“One thing I’ve learned in all these years is not to make love when you really don’t feel like it; there ‘s probably nothing worse you can do to yourself than that.” Norman Mailer
It’s also in my opinion, the worst thing you can do to a great story. I’ve read too many so called sexy books where sex is injected at random with no thought given to the characters readiness or the readers intelligence. I truly believe it’s because of these types of stories erotic romance gets a bad rap even from within the romance genre as a whole. Just because I write hot cops who have hot jungle love doesn’t mean they are of less character than those in a romantic suspense or inspirational. In fact, I find I work harder at their characterization to validate the hot love scenes. Going straight to the sex sans the emotion and sans a reason (and hell yes, sport fucking is a reason, but give me the reason, don’t insert sex here) in my opinion makes for bad reading.
Sex sells is true. Publishers world wide are counting on this to promote books and make some money. I wrote sexy stories long before they became en vogue, and I like to think my characters had something to say about where, when and how, not marketing.
Characterization is crucial. You can have a story with a lite plot, but with strong characterization it can be a heart-pounding, page-turning read. When the characters are shallow and one dimensional even with the greatest plot ever written, to me it’s a yawner. I want to be emotionally pulled into a book. Sex, lovemaking, flirting, foreplay, for me involves emotions. Cerebral foreplay is so damn sexy I can’t stand it. I love it, and am working diligently on honing that aspect of my characterization. It doesn’t all have to be about cock and pussy.
The book I’m writing for Pocket right now is tagged erotic suspense. My characters do not have sex, (not making love, but in your face up against the wall, sex :evil2:) until page 210 or so. Any earlier and it would have been insert sex here. That said, there is some serious cerebral foreplay going on as well as physical foreplay. I couldn’t wait to get these two between the sheets. :sunggle: Well they do eventually get between the sheets but have a couple of venues they hit before that, but what I’m saying is, sex before it’s time does not make it worth a readers time. I like that, I’ll make it my new mantra.
So, on that note I’d like to hear from those of you who read erotic romance to chime in with your favorite reads and why. I’m dying to pick up a book I won’t throw across the room.
In the mean time, write on.