Romance and Me: Sex or No Sex? – That is the Question

Filed in Romance and Me , The Geeky Lover , The Latin Lover Posted on June 29, 2011 @ 11:00 am 24 comments

Hey Everyone!

I have to confess in the past week or so I haven’t been reading any romance novels (I know it’s shocking and I can hear several gasps from you, but I think you’ll understand and forgive me when I tell you that a very exciting urban fantasy kept me busy), so when it came to today’s post and deciding what issue we should discuss today I drew a blank. And the fact that I was in my post-lunch-siesta-lump didn’t help at all… :-/ So I launched an SOS and Susi was dear enough to come to my rescue and rant some:Susi:So Stella asked for my opinion and I’m sure I will totally embarrass myself but here it goes:I’m actually annoyed about this topic very often. Yes we have a distinction between romantic and erotic in Romanceland and even the various eroticas mostly have an additional heat rating to see how hot they are but what about the rest of the romance novels out there?


Perhaps I really am a perv but I just don’t like these books where they get me all worked up and BANG the morning after scene follows ASAP. I’m too nosy for that and I want to see how our couple fares between the sheets. I just need to know! Perhaps I haven’t read the right books without sex scenes but in the past they always annoyed me. So it is out. It would actually really help me book shopping if it would say that somewhere. Perhaps it really is just me – as Stella just told me I should be called The Horny Lover. LMAO *head hangs in shame*

Stella: LOL, Susi dear I believe there are a whole bunch of us (yes me included) who want the details and bang our fists when those blasted bedroom doors close. That sure is frustrating! So you are most definitely not alone, and I would say you are in very good company, if I do say so myself ;-p

But tell us, do you prefer to strictly remain in the realms of innocent romance and bid goodnight to the H/H and excuse yourself from their bedroom, or au contraire it angers you when after some steamy kisses and caresses the next scene cuts to the breakfast scene? Did you have any novels which wound you up so badly that you wanted to yell at the book? Or did you have some of your favourite romances ruined by some detailed sex scenes totally unnecessary to the plot/romance? So in short: what do you think of the Tease Factor, as I like to call it? 

As usual, can’t wait to hear your thoughts! 😉

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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  • Jen June 29, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I hate love scenes that fade to black. Off-page sex makes me feel like I've been cheated!

    The sex doesn't have to be really dirty (though I like dirty, too)… but if the characters are doing the deed, I want to read about it.

    Jen at Red Hot Books

  • Jennifer_After_Dark June 29, 2011 at 11:23 am

    the tease scene,,utterly irritates me,,,I tend to lose my self and like to connect with the characters in every which way,,on the battle private meetings..on stage,,and the bed room isn't any different….you can't get me all worked up and then shut me down,,,and this sort of on the same page,,,but I also don't care for when the writer,,makes the feelings so intense, and you know the attraction and love lust or whatever is there and then your anticipation is sooo high and you get just alittle preview,,Thats how it was when I read Twilight Series..I love Bella and Edward dont get me wrong,,but Im a grown woman and well I need passion, with a capital P….not high school puppy love…

  • pattepoilue June 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Teehee I knew the day would come when you'd get to rant about the no smex books Susi! *g*

    I know how bad you hate those!
    You know I can read books without smex as long as I know that's what I'll get. I mean if the author usually gives us hot smex scenes I'm expecting some in the book I read!

    I know that some contemps are on the safe side on the less detailed side…I can deal with that but not on a big scale lol.
    I hate the next morning kinda romance! I can deal with it if it's a cute love story.
    But otherwise I NEED the smex damn it!

    ROFL at the Horny Lover Bwhahahahahahahaahahahah

  • Sandy Williams June 29, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Count me in the group that hates it when the doors shut. I'm okay with non-graphic sex scenes – I think I prefer them, actually – but I want to see the characters together.

    That said, I don't have to see it *every* time they're together. I don't want to read a sex scene just to read a sex scene. Something in the plot or the characters' relationship needs to change for me to want to spy on their lovemaking again. 🙂

  • Ju Dimello June 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hey Susi..

    Umm..tease scenes.. I think everything must have a place in the book..a well defined reason for being there.

    I would prefer to have an emotional connection with the characters no matter what they do, don't do.. If that doesn't happen, no matter what..I cannot really enjoy the teasers or lack of it..

    There was a book..umm.. I don't want to name the author here.. which was a really "independent" heroine's initiation into BDSM.. I admired her guts, asked the same questions she asked to the hero about giving up control, putting herself at his mercy… The only reason she/I got from the hero was "I'm a dominant..who decides / will give my life for the welfare of my sub..hence you have to submit to me completely." I felt like screaming along with the heroine… And he never budged an inch… He has his rules..she was either to come the full way willingly or not… And sadly, none of these questions were answered until the very end..where he goes on some assignment (of course he's in some sort of secret service)…and when he's back, she's all willing, pliant and ready to be his sub.. I was like .."whaaaat????"

    Of course the sex rocked, and I felt really damn connected to the heroine..until the very end!!!

    And of course, I'll pick up the next book by the author – cos I hope at least one heroine kicks the hero's b*lls….

    I guess what I'm trying to say is..there're all kinds of stories..from what makes us scream to what makes us melt 😉 Each book we pick affects us in some way or the other..!!

