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Too much sex

When a book is labelled an erotic romance, I think most readers understand that the sex is going to be graphic and there will probably be a lot of it. Not to say that there shouldn't be a plot and lots of sexual tension, but the sex IS very important in an erotic romance. If there wasn't a lot of it, it would be an ordinary romance whose trysts are often as detailed as mine but less frequent.

 Yet, I still get comments saying there is too much sex in my stories. I sigh with frustration. I don’t put sex in to pad the thing out. I put sex in at appropriate times. My latest MM doesn't even have the main pair together sexually for several chapters, yet I still have too much sex – apparently. I've had some readers count the times it happens and the ways it happens. One suggested I had a list and ticked off what I've used – him on top, her on top etc. Er – no, I've never done that! And most amazing to me is that I have a lot less sex in my stories than a lot of erotic romance writers whose novels are less plot orientated and more sexual exploit driven.

I wonder if that’s my problem. That my stories read more like sexed up non-erotic romances. If that even makes sense. So readers get more plot and character details than they expect and so think my stories are too sexy. I don’t know and I want to pull my hair out.

I think the only conclusion I can draw is that old chestnut – you can’t please everyone. No one can please everyone. Believe me, I'm the pickiest of readers! 


Molly Wishlade said...

Hi Barbara!
Well I fully intend to read some of your novels so I'll let you know!!! Lol!
Surely, if an erotic romance didn't feature enough sex, then there'd be more complaints?
I agree with you. Pleasing everyone is impossible so write from your heart and be true to your author voice. I am sure that there are many readers out there thoroughly enjoying your novels and eagerly awaiting the next one!
Molly xxx

Barbara Elsborg said...

Thank you, Molly. Yes, you're right - not enough sex and they'd be saying that too. But how do you find that middle ground that pleases everyone? I'm 27 full length novels down the line and STILL don't know. LOL