Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Does Explicit Sex Sell Books? by June Gadsby



Explicit sex – yes or no. Does it sell books? This is the question that’s been bugging me for years. And my husband has been begging me ever since we met to put more sex in my stories. In a bookshop he picked up a copy of Jackie Collins’ “Hollywood Wives” and told the shopkeeper: “My wife could write like this!” “You lucky man!” was the shopkeeper’s response. My husband bought the book – the only one I’ve ever known him to buy, read it at great speed and remarked that I could do better than that. Me? I’ve shied away from writing sex in my novels or reading sexy books all my life.

But let’s face it. Books that contain sex – especially the explicit kind and plenty of it – sell, and the author becomes famous. The reading public seem to love it. From Lady Chatterley’s Lover to 50 Shades of Grey, people get as passionate as the characters in the books. And they buy. You hear of a book that hasn’t hit the marketplace yet, but word is out that the sex content is pretty hot, so it becomes an immediate best-seller before anybody has read it.

Admittedly, one or two of my books contain gentle, inoffensive sexual or sensuous scenes, but I’ve never been comfortable with the explicit side of sex. At my age it may be too late to change, but having taken some time out from writing and just about everything else that was my normal life, thanks to some health problems, my brain has been working on the new planned novel, “Forbidden”. Well, the title just cries out for explicit sex of one kind or another and while I worked out the story in my head because I couldn’t sit at the computer, little pockets of explicit sex wove their way into the jungle of words that will one day soon flow from my brain to my fingers and then to the keyboard and screen.

Suddenly, I want to be up there with the sexy writers who give more readers than I have what they want. Dare I do it? Why not? It’s not, after all, ‘forbidden’.


The Cunning Cliché by Victoria Chatham

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