In Thomas C Foster's book How to Read Literature Like a Professor, he says —
Ever tried to write a sex scene? No, seriously. Tell you what: go try. In the interest of good taste, I'll request that you limit yourself to members of the same species and for clarity that you limit yourself to a mere pair of participants, but aside from that, no restrictions. Let 'em do whatever you want. Then when you come back, in a day, in a week, in a month, you'll have found what most writers already know: describing two human beings engaging in the most intimate of shared acts is very nearly the least rewarding enterprise a writer can undertake...to tell the truth, most writing that deals directly with sex makes you wish for the good ole days of the billowing curtains and the gently lapping waves.
It's a long quote, I know. But it's a necessary one because it's the only thing I could think about while reading Rissa Brahm's latest book, Catching Preeya.
The book starts off reasonable enough. We get the meetcute and steal a glimpse of the characters' insecurities that will prove important later on in the plot. And even the plot itself is engaging — I cared enough about the characters to want to keep reading. I wanted them to work it out, to get over this hump they found themselves in (pardon the pun).
The sex scenes just yanked me out of the story every time. I know there are readers who are about that kind of writing. I know calling body parts her sex or his member really do it for a lot of people. However, every time the characters started breathing heavy and reaching for each other, I struggled with the believability because it was a sex scene actually about sex.
And in literature, it's just rarely about sex. If it is, the characters are eating (mind out of the gutter, you) or they're playing with clay or they're talking about the storm rolling in and the humidity settling on their skin. I think I can dig these kinds of stories, because it leaves so much to the imagination. The tension builds naturally and you practically want to push the characters together yourself in order to help them find a release.
It's a matter of showing, not telling. And Brahm told an incredible story of two flawed people finding each other and loving each other despite their hangups, I just wish she would have pulled back the control and allowed the characters to show us their connection rather than force it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Contemporary romance writer Rissa Brahm grew up in New York and has since lived in all four corners of the United States, and beyond. The beautiful paradise of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico—the core setting of her hot & heartfelt debut series, Paradise South—is Rissa’s most recent and beloved home.
After two decades of working in the rigid—and sometimes blurry—world of finance, she's taken hold of her truest dream, writing hot and heartfelt stories full time.
When not chained-by-choice to her MacBook, she is embarking on outdoor adventures with her husband and little girl, laughing to tears with a good rom com, eating amazing Indian food with something chocolate for dessert; reading good, hot scorchers in bed; biking, long walks, and yoga; zoning out to killer music from across the decades and the globe; and getting lost only to discover a new exciting route home again. You can connect with Rissa on Facebook, Twitter or by email anytime by heading to www.RissaBrahm.com.