Even after all these years and countless books, we still talk books almost every day. Usually these discussions are about the action and suspense or the emotion of a book, especially if the book turns us into blubbering messes. Although we love a good dirty talking alpha, sex scenes are a topic we’ll touch upon but rarely go on about unless it is horribly bad. That is until that one day when we were chatting about a particularly bad run of sex scenes and decided we needed to have a full on discussion.
Why a sex talk:
Spice: So maybe we should chat about what brought us here?
Sparkles: Because lately we’ve found duds?
Spice: I find myself skimming a lot of sex scenes.
Lily: I was about to admit to skimming too. Why do I skim?
Sparkles: (Sigh…) Because more and more they make sex a huge part of the story and not in a good way.
Spice: I’ve even been putting the books down in the middle of sex scenes. What the hell is up with that?
Sparkles: I’ve enjoyed more reading about a couple with great chemistry and super steamy kisses and fade to black that actual sex scenes lately
Spice: I’m not that far gone yet. I need my books to have a bit of spice, but I need that spice to matter. Spice should always matter, LOL.
Lily: Sex has become the new filler.
Spice: Yes. Filler. Sex should never be filler, in real life or in books.
Lily: Virgins -unless it is expected due to age or opportunity, it’s enough to turn me off reading. In some books, it’s like they have a cherry so they have no brain. Just giggly basket cases. Ugh.
Spice: LOL. I don’t mind virgins at all, except I’m not all about the hero virgins. I need my guy to know what he’s doing so he can make it good for her. And I’m not falling for the old virgin Hero who knows how to hit the spot perfectly the first time all because he’s watched some pornos.
Sparkles: I’m always a bit surprised by the…pornish feel to it? Like she’s a virgin who can deep throat, or they are doing anal on the first time… Shit like that. No pun intended
Spice: OMG. That pun. So lucky I didn’t have a mouth full of tea. The porn star virgin is so much worse than the virgin who says “Is that going to fit?” And those poor virgins who end up getting it on allllll night long, over and over and over. All I can think about is the impending UTI. That is not a hot thought. Okay. I was wrong, I obviously have a lot of issues with virgin sex scenes, LOL.
Lily: Although Jamie Fraser from Outlander was a virgin-but he also notes he wasn’t a monk…
Spice: You just had to bring up Jaime, LOL. Well, obviously he did a lot of heavy petting, LOL. Much better than watching porn flicks for experience. His motto certainly worked out for him! (I Am Ready! And, yes… yes, he was)
Wait… how does that work?
Sparkles: And as long as we’re talking sex… I have this thing that I’ve never been able figure out. When we’re talking a super tall guy, and the heroine hardly reaches his chest. And they’re having sex, and he’s on top. How in the hell does he suck on her tits??? Doesn’t he have a spine????
Spice: Sparkles, you must be very visual because you are always the one to notice when they must have an extra arm or two. You should offer beta reading services for sex scenes.
Lily: I want to know how they manage to do the thumb circling trick from what seems like impossible scenarios.
Spice: My question is what is with all these women and their waterfalls? Jeez. Some of these women get so wet, I feel like they need to go to the doctor and get that checked.
Sparkles: Yeah, sometimes they are overflowing. Right?
Lily: It all comes down to TMI about the mechanics and not enough about the emotion.
It’s All In The Timing:
Spice: I hate it when they have sex at the worst times. Like we are on the run in the woods, bad guys are after us, so let’s stop in this grove of trees and get it on. I’m all like “I can’t get into this and I’m reading it. How the hell are you two getting into it?”
Lily: Yep, I hate sex getting in the way of a good story.
Spice: Yes! It’s like things are ramping up, you’re on the edge of your seat with suspense and… we interrupt this program for an inappropriate sex scene. Then I’m annoyed and think they are both TSTL. They’ve become the couple in horror films that always gets whacked while doing the deed. They kind of deserve it for being that freaking stupid.
It’s all about the words:
Sparkles: Wordssss. This is going to be funny.
Lily: Thrust. Impale. OMG. Need I continue?
Spice: I don’t mind a thrust. But just one as in “He thrust home”. But then they need to add something else. Impale makes me think he’s so long she’s feeling it in her throat and not in a good way.
Sparkles: That’s exactly what I was going to say, Spice.
Lily: Impaling evokes pain. Although I read thrust the other day and went back and highlighted it. Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me because it was surrounded by quality writing.
Sparkles: I think most words work as long as the scene is working. Save a few exceptions. Like scissoring. Scissoring is a word I do not like to picture ever while reading a sex scene.
Spice: Scissoring sounds painful, too! Sometimes they overuse certain words, or they come up with sheer ridiculousness. Like the biker who put his hand on his “hardening length to jack off.” I read that a week ago and it still has me shaking my head. A biker wouldn’t think that. EVER!
Sparkles: Another one: when they say penis. I don’t think a guy would ever say “penis” referring to his own member.
Spice: Guys tend to just call it a dick and move on. Or they have some goofy assed nickname for it like Sex Pistol, Womb Raider or Vlad the Impaler.
Sparkles: I’d rather read pussy than cunt. Or cunny. OMG, that one is so horrendous.
Lily: I hate the C word.
Spice: Cunt’s not my favorite, but it’s better than something flowery, like her lady garden. Gag.
Sparkles: You mean like her secret garden with the hidden pearl?
Lily: Secret garden makes me think she needs to do some grooming down there. I think any bloke who “thought” the words secret and hidden needs someone to take charge and show him the ropes.
