Back in 2007, when I signed with my ex-agent, one of the things she liked most about my contemporary romance novel was the sizzling sexual tension. “I think your bedroom scenes will really sell,” she told me.
Which was a little alarming to 27 year old me. I’d always thought of myself as a fade-to-black sort of girl. I even skipped reading sex scenes in the books I read. Unresolved sexual tension was one thing. Writing the resolution of said UST was another entirely.
I managed to get through that book, and its subsequent submission to editors, without having to write a real sex scene. But when it came to writing my next book, the characters were more demanding. Their developing relationship hinged on one night of mind blowing sex. Things changed between them and within them during that night. I couldn’t cheat the reader out of that experience.
But I needed to do it right.
So, I started reading. I read sexy chick lit, I read really sexy romance novels. I read bodice rippers. And finally, I picked up some erotica, and read. And read. And read.
I’m not sure what I’d expected, but it wasn’t what I got. I learned that, done well, sex is another form of action scene, one that can deepen the characters, and the conflict, and the readers’ understanding of both. Done really well, it can be hot as hell.
And I wanted to be able to do that too.
I wrote the best scene I could for that book, bringing in everything I’d learned through my reading.
But by then I had a taste for the erotic. And I’m very pleased to report, I still do!
Photo by erin MC hammer