Sunday, August 20, 2006

Alien romance – Coitus interruptus

“Rowena, do you like writing sex scenes?” I was asked recently.

It’s the sort of question that makes one want to straddle the fence.

Well, I do. And I don’t.... and I'd rather call them love scenes.

Whether you see it or not, Sex usually happens in a romance. It’s part of the most important story of a person’s life… not necessarily sex with an alien, though if that happened and especially if the alien happened to be a little bit anatomically different, you can imagine that a blow by blow account would be quite fascinating.

Correction: could be.

On the other hand, one can write a first rate romance without a graphic description of what might happen once the bedroom door is closed behind two relatively normal people. Georgette Heyer’s Georgian and Regency romances spring to mind.

I do like to write the sort of love scene (or sex scene) where something goes dramatically wrong --I have a rotten sense of humor-- or at least not according to the hero’s expectations.

I usually pick on the hero for reasons that are probably perfectly obvious.

He’s more likely to be … less philosophical … not to mention sore, if he can’t get the heroine’s chastity belt off, or if the heroine’s beloved pet cat mistakes his equipment for a funny looking mouse, or if the film crew falls out of the air duct, or if the lubricant contains a dye that won’t come off.

What—apart from its effect on character, and its potential to annoy the protagonists and shift the plot into a higher gear—is the point of a love scene in SFR or in a Futuristic?

Comic relief?

Oh, yeah. But in my opinion, lovemaking that is good for both of them isn’t proof of a happy ever after, and it isn’t the high point on which I like to end my books.


Another thing I like about alien romance love scenes (or sex scenes) is that if the hero and heroine are from different planets, and do not have infallible translators implanted in their ears, one can have such fun with grammar.


  1. You definitely have a wicked sense of humor, Rowena, and it shows not only in your 'average' scenes (though is there really ever an average scene by Rowena Cherry?) but in your intimate scenes.

    While sex or love scenes can be endearing, dramatic, breathtaking... sometimes they're even better if they're more real. Less breathtaking. More giggle-taking. AND they can be just as riveting, I think. Passion doesn't always have to be perfect to work.

    When you're dealing with two people getting intimate and their cultural differences traverse not just a planetary scale but a galactic's even more fun.

    And yes, I do like the verbal miscommunications. As people get tired of hearing me say, not everyone in the galaxy speaks English.

    Or as Commander Jorie Mikkalah in my upcoming THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES muses: It would be too much to ask, she supposed, that the entire universe be civilized enough—and considerate enough—to speak Alarsh.

    I'm going to be playing with that very issue that you raise in your postscript in BLUES, when Jorie teams up with a Florida homicide detective.

    Hopefully, you'll enjoy BLUES (Bantam Spectra 2007) as much as I love your FORCED MATE, and you can yell at me (as I did, you) for keeping you awake into the wee hours, reading and bed. Because of a book.


  2. Ooh, Linnea, THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES sounds great.

    The main reason the only kind of erotic romance I write is paranormal, is that there usually isn't a strong plot reason to go into lengthy, explicit detail about sexual encounters between ordinary human beings (except maybe their first lovemaking in the story). But if one or both have unusual powers, or better yet, if one isn't human, we want to see exactly how they make love. At least, I do. I feel a bit cheated if an alien-human romance that includes physical consummation leaves out the details.