Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened While Reading a Love Scene by Tamara Hogan


A number of months ago, I was the guest speaker at my college roommate's book club. While we talked about the book, one of the members - the cutest little thing, with punky platinum hair that took me back in time [mumble mumble] years - revealed that while reading TASTE ME, she and husband had... a lot of sex. An unusual amount of sex, most of which she'd initiated. "I'd read a chapter or two, turn over and tap him on the shoulder, and...whoa, Lordy, it was ON." 

After the group finished laughing, she continued her story. One night, when she and her husband were getting ready for bed, he gestured to the book, lying on her bedside table. "Aren't you going to - you know - um, read?" he asked. Instead of doing so, she paged to the book's first love scene, and passed the book to him. "Why don't you?"

So, he read. When he finished the scene, he closed the book, turned off his light, and settled down to sleep. "And...nothing!" she told us, throwing up her hands. Finally, she had to ask him. "Isn't that about the hottest thing you've read in your life?"

He shrugged. "It was okay, but there was hardly any sex."

After we refilled the wine glasses - again - we had a very interesting discussion about sex scenes and love scenes, and the degree to which gender might account for the differences in expectations, perceptions, and reactions while reading them. Punky Reader opined that she'd responded to the ramp-up, to the slow build in sexual and emotional tension. "But he seemed to be looking for..."  She made a lewd hand gesture. "Tab A/Slot B." 

One thing this conversation drove home for me is that, for all the sexual tension I try to convey in my work (even Romantic Times described TASTE ME's heat level as "Hot") there's really not a lot of explicit sex in my love scenes. As a writer, erotica's outside my comfort zone, but as a reader? Definitely not. Sometimes Tab A/Slot B (or, um, Tab A/Tab B/Slot C) really hits the spot.   

Tell us about your favorite love scene(s). What is it about the scene that appeals to you?  

And speaking of heat!  Here's a peek at the drool-worthy cover of my June 2012 release, CHASE ME. If werewolf geologist Gabe Lupinsky were to pose in his employer's parking lot wearing a leather jacket and no shirt, I'm sure he'd choose a classic style like this. ;-)

Huge thanks to Aleta Rafton for another fabulous cover.

9 comments:

  1. What a fun post!
    A quick story of mine about love/sex, tab/slot scenes. My neighbor asked me one day if I wrote sex scenes from experience.
    I asked her, "Why are you asking?"
    Her answer, "Because if you are I'm sending my husband to dinner with your husband."

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  2. Love the new cover, and I'm laughing at Carolyn's comment!

    I think you've definitely hit on another difference between men and women. Most women don't mind some subtlety. Most men don't get it!

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  3. And another great title! I thought it was Holy Writ in the magazine markets that women like to read about stuff they can visualize themselves, and men like to go straight to the visuals.

    As for me, the "trick" (ahem) to a good hot scene is all the emotional currents raging beneath, beside, above and between the desire. Some despair, some hope, some resentment, a little regret... the biology doesn't change but if it isn't being used to propel the story and character arcs forward.... skim, snore, throw book against nearest wall.

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  4. Ha! Carolyn, my friends make similar joking comments. "Hmm. Mark appears to have some...hidden depths." ;-)

    Shana, I definitely think there's something to the gender differences theory. For example, the picture I used in this post is a screensnap from the movie "Top Gun." I think it's about the sexiest love scene I've seen on film, mainly because what it DOESN'T show.

    "...women like to read about stuff they can visualize themselves, and men like to go straight to the visuals." - I think you nailed it, Grace!

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  5. I'm still giggling over both your story and the other comments...And you want me to think coherently, write about a favorite sex scene? Pff! Lol. Maybe in a few minutes...

    ...

    Okay. Still smiling, but I can type. I hope.

    I can't pinpoint an exact favorite lovescene (there are just so many!) but they all have one thing in common: heat, desire, passion, emotion, perhaps a bit of wit and banter. In other words, I don't want to read a formulated sex scene, each one has to be different, unique to the characters and story.

    It doesn't always have to be erotica explicit (though that is nice, and I do read plenty of it), but it does have to illict some kind of response from me, the reader.

    If I don't feel the passion, then it's not a very convincing sex scene!

    Great topic--and I look forward to reading your books, Tamara!

    Enjoy,
    TBQ
    TBQ's Book Palace

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  6. Book Queen, I think you make a key point when you say that the love scene has to be unique to the characters and the story. CHASE ME's heroine, Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger, is very physical, not a girly girl in the slightest - very different than TASTE ME's willowy siren rock star Scarlett Fontaine. Writing love scenes from their points of view put me in very different headspaces per book. The heroes also couldn't be more different. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. That new cover is drool worthy and after seeing it, I'm not sure I even have to read the first love scene to get hot!
    Amelia

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  8. Thanks, Amelia! One of the things I love about the cover is that the heroine, Lorin, also discovers that Gabe has hidden depths (even though he muses in the book that her abs are better than his). He also has vision problems, and is utterly dependent on a pair of sexy rimless glasses that we can't see due to the classic "headless horseman" romance novel cover composition. ;-)

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  9. I enjoy love scenes that have build up...it irks me when the participants are suddenly having wild passionate sex minutes (seconds?) after they have met for the first time. I am afraid that I am much more fastidious than that and expect a little humor, a lot of openness and some kind of emotional connection...before the physical one!

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