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Sex in books too much or not enough?

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Sex in books too much or not enough?

Postby Misfit » Sat September 6th, 2008, 10:16 pm

I'm starting this thread as myself and a couple of my Amazon threads got going on about it over at one of my reviews (feel free to drop in and comment there) and I thought I'd carry it further over here.

Are writers putting more sex into books because the publishers tell them to because that's what they think the readers want? Or are the writers putting more in because that's what they think the readers want? Is more sex really what the readers want?

Anyway, we have so many authors (and readers) participating here I thought I'd start the topic and see what everyone else thought. Personally, I think a good author can set the tension and attraction between a couple without all that graphic overly detailed play by play that's become so common in the romance genre.

Also, I recall seeing posted on a board somewhere a link to a site that rated romance books according to steaminess levels. Any one know where I can find that? My friend Judy would be forever grateful.

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sat September 6th, 2008, 11:22 pm

Well, sex sells so I'm guessing that publishers want more sex. Of course I'm not a published author and I'm just speculating.

I like sex in my books but sometimes there is overkill. White Rose Rebel, or whatever it was called was a book that seemed mroe like a romance novel than a book of historical fiction. An author has to walk a fine line there. but what are they to do if their publisher wants more sex?
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Juniper
Scribbler
Interest in HF: I studied English Literature and History at college. Historical fiction blends my two passions together in one neat package.
Location: Missouri, USA
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Postby Juniper » Sat September 6th, 2008, 11:36 pm

I'm not a big lover of romance novels. Yes, the majority of the books I read (HF of course) have a romantic theme in them somewhere but it's not so prominant as to make me think of the book as a romance novel. Yet that's just me; I've heard many differing opinions on what constitutes as a romance novel.

As for the amount of sex in a novel, in my own opinion I actually enjoy HF novels with sex in them. As long as it's not overly violent sex, then I don't mind at all if there are a lot of sex scenes in a book. If there happens to be a romantic theme in a book then sex scenes to me just make the book more realistic. Or even if the sex occurs outside of a romantic theme, as long as I feel the sex is in keeping with the protagonist and the context of the book, then I have no problem.

I haven't read that many books where I've felt the sex was in there for no good reason. The only genre of books I would say that it would feel 'natural' for there to be, say, a sex scene in every chapter would be self-proclaimed 'erotica'. If that were the case, then it's what you would expect! :p

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LCW
Compulsive Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby LCW » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:03 am

I like a good steamy novel but I can do without too much detail. I like the amount of sex in SKP's novels and the way she describes it. I do read HR but even in those it needs to be used sparingly and well done.

Personally, I think it's a vicious cycle. Sex does sell so publishers most likely want it but then I think it "wets" (pardon the pun :eek: ) the public's appetite for more and you have a vicious cycle going on.
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
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How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:06 am

I don't care for books marketed as romance novels, tho I certainly enjoy romance in books I read. I can take or leave sexual details; I have a very vivid imagination, and with just a few words know well what is about to happen or what has already happened in that time! If an author is good, she can write the details in such a way that it only adds to the story and the relationship of the couple in the story. But I don't need lots of hot steamy sex, it does nothing for me and I am apt to just flip the pages. Explicit details of rape horrify me, and I am more apt to toss the book aside than to read further
Last edited by Ash on Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:25 am

Sex does sell, so I can see why more is being used in novels. Now, in the historical fiction gendre, I do enjoy romance if that is what the story calls for historically speaking. Whether the author choses to be graffic in describing sex scenes, that is not what I am actually looking for personally. A good author can create the sexual tension and chemistry between a couple without having to get down and dirty if you know what I mean. In historical fiction, I am mainly looking for a good novel, with historical accuracy (at least somewhat accurate) and with characters with some depth to them. Whether they have sex or not is not the important thing. Now if the gendre is Historical Romance, I think it is appropriate to have the graffic sex scenes, cause frankly, that is what you expect, especially if you have the bodice ripping covers!
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Sun September 7th, 2008, 12:30 am

"Misfit" wrote:Also, I recall seeing posted on a board somewhere a link to a site that rated romance books according to steaminess levels. Any one know where I can find that? My friend Judy would be forever grateful.


Yup found it, at least I hope this is the one you were thinking about. It is the All About Romance site. Here is the link.

http://www.likesbooks.com/top1002007results.html
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sun September 7th, 2008, 3:08 am

I have to say I make a point not to read romance historical fiction like ash. I dont mind a little dirty stuff in my books, but I dont think I could read pages upon pages of sex.
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boswellbaxter
Bibliomaniac
Location: North Carolina
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Postby boswellbaxter » Sun September 7th, 2008, 3:58 am

I prefer books where more, rather than less, is left to the imagination. Sometimes what's left unsaid can be far sexier than having every last detail spelled out for the reader.
Last edited by boswellbaxter on Sun September 7th, 2008, 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lady of the Forest
Scribbler

Postby Lady of the Forest » Sun September 7th, 2008, 4:53 am

I know a lot of people complain about sex within books, but I cannot say it really bothers me. I will not enjoy a book less becasue it does not have sex scenes in it, but just as well, with books that do, I really do not mind at all. It seems silly to me when a book really over does it, but I have only had that happen once, when it got too much, where I just thought it was stupid. But other than that, either way I don't really care.
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