Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels

Far too much sex

Ever said that when you’ve finished reading a book?  I don’t mean the feeling you have when you think, good grief, I couldn’t let my mother – or my maiden aunt – read this – though, trust me, your mother has probably seen it all, and, as most maiden aunts nowadays were teenagers in the sixties, during the summers of ‘peace and love’, you’d probably have to search long and hard to find that ‘maiden’ aunt. I don’t mean a book which  – half way through – has you starting to groan, or to giggle, or to scratch your head as you begin to wonder whether what is being described is even physically possible without the hero and heroine taking a very quick – and highly embarrassing – trip to ER. I don’t even mean a book which, when you finish, has you fanning yourself frantically, thinking, whoa, that was hot, hot, hot, and the next time I read it – and I’m going to start re-reading this in ten minutes flat – I’d better make sure the blinds are drawn in case one of the neighbours sees what I’m reading.

I mean the kind of book you reach the end of, and suddenly feel irritated, or disssatisfied, or somehow vaguely cheated. I’ve read books like that, and come to the conclusion that my problem is ‘sex in isolation’. Not sex where the hero and heroine are marooned up a mountain for days on end, but sex which seems to be nothing more than the constant physical joining of character A, and character B, or characters A, B, and C – hey, I’m openminded –  in as many, and as varied, ways as the writer can dream up. You might say, well, Maggie, what you’ve just read is erotica and that doesn’t require any kind of story or character development, but I don’t buy that. Telling me, Maggie, what you’ve just read is straight – or kinky – pornography – so why did you expect a story, doesn’t cut it either. I guess what I’m saying is, whether it’s a ‘straight’ romance, erotica, or pornography, if it’s a work of fiction I expect/need a story. No matter how thin, or tenuous, that story might be, I need a story. A story containing two characters I care about, and if the two characters remain nothing more than ‘names’, two ‘names’ who frequently have sex, then, sorry, for me, the verdict will always be, there’s too much sex in this. How about you?

Maggie Kingsley

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13 thoughts on “Far too much sex”

  1. Hi Maggie
    I’ve always liked romances where the heroine and hero go that little further in their relationship. So long as it is a meaningful part of the story. Emphasis on story. I agree that a book that just seems to go from sex scene to sex scene with only a very basic links to excuse the opportunity of seeing them perform in the largest variety of positions, locations and combinations (there’s that person C again) just leaves me cold.
    As the last person on the planet still pushing for virgin heroines I am quite happy to be seen as old fashioned and prudish. But if I pick up a love story I do expect it to be about the relationship of two well developed characters (or three or four… I can be flexible). The sex is part of that, but never the whole story.

    1. You said it much better than I did, Fiona. You’re not a writer by any chance, are you<g? I'm good with hot love scenes, but if that's all a book is….. I guess it's sort of like being let loose in a sweetie factory, and being told you can eat as many of your favourite centres as you like Eventually you think, no, no more, I want something else, too
      Maggie

  2. I like to see the characters develop a relationship and not just have sex for sex sake. I think that sends the wrong message. Even in erotic novels there needs to be a story behind what the characters are doing and why they are doing it

    1. Too true, Christa, otherwise what are you left with to keep your readers with you? I guess you could make each sex scene more and more extreme which would add to the ‘shock value’ but if you don’t care about the characters involved as individuals why would you eventually care about what they were doing? A male friend tells me that my view is a very ‘feminine’ one, and if I were a man I’d see it differently. Now, either I have some very unusual male friends or he’s right and perhaps the desire for motivation/reasons is a feminine one. I honestly don’t know.

  3. Hi Maggie! I don’t read erotica, not into all the latest combos of people and numbers and whatever is hot hot hot out there. I’m an old fuddy dud who likes characters to grow to love each other (I understand that many of these wild-sex-first couples do end up falling in love and many of the new lines at Hqn M&B require it) one step at a time. Yet I’m not interested in reading chaste stories either. I guess there has to be a balance struck for me to feel (pardon the pun in advance) satisfied.

    I fear I’m losing touch with the world in this regard…sigh

    Just call me OFD – old fuddy dud – from now on.

    1. You an OFD, Lynne??? Nope, absolutely not. Your ‘voice’ is ageless, and it’s a voice belonging to a writer whose books linger in the mind for all the right reasons so if you truly are an OFD I’d say, stick with it because it’s a winnng combo!

  4. Maggie,
    I agree with you. I want at story, for the characters to grow, to need each other to face the future. Any one can have sex but not everyone has it as an emotional connection. I want love.

    1. Perfectly put, Susan, and that’s what I want, too. It probably explains why – increasingly – I find myself drawn to historical romances where I can be sure of a story, and characters who resonate.

  5. I have to confess there have been a few books (not medicals) that I have had to skip sex scenes because I ended up feeling as if I was watching something I shouldn’t. The sex scene seemed plopped into the middle of the story instead of an outgrowth of the story. (Clear as mud?) And hopping from one superimposed sex scene to another left me irritated. There are some medical authors that write HOT and yet they don’t leave me feeling the same way because the scene seems to be a natural outgrowth of the couple. I had already grown to care enough about the couple it worked.
    Nancy

    1. Oh, don’t you just hate when that happens, Nancy? It’s like walking in on someone, realising – too late – that you should have knocked, blushing bright red, and backing out fast not knowing where to look, which – in fiction – always suggests to me that the writer hasn’t built up any kind of natural development but simply shoe-horned a scene in because she felt she had to. And ‘natural’ is exactly the right word.

  6. Okay so its no secret I write on the hot end of the spectrum and I like my books to be so too but you’re absolutely right Maggie – I have to care about the two doing the horizontal rumba first. I always tell new writers who ask for advice that it doesn’t matter if the sex is sizzling and the hero can bring the heroine to orgasm whilst swinging from a chandelier. If I don’t care about them, I’m going to want that chandelier to drop to the ground and kill them both!
    Make me care and I’ll go into the bedroom with you. Hell, I’ll get into bed with you if its that kind of book – but you gotta make me care!

    1. Absolutely, Amy! It’s that caring which is so vital, isn’t it? I’ll buy into absolutely anything,and everything, you want to sell me if you make me care about the people involved. Without that vital ingredient….. Nope, not a chance.

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