Spice: Hidden pearl is used all the time now. Eye rolling. Folds or petals is just stupid. They say folds and I’m thinking one of those wrinkly dogs…
Lily: Not in my books Laurie
Spice: Well, lucky you. Why can’t they just call a clit a clit?
Lily: It’s probably the one correct term that works.
Spice: Button works in a pinch, I guess. But if they say love button, all bets are off.
Sparkles: When they say “it shyly came out”
Lily: Like a frickin’ turtle.
Spice: Peeking out at them… How big are some of these things? Really, it comes down to I’d prefer a simple sex scene full of emotion rather than ridiculous words.
Spice: Do you care about safety?
Lily: Sometimes. I have no problem distinguishing between stories and real life.
Sparkles: I love surprise babies, and usually books aren’t really following reality. So that’s a sometimes for me.
Spice: It depends with me too. Biker books where club whores are involved and then the guy goes bare with the girl…yuck.
Lily: I was reading a book the other day and they didn’t use protection. He was a stranger who wanted to come in her. It made me cringe.
Speaking of anal:
Spice: Beyond Suzanne Wright books, I’ve seen a lot of guys asking if the girl is an anal virgin.
Lily: Anal -I am so over every story throwing it in. It’s like “but wait, there’s more”.
Sparkles: Why would you put your finger there?? it’s gonna have poop on it when it comes out!!!!
Spice: Some books they talk about the proper prep. And that makes sense so I don’t mind it at all, but others they get way too much into detail. I’m good with the ones who mention use of condoms and lube for anal. That actually works for my germaphobe issues. But for goodness sakes, I don’t need them to try to paint enemas as sexy, even if it is prep. That’s just… no.
Lily: Could it be the kind of books you are reading?
Spice: LOL!. Well… maybe. But did you guys notice I quit reading a favorite series just because the sex scenes went beyond my comfort zone? Well, at least I quit reviewing them. I’ll probably still read them. Okay, I admit it. I have a problem.
Spice: Some authors are all about the 12 inch dicks. You could hurt someone with that.
Lily: And really, if they’re that big, I’m thinking ouch! And long term damage.
Spice: I like it when they don’t put a size to it.
Lily: There’s a saying… It’s not the size of the dick that does the trick.
Spice: I like it when authors describe them as long and perfect so you can imagine what you think is the perfectly proportioned dick.
Sex Talk or talking during sex:
Lily: I don’t need a running commentary of every time he puts it in.
Spice: There is such thing as being too wordy…
Lily: It’s about the rhythm of the moment.
Spice: I was reading one book and the guy just would not quit talking. And the heroine finally said “Would you please just shut up and fuck me already!” I was like “A-freaking-men.” Of course, there’s a difference between conversing during sex, and dirty talk. That is a whole different thing. I love a good dirty talker.
Spice: I’m not big into MM only books but one came up in a series I follow. It was one of the hottest books I’ve read recently because it was full of emotions. This was a BDSM story, one of Laura Kaye’s, and it was smoking hot because she made you feel what they felt.
Lily: MM can be awesome when it features two strong characters who don’t get weighed down in doubt and internalising. MM romances are not a genre I shy away from but I don’t seek them out either. I have to be in the right mood.
Spice: Emotionless banging is a problem. They might as well be getting it on with a skank. But, a totally in love couple getting so desperate for each other they have a good old fashioned f*ck… I’m all over that.
Lily: Banging is what you do when someone doesn’t respond to a knock at the door. Or you’re hammering a nail in. Amateur approach.
Sparkles: I agree with Spice, if the couple is totally into each other, then I won’t mind if they’re so hot they can’t make it to the bedroom and end up against the wall, in the middle of the stairs or the foyer floor… well done, that’s just totally hot.
Lily: I think it all comes back to the emotion of the moment, sex is just as much about feelings as it is about the physical. And I don’t mean it has to be love, they just need to be in the right headspace.
Spice: The first sex scene needs to have feelings to it. It can be a super hot, can’t make it to the bedroom so we do it against the wall first go, but as a reader my sex scenes need to be just as emotional as they are physical. That takes a hot scene and shoots it to the stratosphere.
Lily: In a lot of the books I read, sex is not the focus. It’s there but as a sideline.
Spice: I think sometimes the authors forget that there is a difference between erotic romance and erotica. Erotica should be focused on the sex. Erotic romance, there is a story there, a romance, and the romance is front and center with some seriously hot sex that is key to the story but not the whole story.
Sparkles: Even if it’s erotica, if it’s just emotionless fucking with no connection to the participants feelings in any way it does nothing for me. Not that I read a lot of erotica… ahem.
Lily: And it can be hot even when it fades to black. The imagination can be far more entertaining than bland, overused, coarse vocabulary.
Spice: Yeah, we’ll have to agree to disagree on that. I want to throw the book when it fades to black. Unless it’s fading to black on round three or four. I’m good with that.
Sparkles: I’d rather be steamy kissing and fade to black than shitty sex.
Spice: That’s true. But I’d rather have steamy kissing and hot sex… Or hot, emotional sex. A favorite of mine is when they’ve been around each other all day, touches here and there, steamy looks, maybe a little dirty talk. It’s like a super long seduction that ends in a frantic screw on the stairs.
Sparkles: If I were to force you to choose, Spice, emotionally engaged scene and steamy kissing (with maybe some groping and wall pushing) and fade to black to the next morning or all-out-there emotionless and clinically described full on sex scene? Which would you go for?
Spice: Aw, man! That’s not fair! But I’d go for the emotionally engaged scene.
Lily: I know I’d go for the emotion. I don’t want it to fade to black all the time, just saying it’s better than reading a drawn out boring sex scene!
Spice: I agree. Boring sex is worse then no sex!
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