Sex Sells, But…

I write romance and erotic romance, it’s how I hope to make my money. But I didn’t choose this genre because of the possible money aspect. I actually fell into it when I agreed to co-author a romance novel with a writer friend. I found I loved it and I had a knack for writing romance. I didn’t find the sex scenes the least bit embarrassing or awkward to write. But that’s not everyone.

Just because sex sells, it doesn’t mean that you should write it. I’ve noticed in the 14 years that I’ve been studying the market that the best sex scenes work when the author is comfortable with their writing, but not every novel needs sex to float. I’ve read books were the sex scenes were awful and added nothing to the story. You tell it was placed in there just to sale the book.  Take out the sex and the book would have done great without, probably would have been a better book.

In this day and age sex is more open and sought after by readers, but not all readers. There are those readers who prefer clean fiction-whether that be romance or paranormal fiction. Sex might sale and sale good, but if you are not one of those comfortable writing sex scenes and describing all the “dirty” details, then why should you. There are readers out there that are not comfortable reading about sex.

I have an author friend who started out writing clean romances, found she was missing something, added sex and loved it. Some of her readers didn’t. She gets hounded to place less sex in her books or put it behind closed doors.

If you don’t want to write sex scenes, then don’t feel pressured to cross your comfort zone. However, if you some day want to be comfortable writing about sex. Then work from where you are comfortable and slowly add to it. Increase the amount of sensuality in a scene (i.e. petting, kissing, emotional need, etc), or the amount of sex. Push yourself a little further each time.

If you are like me and comfortable writing about sex, why stop yourself? Use a pen name if you don’t want people to get confused. Hide your double writing life. Whatever makes you comfortable. If you are one of those who don’t like writing about sex, then don’t. It comes out awkward and sometimes quite humorous. Trust me on this…or not, after all who am I to you?


Found this link about Writing Sex Scenes and thought I’d share it: “We all know that sex sells. But when it comes to writing, it can be difficult to pull off a sex scene. In certain genres (like general fiction and memoir), a writer takes a big risk by exposing nitty-gritty details.” Writing Sex Scenes: How Much Is Too Much? By Writers Relief Staff

6 thoughts on “Sex Sells, But…

  1. Mari Miniatt October 14, 2010 / 8:50 pm

    I wrote erotica years ago. I still get fan emails. So I know I can write it and it will be good. The thing is, the story has to support it. And right now I don’t have anything in which a sex scene would add to the story. I have one in which it would be easy to add them to it, but I think the story is fine without it.

    One of these days I might get the spark again

    • Stephannie Beman October 14, 2010 / 9:56 pm

      I agree. There is a time a place for sex in a book. And there are those stories where they aren’t needed. Too many people add sex, just to sell the book.

      • Ruth Ann Nordin October 15, 2010 / 12:02 am

        Amen! And I skip those sex scenes because of that.

    • Ruth Ann Nordin October 15, 2010 / 12:01 am

      Your first book was so good it didn’t need sex to support it, and I’m a huge fan of sex scenes. But I read your book and didn’t miss it, which proves you were right to listen to your gut instinct on this. I hope to get to your second book in the next couple months once my writing commitments die down. 🙂

  2. Joleene Naylor October 19, 2010 / 4:26 am

    Glad to see you posted this here, too!

  3. Edward Gordon August 12, 2012 / 7:55 pm

    It’s true. If you want to write romance, you have to be able to write erotica. If you can’t for whatever reason (embarrassment, family, work, whatever), then you have to pick another genre. I can write all kinds of violence with a passion, but sex makes me squeamish. So write horror, not romance.

Comments are closed.