… I’ve been pondering Wave’s latest poll topic ‘Sex in M/M Books… Do Readers Want More or Less?’ and do you know I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book and thought to myself “well, that was shit because there wasn’t enough smexing in it”.
Maybe it’s because I read a lot of YA and spec fiction in which sex is not ‘essential’ so I have different expectations?? *shrugs*
Still, it struck me.
I commented… somewhere… last week that I thought it bloody ridiculous for books to be reviewed and categorised for their ‘hotness’ factor – you know, the kissy mouths and the chillis thing. It’s not like we’re eating in a Mexican restaurant for fuck’s sake.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I don’t want sex in books, especially when it’s romance or erotica, but… am I the only one who thinks like this??
‘Fess up, have you ever bought a book based on how smutty it was meant to be??
Do you want the diplomatic answer or the truth? I kid, kind of. I’ll admit I’ve passed by some books that had one chile (or kiss or whatever it was). However that doesn’t mean I won’t read a one chile book. I guess it just depends, if the blurb catches my attention or I’ve seen it highly recommended then the heat rating doesn’t really affect my decision. Also sometimes you just want a book with lots of smexin’ in it, that’s what you are in the mood for. I like the idea of the ratings because sometimes if I’m looking for something steamier I’d be pretty annoyed to buy a book only to find out it wasn’t very explicit and the little samples don’t always make it clear. So while the chiles are subjective, it at least gives me an idea of what to expect.But I can’t say I’ve read something and though “hmmm, more sex would have helped that book”. If the story is good enough I won’t miss the hot lovin’, however occasionally hot lovin’ might distract me from a poor plot I suppose.But yeah, I’m shallow, I don’t read a lot of YA because it tends to be pretty tame. What can I say? I will add though that pure porn doesn’t do it for me, I still like to read about a relationship and connection of some sort even if the book is 90% smexin’.
I don’t really look at the “hotness” factor or whatever it is. I read the blurb and look at it’s reader rating and go from there. I have read book where the sex is “fade to black” and that’s totally ok. I only like the sex in romances if it’s all part of the relationship. Of course if it’s erotica that’s blown to hell but still. I’d rather have not enough than too much.
Hey TamPoints to you for being honest. *g*You have a good point about ‘being in the mood’. I admit I have a tendency to re-read certain books if I’m in the mood for hawtness; some of my fave of Sean Michael’s books immediately spring to mind. I’m not sure I buy them for that reason though. *ponders* Maybe I’m unaware of it.I also agree with you about the smex being relevant to the relationship in a book or to the story. It’s like the one we were talking about the other day where the sex seemed totally out of character to one of the protags and it also seemed unrealistic since he was an older guy who was still keeping up with the 20-something year old. Is that even possible?? Maybe it’s a question for Nurse Emmy.But I can’t say I’ve read something and thought “hmmm, more sex would have helped that book”.Ha! Exactly! It’s just not something you really think about if the story has hit other of your reader’s buttons.
Tracy, I think the only time I’ve ever really noticed the number of kissy lips is if I’ve read the blurb, maybe the excerpt, and thought “yeah right that doesn’t seem to match at all”.I only like the sex in romances if it’s all part of the relationship. I think the bottom line for me is relevance and believability. Is the sex relevant to the relationship, story or plot? Regardless, does the author pull it off; that is, do you, the reader, believe that it’s relevant?
I can think of plenty of times when I’ve read a book and wished that there hadn’t been as much sex in it, but very few where I wished there had been more!I read a book a couple of weeks ago which was so great that it wasn’t until after I finished it that I realised all the sex was fade to black – and it was a m/m, where there is usually some expectation that explicit sex will happen. So, if the story is engrosssing and romantic I don’t need the sex.However, I’m also a bit like Tam. On occasion I feel like reading something hot and steamy so I will purposely buy a book I know has explicit sex – this is why I do like to have a sex rating, so that I know exactly what I am buying.
