Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let's Talk About Sex...

...make that Sexual Tension. :)

I've noticed a growing trend in the last couple of years, especially in erotic romance, where sexual tension is really lacking or even non-existent. Sometimes the plot is focused so entirely on getting the two (or three) into bed right from the word go, that the build-up stage (whether it's a few pages or a few chapters) is completely skipped. Sure the characters are thinking about sex, and they may even know the other person wants it too, but what seems to be glossed over are those moments when it's more about a look, or a touch, even an almost touch.

The thing is, it's those "almost" moments, like when they're a whisper away from that sizzling first kiss, that make it even more explosive and satisfying when the couple finally hooks up. I want that build-up, that anticipation, that close call that leaves them aching for each other before I get the pay off. Just because an erotic story comes loaded with sex, doesn't mean that sexual tension needs to be sacrificed.

I'm a huge fan of super hot romance (which is probably clear if you've read my books LOL) but I need that sexual tension for it to be a truly satisfying read. I always know I'm reading a really hot book when I want it to happen as much as the characters do.

Strangely enough, lately I'm finding books that rely more on the sexual tension than just the sex, are turning out to be hotter, sexier books. Now I personally don't need a dozen "almost" moments before the payoff, or have them holding off to nearly the last chapter of the book either (I mentioned I like super hot books, right?) but there needs to be some kind of balance.

So what about you? Have you had problems finding books with enough sexual tension lately, or read a really good book that just nails it?


PG Forte said...

Interesting question. I've recently noticed a trend in some of the books I've been reading where the characters are so conflicted with regard to their feelings for one another that the sexual tension actually increases once they start having sex!

Kind of the best of both worlds. :)

Debra St. John said...

I've been reading a series lately that is all about the sexual tension. In fact, I'm halfway done with the fourth book in the series, and the couple still hasn't done the deed.

But let me tell you, the "almost" scenes are HOT! I can't even imagine what the scene will be like if they actually ever finally do it!

Meg Benjamin said...

One of the best "sexual tension" books I know is Sarah Smith's "The Vanished Child"--and the only thing that happens is a kiss. Of course, that sets up the second book in the series, "The Knowledge of Water," when there's a *lot* more!

Kelly Jamieson said...

Oooh you are so right Syd - the build up is half the fun :-)
This is a goal for me to work on sexual tension. I recently read The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale - Talk about sexual tension (the hero is a virgin and has never even kissed a woman)!!!