How hot should it be?
Whenever I start to write a sex scene, it's a question that plagues me. Also, how many sex scenes are too many? Too few? I was pondering this while making cheese straws to take to Little Babygirl's second birthday party. Our current manuscript, which Plotter and I are in the final stages of polishing, only has one real sex scene, with a couple of short interludes and some sexy thoughts from the hero and heroine. That pretty well matches up with the books I've read in the line that we hope will be interested. With only 60,000 words to work with, you just can't spend a lot of time in the bedroom--not if you intend to tell a story. You have to get across the sensuality in other ways. I hope we've done that.
It's kind of like a cheese straw. I've make thousands of cheese straws over the years. The recipe I use is in the Junior League of Morgan County's original cookbook, Cotton County Cooking. I've tweaked it a little, as one is wont to do, making some mistakes from time to time when I've gotten too adventurous. Don’t try to add sesame seeds, garlic, or blue cheese. It just messes it up a good thing. I've learned what works and I do the same thing every time, with only one variable—the cayenne pepper. The recipe calls for a half teaspoon. That is not enough, ever. How much is enough depends on the occasion where the cheese straw eating is going to go on. If it's a ladies' daytime party, I use one teaspoon. If I have volunteered to make them for some charity event where there's a cash bar and silent auction, I use at least two teaspoons. The spicier the food, the more people drink. The more they drink, the more they bid on items they don't need and probably don’t want, hence the cause of the moment is a success.
For Little Babygirl's party, I settled on somewhere in between nice lady tea
party and get 'em drunk and take their money. It was going to be a late afternoon to evening affair with mostly adults in attendance. Babygirl was making appetizers and Little Babygirl's daddy was going to boil fifty pounds of crawfish in the backyard. There would be liquor but no cash bar and no silent auction. (Babygirl wouldn't do that, no matter how expensive it is to finance Little Babygirl's wardrobe and shoe collection.) It seemed a safe bet that this crowd would be a little spicier than a bridal tea. I was right. There wasn't a cheese straw left.
When I have written as many sex scenes as I've made cheese straws, maybe the answers will come easier—but there is never going to be just one variable. What fun would that be?
Tell us what you think of sex scenes—writing and reading them.