When I first started writing, the idea of writing a sex scene was terrifying. OMG! Someone might read it. I blushed just thinking about it. Even though the books I read and loved had sex scenes, that to me, felt integral to the character development in those stories—I didn’t know if I could pull it off. Then the time finally came, my characters needed to get busy. I’d like to say it was easy, that my hero and heroine didn’t come across like horny, multi-limbed, octopus-people, and that I’d managed to successfully add emotion and character growth like a champ—unfortunately, I can’t tell you that. There were arms and legs everywhere, euphemisms being thrown about willy-nilly, and purple prose that was so darn purple it would make your eyes water.
It was just as hard as I imagined it would be.
But I worked at it, because showing that part of my character’s lives was important to me. In real life sex can bring two people closer, can create an intimacy between a couple that goes beyond the bedroom. I wanted my readers to “see” that transformation happening, that closeness developing. For me, those sex scenes are a hugely important part of my character’s journey.
Not everyone wants or needs sex in their romance, and that’s cool, that’s the beauty of romance, there’s something for everyone—but for this reader, sex in romance is like cheese on crackers or PB&J. Yes, you can have one without the other, but together, it’s that much more satisfying. No, I don’t want pages of just slapping sweaty bodies (Though again, that’s okay, too, and why romance is so freaking awesome) 😉 But nor do I want my characters to shut the door on my face just when we’re getting to the good stuff. A well written sex scene is another opportunity to show the reader MORE, and I don’t just mean scrumptious, detailed descriptions of the hero in the buff! 🙂 I want every sex scene to reveal something about those characters. I want to feel their emotions, their desires…have those vulnerabilities that they’ve been desperately trying to hide, unraveled.
I want heart with my heat.
My latest release definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. All my books have a high heat level, but Breaking Him goes one step farther. This was my first attempt at erotic romance, and I wanted to make sure I did the best job I could. And just to make it that much more challenging, I made my hero a virgin. There are quite a few virgin heroes out there now, but the norm is still the sexually experienced guy who knows how to rock the heroines word. Elijah is an alpha hero though and through, and I wanted to make sure the reader got a sense of that—along with his almost crippling vulnerability. It was challenging! Every encounter Elijah and Abigail had, I wanted to show how it drew them closer, not just physically, but emotionally, until they took that final step and made love. I wanted Elijah to reveal both sides of his nature to the woman he loved, and you, the reader, through those intimate moments. I think that’s why Breaking Him has turned out to be a favourite of mine, and maybe even one of my most heartfelt, emotional books.
What about you? Do you like the door closed in your romance, or wide open?
Sherilee Gray’s always had a big (some may say warped) imagination, and as a kid scared herself conjuring up horror stories full of ghosts and other terrifying creatures. As she got older the stories changed quite a bit, but they were always there. Still, she never dreamed of actually writing down any of those wonderful imaginary people or places. Not until many years later when her sister introduced her to the wondrous world of romance novels, and her very large book collection.
She’s pleased to say, she still has the big imagination… only now her characters are chasing their happily ever after.
Sherilee is a kiwi girl and lives in beautiful New Zealand with her husband and their two children. When she isn’t writing sexy, edgy contemporary romance or fueling her voracious book addiction, she can be found dreaming of far off places with a mug of tea in one hand and a bar of Cadburys Rocky Road chocolate in the other.