Nicholas Sparks made headline earlier this week for pushing his conservative, religious agenda at a school he was involved with. The headlines read “Romance Author Nicholas Sparks…” NO! Nick, if I may call you that. You may call what you write romance, and I won’t lie there have been some great stories, but they aren’t true romance. Who am I to tell you, right? I mean I am an unpublished romance author and you have literally sold millions of books, what leg do I have to stand on?
Well, I am a big romance reader, I have read a lot of romance, good bad and truly ugly. More importantly, I write romance, real romance that is a reflection of real life. I have even read some of your work but you know one thing is missing, the sex. Now I know that there is a huge market for this type of “wholesome” romance. For many conservatives, reading sex is the same as watching pornography. Nick, I know you will probably never read this and I am just another writer blogging out into the void, and on the very remote chance you do see it, you won’t agree with me.
Writing romance without sex in it is a lie, it is not how life works. Before you the army of purity ring enthusiast come charging out, calling for my head, I was one of you. I embraced the dogma and really lived it until I didn’t. My point here is that not putting sex in your books isn’t real life, nor is ignoring all of the types of sex, and being inclusive. Writing sex teaches readers how to love, on a whole other level. Love as you know is more than holding hands or dancing on a beach, wait was that a euphemism?
Sex is important in romance writing and I will fight for this topic until my dying breath. Sex scenes carry so much more to them than just smut as some would call it. I get that there are some romance authors who think that writing sex is a lazy way to convey emotion in the story. I would challenge that by asking them to write a sex scene, they’re difficult and take skill to write.
Recently, I saw a topic of discussion about intimacy in young adult fiction. There was a massive debate about the appropriateness of there being some light sexual activity included in these stories. I championed, yes! We read books to educate us in so many other things, why wouldn’t we read to learn how a relationship really works. Ignoring sex all together in writing romance really gives a distorted picture of a relationship. Being intimate in those special moments tell you so much about who you are, who the other person or people are, the power dynamic, inventiveness, compassion, sense of humour… I could keep going. Sex scenes are so important, for all genders, and preferences.
Ignoring the topic and leaving it out of romance, won’t make those who have different preferences not exist. They’ll be there, reading my books, and the books of other authors whose work reflects real life, real relationships. Writing sex of all types lets our readers know that as an author, I see you and accept you. More than accepting you, I will stand by you and your right to choose your own lifestyle.
Sex is not evil, at least it shouldn’t be if you are doing it correctly. Sex should not be ignored in romance writing. SEX IS IMPORTANT….