The perils of writing about sex

An article in the Guardian had me pondering the place of sexual activity in my novels.

I haven’t written many sex scenes in my short stories, novellas and novels, though to my amusement a volume of erotic verse that I compiled from saucy verses I’d written was downloaded 4,000 times as a free ebook at Smashwords—four times more than the next most popular title.

I’ve no prudery writing about sex, but with psychological thrillers, unless the plot is driven by sex crimes, it’s reckoned to be an unnecessary distraction to allude to the love and sex lives of the detectives and villains.

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I included one bizarre sexual interlude in my first novel, using a paraphilia that most people wouldn’t know existed. This was done partly for humour, though, while I was writing it, I thought that the reader might wonder if this was my kink!

It isn’t, and nor am I interested in the gay BDSM sex that propels some of the action in my second novel, a prequel to the first. In this, the main baddy is a gay, manipulative narcissist who sexually dominates his underlings while running a legitimate luxury car business and illegal drug and weapon smuggling and human trafficking operations. I wrote a sex scene in his dungeon, that felt about as erotic as hitting my thumb with a hammer to me, but which some readers might be turned on by. I did it to show the dynamic of his gang, how they relate to one another under his dominion.

I run the risk of alienating some readers by making my baddy gay and a thoroughly nasty dominant master, as well as having folk think I’m like this! 

Does writing about sex cause you any problems? 

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