Friends who might give sidelong glances and start picturing things when they see my husband kiss me. Or worse, coworkers, who should DEFINITELY not be thinking about my hot sex scene when we’re in meetings. Most dire of all is the looming specter of family. My father reads my sex scenes. Gulp. When my first book released last year, I panicked. It came out in early December, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around how awkward Christmas dinner might be at our house, once my father finished my book.
And I didn't want him to just turn the page and skip it, because I labored really hard to make it good (truly ladies, is there anything harder to write than a well crafted sex scene?).....but would I be able to look him in the face once he read it? A paradox, I know. He grew up in the 60s, but lived as opposite a life as possible from free love/drugs/rock 'n roll.
The good news is that I panicked for nothing. He read it, and the world kept turning. Did we discuss it in depth? Of course not. As a matter of fact, he just finished my latest release Act Like We’re In Love which kicked up the heat level another notch. More relaxed this time, I was able to turn it into a joke, quizzing him on what made the heroine’s underwear unique for proof he read the whole thing.
My panic level is sky high again, though, as I’m set to be a guest at my mother’s book club. A bunch of senior citizens who have already complained to her about how racy the book is…and yet every single one of them finished it. How on earth am I going to be able to look these little old ladies in the eye when we discuss it? Because they kept reading. Whether because of the sex scenes or despite them, they kept going. They enjoyed the overall story. It gave them an escape, brightened their day. Which means I hit my goal as an author, so I’m going to wrap myself in an extra-thick cloak of dignity and remember they liked it. After all, my characters spent a majority of the book engaged in witty dialogue and a complex plot. The sex scenes probably add up to less than a full chapter out of almost thirty. No reason for me to obsess over it if they don’t!
I'm sure everyone has encountered this. What did you do - how do you deal with it? I'm grateful for any and all suggestions.