So I’ve been thinking about sex a lot lately. Heh. Get your minds out of the gutter.
Correction: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weaving a strong sexual component into a paranormal romance.
In addition to odd questions I’ve had to consider (i.e., would a 400-year-old Irish farmer-turned-vampire be circumcised, and do I really need to address that?), I’ve had to think about the structure of my manuscript.
–How early in the story does the deed first occur? From studying other PNRs, I’ve determined the sweet spot to be between pages 50-60. Earlier, and they look slutty. Later, and…well, later doesn’t seem to be an option.
–How to finesse that first sexual encounter in a way that works with the story, feels natural to the story, and only further complicates the 300 pages that follow.
–How to weave an ongoing physical relationship in with the building romantic, emotional journey the characters are taking, without detracting from it or overshadowing it?
–How to show and phrase things so that the story doesn’t cross that fine line and go from being PNR to becoming EroRom–and you know exactly what I mean. Anyone who’s stuck with the entire Anita Blake series as I have knows.
So, here’s today’s question for those of you who read paranormal romance and/or erotic romance: what makes a paranormal sex scene hot but not slutty? What lines do you draw in terms of what you like to read versus what goes over the line? Who does it well?