Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
0 Kudos

Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Safe sex is a troublesome issue for authors of contemporary romance. Some readers are touched by the hero who looks after his lady by asking if she's protected. Others are turned off at the idea that these people have gotten as far as the bedroom and still know so little about each other that they have to ask. Some readers want reality in the age of HIV. Others prefer fantasy when they read.

Should heroes carry condoms? Should characters talk about birth control? Should they simply use it (the old "he reached for a foil wrapper" approach), or ignore the subject? Should we give the details or assume the reader will fill in the blanks with her own imagination?

Do you prefer when authors include such things as condoms and discussions of birth control, or when these things are left to the reader's imagination?

Are there authors who handle issues of safe sex and birth control in a way you admire? Share their names and book titles, if you wish.


Reply to this message to discuss this topic.

New User
PhilJane
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Now here's a place I think is used too often. Safe sex is good, but if your characters are heros and heroines, suffice it to say they usually take precautions.
Another thing, even in real life, when we stop to reach for the condoms, it's sort of a turn off so why say it during a love scene when it can be referred to later, like,
"She certainly was glad she protected herself," or he knew he had to protect her, she was so naive. There are gentle ways of expressing the fact that the couple took precautions.
Also, there are times, when they don't, for a reason, like in the heat of the moment, all was lost. In one of my books, Courting Abby, it wasn't really mentioned until she shows up with a son. You know they didn't use protection. Sometimes love happens on the spur of the moment, in the heat of a moment, and no precaution is taken.
One has to analyze the characters and situation to best fit the book.
Rita Hestand
http://ritahestand.com
http://readerseden.com
Author of:
Heart of the Wild, NIck's Baby, Chief Cook & Bottle Washer
Wandering Heart, Strictly Business, Courting Abby, Hannah's Man
Frequent Contributor
lavenderlass
Posts: 270
Registered: ‎01-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Hi Philjane and new people, it's lovely to see you here. I've been around a lot now and really enjoy it, I've learnt loads and 'met' some really nice people. It's lovely to see you planning a long career in writing, I'm in the uk and hope one day that we can buy some of your books over here, it'll be nice to say I remember you from here!

I'm a bit different to you about the use of condoms though. I can remember having had a few boyfriends who really thought it was naff to use condoms, so I love it that the people I like reading about use them, I think it shows that if they're happy to use them, then so should I be. I also think it's really sensible and caring that a couple, or just the man, take precautions like that.

So I'm quite happy with them being mentioned. Julie Cohen is a writer who is really good with them, she's a new writer for HMB Modern Xtra. She's half American and I think she has one of her books coming out in the US about now. They give her heronines a sexual freedom they could never have otherwise.

Lynne.
Contributor
Hollyabbie
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

The books that tend to cover the subject in a
-she shows up with a child
-she is nervous about being pregnant
-or only life mates can bare children together and of course that is the heroine and hero of the story.
is more to my taste. I think it were written for a younger crowd it would be acceptable to approach the subject head on, but for romance the more difused approach is better for me.
H


Out on the edge you see all kinds of things
you can't see from the center.
--Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Contributor
Hollyabbie
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Just finished book one of a new trilogy. And the big sex scene was totally ruined by one word in the throws of her core shattering never before had she felt like this, "condom".
Took the reader right out of the whole picture. The drawer, the tearing of the first...yadayada.
It was like all of the emotion dissipated to zip.
Holly


Out on the edge you see all kinds of things
you can't see from the center.
--Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Frequent Contributor
ChristineM
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎12-31-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Ug, this is something I always have trouble with. As if sex scenes aren't tricky enough. I prefer to have the characters use some forethought, but at the same time I don't like the mechanics of it. Sadly, I have no authors who's sex scenes I admire (or rather I do and they're packed in my storage unit in Ohio.) I do really hate it when characters are so hot for one another that they are just about to jump into bed before one of them thinks "Oh gee, I don't know where you've been. Are you clean?" I want them to know one another a little better.
Frequent Contributor
dixielandgrl
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Love Scenes: Safe Sex

Very true Christine. For me, std's should probably be number two on the boyfriend application right after current employer's address and phone number. If you haven't got the basic information, this is no time to have sex.

I can't remember which author it was, but i read a great scene where this was part of the fun. They knew each other and when they got to the actual use of protection, Both of them ended up laughing over the awkwardness of it. And then they had really great sex anyway. It was a nice confrontation of the issue. Of course, you can't pull that off all the time, but just the once it was very sweet.
"If all would lead their lives in love like me,
Then bloody swords and armor should not be:" Thomas Campion
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
1
Users Online
Currently online: 4 members 638 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: