Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sex vs. Sensuality

A student undergoing a word-association test was asked why a snowstorm put him in mind of sex. He replied frankly: "Because everything does." ~Honor Tracy

In my latest WIP, my heroine has serious issues with intimacy, both physical and emotional. The poor hero will have to take everything VERY slow with her... thus leading to my question for all of you:

Would you continue to read a romance where the relationship isn't consummated until the very end? Do you think that a high level of sexual tension without "the act" is enough for you? In this era of erotica, I'm curious as to your feelings on this.

I have no intentions of this being a "sweet" romance. There will be sexual tension and I imagine that the book will be full of what would basically be foreplay... but it would be terribly out of character for my heroine to engage in premarital sex because of her background.

What think you? Is no sex okay if the book is still sensual? What do you require in your romance reading in regards to the physical aspects of the story?


Ceri said...

Personally I prefer romance over sex in a book, if I had to pick one or the other. I don't see a problem with waiting til the end of the story for them to consumate their relationship as long as the tension is there. That being said, none of my 3 finished manuscripts have my characters waiting LOL, but the scenes go from pretty steamy in the first to not too descriptive in the 3rd.

I have a hard time writing erotica (although you couldn't tell from one of my wips which is pretty, um, hot). In fact the one I'm working on now (a fantasy) may be pretty hot, but the other one I'm working on (a contemporary) may go in the opposite direction.

Did that help? Probably not. LOL

aohucit-any oranges held united cause irritability troubles.

MaryF said...

I'm with Ceri - romance over sex.

Marianne Arkins said...

I can't help but think that, in some circumstances, a simple touch can be more erotic that intercourse -- and that's what I'm going to try for in this book.

Glad to see I'm not alone. Anyone else have their .02?

Judy said...

Hi... I'm with the consensus so far. I much prefer romance over sex... as a matter of fact, there have been times I've put down a book because there is too much sex too early and too much detail. I like the idea of tension though... and a lot of time the more the actual sexual act is put off, the more tension there is.

My .02 worth :-)

darcy said...

As you know, I'm not a romance reader so I'm not sure my .02 counts for anything -- but I never let that stop me before ;^) I'm all about the sensuality. In fact, I think one of the things that keeps me from reading romance is the whole Must Have Sex by Page X factor. It just freaks me out. I mean, the H & H are bumbling along, growing a quite nice little relationship, then Boom, they're all over each other in an elevator, or on the kitchen floor, or ...

Some of my favorite books ever have an almost tediously slow lead up to sex. There's a whole lot of accidentally brushing against each other before there's even a single kiss and each stage is accompanied by much angst-y thoughts about should I? would he?

I like it that way. By the time the characters get down to doing the deed, I'm right there with them -- rooting them on.

Maybe it's just me but I don't think so. Think about popular television shows -- Cheers and Moonlighting come to mind. People were absolutely wild with anticipation for those shows --> until the H & H actually did it, then they're popularity fell off quickly.

I vote for sensuality.

darcy said...

their vs they're. dur.