Saturday, October 25, 2008

Love of Love Scenes

Teehee. I guess it's time for me to finally come out of the closet (no, not that one - it ain't not secret I swing like a monkey). *takes a deep breath to fortify self*

I love reading sex scenes in romance novels.

(Should we insert gasps here?)

I love the hot sexy and heavy stuff a part of the romantic developments of these books that are an integral part of my life. Why romance and not erotica, you ask? Although sex can be fun (hey-I don't judge), when emotions are fleshed out into these plots, the scenes become a type of physical expressions of love and communications between the heroine and heroes.

(Can't believe I wrote 'physical expressions of their lurv' *cackles*.)

Thus, I usually prefer the love making to take place after the characters have known each other for some time, developed an intellectual and emotional connection on top (best position *wink* but so rarely written - complaint, complaint) of the obvious physical attractions. I want to believe the act is a consumation of the feelings h/h has for each other. Very few, let me repeat, very FEW authors could pull it off. If you're going to start the story with characters boinking away, you better be Emma Holly, because she can pull it off and wonderfully so. What? I never said I wasn't bias.

(Obviously, I'm going to being extremely bias as to the authors whom write books I devour.)

For me, a good romance novel should have a minimum of 3 different types of smexiness. Yes, 3 scenes. That does not include heavy make out or really awesome kissing scenes. Even if the kissing scenes Lisa Kleypas does are wayyyyyyy hot where kissing becomes an art, a wordless physical conversation (still using the mouth though) of unspoken love and passion, but no, they don't count. Unless your Nalini Singh, I want my usual 3 thank you very much. So I'm totally bias here, this is my opinion blog you know ^_~. Try a little variety too, please. Always with the missionary. Aren't you bored yet? At least Ms. Nalini's one or two scenes are a bit more diverse (and the tensions usually burn the pages anyways *fans self*) all her books. Not every individual want to do it the same way. Give me a wall or a table everyone once in a while. I'll be happy with that too. And why is it the woman is always on the bottom? Anyways, I'm starting to rant...

A great romance novel must have an equally great smexy scene. Contrary to popular belief, reading these hot scens are not used for that kind of self enjoyment (Ramblings on Romance discussion). Instead, I've noticed that really great romance allows the equally smexy scenes to become an integral part of character development and the growing bond between characters.

(Sexual tension + emotional build= page explosion :D)

If the two characters start a relationship based on attraction, although not impossible, are never that believable for me. Which is probably why I don't read much ebooks (since most are erotica) anymore. If they're shagging every other chapter, how are the two character developing? Doesn't matter if they're friends beforehand, I need to see them develop.

On the other hand, there are some great books (Georgette Heyer) which, IMHO, laid the ground work for the massive growth of the regency romance genre. Yet, as I love her books (need to get them all...somehow), I still wanted to see more sexual tension and intimacy. More than a kiss at the end of the novel. More than a touch or hint of the growing attraction. I want to know and read the characters I've come to love having sex (so bad of me). Granted, sometimes the h/h age differences makes it a tad uncomfy for me to read their bodies getting chummy, but I still want to read it.

(Years of separation may change sweet feelings to sexual, but doesn't mean they 'understand' each other the moment they meet again.)

Now...a problem that's beginning is making me more weary of love scenes and wanting to skip over them, aside from virgin orgasms (I'd like to daydream that it's possible) or coming on command (I believe this was brought up on The Thrillionth Page, but please correct me if I'm wrong, thnx ^.^):

(Please note, I do get a bit've been warned :P)

Isn't there a little more to foreplay and sex than breasts? Always with the kneading, pinching and twisting.'s not an etch-a-sketch and the constant licking and sucking...I keep thinking that the heroes have these oedipus tendencies. Yeah O_o. Really disturbing. Seriously, the more I read lately, the more I see of these hero breast obsessions. All I can see are little babies breast feeding and that is NOT the image I want in a romantic moment. Bleh. Totally turned off with the wheels coming to a horrific skid, full of metal screeching and rubber burns. Even as the heroes 'claim' to not care about how the heroine looks, these breast obsessions. Seriously mother issues...

(C)Baby Blues

The comics I really enjoy are debates about public breast feeding.

Yes, they're pretty. Yes, they're sensitive, but why do breasts take central stage all the time? The other is of course the little 'pearl' down there. Yes, I know oral sex is a sign of real and true love; when you do them without preconditions, that is (Coupling, BBC). But honestly, all I read are lips, breasts, and clit. Then it's shove it up, rattle it around and BOOM, the afterglow.

Ah, I'm being crude, but I cannot help it! This is in like every book I've been reading and frankly, this is getting annoying. >_<

No, not all authors write as such, but in greater and greater bulk do I see almost the same style of loving in my romance books. Is there a writer's sex scene handbook that says "concentrate on the breasts because all men are obsessed with those," " go for the clitoris because men don't get it good enough in reality" and "of course vaginal orgasm is a must" because this is a phallocentric society? Shouldn't it be about the woman's pleasure in a realistic enough sense? Or am I being too picky and detailed oriented? Ugh, now I'm starting to doubt myself. Bleh. Of course, I haven't even gotten into the big discussions about coercion, sexual power play, and the 'r' word (deep rooted issues) in romance novels that really turns my stomach (and mental trauma).

