Question: Sex or Talk. Which Is More Important To You?

Posted May 8, 2014 by Carmel in Question / 90 Comments


I want both, I suppose that makes me greedy. LOL My favourite genre to read is Urban Fantasy, so although I do enjoy a good sex scene, I prefer there to be only one or two of them per book. What makes a fictional couple click in my opinion is their chemistry which is why I enjoy the back-and-forth witty dialogue, emotional progression, and sexual innuendo way more than the insta-boink. Now, ultimately if things go well, all of the latter will eventually result in a sex scene, but for me, getting there is half the fun!

I guess you could say that I like to be wined and dined by my reads. I find that too many nookie scenes takes away from the story. I read this one Paranormal Romance a while back where the author tried to combine action & sex by making her characters get “energized” whenever they got it on. Picture this, the protagonists are about to confront the villain for the final showdown, but first… they stop to do the horizontal dance to power-up. Okaaaay. Worst. Foreplay. Ever. I felt no connection to the characters whatsoever because they were so poorly developed due to the fact that they were always shagging.

I want a fictional boyfriend not a one-night-stand which makes the “talk” very important because it takes more than just a pretty face to get my attention. I do appreciate the creative ways in which authors use terminology to describe their love scenes, but at the end of the day, there are only so many options and too much sex = repetitive. So yeah, more talk, less sex.

Sex or Talk. Which Is More Important To You?

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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90 responses to “Question: Sex or Talk. Which Is More Important To You?

  1. I, like you, want both. I don’t like it if either are put in just for the sake of doing it. It needs to add something to the story or characters involved. While you see this mostly with sex scenes, I have seen stories where there are conversations and you don’t know what the point of it was. Almost like the author was trying to fill their word count.

    • I agree, pointless dialogues are as annoying as useless sex scenes. I think every word in a book should have a reason for being there regardless of what it is.

  2. Ewww on “getting powered up” – I need foreplay but I like the deed, too! Buuuut, when I want a lot of talking, I go to YA romance, when I want the deed, I go to adult romance and I demand to read the deed, not hear them talking about it. Eh, you just have to find the author to meet your needs. Me? It’s Kresley Cole and Showalter. I love the mix. It’s all about quality 😀

    Did I even make sense? I blame the head cold!

  3. I want both , but with the talk the couple has more of an emotional connection and the sex is more meaningful 🙂 Whereas with the sex , its just sex .

  4. I agree Carmel! I love a good sex scene for sure, but without any sort of emotional buildup, it just reads awkward to me. I need to feel the connection between the two of them and feel like that scene is a reward for what’s been building with the tension and the banter and everything else throughout the book:)

  5. I definitely want both but I want more talk than sex. A couple of hot scenes and I’m more than happy, usually. Snappy, smexy, teasing dialogue is always a good thing!

  6. Wow, fantastic question. I guess I’m greedy too because I want both as well 😀

    But I think nookie itself is less important. In a book with romance, I can deal with just talk and no sex, but I definitely can’t say the same for the other way around. Chemistry in a relationship is important, if I don’t feel a connection established between the characters it doesn’t matter how often they jump into bed, it’s just not going to do anything for me.

  7. Both absolutely. But I want more talk then sex. I rarely read erotica-and when I do it’s usually because I didn’t realize what it was when I requested it. So yeah give me more talk!

  8. I want both but I don’t mind when a couple goes at it throughout the story, as long as they’ve established a solid relationship! Then again, I read more PNR so sex is usually involved…LOL There have been a few times when even I said ok, that’s enough sex let’s get back to the story…but it doesn’t happen often! If I’m invested in the characters I don’t mind a little extra nookie between them 😉

    • A solid relationship is key. I don’t read as much PNR as you, so it’s interesting to me that we have similar thoughts on the subject. I didn’t expect that given our Twitter conversations because you & Jennifer always seem to have sex on the brain. LOL 😛

  9. Since I’m more a UF girl, I would have to say talk. When it comes to sex in a book, I need a relationship to go with it. Probably why I don’t read too much erotica. You rarely get one that has a great balance of both.

