It got steamy at the latest Hot Tub Reading Party, and not just because of the water. I am polishing the chapters in my novel where the heroine and her guy get a lot closer.
That’s right, I’m talking about explicit sex scenes.
I was nervous for two reasons.
1. Reading sex scenes, that I wrote, no less, out loud to my critique partners is a lot different than me reading them from my computer screen at night, while sipping a glass of wine and listening to After Hours Oasis jazz music.
2. If my critique partners found the scenes a total yawn, well, there goes my romance writing career.
A little more liquor than usual was called for. Especially since Dia said, “Now, we want you to put some emotion, some acting into these scenes. No deadpan reading here.”
Pass the bottle, please.
We got down to business. There was some giggling, some “Aww, yeah” and “slow down, boy!” commentating. My favorite: “Who cares about the shoes? Leave ‘em on! Just do it!”
I took a breath and kept on reciting. It helped that I had my back to my audience, since I was reading from my clipboard resting on the edge of the hot tub.
“You are in your groove.”
“I liked this section a LOT.”
I literally blew kisses to God.
I asked my critiquers if the sex scenes turned them on at all. They laughed and Dia said, “Not with you all sitting here.” Vic said, “Yeah, this is sitting-by-myself-in-a-dark-room material.” I knew what they meant. When I was alone at my kitchen table reviewing the scenes, I frequently had to stop and fan myself. But reading aloud—a little awkward.
One thing they agreed on: the hottest scene was the one where the two characters were “really connecting emotionally, and just let go.”
Which kind of describes what real romance is all about.