So I’m reading this historical, never mind by whom, and the hero and heroine, as so often happens in historicals, are on the run. They’re being pursued by hostile forces who will kill them if they’re found, probably with a little extended torture along the way. Moreover, they’ve only just met, having made a mutual escape pact to try to get them through the perilous country ahead. They’re hiding out, trying not to be found by the aforementioned murderous troops. Oh, and the hero is wounded and ill. So what’s foremost in the hero’s mind? How much he wants to have sex with this mysterious woman.
As most of us are only too well aware, romance is far from the most realistic genre out there. Not that I’m against this, necessarily. Realism isn’t high on my list. And some sex scenes that take place under weird circumstances are fun—Larissa Ione has her paranormals make out in a snow-choked forest and it’s really hot. But there are limits. Trust me, there are going to be times when sex is not uppermost in a person’s mind, even if you’re a Really Hot Guy or One Sexy Babe. Some of these times include
1. When you’re being closely pursued by a hostile army and your companion is someone you hardly know.
2. When your companion is so annoying readers want to give him or her a quick kick—contrary to the logic of a lot of Hollywood romcoms, being annoying is not a turn-on for most of us
3. When you’ve just discovered a corpse
4. When you’re hiding from a supernatural being who wants to drain some of your favorite bodily fluids
5. When you’ve been through some kind of physical ordeal that’s left you broken, bleeding, and totally exhausted.
I have, in fact, encountered sex scenes that took place in circumstances that were very similar to all five of these examples. And I have to admit, occasionally I’m willing to give the author a bye, if she’s good enough at setting up the characters. But for the most part, nah.
Yes, sex is a big part of romances, and most of the time I’m willing to accept the idea that romance heroes and heroines are just exceptionally randy. But every once in a while, I find myself going, “Really? Now? They want to do it now? Are they totally insane?” At least the author could have waited until the hero and heroine had gotten around to introducing themselves.
So how about you? Have you run into scenes where you totally couldn’t believe anybody would be interested in sex? Or are you more tolerant than I am (a very likely possibility)?