Let's Talk Sex!!

12:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 80 Comments

Read about it HERE
Tara & Heather are celebrating publication by taking a pause from the writing process to host a fest about thrills.

As a writer of love stories, ask me about the thrill of my stories and my mind instinctively goes to sex.


In my stories, sex goes hand in hand with love. 

No hook ups, no one-nighters...at least not as the way to the land of happily ever after.

And that's by design. 

 I started reading Barbara Cartland and Danielle Steele when I was in training bras. Those stories made me a believer in true love and romance...even if it was the...ahem...dirty parts that lured my inquisitive self to read ;)

Woah, a teen consuming such romantic trash? 

How...wonderful! 

Those books, those stories of true love made me a true believer. As I waded through the dating world, I had all kinds of fluffy headed illusions that made me turn down any offer that started with, "Hey baby, nice...."

See, that sort of behavior doesn't fit the true romance paradigm. 


Photo from Wiki Commons
A real hero won't smack you on the rump, leer below your collar bone, or think a single free drink will get him to the promise land. 

No sir! A hero will walk through the fires of hell to get his true love a glass of ice water because she is thirsty. (And of course, the heroine would never ask that of the one she loves...so it's all good.)

Honestly, I think we need more people thinking this way...to start believing in love and holding out for the real thing.

*Just to be clear- I write romance for the adult market, but I have found at my book signings and from emails that many teens are reading my books. That revelation made me wonder...should I remove the sex? And this post was the answer I came up with.

80 comments:

  1. I agree one hundred percent! I'm all for the real thing! I would not, however, turn down a free drink (hey I'm on a budget here) :D

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    1. 18 year-old Elizabeth would have given you a high-five. Hey, if a guy was dumb enough to waste his money to buy her drinks, that was his problem.

      But 40ish Elizabeth says, Samantha- be careful!!! Men get some strange ideas and it only took one dude following me back to my dorm to make me realize a better way to save money was to have drinks with friends at someone's apartment...and then hit the clubs.

      And ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep a wing girl...maybe even a few of them. Women should travel in herds and the strong should always be mindful that the weak are not mauled...unless she wants to be ;)

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  2. I totally agree that we need more believers! Maybe we should start with me? hehe

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    1. I'm good with that!

      Now remember the first rule of romance...true love when strike when you least expect it and the guy will be the dude you totally don't think you're compatible with.

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  3. I think it's great that you posted about real romance and how reading even 'trashy romance' got you into believing and writing. True love is beautiful and I don't accept free drinks. Between the fear of it being spiked and the connotations some people perceive, it's best to just stay away. With a few exceptions like out with my girl pals (unless it's a bar or wild party - why am I there?) and one offers me a drink (because if it's spiked that's just creepy).

    Sorry for the mind drift and best of luck with your entry Liz.

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    1. Smart girl!!! I've seen too many creepers just lurk the edges of parties and clubs just waiting for a girl to be too out of it to make good decisions. Sickos.

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  4. I remember reading Barbara Cartland and Danielle Steele books too. They did leave the younger imagination astray!
    Original entry!

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    1. "Palimino" was one of my most favorite books. What a story. Talk about true love. And Barbara always had the tales of lords and ladies...ah, be still my beating heart!

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  5. Very good point, Elizabeth. Teens reading about sex (gasp) in love stories isn't bad when sex goes hand in hand with love, like you said. And only love. :)

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    1. It only works with love. Kyra Lennon in "Game On" wrote a story about a woman who was burned by hook ups. She gathers her wits, demands respect and finds love. Perfect.

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  6. I AGREE with all your talking points. Excellent.
    CD Coffelt ponders at Spirit Called
    And critiques at UnicornBell

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for the links...makes my "hunting" you down all that much easier!

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  7. I agree with you as well! As much as we men like sex (and we do), sex without love is hollow and meaningless.

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    1. It takes a real man to admit that truth. You have all the makings of a hero Alex!

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  8. Love is the most powerful emotion, Elizabeth. Men with gentle hearts can show love in little ways and become a hero.

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    1. Love is powerful Deanie! And honestly, the most gentle men are often he bravest. I mean they are manly enough to drop the phony bravado and be themselves...that's pretty brave!

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  9. I think it's really great that you didn't take sex out of these stories, because teens need to understand that it's so much more than just a one-nighter.

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    1. That was my final thinking. Now, if I were writing YA, I would have a totally different view point. There I would only add sex as a "what not to do" sort of thing.

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  10. I used to read romance novels at the library just for the sex scenes when I was a preteen. I didn't even read the entire books, only skimmed through to find the sex scenes. Now I realize that romance novels are about a lot more, and that they need a real relationship, romance, and a storyline instead of just sex. I wish more real-life men were like the heroes of romances.

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    1. Me too! But ya know, I was thinking...isn't it better that we were fulfilling the curiosity with passages from love stories than in real life? Fantasy sex is the safest sex there is!