  • GABY June 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I am curios and want to know how the characters have sex xD hehe

  • SusiSunshine June 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    @Jen So what I meant. *nods*

    @Jennifer_After_Dark Me too. Exactly, it feels like shutting the reader down.

    @pattepoilue LOL I knew would love the name.

    @Sandy Williams Yes me too. It's okay if it's kind of tame but it really helps building the connection. Even though it really sounds pervy when I say it like this.

    @Ju Hey sweety!! I hate when they don't show me their reasons before the end. I'm not very forgiving when I don't connect to the characters.

    @Gaby LOL true. We are nosy that way. *wink*

  • Bookish Brunette June 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Totally not a perv! I HAVE to know what's up in bed… I mean really it's not fair if they skip over they sexy stuff anyway!

  • Sullivan McPig June 29, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    II used to think leaving out sex was annoying until I wrote a romantic story myself. I suddenly understood why an author would leave them out: they're very difficult to write. I decided to go for the fade to black thing myself as well, but as soon as my proofreading friend read it she demanded I write in a sex scene!

    So…. I understand why some authors leave it out, but I know most readers get annoed by it.

  • Sullivan McPig June 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm


  • Estella June 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    If you shut the door—why have it in the story at all? I LIKE sex scenes.

  • SusiSunshine June 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    @Bookish Brunette So happy I'm not alone. LOL

    @Sully See, another reason why I don't want to become an author. LOL I get why that would be a prob. 😉

  • SusiSunshine June 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    @Estella So true hon.

  • Stella (Ex Libris) June 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    LOL it seems everyone is in complete agreement: we definitely WANT those sex scenes! 😀 lol

  • Alisha (MyNeedToRead) June 29, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Definitely dig the sexy-times. LOL But really, the more books I read that have an element of romance, the more I want at least some "showing" over telling. But only as is appropriate to the story; I just finished The Art of Flirting with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper, and I thought that she handled the sensuality well; she showed when it fit the situation, and told when it would've been an odd fit. Rock on.

    Now, that said, There are instances of some horrible "showing" and some really good "telling."

  • Sheree June 30, 2011 at 12:05 am

    I actually don't care either way. If there is a sex scene, I just want to know the position and then whatever emotional bonding or revelation the characters experience, if any. There is an author whose sex scenes drove me nuts – seriously, I counted one of them and it was 10 pages! For one sex act? I don't think most guys can last for the length of time it takes to read 10 pages.

    For some of the historicals, I'd rather the door be closed. I don't want to get icked out by the thought of oral sex without washing up first. Ew.

  • The MadDabbler June 30, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I *hate* fade-to-black scenes. Real life doesn't work that way, and if an author has managed to make me care about the characters, s/he needs to do more than leave me wondering how things worked out. Sure, the morning after scene is fine for general information, but I need deets! Otherwise? I'm irritated.

    I want to experience the characters' lives together, and if the author cheat me out of their bedroom time, I'm less likely to return for book two, either in the series or the next book with the author's name on the cover.

    As an aside, I'm an author and if you read my UFs, please don't expect fade-to-black scenes. I'm, um, going to shock your socks off. 🙂

  • JenM June 30, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I truly don't care if the scene fades to black. Actually, half the time, I skip over the sex scenes because they're all so similar and I've read them a hundred times already. It's the emotional content of the scene that I want, not the mechanics of it, and if there's no real emotion, it's just boring to me.

  • SusiSunshine June 30, 2011 at 2:04 am

    @Stella Yep seems os =D

    @Alisha Oh I agree. I definitely depends on the moment. And I know about the bad showing LOL

    @Sheree Ewwwwwww about the histoical comment. Ewwwww, another reason to not read those. LMAO

    @The MadDabbler Yes irritated is the right word to describe it.

    @JenM For me it depends too. I usually don't like the books that only show me sex after sex scene. I need the story and characters to play the most important part. It is usually a good indicator if I like the book or not- skipping anything in a book is never a good sign.

  • Kaetrin June 30, 2011 at 2:54 am

    While I can enjoy a romance where the bedroom door is closed, I do prefer it wide open 🙂

    I often ask the heat level when I comment on reviews so it would be good to know when buying any romance novel – many review sites have something about the heat level and I find it quite helpful.

  • SusiSunshine June 30, 2011 at 4:14 am

    @Kaethrin Yes I'm all for the open doors too. I actually like those ratings too. Perhaps we should add them at BLI too.

  • Wings June 30, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    it kind of depends on what mood im in..bluntly..whether im horny or not lol

    But what peeves me is when they get so hot and heavy beforehand.

    if its just they kissed and went to bed

    or he kissed her tenderly and then next morning they woke up..

    but I had one the other day where he had his hand down her pants for two pages…then that was it…

    she woke up the next morning telling us about her fantastic night and her delicious soreness and i was like WHAT HAPPENED!!!

    so i dont need smex in my romance…but i hate being teased then shut down…

  • Alisha (MyNeedToRead) July 1, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Yer so right, Kaetrin! Sometimes it's good to have a sense of what to expect in that realm…I know that sometimes I will decide to read (or not read) a book based on how much heat's present. As Wings mentions…depends on the mood!

  • JessS July 1, 2011 at 4:13 am

    I much prefer when you get to read exactly what happens. I remember I read a book once where I stopped reading at the end of the chapter where it seemed there was about to be a good sex scene, but when I opened the book again it was already the next day and I was totally annoyed/disappointed.

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