she didn’t

So She "Hates Writing Sex Scenes"

Last night while reading a few pieces about the debacle in the YA community where authors are attacking reviewers (it’s dismal at best), I decided to check out social media and I saw something that made my jaw drop. An author who writes m/m erotic romance posted she didn’t like writing sex scenes. I kid you not. I would never joke about something like this. And I’m trying hard to write this post without being snarky. I would never mention names, but here is the exact quote, verbatim.

I hate writing sex scenes. Why can’t I just say, “They had sex,” and move on to the rest of the book. ­čÖé

One reason I find this interesting is because as an author of erotica and erotic romance for over twenty years, I’ve never felt this way a day in my life. I look forward to writing the sex scenes, and work hard to make them move the story forward without being too obvious. The only thing I’ve ever blasted in erotic romances I didn’t write was that there weren’t enough sex scenes. I can’t help find it fascinating that m/m erotic romances will be constantly chopped apart for too much sex, and yet the erotic romances with too little sex are praised to the heavens. Evidently, there’s a reason that passed me by.

Readers who buy and read erotica of any kind, from romance to hardcore BDSM, are buying this partly for the sex and partly for the storyline. It’s a combination that goes hand in hand and if an author cheats or skimps on one or the other it’s going to show. When I see this all I can think about is how screwed over the reader is.

Another reason why this statement was interesting to me, to the point of disturbing, is that if an author doesn’t like writing sex scenes, and she would rather just write, “they had sex,” and move on, why on earth would this author be writing erotic romance or erotica in the first place? Jonathan Franzen obviously doesn’t like writing sex scenes (I’ve read “Freedom”) and no one can fault him for this. So he writes what he loves and deals more in strong characterization and emotional conflict than sex. And I’ve never felt cheated by anything Jonathan Franzen wrote in spite of the questionable sex scenes.

Sometimes I wonder how many erotic romance authors are writing erotica because they think there are more publishing opportunities in the genre than in other genres. And then I start to feel sorry for the reader again. Because if this is the case, these authors are shortchanging themselves and the reader.

Maybe the comment I saw was posted in jest. There is a smiley face at the end. But would a dentist post “I hate pulling teeth, I wish they would just fall out on their own,” on social media? If he did, I might take him seriously and I wouldn’t be paying his office a visit anytime soon.

At the very least, if you’re an erotic romance author and you don’t like writing sex scenes, be smart enough to keep this information to yourself. It’s not something I would joke about, especially when intentions can be misinterpreted so easily these days on social media.

She Didn’t: Another Facebook No-No For Authors…IMHO


I’ve talked about how I think posting about politics on facebook can hurt authors. I take no sides on this issue. I think political posts can be harmful if you’re trying to build a readership. Readers care about the books you’re writing, not about your politics. Of course there are some exceptions. I’ve seen smart, well written posts about politics that left me respecting the author…whether I agree or not. But most aren’t like that.

But this post isn’t about politics. This is different. I’ve posted about how ranting on all social networks, in a general sense, can hurt authors. And tonight I saw something else that really floored me.

An author…and someone I like, too…ranted, on facebook, about not flirting with her boyfriend on facebook. Meee-Ow!! At first I thought it was a joke. But when I read more in the comments I realized it wasn’t.

Of course there are no rules about things like this, and whether I like it or not means nothing. When I see people in their twenties posting jealous rants about other facebook friends flirting with their significant others I not only find it amusing, I find it endearing. We’ve all been there, in our twenties, filled with love and passion, ready to pounce on anyone who even looks at our significant other the wrong way. And there’s a lot of flirting going on on facebook.

But we grow up. And when an author in her fifties does this, regarding a boyfriend who is in his fifties, it’s not the same thing…seriously…far from cute. And I’m not just singling out women…I would say the same thing if a man did it. There is a certain age, I believe, when you stop playing high school games, especially in public. And frankly, if you’ve reached the age of forty and you’re still having jealous rants in public, you have more problems than someone flirting with your significant other on a social network.

So please don’t, for the love of all, throw a jealous, hissy-fit tantrum on facebook. Punch a wall, kick a door, or do something in private. Because if you do post jealous rants on facebook and you’re close to being a member of AARP, I can assure you that people will be rolling their eyes and thinking, “She didn’t.”