characters, and although there's no sex, you know they're going to do it, but seeing how they get to that point is cool.

:o)

anny cook said...

I read everything. If you're gonna mention sex, then get on with it. Otherwise, why bring it up?

Natalie Dae said...

Thanks for the feedback, D.F. I'm the same, every chapter isn't too groovy for me. I don't like writing it that way either but sometimes it happens that way.

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Melissa, you've answered what I wanted to know the most, so thanks for that. I'm writing a book at the moment where I didn't want them having it away from start with the graphic details, so I wondered if implying it would work. Now I'm worried I'm going to annoy some readers, although I haven't done a "next morning" job on it. I'll have a rethink now, possibly add a little bit to those scenes.

Have a great weekend yourself!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Hmmm, Anny, know what you mean, so I'm still in my dilemma. I think I'll need to add at least a kiss or something to the bits I've implied.

Thanks!

:o)

Scarlett Knight said...

For me, it's all about the story and how well it's written and how much I like the characters. I've read some books that have over a dozen sex scenes, and they didn't do it for me. I've read others that aren't even considered erotica or romance, but they have a very steamy scene or two in them, and they blow me away (Anne Rice comes to mind). So basically, if the writing's good, to me, it doesn't matter how much or how little sex there is at all.

Anonymous said...

I don't really mind how much sex is in the story as long as it's meant to be there and the story is really good.

What I don't like is sex in the story, and lots of it, because the book is labelled 'erotic' but the sex isn't really necessary in at least half of the story. I tend to start skipping those scenes to get back to the story...hehe!!!

I prefer a slow build up of sexual tension before the big bang.

Valerie
in Germany

Kaily Hart said...

Great questions! I really don't have any 'requirements' as such, as long as it feels consistent with the story and characters. If there's sex for the sake of it or missed opportunities for intimacy (which would grow the characters or further the story), I think that shows and will result in a dissatisfying read. Of course, if I'm reading about a romantic, developing relationship, I think the bedroom door needs to be open. At least ajar :).

Sarah Masters said...

Scarlett, I know exactly what you mean. I read a book once, think it was by a man, actually, and it only had one long paragraph of rudies, but it was written in such a way it felt much longer.

(I'm in the wrong account. It's Nat here!)

:o)

Sarah Masters said...

Thanks, Valerie. Many people have said this over the past few years. It's hard getting the balance just right when writing it, though. I'll be thinking about this a lot when starting a new book. Thanks!

Nat

:o)

Sarah Masters said...

Yes, Kaily. Very good point. At least ajar. I like that!

Thanks!

Nat

:o)

Harlie Reader said...

I'm all over the place, too. Sometimes too much sex, is just too much sex. I like my comtemp writers and my erotic writers, too. It really depends on the story for me. If the characters don't "sing" to me, I'll put the book away, sex or no sex. Fair Play by Deirdre Martin is a great example of a romance book that had plenty of build up and the sex didn't happen until the last ten pages of the book. The heroine was date raped early in the book and the hero romanced her and earned her trust and when the scene came up, it was tender, sweet and hot all rolled into one. I didn't give the book away, trust me, there is more to it.

The whole book was great and just the romance part of it made me not want them to have sex. That's how great it was.

Sorry to be so long........

Delaney Diamond said...

Depends on what I'm in the mood to read. If I want sweet, I'll pick up a sweet book. If I'm in the mood for erotic, then I'll pick one up.

I like sex scenes, particularly if the author has done a good job of building up the tension and showing a connection between the h/h.

My only gripe is that in some erotic books, there's no developing relationship. There's so much sex there's not even a plot.

They go straight to the sex, and there's plenty of it. A few months ago I bought an erotic ebook and 3/4 of the way through the book I stopped reading and deleted it from my computer. They were about to have sex AGAIN and the book was almost finished. I couldn't believe it.

wendy said...

I read romance books i like plots relationships love and sex but it can't be slow boring romance there has to be action in it i like erotic too but not all the time like right now I'm reading lynsay sands.

She said...

I'm all over the place when I read. I just want a good story. If you're going to put sex in the story, do it only if you're comfortable writing sex scenes. If you aren't, leave the sex out. Nothing is worse than reading a bad sex scene because the author wasn't comfortable writing that scene. Readers can tell who's comfortable writing sex and who isn't.

anny cook said...

Kissing, sexual tension are fine without the rest. But once you start touching and petting and going on from there, then don't shut the door at the critical point.

Natalie Dae said...

Sounds a good book, Harlie, when there's no need for them to have sex because the tale/sexual tension was enough. Thanks for your feedback!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

I know what you mean, Delaney, and it's a shame because sometimes authors are asked to add more sex to meet specific guidelines.

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Sounds like you have a broad reading range, Wendy. Go you!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

I agree, She. It takes a while to get used to writing them.

Cor, does it ever!

:o)

Natalie Dae said...

Sounds like I have it just right then, Anny. I didn't mention anything except the insinuation that they were going to do it. Hopefully it works.

:o)

Jen B. said...

1. If the cover says the story is hot then it better be hot. On the flip side, if the cover gives no indication that there is something HOT in the book, it is just jarring and I don't like that.

2. No, I like all kinds of romance. What's most important is the characters and whether or not it is a good story. It doesn't always have to be a plausible story and sometimes it can even be downright ridiculous. It just has to be well written.

3. Most of the time I don't care how many sex scenes as long as they make sense and serve the purpose of driving the story along. I recently read a book that really should have been labelled on endless sex scene. It just got boring.

4. I never just skip a sex scene entirely. However, if it is like the book I mentioned above, I just stop reading the book.