I wanted to title this blog DO ORGASMS MATTER? but I chickened out. Not because I figured people would think it was a biology quiz, but because it sounded a little too clinical to me–as well as a little too focused on sex, which is ridiculous, because that’s what this post is about. (I must confess, I’m actually quite shy about sex.)
My books do have love scenes in them, and I have to say that although I enjoy reading love scenes, it’s a form of torture to write them, but because it’s often hard to find an original way to approach the same eons-old activity. But I do it, and once I get going, I usually enjoy it. I love all the aspects of sexual tension, from banter to foreplay to intercourse, both writing it and reading it.
But I really, really don’t go for descriptions of orgasms–in my books or those of other writers. All that exploding and shattering, coming to pieces and seeing stars…pfft. Far too often, these descriptions are anti-climactic. Not that I expect to have a shattering (argh) orgasm when reading a sexy scene, but shouldn’t there be some sense of completion?
In future, I’m thinking of ending my love scenes before the orgasms, because to me they’re usually not titillating or romantic or anything but just…a bit dumb. Maybe I’ll imply the climax instead (just as the sex itself is implied if the door is closed on it—and that usually works fine for me, too. In fact, the most romantic books I have read don’t have explicit sex in them. But I digress). Anyway, I don’t know whether that will solve the problem. Or maybe it’s just me that’s the problem.
So…what do you-all think? Do descriptions of orgasms matter in love scenes? Maybe, as often as not, they should be left out. Or maybe we writers just need more original ways to describe them. What do you think? I’m dying to know your opinion on this burning issue! (And would also love some recommendations of authors who do the climax really well.)
Now for the historical trivia question. Here’s a bit of suggestive tension from one of my Regency novellas, The Unrepentant Rake. Read the excerpt, answer the question at the end, and enter your answer in the trivia form here.
Setup: It’s the middle of the night, and governess Beatrix March is almost caught while searching for a precious relic of St. Davnet, which one of her pupils has stolen. She has escaped onto a balcony to hide—and now she’s stuck there.
Beatrix turned in the cramped width of the balcony and looked down. She couldn’t possibly jump that far. She would have to wait until they had all fallen asleep and break the window to unlock it, and if someone heard her…
‘Miss March!’ She would recognize that sly male voice anywhere. She glanced about. Where was he?
‘Beneath you,’ said Mr. Simon Carling, stepping out from behind a bush.
‘Thank God,’ she breathed. ‘I’m in such a fix.’
‘So I see,’ he mocked. ‘A respectable guest would immediately wake the master of the household, since you are plainly up to no good.’
‘Hush!’ she hissed. ‘You’re not respectable, and we both know it. Help me, for heaven’s sake.’
‘I should be delighted.’ He paused. ‘At a price.’
Footsteps sounded in the room behind her, and candlelight flickered. Mr. Carling disappeared behind the bush again, and Beatrix held her breath. The footsteps died away.
‘What do you want?’ she whispered.
‘What are you willing to give?’
She hesitated. Through the window came Eudora’s sleepy voice and one of the maids replying. She’d be stuck out here all night if she didn’t accept Simon’s help.
Temptation uncurled inside her like a lush, red rosebud. He was a Bad Man without the slightest interest in marriage—the perfect choice for a woman who recoiled from marriage as well. She might never have such a chance again.
‘Anything you like,’ she whispered recklessly. ‘Just help me down!’
‘Anything?’ he asked.
And a little later, after he has rescued her:
He set Miss March on the ground and let go, to see if she would try to renege on her promise.
Instead, she pecked him on the cheek. ‘Thank you so much!’
For a few speechless seconds he merely stared at her. He recovered himself and purred, ‘I wonder, will you be as thankful once I’ve claimed my reward?’ He would make sure she enjoyed herself, and he wouldn’t impregnate her or give her any diseases, but she would probably be plagued with foolish guilt until the end of her days. ‘Or will you be overwhelmed with missish regrets?’
‘It depends what you ask for.’ She folded her arms across her chest, which only made him more aware of the sweetly luscious breasts she tried to hide. ‘Hurry up, then,’ she said, entirely composed. ‘What do you want?’
What did he want? He wanted to lift her skirts and tumble her then and there. He ran his fingers gently along the line of her chin, dropped them to her nightdress, and skimmed them lightly down the fabric between her breasts. She shivered but didn’t shy away.
‘You’re very lovely,’ he said. ‘And no, I don’t say that to every woman I meet.’
‘Perhaps not, but you needn’t feed me compliments, and the longer we dilly-dally out here, the more likely we’ll be caught. I repeat: what do you want?’
He opened his mouth to demand his due, but what came out was, ‘A kiss.’
Her mouth dropped open. Her brows drew together. ‘That’s all?’
No, that wasn’t all. He wanted a whole night of kisses. He wanted to kiss every inch of her delectable body, and wanted her lips all over him as well. He started to say so, but this time not a word came out of his mouth.
‘One paltry kiss?’ She sounded offended.
He pulled himself together. ‘My kisses are never paltry,’ Simon said.
Now for the historical trivia question: Beatrix is searching for a precious relic of which saint? Enter your answer here.