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Do you skip the sex scenes in stories?

If so, do you know why?

I’ve been reading romance since I was in high school (way too many years to mention). The sex has certainly gotten racier over the years. I can honestly say, in all those years, I never skipped a scene.

Then I started learning about this craft of writing. Perhaps, simple maturing makes us pickier?

I remember vividly the first time I skipped a scene. And I blame it all on Joely Sue Burkhart.

From the email I sent Joely~

You’ve ruined me for Tab B in Slot A romances with your transformative sex 🙂

I’m happily reading along. Hero has literal and figurative inner demons, nicely developed. Heroine fears her past, good layers. And then the sex scene…and a Joely Devil shows up on my shoulder.

What happened to their fear?


He’s been having an inner dialogue about his demon hurting her if he has sex with her. She’s just seen his demon for the first time in the light of day. And they’re just having a grand ol’ time on the forest floor?



:points to page: “See, his brother mentions the change in their relationship.”

*raises eyebrow*

:ignores Devil on shoulder:

A few pages later…next day in story…

*poke, poke*

“What, now?”

Where’s the growth? The change? What’s the point?



:glares at Joely Devil:

You just skimmed.

“Did not.”

Did, too.

“I don’t skip or skim.”

*poke* You just did it again.

:looks at page: “Damn, I did.”

*Joely Devil sits, crossing ankles, and merrily swings legs*

“I’m going to have to get rid of half the books on my romance shelf.” :whine:


“Okay, I get it. You can go back to Joely now.”

Didn’t you get another bodice-ripper in the mail yesterday?


Joely Sue Burkhart opened my reader eyes and sex scenes will never be the same for me again. That’s not a bad thing as a reader. It is, however, a challenge I strive to meet as a writer.

Because Joely has already done articles on this better than I ever could, I’ll refer you to her guest post on Tia Nevitt’s Writer Wednesday feature where she does a great overview plus has all the links (including a couple I had forgotten about).

On Writing Sex

I’d love to hear what makes you skip or skim a scene, sexual or otherwise?