"Boys in Our Books"…

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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Off-Page Sex Scenes…

Susan: I’ve had Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy on my TBR FOREVER!!!! I’ve heard such great things about the book, but I just can’t get myself to start it. Why? Well, to be honest…almost 400 pages and rumored to be fade-to-black in all the sex scenes.

So, I ask…how do you feel about books that are entirely offpage or fade-to-black sex?

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Hmmmm…I’m fine with fade to black or “mild”, non-explicit sex scenes if the characters still sweep me away with their story. I’m thinking Tamara Allen’s works like Downtime or The Only Gold, or JL Merrow’s Plumber’s Mate series, which has some sex, but overall is very low heat. If the characters, their relationship, and their journey together are really interesting/captivating, then I’ll love the story, whether it has hot sex or just weighty glances from across the room and clasped hands in the dark.



I’ve read great books with little to zero sex on page, and some have been wonderful. I guess that for me it depends a lot on how the story is told. On the other hand, while i ADORE hot sex scenes I can totally read a book without them. I think sex can be a great tool that if used right can tell a lot about the relationship/character development, but it isn’t a must for me.

I don’t say no some take-me-now hot sex against the wall, though :P



This week’s question comes from me. Truth be told, I’m not opposed to off-page, fade-to-black, or no-sex in books. I read a lot of YA after all. BUT…that being said, I do sometimes hesitate to start a book, especially a non-YA, and even moreso a long book, that I know will not have sex in it. On the flip side, I’m even less likely to read a book that I know is ALL sex and no plot/character development.



I don’t mind off page or fade-to-black sex at all, but it has to fit the book. I mean, if I’m reading what is labeled as erotica, then I’d expect the book to have some pretty explicit sex scenes. Stories that have very heated encounters, major foreplay and build up that don’t deliver can be aggravating. But if the story has a feeling of modesty to begin with, adding sex for the sake of adding a sex scene can really throw off the rhythm of a book. As long as the story is written well, and the situations fit the themes outlined by the base plot lines, I’m normally happy.



Sometimes I’m in the mood for smut fun and smut I want, but I usually don’t mind off page or fade-to-black sex. Some stories don’t need sex to be captivating and some stories can’t be fixed with sex. Like the others said, it has to fit the story and my mood of the moment.



There are times when I think fade-to-black holds more power than full ‘on screen’ sex. I also think it depends on the couple, their relationship and the writing. Sometimes the ‘romance’ *smirk* is not necessarily the focus of the story and other times its’ the only focus. I’ve fallen in love with amazing couples that firmly close the bedroom door and I can’t help but respect their privacy. I never felt a single thing was missing with the fade-to-black lovemaking in the Infected series. I’ve also fallen in love with couples that have copious amounts of sweet, steamy, or raunchy sex. I don’t enjoy it when it feels forced, as if the author randomly tosses in a smexy scene just for kicks. Ohhh, and I definitely enjoy some authors nekkid scenes more so than others.



7 comments on “QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Off-Page Sex Scenes…

  1. Ariss
    July 17, 2015

    I don’t mind fade to black sex scenes. If the writer is skilled enough to show me and make me believe in the characters’ emotions then that’s enough. Pages and pages of sex scenes often derail the plot.


  2. Jennifer B
    July 17, 2015

    I prefer sex in my books. I avoid YA for that reason. However, I’ve read some pretty darn good books where I expected sex and didn’t get it. Falls Chance Ranch series by Rolf and Ranger is a good example. But, while I liked the series, I think it would have better if there was sex in it.


  3. Luce
    July 17, 2015

    Fade to black sex scenes aren’t a reading deterrent for me. I do like sex scenes in the books I read.

    That said, given the option between a “…” scene and one that is wall-to-wall sex, I’d chose the one that’s better written. Though it’s true that fading to black can feel like an abrupt change in what could be an otherwise alluring moment between characters, a poorly written sex scene will kill my urge to finish a novel.


  4. H.B.
    July 17, 2015

    I don’t mind fade to black sex scenes. I don’t think I’ve read any books that I didn’t like that had fade to black scenes. There have been a few times I wished there was more intimacy because I just loved the characters and wanted to seem more of them but for me it’s not all about the sex scenes in a story. I just don’t need it all the time.


  5. Sara
    July 18, 2015

    When I first started reading M/M romance some years back I wanted and expected sexy scenes (I came from the world of fanfiction so I guess that shaped my expectations). I too read in reviews and comments that “Tigers and Devils” had no explicit sex in it and for a short while I hesitated. Then all the positive reviews convinced me and I gave it a try, which I have never regretted. It’s a great story, with great characters and it never felt abruptly or weird or wrong when the story faded out to black in those moments. I then read the second book about Declan and Simon, “Tigerland”. And now there’s a third book, which I will get my hands on soon.

    Nowadays, I am more annoyed by too much sex – and not enough plot, which is usually the consequence when sex takes over – rather than too little in my books. My favorite part in romance is the falling in love and eventually to see how they go about confirming that love. I still appreciate a hot sex scene, but it’s the way leading us there, the expectations, the waiting, the build up, that makes the read worth it all – for me at least.

    When in the mood for something sexier, kinkier, pornier, I prefer novellas or short stories even, then I don’t have time to get bored by the lack of real plot and story.


  6. juliesmall1959
    July 18, 2015

    I like both. It all depends on what I want to read at the time. I also have several books on my TBR pile that I just haven’t gotten to as I am waiting on the right mood to read them. Does that even make any sense?


  7. Idamus
    July 21, 2015

    After 10+ years of reading m/m, I prefer fade to black, a few scenes are OK, but I usually skim them.


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