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This morning I heard on the news that the Fifty Shades books are on their way to breaking another record. Frankly, I don’t care which one. People like sex. People like reading about sex. And when everyone is doing or talking about something, people stop being embarrassed about it. I’ve heard people say they are reading the Grey books because they love the characters. To me that sounds a little like how men used to read Playboy for the articles, but to be fair, there are other steamy books and they haven’t caught on the same way this series has, so there is something in the books that has latched onto readers’ imaginations. Again, I won’t hazard to guess what. Wink.
But that’s not where I was going with this blog post. My book has hardly any sex in it; at least there is nothing graphic or intentionally titillating on the page. I was reaching out to show an emotional connection between the characters. And my book is not a romance. When one of my day job coworker’s asked me what my book was about, her primary interest was to find out if my novel was like Fifty Shades. (She’s the wife of a minister.) Ah, no, I said. That’s not my story. Well, she said, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s part of life after all. Sure, sex is part of life. BDSM? Whatever.
Sometimes less is more.
Not all books should be Fifty Shades even if readers are clamoring for it. What do all people (except maybe nuns, priests and monks) have in common? Sex. Yes, it’s how we are all created, and most adults engage in sex. But graphic sex is not necessary in all books. Let’s face it folks, sex is not the only part of a love story.
In other words, adding graphic sex to my novel would have been gratuitous. Why not put a little gratuitous sex on the page if that’s what readers want? Because that would be another book, a different book. And maybe I’ll write that book someday, but not this time.
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