The Role of Sex in Fiction: Love It or Hate It?


No one can argue with the simple statement “sex sells.”
While some readers will protest that they prefer to avoid reading anything too steamy, most of us can’t help feeling just the slightest bit tantalized when a well-written sex scene (or the hint of one) shows up in our books. Sex has been considered a taboo subject in Western culture for centuries, which is why it always feels a little scandalous or “naughty” when we read it in our fiction. And, of course, human nature being what it is, anything that feels like it could be wrong is often more enjoyable simply because of that fact.
In the romance genre, sex has become an almost must-have for a book to be successful. Even if the sex scenes aren’t graphic (fade-to-black is common among cleaner and sweeter romance genres), there is still enough “steam” to leave the reader flushed and breathing just a little bit harder.
However, here’s a question for you: does fiction really
need these sex scenes, graphic or otherwise? Is it time to find better ways to engage readers without using the titillating, or is sex an important part of what makes a good novel great?

Read the entire article in the November 2019 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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