‘Fess up, have you ever bought a book based on how smutty it was meant to be?? Hell yeah! If it’s a good story, I don’t care. But, I do like my pron occasionally!
I guess that’s it, isn’t it, Jen. That if it’s a great read less sex or the ‘type’ of sex – be it non explicit, fade to black, off page, or none at all – is not necessarily noticeable. Whereas if the sex seems to be over the top; unless it’s true erotica or porn, you start to wonder if it’s hiding a crappy plot.While I was writing this something else struck me. I’ve noticed that some of the new m/m releases have more and more sex in them. I realise that publishers do ask for this, but do you think it could also be that the people jumping on the bandwagon are focusing on the sex because they’re unsure to deal with other aspects of an m/m relationship?? Just throwing this one out there.
Hell yeah! If it’s a good story, I don’t care. But, I do like my pron occasionally!Sarah la Perve. LOL.I said: I’m not sure I buy them for that reason though. *ponders* Maybe I’m unaware of it.I’m thinking that what I do is when I know – and like – a particular author, who writes smexy stuff, I tend to either buy them or re-read books of theirs when I’m “in the mood”. Do I go searching for it though?? I honestly don’t think I do. I go searching more for a story that appeals more than anything else. If it’s hawt… well, that’s just a side benny. *G*
that the people jumping on the bandwagon are focusing on the sex because they’re unsure to deal with other aspects of an m/m relationship??You mean they treat it more like erotica than romance because they are uncomfortable with two men who genuinely love and care for each other? It’s possible, I suppose. I read m/m mostly for the romance and because I like men. The sex scenes are just a bonus as it were. But I am, at heart, a liberal minded person. Someone who is not quite so liberal minded might feel uncomfortable with the emotion of it. In which case they should go back to reading menage or erotic het fiction and leave my men alone!I’m not sure whether there is more sex in m/m recently, but it’s certainly becoming more explicit sex. Certain things that weren’t done much, even just a year ago, like rimming for example, have become the norm in m/m. That, I think, is due to authors trying to push the boundaries, to keep things fresh.
I’m not sure whether there is more sex in m/m recently, but it’s certainly becoming more explicit sex.That is a very interesting point, Jen. I think you’re right about authors stepping out of their comfort zones. I’ve noticed a few of the recent stories beefing up their sex scenes. I wonder if it’s because of this that some sex scenes ‘seem’ longer, hence Wave’s poll. *ponders further*Re: rimming – There are definitely more scenes featuring this, but have you noticed how fisting seems to disappeared a bit. I assumed that rimming was the new fisting, but maybe fisting was considered a little too hard core. ???
PS – Can I just add that I seriously hope this is not a thread my Mumma will read. It may shock her. *g*
I’ve not read a book with fisting in it. Then again I tend to avoid some of the more hardcore authors which may use such practises as that or felching followed snowballing as it makes me feel a bit green about the gills.
Since we’re talking fisting. Ack, can’t believe I wrote that. It used to squick me out and I kind of had to skip that part but then I read a couple where it was done “nicely” if you will and it didn’t seem so bad, more of the emotional aspect of it than the physical aspect of it. Seems I have read more fisting recently than before but maybe I’ve only stumbled across a few books with it that I had missed.
Jen: Srsly?? You’ve never read abook with fisting in it?? Maybe since it seems like such a – pardon the pun – big thing, it feels like I’ve read more books with it in than are actually out there. If that makes sense… stupid migraine medication.I can remember the first time I came across it in a book. My innocence was shattered. I had no idea such a thing was possible. *sigh* So naive. Now, I’m like… “please, you didn’t use enough lube, that is so not going to work.” But yes… still a bit icky.
Tam: See my comment to Jen. I was totally WTF! I think I had to re-read the scene to work out exactly what the hell they were doing. I was very lucky because the first book I read with it in was B A Tortuga’s The Long Road Home where the fisting did have a strong emotional aspect to it so it wasn’t a bad first experience for me. *g**snicker* I made you say ‘fisting’. Hehehe.
I did read it!
Whoops… hehe… eek…