Yes, I want to know who thought it a good idea to put a single sex scene in the middle of my suspense thriller novel? And when I say my, I mean the one I am listening to, not one I wrote. Would you do that? And sex scene gives it more page space than it actually occupies, more like sex sentence? More like…

We frantically pulled at each other’s clothes, fell to the ground and made love. (Paraphrasing)

I’m a writer (not an erotic writer) who has included sex in my novels, but for a purpose. I feel if sex is going in a book where sex is not the focus of the book, then there needs to be a reason. To arbitrarily stick a sex, love, scene in the middle of a down and dirty suspense thriller and then in the next paragraph move back to oh my god how are we going to foil the bad guys, is a cheap move. It is not described beyond ‘we made love’ which is not the point. It is akin to the gratuitous half naked man or woman in a movie that everyone over the age of 22 knows is in there just to attract the opposite sex.

It can be blatant. IE; Kingdom of heaven, Balian makes love to Sibylla. Lasts about three minutes. They’re naked, rolling around under the sheets, thrusting.  It can be subtle.  IE; a blood and guts movie where there are several shots of the HOT male actor in not much to appease the wife, girlfriend, etc. Or a breast shot of the HOT actress in a chick flick to get the male in the woman’s life to agree to go see it.

Am I being stereotypical? Yes. I admit it. That is not the point. The point is, it is there to tempt the person who doesn’t necessarily want to see the movie, to cave and go see it. My favorite example. I Am Legend with Will Smith. Not to put down Will, he has a nice body. There is a scene in the movie where Will is working out. It is there to show that he is getting in better shape so he can stay alive. It is done slowly. He is half naked, wearing underwear or shorts and no shirt. They very nicely show his pecs and delts and abs, while he pulls himself up hanging from a bar in the doorway. It is, in this writer’s opinion, a sex scene. In its most basic sense. Where is his shirt? A pair of sweat pants?

Yes, sex sells, but my question stands. What is the point in a book, in a movie, where there is the single scene, single episode of…for lack of another word sex? Not coitus or maybe coitus, but sex all the same.

Don’t get me wrong, I can skip over it if it bothers me, but this is more a question of quality. Shades of Grey, argued in the writing world as poorly written, I have chosen not read it, but many love it. But in your mainstream genre fiction, why put it in to begin with? It does nothing to further the story. It does nothing to endear the characters or plot point or add tension. So why include it?

In conclusion, I finished the book. The sex scene was a blip that in this reader/writer’s opinion would be stronger if left out.

 

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