Skipping Sex and other Things We Don’t Admit To

I’m going to admit it right out loud.  I’ve never read 50 Shades of Grey.  It’s not that I’ve boycotted it or anything.  It’s just that I find myself skipping sex scenes lately and so the book doesn’t appeal to me.


No. I’m not a prude.  There are some authors who are so good at sexual tension I’m begging for the sex scene to hurry up! I’ve been known to write to C.L. Wilson demanding that the hero and heroine get on with it! Please! Before I die! LOL  I love it when a couple’s chemistry is so amazing that the sex is an extension of their story and you want to read it.

But, lately, it’s been hard for me to find a book that has that chemistry.  Either the book includes sex because there seems to be an expectation to do that or the sex is used to help sell the book.  Foreshadow and foreplay are things that an author must commit to doing as a furtherance of the story, not because it’s expected.

My favorite book of all-time is Jane Eyre.  There’s no sex in that book.  But, when Mr. Rochester finally kisses Jane the sparks fly and I get all fluttery inside as my own heart soars for them.  And let me tell you, I didn’t need anyone to tell me Mr. Rochester would be concerned with Jane’s orgasm.  You know that man put his heart, soul and good experience into making Jane feel loved and pleasured.  Sorry to any Bronte fans who are aghast at my assumption.


I’ve read books that have no sex in them and the stories are amazing.  I’ve read books that have too much sex in them but the story is still amazing.  But, lately I’ve just not been able to find a book where the sex in an extension of the character’s love story.  Where the chemistry is so amazing you’re just waiting for that chapter where they finally make love.

Do you skip the sex scenes?  Or do you read them with wild abandon?  What book or books would you recommend in which you feel the chemistry between the hero and heroine are so strong that you looked forward to the sex scenes?  Do the sex scenes have to be detailed and erotic or can they be simple and we infer they made love?

What’s your opinion?  Skip the sex? Or give it all she’s got?  What kind of sex do you like in your fiction?

About Sheila Clover English

International speaker, business woman, author, mother, wife and owner of seven dogs. I love people, am an advocate for animals and stay up too late at night reading books.
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29 Responses to Skipping Sex and other Things We Don’t Admit To

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Sheila, I’m so glad you wrote this. I’ve been skipping sex scenes a lot. I think it all has to do with emotion. The sex scene has to matter, and I’ve been reading a lot of books where it doesn’t matter. The last book that I read a sex scene without wanting to miss a word was a Robyn Carr book. It was just so romantic. I think that’s the difference. I read romance for the romance, not the sex. So it makes sense that if it’s just sex, I’m not interested. And when I’m not interested, the reader won’t be interested, either.

    The weird thing is that I only wrote one sex scene in my wip, and I’m revising it right now. I knew something was wrong – which is the reason I stopped. And now I know that I need to put more romance in it. So thank you for this!

    • Sheila says:

      “I read romance for the romance, not the sex.”
      Edie that is exactly how I feel!!
      It needs to matter.

  2. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi, Sheila,

    I also skip many sex scenes. If they further the story of the couple’s love, or give new insights into a character, then I will gobble them up. Johanna Lindsay and JR Ward have done some nice ones.

    I prefer explicit, because too often I feel a global cut-and-paste has been done, substituting “core” for the lady parts. 🙂 Core being, to me, is a much more wholistic concept. A lady is much more than her parts 🙂

    • Sheila says:

      “I feel a global cut-and-paste has been done”
      Yes! Yes! Yes!
      It does feel that way to me. It’s like the sex is recycled words and it needs to be as unique as the character’s relationship.

    • Edie Ramer says:

      Mary, “lady parts” always makes me laugh. :mrgreen:

  3. Sheila, I am SO with you. I don’t have that many sex scenes in my own books, because I prefer sexual tension to actual sex 😉 And like you, I skip a lot of sex scenes when I’m reading.
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Contest: Win one of two sets of The Dark Forest Series

    • Sheila says:

      I prefer the tension too. You want to yearn for the hero and heroine to further their relationship, not get a cheap pay off because it’s “required” to sell the book.

  4. blodeuedd says:

    I am a serial skipper.
    Of course I can be all, get it on! It’s just, one page is enough. I do not need, or want 20 pages. The I get bored and skim
    blodeuedd`s last blog was …The demon door – Kim Alexander

    • Sheila says:

      I’m like that. I want LOTS of tension and then just enough sex to satisfy me that they belong together. I won’t read more than a page of sex as a rule.

  5. Adaiah La Vonda says:

    I read the sex scenes on the first read. After that unless the love making scenes were spectacular then I skipped then and get on with the story. I read for a good or great plot.

    • Sheila says:

      Exactly! People read for the plot. And I do know that some books have sex AS the plot and that’s fine if people want that. It’s just not my cup of tea.