  10. Both as long as the story calls for it. I read erotica and though some are good and could pass of as literature, some are borderline porn. If there’s sex in the book, I want the plot to be as good as the sex I guess is what I’m trying to say

  11. I totally agree with you. I am not a fan of explicit sex scenes that go on and on and on. I read a lot of UF and I like that the romance usually doesn’t overpower the storyline. One or two small sex scenes are okay but when you get into the higher numbers with dirty details it is too much. I like the witty dialogue and banter and slow burn. That book with the characters getting it on before fighting a villain sounds terrible.

  12. I guess I’m greedy too, I want both! I’m not a fan of insta-nookie. I like there to be a natural progression and the characters to have build up a rapport, rather than everything happening in the first few chapters.

  13. Alise (Readers in Wonderland)

    Yes, yes, and yes. I would rather have one or two great scenes in the book with the rest focusing on the plot and development. It’s really frustrating when you pick up a romance because of the plot and it turns into just a book with sex scene after sex scene. Great topic!

  14. bookwormbrandee  

    I totally agree, Carmel. (guess that means I’m greedy too) It’s all about the words and how those words get the characters to that steamy point. I say, quite often, I need a good story to go with my sex. 😉 Great post!

  15. Christy  

    It depends on my mood, just like real life … do I want a one night stand or a relationship? If I want a straight-up dirty read, I don’t want talking. However, if I want a well-rounded story with substance, then I need so talking – some build up – to happen.

  16. I only need one or two in my book but I adore the dance before the tango begins..the spark, the tension, that almost kiss and a little heavy petting before someone disturbs them. I enjoy the sex scenes with and without the deets as long as they aren’t awkward. I read a scene once were the author wrote and he thrust in and out, in and out, in and out like twenty million times and that was it..all up and down the page one line sentences. He thrust into her and out. In and out and out again. OMG..just no.

  17. Oh, I’m greedy and want both as well. I don’t mind more than 2 sex scenes (man, that’s kind of stingy, Carmel!), as long as it doesn’t overtake the entire plot of the story, but you’re probably right that any more than that and they threaten to do just that.

    I do think it’s kind of funny when it’s an adult PNR or UF and there’s romance and sexual tension but no actual sex, though. I don’t know why, but I just kind of expect it if the focus is on romance, I’m surprised if the sex isn’t there.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  18. Oh I absolutely agree with you. Witty banter? GOLDEN. There needs to be a relationship for me to actually ship the couple, not just (as you said) the whole “one night stand” sort of feel.

  19. Faye M.  

    I definitely prefer banter/interaction/dialogue more than the sex. I mean sex is steamy and hot and everything, but… it’s just different from interaction because there you can really see the chemistry and everything. Overfill a book with sex and you can count me out!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  20. jenniferbielman  

    This: “I enjoy the back-and-forth witty dialogue, emotional progression, and sexual innuendo way more than the insta-boink.”

    I mean, I love sex in my book but I want it to have a meaning, to move the story along. I love sexual tension the most though. It took for effing ever for Kate and Curran to get together and I was totally fine with that because Ilona Andrews knew how to tease us the right way. It was worth the wait. But I have read some recent books were the author doesn’t know how to drag out romance with witty banter and tension and I just get impatient then.

  21. I’m a big fan of both, tbh. I mean, all talk no smex isn’t believable to me in any romance-connected kind of story (which is why I’d never go near a so-called “clean romance”, not even with a stick, lol), and all smex without talk isn’t romance it’s erotica – which is good, and hell awesome even, if that’s what I’m looking for.
    In romance, I think a one to three smex scenes are just about right, and it’s not as much about the actual sex as it’s yet another way of communicating for the couple, I think. That’s why we believe in the romance story after all, right, this pair has chemistry which is evident on all levels of communication, including body language and so forth.
    What does totally annoy me is when authors go for those kiddish terms like “her delicate flower”, or “wand” and even “member”. It’s not a freaking wand unless there’s real magic happening cause its been waved, and unless anyone’s seen a guy jump around on it, it ain’t a member either :))
    Call it for what it is, if I’m mature enough to read the romance, I’m mature enough to handle the friggin’ words too, you know? Lol.

