It’s a fair assumption that most people who read romance novels do so for at least one of two things: romance and sex. One can exist without the other in the literary world, but a story wouldn’t be as entertaining if one or the other was missing. Novels with a high romance aspect that show very little of a physical relationship tend to leave the reader frustrated—there needs to be some kind of release in a highly-charged story. On the flipside, if a story is all sex and no romance, the reader can finish the book with a slightly empty feeling. Something was just…missing.
Obviously in a romance novel, romance is a must, and with that sex is practically required. So how does a writer go about including just the right amount of sex to balance out the romance of a story? The answer is quite simple: the more romance there is, the fewer sex scenes that are needed, and vice versa. Now, some people may not agree with this concept, and they’re welcome to do so. But consider the basis for what sex is supposed to mean in the traditional sense: sex is special, and therefore should be approached in a certain frame of mind. Again, this is the traditional approach to sex.
Let’s look at a common plotline in your average romance novel. The heroine is strong-willed and minded, beautiful and altogether irresistible to the hero, who is essentially the same as the heroine, but with a few quirks of his own. Now usually, one of the characters (typically the hero, but sometimes the heroine) has a questionable personal history, or his/her line of work isn’t exactly proper. Because of society’s standards, there is a battle of morals for each of the characters, and this often results in each having to resist their instinctive urges to get it on with the other character. At this point, it’s more lust than love, and therefore once the first sex scene eventually happens, subsequent encounters happen quite frequently. When the opposite is true, where the characters are questioning their own feelings more so than the others’ reputations, sex is likely to happen fewer and farther in between. Proclamations of love and undying devotion tends to take up more page space than gritty details of how much ecstasy the hero can give the heroine in a proper romp in the bedroom.
Of course there are exceptions and variations to the romance vs. sex equation within all stories. There has to be, or all romance stories would be more predictable than they already are! But that’s why we read them: we want the happy ending, and that’s what romance novels deliver. Without the happy ending (including the romance and sex necessary to pull it off), romance novels wouldn’t have the fan base it does, let alone be the number one seller in genre fiction. Romance and sex are a must!
Romance Novel Examiner: Facebook · Twitter · YouTube · E-Mail