Let’s talk about sex, baby.
Let’s talk about you and me.
If you just sang that in Salt-N-Pepa style, we need to be friends. I’m old school, and that song was the biggest ear worm ever. Also, it was banned in my family so obviously, I knew it by heart, haha.
So yeah. Let’s talk about sex. Sex in MM romances, to be more specific. How realistic are those scenes and even more importantly, how realistic should they be?
Well, the answer to that question depends on who you ask. Here’s the thing. Romances are by definition fiction. They’re not meant to be realistic. If they were, they’d be gay fiction and not gay romance.
That doesn’t mean everything goes and nothing needs to be realistic, but it does mean we have some creative freedom in portraying reality. And I use some of that freedom when it comes to my sex scenes.
So let’s talk about what is unrealistic:
- Lots of sex, all the time
- Guys always coming at the same time or at least, close together
- Every time always being epic and the best sex they ever had
- The size of the equipment
- The stamina of everyone involved and the lack of needed recovery time
- Everyone usually loves swallowing
- Lots of precum
- Lots of prep
To name just a few. Now, I don’t always include all of these. I’ve written some characters with smaller equipment (No Filter comes to mind), not all my books have anal sex (Healing Hand, for example), and in the Forestville Silver Foes series, I am a tad more realistic about not being able to go three times in a row.
But I do also take some liberties (think Connor and his Beast and Coulson with his big dick), and the reason is twofold: it fits my genre—gay romance—and it’s what readers want. Even if what they want isn’t always true…
(did you know that most men who bottom regularly don’t need nearly as much prep as most MM romance authors describe, including me? But it’s what most readers expect, and if we skip it, readers will criticize us sometimes…)
Let’s be honest: realistic sex isn’t necessarily the most romantic sex, and it’s not always fun to read either. Sex can be messy and embarrassing, and while I do on occasion show some of that, for the most part I try to make it pretty and perfect. That’s part of the romance, but it’s also what most readers prefer.
If the sex in MM romances gets too gritty and realistic, we authors do get dinged for that in reviews. I don’t always care about that, but I do understand where readers are coming from. I, too, read romance because I prefer that rosy fiction over the less-than-rosy reality, so while I do appreciate some level of realness, I also want my swoony romance. And part of that is great sex.
But there are a few things that are important to me. Safe sex is one of them. I think that’s an aspect that needs to be discussed in some way. Even more important is consent. I think that’s about the most important thing to include. I will admit that it’s something I’ve become more aware of over the years, so my earlier books may not highlight it as much…
Anyway, that was today’s sex talk. Now I’d love to hear your thoughts, How realistic do you think sex scenes in MM romances should be?