Let's face it. Books provide a great cover when your cheeks are turning red while reading a particularly steamy part of a novel. That's not such a bad thing, you know. I mean, it could have made you laugh out loud. Which would not be so bad either … if you can still feel the sizzle.
In a way, some books are like far too many movies today, filled with sex scenes that do little for the story, but are obviously seen as essential to lure in the viewer or reader. And lure in, they do. Sometimes they deserve the attention they create. Often they don't.
Alright, time to fess up. First, let it be said, that in the end it's obviously about your personal reading preferences. Certain romance novels wouldn't sell if people weren't interested in reading them. Some people devour them, but I'm not one of them. Frankly, the idea of heaving bosoms and a velvet covered manhood makes me shiver. But not in a good way. Some authors will choose words that'll make you chuckle, because it's just too funny – and at the same time as far away from sexy as possible – while others will make your eyes pop out, because they are bordering on hard-core porn.
I'm not being judgmental here. To each their own.
Both as a reader and a writer, I feel that less is more. I'm not a prude, yet sometimes enough is enough and my mind ventures not to twisting between the sheets, but to the inevitable question of how some authors come up with such ludicrous descriptions.
I've read books that managed to majorly turn me on without anyone ever “openly” having sex in it. That tells you a lot about a writer's skills, if you ask me. The magic lies in letting the reader know what's going on, without the need to spell it out precisely. Believe me, a scene is a whole lot sexier if you can't see it all. So to speak.
But enough about reading. What about writing? You could say, I'm keeping a low profile when it comes to writing sex scenes. They do occur though. Yet, no heaving bosoms, ripping bodices and, God forbid, throbbing anythings. Yes, I'm keeping it brief. And certainly I'm not getting graphic. I just don't feel the need for it. You may argue that it's the writer's job to get a scene on paper. I agree. I say, it's the reader's job to use their imagination. It makes for better reading. Trust me.
But let's get back to those red cheeks I mentioned in the beginning. While the reader can anonymously hide behind a fat tome or a thick pore shrinking mask, preferably of green color, the writer can't. On the contrary, while the reader may find a love scene anything from touching to revolting, the writer already sealed his or her fate by having their name on the cover of the book. People will know what's going on in your dirty little mind. Oh yes.
And when the deed – of letting your characters do the deed – is done, the next step is to present it to an audience. In most cases an author will have a selected few who enjoy the honor or horror (it really depends) of reading it. If you, as the one who brought those words to paper, feel uncomfortable letting others read it, you've got a problem. The problem isn't the reader though. It's the text.
Able to read it out loudly and feeling the spark of passion? Great.
Feeling like a complete idiot? Not so good.
A fool-proof method, at least for me, is this: when you're feeling ok with your Mom and your best friend reading it, everything will be just fine.