Interesting thought, and my initial reaction is to think that surely it depends on what the reader is after?
That said this morning I have completed the first chapter of the fourth in my La Crafty Cathy series. The first three are pretty explicit, with I think a good story and a good range of emotional life issues to surmount. But this morning when I was writing about a sex scene on a train I realized that I did not need to describe the act as there was plenty of tension building up to it and it flowed well without the wham bang thank you maam. The issue I now have is whether I should stay with what has been tried and tested, or evolve a bit and risk loosing those customers who like to read the action. I suppose I will just have to let it flow out of me and take it from there.
You have made me pause for thought about quality while also bearing in mind what sells. That is my second pause today, the first being when I had completed the chapter with no hard sex, though lots of tension and teasing.
[i]Good writers do not describe sexual encounters. They merely imply sex happens and then get on with the real story if there is one. There usually isn't.[/i]
Soooo, if I'm writing a thriller I don't need to describe the murder, just imply that it happens? Because, y'know, the real story is about finding the killer, not about how he did it. Even if the way in which he killed someone is how they eventually find him.
If you're likening sex to clipping your nails, you're clearly doing something wrong
Romance is a perfectly legitimate genre and where we choose as authors to draw the veil (or not) is ultimately our choice. A well-narrated sex scene can move the plot on in manifold ways. Just as it doesn't matter (according to your model) if someone is shot or stabbed or strangled, so it doesn't matter (theoretically) if a couple have sex or they don't, and if we as a reader see that or we don't. Except, of course, that it does.
There is no "one way" to have sex. Sex, well written, is about intimacy (or lack thereof). It speaks volumes about the characters and their relationship. Sex can be angry or possessive or loving or tender or violent or any one of a million other things and that's just between the same two characters. Sex is no single act, nor is it engaged in for any single reason. A good writer will show that. I'm no fan of PWP and I don't believe for a minute that every romance needs to have a sex scene, but the fact remains that it's a valuable tool for any author. Those who don't accept that are probably demonstrating their own hang-ups about sex more than anything else.
“A well-narrated sex scene can move the plot on in manifold ways.”
And not one good writer would do so.
“There is no "one way" to have sex.”
There is only one correct way. The others are for the mentally deranged—the same people who like to constantly write about sex acts.
“Sex can be angry or possessive or loving or tender or violent or any one of a million other things”
[i]People[/i] can be angry or possessive or loving or tender or violent or any one of a million other things. We can [i]assume[/i] the incredibly obvious—that their sexual habits will be an outgrowth of their personalities.
“Those who don't accept that are probably demonstrating their own hang-ups about sex more than anything else.”
Those who constantly write about sexual encounters are plainly and demonstrably the ones who are hung-up about sex.
oh my, now there's one one "correct" way to have sex, and everyone else is "mentally derranged"? dear, dear. I take it that you're of the school that any and all kink is a perversion, and that sex must only be indulged in within the confines of a legally sanctioned and approved relationship for the strict purpose of procreation?
where I come from there's no right or wrong way to have sex, providing everyone consents and it all feels good
but I wonder if perhaps we're talking about two different things. please define "constantly" (as in "[i]Those who constantly write about sexual encounters[/i]"). Are we talking about PWP, or is even one explicit scene in a book of any genre one scene too many?