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S is for Sex Scenes in Novels #atozchallenge

Readers expect sex scenes in erotica novels and sometimes in romance novels, but with other genres, adding them in can be dicey.

Alan Annand’s crime novel Harm’s Way contains a sex scene, and at least one reader voiced disapproval about it on an Amazon review. I recall there was a sex scene, but either I’m jaded or that reader’s a prude, because it barely registered on my radar. At the time I read it, I thought it was well written and offered some character development, but I didn’t consider it graphic. Now I can’t remember the details.

My novels contain sex scenes.

It’s expected in the romance novels, but The Valiant Chronicles are SF, and that’s not a genre that always includes sex scenes.

Sometimes the scenes fade to black, but only when showing what happens would serve no purpose. For example, in A Ring of Truth, I don’t show the sexual encounters between the brainwashed victim and her exploiter. Knowing what’s going on is appalling enough.

While in The Experiencers sex is used to demonstrate characters’ moral codes and attitudes toward the opposite sex, in A Ring of Truth, it is used in other ways. One Amazon CA reviewer sums it up perfectly: “Sex is a weapon, a tool and a healing.”

One character, according to a reader, deserves to die because of his loose morals. Interestingly, the reader who said that was male. Female readers I’ve communicated with don’t agree.

Sex scenes, if they’re not gratuitous and move the story forward or provide character development, add a level of complexity to a story that enriches the reading experience. What a character thinks during or about sex is enlightening. Characters’ sexual relationships are as telling as their relationship to food.


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