Sexuality In Books

Many books have sex, physical signs of affection, and sexual tension. As a writer, I want to know why we do this, how can and how much can it help the book, and are there downsides.

The downsides:

  • As a writer, one should write what they love and express most comfortably. One does not write well in a genre they are not interested in. Figuring out if you’re a sexual writer is very simple. Do the movies, books, and shows you love so much have sexual innuendos and intimate scenes? Then you’ll probably do well. If not, I’m going to guess you’re not going to write very strong tension, if you are at all.
  • There are quite a lot of people out there that are prudent when it comes to sex as a topic of choice. They stay clear of it and might even disgrace your book if it contains that kind of imagery or dialogue. Write what you want, though. They don’t matter if that’s what you’re interested in writing about.

The upsides:

  • Especially if you are writing in teen fiction, you’ll want to have sexuality present in your books. Most publishing houses label young adult books as novels that explore the aspects of adulthood, breaking into topics like sex, drugs, bullying and pop culture. It’s what they’ve been forbidden to read, so teens read it the most. Most other adult genres have sexuality, as well.
  • It can make the book more relatable. Sexuality does exist in the real world, and, where appropriate, an author should address the subject as realistically and reliably as possible. It brings realism and a stronger emotion to the story you’re writing.

How should you write sexuality into your book?

Depending on how you look at sex, you could include physical contact in your book: kissing, caressing hands, intercourse, etc. You can be more or less descriptive, telling readers exactly what’s going on second by second, or hint to a scene that the readers never see. Then again, you can avoid the matter entirely.

You can use it as a detail instead of a plot movement. Maybe you just want the boy to kiss his girlfriend on the cheek. It doesn’t mean anything for the story, other than to show the boy continues to care for his girl. You could also, romance writers, use it as a plot or turning point. Ex: The princess loves her rescuer, but she better not kiss him before she gets back to her soon-to-be-husband prince, or there might not be a coming back.

If you want to write the best sexual tension, keep the suspense long and agonizing, make the main character’s love interest as mysterious as possible for as long as possible, and write the MC meeting the love interest in the same age bracket as your potential audience. It’s automatically more relatable, and not everyone has known their love interest their whole life.

But there have been books where the MC was dead, and it still got pretty steamy. So write what you want to write, bottom line. If you’re hearts in it, the writing will present exactly what you want your readers to receive.

That’s my intake on the whole sexuality-in-books thing. What’s yours?

Keep writing,

WritingMime

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