Does Writing About Sex Sell Your Book?

By | March 8, 2017

It all depends. What level of readership are you writing for and how are you actually putting these often tricky words to the page? There are many different ways to write about a subject and a lot of the fun when you are a creative writer, is thinking about how you are going to come up with words that are interesting, exciting, relevant, and in good taste. Many writers forget about the latter and it’s crucial.

A majority of books are sold online these days and the readership varies, so choosing the right category from the get go will help readers find the right level of romance or sex that they are comfortable reading about. Books are often categorized by age and for Young Adults you need to go light on the intimate details, but make it interesting at the same time. Teenagers are very much aware of what’s out there and they’ll find the level of fiction that they’re comfortable with.

Choice of words is crucial for Young Adult books, and especially so with romance or sex (or a combo), as well as violence. A couple of samples are pasted below:

Young adult level of romance/sex (excerpt from an upcoming novella in the Vampire Romance category):

She invited me to dinner that time outside of the grocery store. One invitation lasts for a long time.

In an instant, Thor shape shifts to a thick black smoke and eases himself under the door, then reassembles on the other side. He stands still and assesses the situation, then goes quietly over to the windows to make sure the curtains are tight and there’s no gaps. After a moment, he walks over to Jen on the sofa and stands in front of her.

No room here. I have to take her to the bedroom. He caresses her hairline and cheek, then bending over, easily picks her up. After placing her on the bed, he lays down beside her. Jen is wearing her PJs and robe, so Thor eases the thick robe off her shoulders and unties the belt and unbuttons the top of her PJs. For all intents and purposes, she’s dead to the world.

Adult level of romance/sex (excerpt from a novel set in Ancient Egypt):

Meryneith covers his mouth with her hand, then reaching up on her tiptoes, kisses him.

Kemsa manages to balance himself on the side of the wall, and draws her to him, then kisses her cheek and neck and then further down after he slips the strap of her dress off. Using his kilt, she draws him in even closer. She unfastens her other strap and the dress falls to the ground.

So different. So much love, she tells herself.

So different. So much love, he tells himself.

“I forgot to ask you what you wanted to talk about.”

Deep in passion now, Kemsa can merely mumble. “I think all of my questions have been answered.”

After a very few minutes, thunder and then lightning approach and the next big flash of white hot light reveals their intertwined and naked bodies — one luminescent and pale amber and the other the color of a moonless Egyptian night.

Depending on how you write passages, major sections can be crossovers and will work in several genres. Choose your words wisely for the emotions you want to convey, and put a lot of yourself in everything you write.