Sex Scenes; Bare All or Bedroom Door Only?

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When my agent asked me to try writing a ‘cozy’ she advised ‘no sex Kelly.’

‘Really? None?’

‘Absolutely none. Kissing only. Stop at the bedroom door.’

Given this is the same agent that 18 months ago suggested I write erotica, I was bemused. Still, she was right last time…we had a deal for ‘Wicked Games’ within two months of my signing with her. So I bowed to her superior knowledge and had a go at a ‘cozy’. It’s actually a good mix for my writing style – there’s a mix of romance and crime, written in a fairly light-hearted way with a twist of dark humour. I’m really enjoying myself. But I’ve got to admit, I’m having problems stopping at the bedroom door! Even in my first crime novel, ‘Sins of the Children’ which is due out later this year, there are  a couple of hot and heavy sex scenes.

Yet there’s something weirdly sexy about not putting the sex on paper. Like the way that sometimes a maxi dress is more alluring than in-ya-face hotpants. Cozies don’t feature explicit sex because the target market isn’t looking for it, whereas erotica fans are of course looking for exactly that, yet I can’t help wondering if the readers, rather than being less highly-sexed than lovers of hardcore BDSM readers, simply get turned on by different things. When you never get to see the characters have sex, yet the romance is otherwise fully developed, there’s a quivering level of sexual tension. Sometimes in the middle of writing a sexy story I start to feel decidedly unsexy whereas writing a traditional romance so far feels like literary foreplay. I’m sold.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m hanging up my stockings and stilettoes just yet…in fact, I can feel a hot and heavy ménage a trois with a courtesan, a werewolf and a pirate coming right up….

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