Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Addicts discussion

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General Discussion > Sex in paranormal romance/urban fantasy books

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

There's been some discussion lately—thanks to Fifty Shades—about the amount of sex in books. I'm specifically interested in the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genre. That's what I write in, and I've included a couple of sex scenes in each of my books because that's what I assumed readers want. Is it?
Here's the link to the poll, if you'd like to take part. http://timamarialacoba.blogspot.com.a...


message 2: by T. (new)

T. Stedman (tstedman) | 6 comments Hi Tima,
Paranormal covers a wide spectrum of sexual content, and has done long before 50 shades. I write primarily for myself, so if i cringe reading it, then the chances are someone else will be too. You can't please all the people all the time, either, so write what fits the plot, the characters and you.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks T, that's exactly what I try to do. Although our readers are important to consider, the story should dictate whether an intimate scene is necessary. In my books, I used it to develop the relationship between the characters as well as it being an essential part of the plot.


message 4: by Krysta (new)

Krysta (krystafig) | 4089 comments I think in any genre, as long as the sex is relevant, then I'm OK with it.
The explicit nature is not what bothers me as much as when authors create a great story, and then throw in a random sex scene just to add a sex scene.
If it is believable, I'm all for it! If it feels out-of-place, I'm not a fan.
For example, I've lost interest in the Anita Blake series because I feel like all the sex now seems forced. I understand why it is now such a constant thing, but I feel like the constant sex does not match the character that Laurell K. Hamilton has tried to create in Anita. It doesn't match, so the sex scenes bother me and I tend to skim them anymore because I'm just annoyed.


message 5: by T. (new)

T. Stedman (tstedman) | 6 comments I agree. The pressure is definitely on us to cram as much sex in as possible, so keeping it relevant is key.
The thing i totally hate is when authors use really crude words to describe body parts or what they are doing.
I don't think i'm alone in saying i like my romantic fiction to be hot not grot!


message 6: by Krysta (new)

Krysta (krystafig) | 4089 comments I agree!!!!
I don't need crude, vulgarity with the steamy scenes. Sometimes less is better in that aspect.


message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 24, 2015 08:02PM) (new)

I agree, T and Krysta. You want the love scene to be tastefully done and draw you into the emotion of the moment. Actually it'd be interesting to do a poll on sex scene anatomy - which terms should we use/shouldn't use? Thanks for your comments :-)


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) A couple of scenes is fine - honestly, if it's a UF series, I'd rather not have sex in the first book unless it's part of the plot. I like developing relationship between characters, believable connection, exciting build-up.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Tima wrote: "I agree, T and Krysta. You want the love scene to be tastefully done and draw you into the emotion of the moment. Actually it'd be interesting to do a poll on sex scene anatomy - which terms should..."
I'm with you T, Krysta and Erin. A sex scene is a very intimate thing and I believe that should be reflected in the language used.


message 10: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Watts | 36 comments My new novel, Witchlight, is paranormal. It's written for adults and there is a brief sex scene in it. It's necessary for character and plot development. I don't know if readers want it or not, but the book needed it. I've had good comments about the book and no complaints about the sex. My previous novel, A Darker Moon,a combination of magic realism and dark fiction, had more sex in it, but that was also necessary given the nature of the story and the characters. Likewise I've had only favourable comments about the sex, though some people seem to find the book steamier than I think of it.


message 11: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Glynn (nancyglynn) I have one main sex scene between my main characters, which develops the plot further and is needed. I try to create sexual tension, which can be more enticing than an actual sex act. The rest of my book is suggestive and uses imagination. They have to make sense or is just not needed.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Norinne (rebeccanorinne) Krysta wrote: "I think in any genre, as long as the sex is relevant, then I'm OK with it.
The explicit nature is not what bothers me as much as when authors create a great story, and then throw in a random sex sc..."


I stopped reading the Anita Blake series when she started having sex with her wolves while they were in, or shifting into, wolf form. And I gave up on Hamilton's Merry Gentry series when the entirety of the plot was driven by who could impregnate that character in the midst of many assassination attempts. It all become just too much for me as a reader. As an author, I like my books to have sex scenes in them because part of what makes the paranormal world so foreign and exciting - at least in my opinion - is the sensuality and fantasy, which I think is enhanced by a good sex scene.


message 13: by Kiersten, Mod (new)

Kiersten Fay (kierstenfay) | 501 comments Mod
For me, sex is a natural part of a good, healthy relationship, and when written well, can be fun to read. And though I like a good amount of sex in my paranormal romances, it shouldn't be the only reason the characters are together. When written poorly, it can make the reader cringe or skip ahead. I prefer a strong passionate connection over trite sex scenes full of purple prose, but if there's no sex, I feel a little hollow after reading a romance novel. Like I missed a chapter or something.


message 14: by Nicole (last edited Sep 15, 2015 04:45PM) (new)

Nicole (nicoleminsk) | 19 comments I am so glad someone is talking about this! I struggled over the sex scenes in my paranormal book, "I Know How You Feel: The Sensate." You see, my main character, Hani Kalua, discovers he's become a Sensate, a supernatural being who lives off the sensations of others: what they taste, what they smell, their sexual experiences. He typically discovers his supernatural powers during sex, so I have sex scenes intrinsic to the plot. (i.e. the book isn't just a series of sex scenes, even though there are some very racey ones. In fact, when I workshopped my novel on an authors' workshopping website it won an Editor's Choice Award from the current Editor of the prestigious F&SF Magazine.)

I Know How You Feel The Sensate by Nicole Minsk http://NicoleMinsk.com


message 15: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Wright (everealm) | 15 comments My series has plenty of sex scenes in it and most of my readers are older YA to NA age. I don't go anywhere near as detailed as 50 shades, but I'm more descriptive than most (fluffy) romance novels. One of my scenes is sex mid-air (wizards can make love-making a bit more fun, don't you think?) and I've gotten compliments on it.

I think that if your characters are adults, then you should be realistic in portraying their lives and let's face it, sex is part of life. Intimacy is part of being in a relationship. Then again, I am comfortable writing it. Some aren't. So I say just write what you feel comfortable writing. Every book has an audience and you'll find it eventually.


message 16: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Wright (everealm) | 15 comments Kiersten wrote: "For me, sex is a natural part of a good, healthy relationship, and when written well, can be fun to read. And though I like a good amount of sex in my paranormal romances, it shouldn't be the only ..."

I completely agree! I once read a "romance" novel with ZERO intimacy in it. Not even a good kiss scene. Yet, the readers are supposed to believe that the couple is in love... Huh?? It would have been easy to say something like, "She took his hand and led him to her bedroom." Or anything to give a hint to some bow-chicka-wow-wow happening. But, no. Nothing. I felt like the author was pranking me..

Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of "clean" books aimed at readers who want those stories and I am ALL for those. This particular book wasn't supposed to be one of those.


message 17: by Tina (new)

Tina I would love to read a new release or an older paranormal romance! I'm not picky, just grateful. Thank you,


message 18: by Astor (new)

Astor Teller (AstorETeller) | 11 comments Going by what I've read so far in all the replies to this thread, it just goes to show that Sex really does sell.

The Paranormal/horror genre has always walked hand in hand with sex. This is mainly down to the 'damsel in distress' scenario, which is even today still the basic nuts and bolts plot-line for many a horror story.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

It's been an excellent discussion and I've enjoyed everyone's input. My own books do contain some sex scenes, but the story does not revolve around it. Too much sex, and it turns me off - I like a story.


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