Good Sex and Writing: Go Hand In Hand

March 19, 2006 | Writing

Jan Springer, erotic romance writer, is answering questions on my website this month, and so far it’s been great. She’s very open and honest about writing, and about writing sex. I’ve updated the writing page with questions from Sloane Taylor. If you have any questions you want to ask her, do it now. I’ll also update my blog with her answers this week.

The issue of how much sex should be in a romance, is discussed by romance writers on a regular basis. Boy, have some of those discussions gotten heated! Some writers don’t believe overt sexual acts should be in romance. It should be left to the reader’s imagination. Well, if you give the reader something solid to imagine, I think they’ll enjoy reading romance more. Plus, readers now have a multitude of writers to choose from that fit their idea of romance and sex. I took Jan Springer’s erotica workshop last year, and found it tremendously helpful in writing my love scenes. I can’t do the erotic stuff, but I discovered I can write a heated, passionate love scene without using the ‘direct terms’ Jan and other erotic writers do.

Recently, I listened to the RWA Conference tape from the workshop, It’s Not Just Sex – An Insider’s look at Erotic Romance. Jaci Burton, Cricket Starr, and Mardi Ballou were the panelists. My Chicago North Chapter President, Simone was the moderator. Simone writes young adult and will guesting on my Writing Page in a couple of months. Anyway, the writers talked about what an erotic romance was, and what it wasn’t. They all agreed if you took out the sex scenes, you should still have a romance. There must be a relationship. It might be a multiple relationship, and the story must have meaning and plot. Endless sex scenes are boring, and are not erotic romance. That’s porn. “Oh baby, can you feel me?” “Yeah baby, I can feel you.” “Oh baby, do I make you hot?” “Yes baby, you make me hot.” Is not erotic romance writing.

The sex is for the characters and for the reader to enjoy. Erotic writers must make the readers ache for sex, the sexual tension must be high. The writing must be of a high caliber, if the reader thinks she’s being cheated, and there’s no happily ever after, then she’s wasted her money, and won’t buy another one of that writer’s books. As in all romance writing, the story must make you believe you are part of the action, or for some, watching and enjoying what’s going on. As Jan says, it can add some spice to your own love life.

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