I really could go on and on, but that's not the point. The point is that I love reading the full on voyeuristic gleaming of a possible balanced, yet somewhat unrealistic relationship between two individuals. Granted, this is somewhat tied into my romance-novels-are-a-part-of-real-life theory, but then I'd have to go into feminist discussion, society hierarchy, and the possibility of hope and I just wrinkle my nose thinking about that long post.

All in all, actual scenes of the heroine and hero being intimate is a must and I want it done well. This is one of the few things that will convenience me this isn't some bizarre bunch of words being strung together for the sake of fame and glory.

How do you like your love scenes? Does it matter for you if it's purple prose? Overly graphic? Does it even need to be realistic? Or can you throw it out for a good solid story? Or does great stories get ruined by horrid sex scenes? Tell me your thoughts. :)


  1. Oh, what a fun post! LOL I totally agree, I love the sex scenes. Interesting that you want THREE of them. I never put it to a number, but three is good. The end one doesn't have to be as full blown as the first one, where i want ALL the details. You're right about the position, too.

  2. For me, it's not so much about the choreography as much as it's about the pace - do you know what I mean? A good sex scene has to perfectly paced. As it heats up, you should be beginning to read a little faster and get a little more pulled in. I think there's a lot of writers who can't do them at all.

  3. I have a colleague at work who takes great delight in getting a hold of whatever book I am reading and opening it at a random page and then reading aloud the sex scenes. She ALWAYS hits a sex scene. First try, every time.

    My point is, when I hear it read out loud, it does seem really over the top and tacky, but when I read it in my head, it's perfect. SO I only mind the purple prose when M is about.

    I'm like you Alys. I like ma smexin'. It not a proper romance without some smexin'. You can't have a proper and healthy relationship without it.

    I am starting to see a trend towards heroines always dripping and weeping and smelling down under. It's not very sexy at all!

  4. CJ- Teehee, I felt it was about time I came out and said something. >_< Weeelll... the three was because I started counting and averaging the books I've been reading. The first one being full blown details and last being more vague is totally ON. Completely agree with you. I just hate it when they keep fading to black!

    Tumperkin- Oh yes, choreography is key. Awesome point. The timing, the build. It's those that fade out after using more than half the books to only fade to black. Arg! *shakes fist at book* That's kind of the thing with erotica that kinda got me bored, the writer has the h/h bonking from the beginning and then...I get bored and skip the sex scenes. O_o

    Sayuri- Luckly colleague. ;)
    Hahaha, sometimes I read the scenes out loud to myself just to giggling over, but you're right. Somehow, when I'm reading it all sounds great in my head. Hmmmm...

    You can't have a proper and healthy relationship without it.
    Exactly! Sex is a part of life (for most people anyways) and it's only logical to portray it in books. :D

    Ughh...don't remind me. Weeping, creaming...yuck.

  5. know, you're right. For me, I don't care if there's a lot of sex in a book, but there HAS to be sexual tension. A look, a touch, witty repartee, you name, it, but the tension HAS to be there.

    I think for me, two of the best writers of love scenes are Nalini Singh and Cindy Gerard. They just amp up the sexual tension until you can't stand it anymore and then BAM! Awesome!

    I think that Nalini should write a how-to on writing a love scene. She hasn't failed yet. :)

  6. For me a good sex scene has to follow a real sense of love between the hero/heroine in order for it to work. Seduce Me at Sunrise is a good example of where one FEELS the love before hand. Another good example is my latest book obsession which shall remain nameless because I think everyone probably already knows which one I mean :)
    And it has to be anatomically possible too. I've read some where I'm too busy scratching my head trying to figure out how it works. I also like it when the hero talks to the heroine during said scene - weird I know.

  7. In agreement with all here!

    Romance is not romance without the smexing!

  8. Kristie - Hehehe, yes and yes. SMaS was a great example. I flushed just reading the cottage scenes. *fans self* I can understand instant attraction, but I don't believe that is love and great sex comes easily, the mindblowing kind has to involve an established emotional and mental trust.
    I'll get to your new obsession soon. Once I've moved out and started buying books again. I give myself until December. :D

    Aymless- Totally!

  9. VERY INTERESTING blog and as a writer I will take it all in before I write my next love scene...but, I will say, in my first book (Not pubbed)I have the H/H doggy style in one scene and again from behind while riding a horse in another scene...but he's an Inidan so he's more creative than the guys you've been reading about I guess. LOL

    In my second book (which I hope will be pubbed soon) my heroine is small busted - and my hero, a pirate, likes the heavier well padded kind of girls. Now all I have to do is get the pub's to like them as well. LOL

    I have to agree with you 3 LS are enough for the H/H in a book.

    Sometimes Genre limits what and how much a writer can show in that cat...

    Anyway, I found your blog fascinating and will be checking back soon.

    Thanks for such an enlightening blog!


  10. Great post Alys! I have to say that I’ve never thought about how many sex scenes there are in any given book. I guess I just know when there aren’t enough if that makes sense! lol

    I definitely like the sexual tension in my romances. I read erotica too – although definitely not as often – but in my romances I NEED the tension, the build-up so that when that first sex scene happens you’re SO into it and it’s explosive. That’s the stuff!

    I can’t say that I’ve noticed that the heroes are spending too much time in one particular area of the anatomy. I guess if the scene is well written than I tend not to focus on one particular part. It’s just the scene as a whole that I like or dislike. (although your etch a sketch comment had me holding my sides I was laughing so hard!)

    You know full well that I’m gonna start counting sex scenes now, don’t you! Damn! :)