Keeping It Real: Sex Scenes
Thanks so much, Dawn, for having me as a guest on the Reading Nook. I really appreciate the chance to connect with your readers.
Complaint of the day: I hate it when writers create love scenes that COULDN’T happen in real life. Like, I get that in reality, no super-sexy Johnny Depp lookalike is going to come running for my 50-year-old form, so when I read a romance, there’s an element of suspended disbelief from the very start. What I object to (and I’m not directing my criticism at any particular person here) are phrases like, “he slid my jeans off in one smooth motion”
I mean, really? One SMOOTH motion?
Unless you are under the age of 22 and wear pants that ride so low on your hips they threaten to slide off with every step, there is nothing smooth about a pair of jeans. In a real-life romantic moment, there’s some tugging involved. Or maybe some pulling. And there’s probably at least one awkward “ah, you’re lying on my hair”, if not an actual “ouch”.
I’m also not crazy about variations of “he parted my lips with his tongue”, because I never found that “he” needed to work that hard. My lips were already…okay, TMI, sorry. But you know what I mean? Unless you’re trying to foreshadow the taking of a character’s virginity through tongue games, I don’t find this particular detail all that necessary.
And then there are the writers who get confused about whether they’re writing a sex scene or giving an anatomy lesson. Like, call me old-school, but I NEVER want to read the word “labia” in a romance novel. Even for a ‘70s feminist like myself, words that you find in a textbook are too clinical and pull me out of the story.
So what’s a writer to do?
Well, a little real-life experience never hurt anybody. I’m going to guess that most every one of you reading this has some of that to draw on. I’d much rather read a scene that weaves in a thread of truth, even if it’s a little awkward, than a scene that reads like a mash-up of the last ten romances that crossed my Kindle. It’s harder to do but I think the pay-off is worth is. Maybe work in a little laughter or pulled hair or jeans that get stuck, if you know what I mean.
While in my own writing I tend to close the door when my characters end up in bed, I know that many of you are a lot bolder than that. Thank goodness! I may not be comfortable writing more than a strong PG rating, but I LOVE reading it. I think the emotional connections between characters are the fresh-baked bread of reading, and the physical connections are the yummy garlic-butter spread. Now let’s pour another glass of vino and turn on our Kindles, okay?
A Vampire's Deadly Delight by Liv Rancourt
She’s a quiet, unassuming bookstore owner by day, but by
Kristen has a deadly secret—when she smells a vampire, she
turns into Jai, a beauti-licious babe who makes vamps
permanently dead. To a vamp, Jai is like ambrosia. They can’t
resist her. She uses this attraction, plus her super strength and
her trusty blade, Mr. Sticky, to end their undead lives. The thrill
of wearing miniskirts without worrying about cellulite stifles
any qualms Kristen might have about killing the undead. Being
Jai is the most fun she has ever had—until they come up
against the one vampire Jai can’t kill. If he and Jai have a history,
as he claims, Jai can’t remember it...or him.
But when her work catches the attention of some old
enemies—who won’t hesitate to destroy Kristen if it also
means the end of Jai—this vampire may be their only hope.
Can Kristen and Jai learn to tell the difference between good
and evil in time to defeat Jai’s ancient nemesis? Or will being
Jai’s hostess cost Kristen more than just her beauty sleep?
Oops. This one was a just little more than I could handle...
I wasn’t alone. Vampire. Raw. Maybe a wild one. I looked up, nerves tingling because of the quick change to Kristen and back again. Saw him standing at one end of the alley, head turned to the side. Shakespeare’s profile, with the firm brow and the long straight nose. Streetlights glistened on his curls.
Very close, but not Shakespeare.
“I could tear your head off and let your blood mix with the bile and garbage and mud.” His voice was Shakespeare’s, too, but not quite. He moved enough to show the silhouette of the sword he was carrying.
I stood straighter, opened my arms a little. “Bring it.”
“Bitch.” He came at me too fast to see and smacked me across the face. My head hit the dumpster with a ringing crash.
I landed on one knee, grateful I was in boots. Upright, Mr. Sticky and I had a chance. If he got me on the ground, I was done.
His shadow towered over me. “The moon’s light begs mercy. She tells me to save you now that we might savor you together.”
“So much like him, but not Shakespeare.”
“Not Chaucer or Oscar Wilde, either, though they were both good men. I am Sir Hugh Robartes. You are nothing. You are dirt. You are dead.”
“You’re John’s brother.”
“Don’t say that name.”
His fist found my face again, knocking me back into the brick. I felt Mr. Sticky fly off into the shadows—then I was out.
About the Author:
Liv Rancourt writes paranormal and romance, often at the same time. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website (www.livrancourt.com), her blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt).