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February 9, 2009

Love Scenes: Risque Business!

I’ve just finished reading a book by a fairly well-known author. The writing was solid. The characterization good. The dialogue made me chuckle in a few places, and then I reached the love scenes…

Most of the love scenes took place on horseback. Now I’ve ridden a horse before. I know anything is possible, but honestly, when the hero and heroine started having anal sex on horseback (the heroine was a virgin and they were in the middle of nowhere with the baddies after them) I was ready to throw the book at the wall. The love scenes were also really long. The characters chit-chatted for so long while doing the deed I became bored and lost track of who was doing what. Pages and pages of chit-chat during a love scene does not work. I fast forwarded to find more of the same. After that I became cranky and started to notice the plot holes in the story.

My love scenes range from a paragraph to half a page to several pages. It depends on the characters, the story and what stage the relationship is at. I like to change it up when it comes to length. When it comes to location: bedroom, kitchen, hallway, outside, spa pool, a tent, a vehicle, mountains, sea, space ship… A horse or other similar moving object such as camel or elephant–no, because it doesn’t strike me as safe or sane even though it might be possible. Animals are unpredictable creatures and I keep thinking about the injuries…

So, my question for you is: how long do you like the love scenes to be in a romance? What is the strangest location you’ve read/written in a romance? Are there locations that make you go ewww!?


  1. Cheryl McInnis

    Hmm, anal sex on horseback while being chased by bad guys. I’m assuming they didn’t have any lube available to use either? That really wouldn’t put me in the mood, I’d be too busy thinking OUCH! As for your question, I like love scenes to be short and steamy. I think everything can usually be covered in a couple of pages, anymore than that and I start to get bored and skip ahead. I read a love scene once that took place on a huge boulder in the desert, that was pretty weird.
    And when people make love on the kitchen counter, that makes me go EEEW! I mean, that’s where food is prepared *shiver* But maybe that’s just me :- )

  2. Nixy Valentine

    Hahaha… I love it! I almost want to read the book just to see how on earth that could even be possible!

    For me, how long a scene is depends on how it’s written. I’ve read some that were pages and pages that went by quickly because I was so enthralled. Foremost, it needs to be part of the story. No random sex just for the sake of having the required sex scene.

    I remember once reading a story that had sex up a tree. I cannot for the life of me remember what it was though! Another had two archaeologists having sex in an old dusty tomb. That one grossed me out a little, but then I’m claustrophobic!

  3. Alice Audrey

    I like for the scene to go to whatever length is supported by the character and plot development. As soon as it starts to look stagnant, I skip to the next part. Body parts can be so boring.

    I can’t think of any place that makes me to ick, but I’m sure I’ll run across something eventually.

    Meanwhile, I have an award for you. Come by to check it out.

  4. Amy Ruttan

    Bum loving on a horse. Yeah with no lube can we say anal fissures and tears. YOWZER.

    If I was that horse I would be wearing a big sign that says “I am a means of transportation, not a mattress.”

    Chit chatting whilst doing the deed? I don’t mind the dirty talk as it were but chit chatting no thanks.

  5. Karen Erickson

    Okay yeah the anal sex on horseback would’ve made me toss it. That’s ridiculous.

    I’m with you – I’ve written sex scenes that are a couple of paragraphs or 10+ pages. It just depends on the book, characters, etc. I just read a book by a very famous erotic author and the sex scenes were just sooo long. And the time devoted to each act within the act (i.e. oral) was like oh my God how long is this gonna take? That’s what was running through my mind.

    I love a good sex scene. I’ve been known to skip around till I find the good stuff but come on. Sometimes too much is too much. LOL

  6. Lucinda

    I always wonder how the horse feels about that. :mrgreen: I’ve heard that the only impossible setting for a love scene is standing up in a hammock, but that may have been tried, too.

  7. Shelley Munro

    Cheryl – you’d like they’d pick the softer sand rather than a boulder, although I know that the desert is actually quite rocky. That’s a scientific observation I took without taking my clothes off BTW! :mrgreen:

    Nixy – a tree? Now that would be worse than a horse.

  8. Shelley Munro

    Alice – thanks for the award!!

    Amy – If I were the horse I’d stumble on purpose…

    Karen – I like a good sex scene too, but in this book I kept skimming. It was so chatty I lost the thread totally.

    Lucinda – I don’t feel safe on a hammock for relaxation purposes. Standing up? Nope, don’t think so! I don’t think I’d have the right balance.

  9. Rhonda Barnes

    :cry: Anal sex on a horse? Ewwww…I shudder to think of it!

    Rhonda :grin:

  10. Amy W.

    Now this is interesting because I was actually talking about this at coffee this morning. Where if the sex scene is too long, overly descriptive, or chatty I end up skimming or skipping it. I find sex on a horse hard to believe unless it was at a SLOW walk personally, and still then not enjoyable. The weird one for me was on a diving board. Those things have a very rough texture and what happens when you fall off?

  11. Christina Phillips


    Basically, just… ouch!!! :eek:

  12. Fedora

    LOL!!! Shelley, now we all want to know which book to avoid ;) I agree with all of you because while I love hot stories, I also can’t stand those that really stretch the bounds of reality to the point where I’m laughing my head off. And I know that it’s fiction, but I prefer fiction where it might at least be credible for superhuman gorgeous heroes and heroines OR where it’s clearly set in a time/place where I can toss my usual standards of reality right out the window :mrgreen:

  13. Shelley Munro

    Amy – a diving board? Now that’s a location I hadn’t considered before.

    Fedora – exactly. I like to have a dose of reality in my stories.

  14. Jory Strong

    Just tuning in to this discussion. Sex on a horse? I think not. Anyone trying even some type of vanilla sex would end up on the ground. If I hit that in a book, the author would probably go on my “never to be bought again” list.

    That’s one thing I’ve noticed lately, a lot more implausible situations and writing done without any consideration of where body parts really are–like authors are trying to cram in variety but even their minds aren’t really “in the scene”. I finished a book last night where the hero and heroine are having missionary position sex, and one minute he’s kissing her lips, then the next he’s got his tongue on her clit at the same time he’s still pounding in and out of her. Meet Gumby the Contortionist. It basically turns the sex scene into something boring to read. I finished the book and took it immediately to my “used book store trade-in box”.

  15. Deidre

    Well, at least it’s different. That’s probably what the author was going for. I have to wonder though how many women long to be taken in the **** by a well-hung man while on horseback. It’s got to be a short list. LOL


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