I’ve been struggling to write recently, and once again someone brought up the “writing sex for the sake of sex” thing in conversation.
I don’t know about other authors, but I would never write sex for the sake of sex. To sell more books to those who read M/M books for smut. Nope. Not my thing.
If my characters have sex in my stories, they do it for a reason. But the reason is never because I, the writer, thought “well this is a good spot to insert some smexin’”. Even in Technically Dead, in which there’s more sex than in say, By Any Other Name, the sex scenes are there to demonstrate the characters’… well, character. The relationships they have.
Let’s take Bran, for example. He has sex with several people who are not the love of his life. He has sex to feel connected, for comfort, for control. And because it’s fun as hell to have sex with either people you don’t know at all or people who know exactly which of your buttons you might want pushed at any given occasion. No, not my personal opinions, but Bran’s.
Whenever I see a book reviewed as “PWP” or “PWPish” yet I find the blurb interesting, I give the book a chance. I might actually skim some sex scenes if they’re CLEARLY there for the sake of it. But there are plenty of ways to write sex and not all of the “innecessant” sex annoys me. Most of it does, though, I’ll tell you that right now.
I want sex in the books I read if it belongs in them. Same with my writing. I’ve written stories with next to no sex compared to page count (By Any Other Name, Something New) stories where there’s a lot of sex compared to page count (Technically Dead, Lucky, Unwind) and something in between. All this is relative, by the way, what is a lot of sex for my stories, might be peanuts for other writers.
This is exactly why I don’t believe all the reviews I see that say the story has too much sex. I’d rather take a look myself, because the reviewer might be wrong, they might not agree with the kind of sex the characters are having, or they might just feel like there shouldn’t be sex at all or it shouldn’t be as graphic as it is. Everything is relative.
For example, not everyone finds handcuffs sexy. That’s their quirk, not mine.