Posted in inspiration, Thoughts, Writing tips

Sex Scenes versus Love Scenes

How much sex should there be in a romance novel? Are you a less is more or give me all the nitty gritty?

If you are a romance writer, you have heard the debate over the term “clean” romances. For those who aren’t familiar with the name, it’s about romances with no sex what-so-ever, usually Christian romances. Now I’m not knocking the Christian romance genre or even the choice to have no sex in the story, I love Hallmark movies and they barely even kiss. I like everything from chaste romances to the more erotic motorcycle club romances.

My biggest problem with clean romances, other than the name, is that they take out the sexual tension. Even the squeaky-clean movies of the 1950s had a little tension in them. I just don’t think it’s believable to have a romance with no sexual tension. Even Christians planning to abstain from sex until marriage should desire their person. To do honor to their vows of chastity, we should see their struggle. What do they do to ensure they remain celibate? Do they employ a chaperone to avoid temptation? Do the abstain from touching one another? What is their reaction when they do touch? Do they blush or jump apart when someone comes around? Innocent touches, holding hands, and longing glances show their desire. I believe you can honor the genre and give respect to the real people who are trying to remain chaste by showing honestly the effort to battle “the desires of the flesh.”

But romance isn’t just about sex, it’s about falling in love. While sexual tension is a big part of romance, it is also those tender scenes where the couple is getting to know each other. It’s that ah-ha moment when they realize this is their person, and learning their true heart. It is the emotional and well as the sensual that makes a believable romance.

So, whether you’re reading or writing a chaste romance or something a little dirtier showing the journey to falling in love is an important part of the process. For me, I like to see the couple becoming friends or learning to respect each other, and I definitely want to know their hot for each other. What is most important part of the romance story for you? Do you want sexy, sexually tense or chaste romances?

Posted in Prompts


While taking Tina Gerow’s ‘Write Steamy Love Scenes’ for the past two weeks, I looked up romantic words and began writing scenes. Try this yourself. Google romantic or sexy words and see where it takes your writing.

She’d never been the adventurous type but his wicked smile incited in her a streak of daring.
Adventurous, he turned down a little used back road and parked. Pulling her into his arms, he teased his wife of twenty years. “Do you remember our first date?”
“I did not make out with you on our first date.”
“No, we’d not even been on a date.”
She blushed, her skin aglow with desire and daring. “You planning to just sit here and talk?”
Chuckling, he lifted her shirt and caressed her breast. “You still turn me on.”
She let her head fall back against the headrest as his mouth found her nipple. “Oh god, you make me crazy old man.”
“Who’re you calling old man, woman.” He growled pulling her beneath him he proved he wasn’t that old after all.
In the afterglow, she couldn’t help the smile of satisfaction that curved her lips. Twenty years and still in love. He still has the power to make me crazy with desire.

Posted in Thoughts

What I’ve learned so far

This week I am taking an on-line class with Tina Gerow “Writing Love Scenes”. I find that taking these on-line classes accomplish several tasks at once. First I’m developing writing skills I need to make my writing better. Second I’m developing contacts with other writers to (a) share writing experiences, (b) learn from their writing journeys, (c) making connections with people that might help my career. The writing community, especially the romance community is a very helpful and considerate group of writers. No matter if they have been writing for years or just started I have found that other writers are a font of knowledge. Sometimes what you learn is what not to do but no matter, it is great to be able to share experiences with people who are interested in the same thing I am. I love to talk writing and now that I am starting the querying process, it is nice to have people who share my misery or can offer advice.
So when you wonder whether to take an on-line class or not, ask yourself, what can I get out of it beside the chance to learn something new.