Okay. I have to admit. I'm something of a voyeur. At least when it comes to love scenes in romance novels. I am definitely a leave the door wide open kind of reader and writer. I like to know what's going on. In detail.
If a love scene 'fades to black' I feel let down and disappointed. Books with no love scenes at all don't do it for me. A chaste kiss just isn't enough. Even when I'm reading something outside of the romance genre, perhaps a mystery or an action adventure, I like my hero and/or heroine to get a little action of his/her own.
In high school I cut my romance reading teeth on the Harlequin American line. Doors were all the way open. (Perhaps a little too wide for an impressionable teenager, but other than it shaping the way I write, there really wasn't any lasting harm in it.)
Because those were my romance roots, my writing today is usually labeled as spicy. The door is left open for readers to share the experience with the hero and heroine. Sometimes there's no door at all. I tend to include at least one 'out of the bedroom' love scene in each of my books: in the car, on the beach, at the swimming hole, and in the bed of a pick-up truck are places I've used so far. (I did a guest blog at Bianca Swan's on this very subject if you'd like more details!)
Going a little farther on the spectrum, erotica is a little too much detail for me. I like euphemisms for body parts, not anatomically correct ones or 'harsh' language.
Of course all of this is simply personal opinion. Not everyone feels the same way. What's so fabulous about romance is there's something out there pleasing for everyone. If you are someone who just likes a simple kiss with no consummation at all, there are books out there for you. If you like to read on the spicy side, there are books out there for you. And if you want explicit detail, there are books out there for you. Not to mention every taste between.
So, which do you prefer? Doors shut? Or doors wide open? And if you're a writer, do you write what you like to read?
Until next time,