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  11. I read my "mom's" books when I was a kid and it gave me a good indication of what ideal romance was all about. I don't think I have unrealistic expectations as an adult. More of a ideal to strive for. And, it helped me weed out a lot of jerks before it got to serious. Keep writing what your writing no matter the audience.

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    1. Thanks Sydney! Sure, the men in those books are total fantasy, but hey, so are the women! But the core values...love, respect, protection, and loyalty...those are real qualities that can be found in real men. You just have to look beyond the "Hey baby" yelling stud.

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  12. Awesome post! Real love is the way to go! :)
    And I love your reasoning.
    I have a friend who overcame dyslexia because she wanted to read the "good" parts of romance novels as a teen . . . so you never know, your books might be showing true love, and helping teens with learning disabilities at the same time. :)

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    1. That is fabulous! Whatever it takes to get over a disability. I only hope I could be so helpful.

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  13. I clicked over because of the title
    ...and I wasn't disappointed. Great post. :)

    (As a mom, it's not the sex scenes in novels I worry about. It's the moral and social context in which they're framed. ;)

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    1. Me too. I have all boys, but I still remind them to never cheapen the "event"...whether they listen to me or not, I have no clue!

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  14. You can't control who reads your books, you can only say what age range it's reccomended for. I think teens are gonna find sex scenes one way or another. If they're well written, you're doing them a service by saving them from one-dimensional tripe. That's my take on it, anwyay.

    And lovely to meet you, BTW. Following you now and will be back around!

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    1. Thanks on both accounts Beverly!! And if young me was any indication...yes they will hunt them out!

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  15. I agree, a good romance novel can provide one with great thrills. Romance novels are about the intimacy that comes with sex, but also about the people and relationships involved. So no, please, do not remove the sex.

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    1. Well said! And since you are in favor...sex it is!

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  16. I also read Danielle Steele and Mills & Boon romances when I was much younger.
    As others have commented, one way or another, the teens will read about sex, but it depends on how it's incorporated into the context of the story. There's a bigger picture to consider, for example, a solid and honest relationship within an "acceptable" moral framework, which would ultimately lead to sex scenes.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. And in the midst of a solid and honest relationship is where the sex is hottest anyhow. I mean those sort of scenes where everything is in play- heart, mind, body, and soul...wow. Those ones are the powerful ones!

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  17. Lol.... Removing the sex for teens... HA.... Teens know and start being physical WAY BEFORE i did.

    Glad you're keeping them in. They may learn a thing or two about ROMANTIC SEX... especially the boys. Woman need to be subtly coaxed and a soft touch, a kind word, and a passionate kiss set the stage for the next act....

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    1. Wow Michael...you could write a hand book ;)

      But you're so right. I remember having a chat with girl friends in college and the topic was...what kind of guy is good at sex? Answer we came up with...one who loves the girl and cares about what she's feeling.

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  18. Sounds like you put a lot of thought and integrity into your books. Kudos to you!

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    1. As a mom, I don't know any other way to do it. I mean one day it could be my own kids doing the reading. I don't want them to be ashamed of Mom.

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  19. what a coincidence that my trend of thoughts this morning was along these lines of believing in love again. I do agree that sex without love is empty. It's just that the more I listen to others' conversations, the more I think that love has disappeared from the equation and sex is all that's left. I was wondering if it was just in my country or it was like a world-wide thing.

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    1. That's a scary thought Al. You make a very good point! We eat empty calories and consume mindless television...maybe loveless sex runs in the same vein.

      But I am still a believer. I think it's safer to say you're NOT looking for love. Love makes you vulnerable and that can be a scary thing. But true love is so worth it...so keep looking!!

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  20. I think true love is such a worthy pursuit...and all too lacking in today's throwaway society. Fast, cheap and disposable seems to describe everything around us. I think it's awesome that teens are reading your books!

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    1. Thanks Laura!

      You're so right. I couldn't describe things better myself. That's why I decided to change nothing. I believe my message is solid...nothing about love is fast, cheap, or easy.

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  21. What a wonderful post to show the great lessons a young dater can get from romance books, even sexy ones. Hold out for the good guys for sure!

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  22. Great post! I read all my mom's trashy novels when I was a teen. It does raise your standards. :)

    Thanks for participating.

    Heather

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  23. I used to read D. Steele and Jackie Collins all the time as a teen, too (sans training bra, though.)

    They were definitely hot enough for this poorly educated boy (my sex-ed was a well-placed book left on the dresser :)

    PS... sex in a book meant for adults - why not? And if teens are reading it - why not? It didn't do us any harm... It's what happens once the teen closes the book down that has changed... Society has changed.

    It's got to be a tough job being a young girl in this crazy world...

    PPS: Hey Sam, listen to your Auntie Liz - she knows what she's talking about. There are unfortunately too many weirdos around these days... sigh...

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    1. Sure, sure you never wore a training bra. :)

      My husband reads my Glamour magazines and Beta reads my stories. He's an enlightened sort...you two could swap stories!

