Carla Cassidy Books – Don't Turn Out The Lights!

October 23, 2009

Sex and the reader

Filed under: Uncategorized — carlacassidy @ 12:30 am

Maybe I’m old.  Maybe I’m cranky, but does it seem like more and more authors are sacrificing plot and characterization for sex scenes?  And I’m not talking about the erotica genre.

I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal.  I love the world-building and there’s nothing better than a sexy vampire or werewolf, but it seems the last ten or twelve books I’ve read has been filled with the horniest people I’ve ever known!

In danger of losing your life? Have sex. Need a good conversation to cure some conflict?  Have sex. Hungry for bacon and eggs?  Have sex.  And these aren’t your garden variety sex scenes – they go on forever!   Page after page after page of grunting and groaning, of descriptions of body parts I prefer not to know.

Maybe it’s just me.  Maybe after being married for so long I’m just plain sexed out.  I’m certainly not a prude and believe that sex is an important element of a romance novel, but I want more than sex! 

What do you think?  Is there too much sex in the books that are being published today or do I just need a healthy dose of hormones?


  1. LOL! Carla, there is nothing less satisfying to an author (or anyone, else I suspect) than picking up a book, expecting the character-driven books that transport them to a place where they are willing to suspend their belief system and just enjoy the journey…and being disappointed. Yes, I’m an erotic romance writer but without the romance my characters wouldn’t have any reason to have sex and I’m actually proud of that fact.

    There’s a market for “the journey of sexual discovery” and I’ve read some books that I enjoy, but I think these days too many in the mainstream market might be trying to both straddle markets and the way they do it is to throw in some sex.

    I used to read an excellent paranormal author whose work was darkly erotic but the sex was an erotic undercurrent, a tangible emotion that was present on the page. Unfortunately, when she shifted the focus from the fascinating plots and the wonderful characters to the sex, she lost me as a reader because the story wasn’t there. I don’t think you need a dose of hormones. You might just need to try some different authors. Give Charlaine Harris a whirl. The Sookie Stackhouse books are a wonderful and so is her “Grave” series (I think there are three or four now).

    Sorry for being so long-winded. As you can tell, I haven’t been getting out much;-)

    Comment by Paris Brandon — October 23, 2009 @ 1:23 am | Reply

    • Paris,
      I think you’re right about the mainstream market trying to straddle the line and as far as I’m concerned in many cases doing it unsuccessfully. Wshen I pick up an erotica novel, I know exactly what I’m getting. I know that the sex is going to be an integral part of the story. But, I don’t expect the same kind of focus on the sex when I pick up books in other genres.

      Of course, I also don’t have a cell phone or an Ipod. I kick and scream each time I have to learn something new on the computer and suspect it really is a case of I’m old and cranky!


      Comment by carlacassidy — October 23, 2009 @ 2:00 pm | Reply

  2. Always have to have a plot or I get bored reading page after page of sex for sex purposes only. Maybe vampires and werewolves are just naturally horny so authors let them loose to “do their thing” over and over again.

    Get a damn cell phone. And, an ebook reader (hint). I don’t have an Ipod either, and seem to manage without one…for now.

    Erotica books are normally a journey of sex episodes. No commitment, self-satisfaction discoveries.

    Erotic romance stories should have a decent plot, conflict, and monogamous relationships. Sex happens in these stories, but should move the relationship along, not be the focus.

    Ellora’s Cave publishes both Erotica and Erotic romance books, and there’s a definite difference in guidelines and requirements.

    Then again, Carla, maybe the “younger” generation of readers are horny more than we were at their age…or are now…and lust after sex scenes, the more the merrier, so some publishers cater to that demand!

    Comment by Marianne Stephens — October 23, 2009 @ 3:06 pm | Reply

  3. Carla,

    I hate sex for sex’s sake and to me it’s boring. In my new book, Addiction, my heroine has self-esteem issues and she uses sex to give her a sense of power. It’s sad but true but there are many young girls out there today who think like that. In fact, in my day I had friends who felt that way. They wanted more than sex but because of their low self-esteem that’s all they ended up with. Our younger generation is even worse off than my generation because they talk trash to each other. You ho’e and the like. It’s absolutely disgusting, and it’s no wonder the boys show them no respect. I have a neighbor who fills in for teachers at the high school, and she says it’s even worse at the South Parkville High School where all the rich kids go.

    Comment by Sandy — October 24, 2009 @ 7:27 pm | Reply

  4. lot’ of good topics i really enjoyed reading this blog keep up the good work….

    Comment by dalena johnson — November 3, 2009 @ 6:04 am | Reply

  5. Hey, I totally agree. I think a sex scene should be crafted and it should be important to the story. I think some sex scenes turn people off and they turn to another genre that isn’t so graffic…if they can find them anymore. Maybe Alan in Two and a Half Men has it right… (he was talking about boobs) “It’s in our face from the time we’re born.” And a good story is a reprieve.

    Comment by Judy — November 3, 2009 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  6. Carla,

    I must say I agree with you. I love a sensual story, particulary ones where the sex is treated as character, and you really learn something about your hero and heroine by the emotions/physicality in the sex scenes. A real master at doing this is Lisa Kleypas…her stories can be very sexy, but the sex is well set up and you learn something about the characters from it.

    In too many books I read these days, I find myself skimming–sex scenes in particular. If they are not absolutely integral to the story and truly given to me in the POV emotion of the characters, I get bored. And I’ve only been married 10 years 🙂

    I’m sure authors are hearing that sex sells, and I’m sure it does. Me, I’ll follow my instincts and write what feels right (until an editor tells me she’ll buy it if I add more sex, and then WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU MA’AM!!!)

    Comment by Heather Snow — November 9, 2009 @ 3:39 am | Reply

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