  6. C.L. Wilson says:

    It depends on the story, the author, and the scene. I read Kresley Cole’s love scenes in their entirety, because I think she does them so well and because they feel passionate and emotional, not forced or perfunctory. They also feel unique to those characters and integral to the story. I have read and enjoyed some amazingly hot reads as well as incredibly romantic reads where the sex is mostly off page. What I don’t enjoy or read are books that are more focused on sex than romance and emotion. If I don’t care about the characters and their emotional journey, I won’t care about the sex they have or the book the author has written.

    • Sheila says:

      Yes! I care about their emotional journey too. And sex “off page” can be just as rewarding as sex “on page” if it’s all done right.

    • Juli DuFer says:

      I agree, C.L. Wilson. Kresley Cole writes sex scenes well. They’re balance and do not feel cookie cutter to me, when I read her books.

  7. Carrie says:

    I’m SOSOSOSO glad you wrote this. I skip so many sex scenes. I’m reading for the story or to escape into a fantasy world. I’m not a prude, I have nothing against sex — if that is what I am in the mood for I can pick up erotic lit.

    I really LOVE stories that there is tension and attraction and they make to the bedroom (or wherever) and that’s that. I know that they had sex but I don’t have to read about turgid members or quivering whatevers for the umpteenth time

    • Sheila says:

      “I don’t have to read about turgid members or quivering whatevers for the umpteenth time ”
      ROFL!!! That cracked me up! I am so in agreement!
      The sex can be off-page and be great. And I’m okay with some sex if it reflects something important about the couple. If I wanted to read just for the sex, I’d get erotica.

  8. Chris Harris says:

    I LOVE a well written sex scene. However, I read to escape to a different world for a time and if a book is just one sex act after another I won’t read that book very often. I have a few books that I have to replace often because I read them too much. Lord of the Fading Lands has been replaced twice so far. C.L. Wilson has written a beautiful world, great love scenes and an epic plot. That being said, I just finished Cat’s Lair by Christine Feehan and I can say that one will not be read again for some time. It just had too much sex and not enough plot for me, it felt like a filler book. As my kids would say, “Mom’s SSN’s ( sleazy sex novels ) have to have a great plot.”

    • Sheila says:

      Cheryl’s books are amazing!
      I read Cat’s Lair too, but I knew going in that it was going to have a lot of sex. The Leopard series always does as it is the nature of the cats, so I understand why it is the way it is and under those circumstances totally get why and how the sex is connected to the story.
      That said, I love the Sisters of the Heart series so much. Not as much sex, great sexual tension and the relationship is front and center.

      • Adaiah La Vonda says:

        Yes, I’m waiting patiently to read Christine Feehan’s Earth Bound. I must add that the Prakenskii brothers are very hot guys and they’re pretty creative in the love making scenes and the ongoing plot is fantastic!

  9. I am so happy to read that I’m not the only one! When I first started reading romance I devoured every page, every word. But somewhere along the way – especially lately – I’ve come to want more. I’m not always sure what that more is, but it definitely is about sexual tension and an actual relationship developing between the H/H before they jump into bed. The heroes I fall most in love with are not the dirty talkers or the wham-bam-thank-you-maam men, but the guys who form a true connection with the girl of their dreams. Then I don’t skip or skim the sex scenes. 😉

    Thanks for this great post, Sheila!

    • Sheila says:

      I have a thriller series I’ve started and the entire first book of the series has to do with sexual tension. It’s not until the second book that they even get into the bedroom together. I think the tension is more exciting than the sex, though the sex should be the pay off and make you feel satisfied.

  10. Staci says:

    I’m also far from prudish, but how many times can you read about engorged members and hot channels? Please. I love a good erotica, but true erotica is to romance novels as Renoit is to a high school art class.

    Unless the sex is a true requirement to the story, such as a person overcoming a trust issue, and the play by play is required to help us understand the building of trust, then no. No, I’m not interested in the 5 mandatory hot and heavy panting sessions. blah blah blah turn three pages…oh, they’re STILL at it…blah blah blah, oh, finally back to the story. It’s enough for me to know it happened and how we got to the point of it happening.

    Recently, I started reading Lynn Kuland’s Nine Kingdoms series. I love how she handles physical intimacy.

    Thanks for broaching this subject.

    • staci says:

      oh, and Georgette Heyer was a queen among romance writers, and not one drop of sex. I lost my Georgette Heyer books in a move. *wanders off to start replacing them*

    • Adaiah La Vonda says:

      Staci, I’ve heard great things regarding the Nine Kingdom series. I have it on my summer TBR list.

  11. Yodamom says:

    I enjoy a sex scene if it is earned, with a long chase, back story, connection between the characters. I like it to be detailed but not to go on for pages and pages, once to twice is enough. I am not a fan of sex for entertainment it is for me a natural end line to a long game. The gold at the end of the rainbow. :mrgreen:

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