      • God, yes.
        I mean I’ll read something like “she does something to his member” and because I’m a terrible person the first thing that comes to mind is “Like what, his leg? She’s sucking his elbow? What member, what, what?” :)) Terrible of me, I know, I know.
        And the “wand” one is just… something happens to that wand, and my thought process goes like “There a Potter fetish going on here? That’s SO wrong. What kind of wand-abusing story is this? Wandophilia??” and I have to give up on the scene right then, because how on God’s green earth is anything going to read sexy after that?
        Give me a word we all understand the same clear thing by. Like pee-pee :)) Now THAT would read sexy :)) Maybe I’m crass for saying it, but the old four letter word works juuuuust fine. Or skip the word entirely, that works too. Right?

        *notices everyone’s shocked expressions and slowly walks away*

  22. Krista

    Of course, I prefer a little of both. but I think after you’ve read the romance for a few years you come to realize the importance of talking.

  23. nereyda1003  

    I have no problem with sex scenes, when done right. Unfortunately, I am so picky with them. Ifind them either cheesy or unrealistic (guys having sex like 5 times in a row, yeah right) and over the top. I hate words that make me cringe like moist and folds and tunnels and rosebud. *cringe* I think the chemistry leading up to the sex is so important. So yeah, I guess I want both. But done right.

    • You gotta love those alpha men with impossible recovery time, and who can go at it for days. And, we wonder where our unrealistic expectations come from. 😉

  24. I do enjoy a good sex scene, but I really prefer the build-up to the event and to be honest I can’t stand when it’s drawn out and repetitive.. The innuendos and chemistry can be all the more enjoyable.

    You couldn’t have said it better – getting there is half the fun 😉

    A great post Carmel. Have a great weekend! 🙂

  25. Urban fantasy is actually one of the genres that does sex really well and doesn’t make it a focal point, but you’re right I much prefer the talk, the teasing and the action instead of just sex. Sometimes I am so into an urban fantasy story that when the random sex scenes pop up, I actually skip over them! Lovely post Carmel.

  26. I really enjoy much more the talk than the sex. Yeah, sex scenes are important for a couple (sometimes), but I think their Chemistry is much more noticeable during their talks. Random sex scenes just piss me off and annoy me because they just seem like fillers instead of actual plot development. Wonderful post 🙂

  27. The talk and the connection is very important! I feel like there has to be a good connection and development in order for the romance and sex to feel real and possible between the two main characters. I sometimes think the build up is even better than the sex scene. I loved Unholy Magic more than the next book where they finally got it on because the scene where she turns away from him in Unholy Magic is so powerful and special to me that it meant more to me than the sex scene in the third book.

    • No, but I can understand why you’d think that. LOL I quit that series a long time ago. I can’t even bring myself to read the installments I already purchased that are sitting on my shelves.

  28. Agreed! I think this is why UF is my favorite genre too Carmel. I absolutely love the sexual tension and buildup. But I do want them to eventually get there! Although I can enjoy an erotica here and there, they tend to fall short for me in comparison. So I guess that means the talk is more important to me, even if I’m greedy like you and want both 🙂

  29. I agree with you, the build up and sexual tension are way more fun and add a nice dynamic. Which I why I struggled through 50shades and many books of that genre, I kept thinking to myself, great, they are at it again, get back to the story please! But the desire to be wined and dined is our female nature, isn’t it? I know it is for me 🙂 The push and pull as well as build up adds to that final scene or two.