Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Erotica Schmotica: We Want Romance In Our Sex


I was scrolling through Amazon, killing some time, when I came across a book called "Here, Kitty, Kitty" by Shelly Laurenston. Loved the title and took a look at her other books.

It seems they all have one thing in common, to wit: sex is the main ingredient. More than one review lamented that an interesting plot line was secondary to the (very) numerous graphic sex scenes and that the characters are not as well defined as they could have been. Although the books appear to have humor, essentially they seem to be one big fuckfest.

That got me to thinking (always a dangerous thing!). Most of these books have 4 stars, so obviously there are people out there who like sex. I like it myself, as a matter of fact.

But I have a strange kick in my giddyup - I like my sex to be secondary to plot and character. In other words, not gratuitous.

Don't get me wrong - I went through a porn phase, or erotica or whatever - even tried to write it. That was a massive failure, I might add; it's harder to write good erotica than some might think. Not my forte, lol.

But as a reader, I demand a damn plot! And I want to see a character grow and change, become someone I care about. I want to root for a HEA, I want the characters to work at it and I want the sex to be a natural outcome of it all.

These books may have all that; I don't know, I've never read one. From the descriptions, I doubt that I will. I love shifters, so it's a shame.

How much sex is too much for you? Do you buy your books for the erotica, or do you demand a cohesive story and believable characterizations?


I love some good, hot sexxoring just as much as the next gal but it's gotten kind of ridiculous nowadays. One glance between the smouldering hero and kick-ass heroine and suddenly they're burning up the bedsheets.

In real life the guy you sleep with on a first date generally isn't the guy you're spending the rest of your life with. so why does fiction hold thisdifferently?

And I'd like an explanation for how the physical act of sex is so different with the right man, ie the hero, that it's a promised HEA?

Okay, I'm running off track here. Back to the question...

The hottest sex ever is between people you've invested in. And I don't invest in characters in the first chapter usually. So I want the physical act of their relationship to take place after I buy into them emotionally.

The best sex I ever read wasn't erotic but rather part of the growth of what was happening between people who truly loved each other.

Anyone else?


  1. I was hoping someone else would ask, but okay, I'll bite the bullet. ;-)

    Please do elaborate on the 'best sex I ever read', Lori. Who, what and when?? (And did I read it too ...)

  2. I was just coming in to ask Carolyn :P

    I have to agree on the whole story over sex thing. I also have to admit to writing some 'erotica'... it started as a private joke and was meant in fun and didn't need a story - just sex. I found as I went on though that I was spending 10 pages to get to the sex part, which defeated the purpose of the story. I'm more about the journey than the act. The fact that I can't write decent sex might have something to do with it...


    Maybe it's 'cause I'm old fashioned but with sex being so evident in everything these days - music clips, movies, ads for everything from cars to hair products - it's nice to come across a story/movie every now and then when it's about all the little stuff. Sure, having dinner with the family or taking the kids to school might not be sexy but they're part of life. Sex is just a smidge of it and shouldn't be the total focus in all that we do.

    Just my thoughts...

  3. Yeah I'd like to know too!
    I've bought the madness of Lord Ian McKenzie on the basis of your recs. I have high hopes for it.

    I'm with you both on the other point. I think that sex/erotica/romance MUST be part of the characters' journey, not the destination.

    If I don't have a reason to care about the characters, become invested in their relationship, it just doesn't work for me.

    I read some Stephanie Laurens last year. It was a short story that was nominated for a RITA award (it might have even won) and I thought that the VERY graphic sex scene half way through seemed to have been inserted (pun intended) totally randomly - and bore very little relationship to what was going on in the story.
    Frankly I was disappointed. esp as she is a fellow Aussie.

    I take your point about writing erotica Carolyn. I find it daunting - and sometimes I find writing less (graphic) is more ( romantic).

    Just my two cents anyway.

  4. Oh didn't see you there Lea! Yeah I agree with you 100%

  5. That's ok Cheryl. A lot of people don't see me...



  6. I see you Lea although you look like a potted plant sometimes with those twigs on your head.

    Anyway, the hottest sex I ever read was in Crazy For You by Jennifer Cruisie (I read it to you on the phone Carolyn) where she's sliding in and out of logical thinking. I loved it because it was sensual, funny and not nasty.

  7. Thanks... I think!

    And I'll have to look for that one. Thanks for the heads up Lori...



  8. Ah - Jennifer Crusie. Say no more!

    We'll have to do a post on her one day. :-)