      I'm glad I got to be young in the 80's...just for the baggy clothes alone? All this tight fitting stuff would have had me a neurotic mess for sure!

      As an Auntie, I do a lot of lecturing to my nieces...sometimes they listen; sometimes they don't...but I always try!

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  24. It's a good answer. My sister and I read Harlequin's in jr. high.

    I like that Mark read them, too. :) Boys should read romances as teens. Wouldn't we all be better off?

    Happy Monday!

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    1. I'm all for making them required reading Mary! ;)

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    2. Oh yes, I was all into bodice-ripping (even when I had *no clue* what a bodice was :)~

      And *NO*, I didn't wear training bras, but the jockstrap was *great* for keeping the rain off my manly mullet :)

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  25. this is the setting for a thrilling discussion!
    and im sure you give many teens a thrill with your steamy scenes and make us all swoon for romance!
    great post!

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    1. That's the hope Tara! Thanks for hosting :)

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  26. You in a training bra? I don't believe you. But I do believe you have some awesome love scenes ...I say that swallowing hard. Bwahahaha

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    1. Hehe...you're totally right...never wore a training bra...well maybe in the third grade. But come on Tammy, allow me the poetic license to make the piece sound cool!!

      Good thing I have you to Beta, so we don't have any out of place gulping when NERVOUS...crazy chick!

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  27. And just when you would get to the juicy parts, your Mom would yell that it was time to turn out the lights. Then you'd lay in bed imagining what would happen next... that's the beginnings of a writer.

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    1. Oh yeah, you know it! You're a wise lady Suz!

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  28. I would totally ask my hubby to walk through hell to get me a glass of ice water. That's why I married him!

    Great post, Liz!

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    1. You're definitely worthy of a hero Emily!

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  29. "A hero will walk through the fires of hell to get his true love a glass of ice water because she is thirsty."

    Love and honor demand no less. :)

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    1. I'm not at all shocked that you agree Jeff :)

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  30. Hey Elizabeth,

    Ah yes, a real hero does what is right with little fanfare. I'm a bit of knight in shining armour (armor).

    Oh, before I go! Blogfests! Argggggghhhhhh!!!! Okay, phew! Sorry about that. I feel better now :)

    Your starstruck fan,

    Gary (who is not a sex coach or a bus, or a love boat, for that matter).....

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    1. It's my last fest for a while Gary, I promise on Penny's paws.

      I'm taking at least the month of July as cyber fest free so I have more time for real life fests!

      You're so right...the noble of heart WILL do it without fanfare...just because it's the right thing to do.

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  31. Oh, if it's for adult, it better be in there, LOL! I am, however, against it in YA books.

    Seriously love you, Liz. I always find you entertaining and fun! :D

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    1. I'm against it in YA also...unless it's a tool for what not to do. I only see bad come from, um, relations among minors.

      Love you too Morgan!

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  32. Ha! Love it! That song...Let's talk about sex, baby, let's talk about you and me.... will be stuck in my head all night now. I swear, it just slammed into my brain the second I clicked on your page. :D

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    1. It is catchy! Hope you enjoy it floating around your brain.

      Everyone should go download it and use it as background music as they read :)

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  33. I totally agree. I was reading romance novels when I was thirteen and I turned out okay. Lol! I read a huge variety of stuff and my mom knew about them all. Never had a problem with the romances and was always more than happy to answer any questions I had. Lol!

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    1. I turned out all right also! And my mom never cared either, though I'm sure she would have raised an eyebrow if I was bringing in books like "Shades of Grey"

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  34. I love the way you write about relationships. I just read your comment to someone else where you said your kids would be reading your books one day... I'm not letting my kids anywhere near mine until they're 25!

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    1. Why thank you!

      And seriously? I'd let my kids read yours now...well all but that last one in Sadie, might save that for when they are a little older ;)

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    2. I think it's more that I don't want them to know what comes out of my head. I can just imagine the looks on their faces. #1 son has mastered the art of being incredulous :-)

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  35. As another commenter mentioned, I've got the let's talk about sex Salt 'N Pepa song stuck in my head now LOL. And I agree with Annalisa, I love your thoughts on relationships!

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    1. Thanks Julie! I think everyone should go download the song in tribute. :)

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  36. I'm just going to stand up and cheer this post for a bit. Right on :)

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    1. I'll stand with you and take a bow...hehe

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  37. Whithin the bounds of true love, sex is a beautiful thing. Otherwise, kick 'em to the curb!

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  38. I read romances when I was young, mainly in high school and a little bit in middle school. Sometimes there was immaturity involved with me and my friends passing around an open book with a dirty scene, but those books became a part of my love for reading and writing.

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    1. Me immature? Never. Well, unless you call getting detention in math class for passing around and possibly engaging in a dramatic reading of a sex scene as immature ;)

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  39. I enjoyed reading your post and I like your take on the issue. Thanks. csbe

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