Since this is my first post, I suppose I ought to begin by introducing myself. I'm Jackie Barbosa, and Kensington will be releasing my single author anthology (currently titled BEHIND THE RED DOOR, but we'll see if that sticks) in the summer of 2009. I have a few ebooks out with Cobblestone Press and a couple more coming out later this year, but my Aphrodisia release is my first sale to be "big" New York print publisher, and I couldn't be more thrilled (or daunted, lol) by the opportunity.
So, since my debut is being published in the Aphrodisia line, I probably don't have to tell you that my book contains numerous explicit sex scenes. I love writing these scenes of intimacy, discovery, and, most especially, vulnerability and consider them an essential element of a good love story, but I do sometimes wonder what readers think about the sex lives of the writers who craft such scenes. How much of what we write do they attribute to experience and how much to fantasy?
Of course, it would be crossing well beyond the boundaries of TMI for me to actually tell you my personal answer to that question. You don't really want to know about my sex life, and I don't have any intention of actually telling you. But as I was chatting the other day with my friend and critique partner, Emma Petersen, the subject of a particular sexual variation that I've included in more than one story came up, and I had to admit that it's something I don't care for in real life.
That led me to ask myself why I enjoy writing about this particular activity (and I do!) when I don't enjoy doing it? The answer, I think, what draws me to writing about sex (and, honestly, nearly everything else that goes into a story) is the opportunity to experience things I either can't or won't do in real life. Whether it's engaging in a threesome or attending a Regency era ball or committing a murder, what makes writing fun for me is also what makes reading fun: the fantasy that we are living someone else's life. And when it comes to sex, I find that the less likely I am to experience something myself, the more likely I am to find it thrilling to read or write about.
What about you? Do your tastes in reading/writing fall more toward experience or fantasy? Or is that just TMI?