...in romance novels.
As a writer, I've never really thought about how much sex I include in my novels. I just write what feels right. I don't worry about whether or not some family member will read it and get offended. If they don't like it, they don't have to read it.
But, I was reading a Debbie Macomber book a few days ago, and it suddenly occurred to me that a romance novel doesn't actually have to have a full blown sex scene in it. You can be a bestselling author without it, and not write inspirationals! Needless to say, I was shocked, although I don't really know why.
I think the idea surprised me because I've seen a marked increase in sex scenes in a lot of the books I've read recently. For example, I love Christine Feehan's books. I picked up the first Carpathian novel when it first came out, and I've been a fan ever since. Yet, after finishing her latest Drake sister novel, Turbulent Sea, I was a little stunned. Don't get me wrong, I liked the book. I'd been waiting for that hero to get his own book for years, but it seemed like one sex scene ended only to start another one ten pages later.
So, what's the story? Are readers expecting more sex in romance novels? Are editors and publishers requesting more? Are authors just writing more sex in their books? Am I imagining the whole thing?