In real life, safe sex is something all folks should practice. Sexually transmitted diseases, family planning and general responsibility are all good reasons to rip open a condom or dental dam package. Better safe than sorry and all that.
In fiction, though, the lines are a little blurrier. We can create shifter populations immune to sexually transmitted diseases. We can choose to ignore the risk and let our couples (or ménages) take a walk on the wild side for a night. We can use our books as a platform to encourage safer sex by showing heroines and heroes taking responsibility for their sexual health.
Some readers want the whole fantasy of no condoms or dental dams when reading a sex scene. They want passion and lust and all the yumminess of no latex sex. Other readers want to see some reality portrayed. They find it hard to suspend disbelief. If a heroine is supposed to be smart, capable and confident, why would she take the risk of unsafe nookie?
It’s difficult to please all readers, all the time, so I generally take a whatever-feels-right-for-the-story stance. In my latest book, Between Friends, the ménage trio has a frank discussion about STD testing, the Pill, and condoms during anal sex. For Eddie, Mick and Whitney, the conversation felt natural and real so I included it in the story.
But I don’t always. Some of my stories are a bit more risqué and the characters don’t always behave rationally or responsibly. I do get the occasional nasty gram for those characters and their choices, but that’s okay. That’s the risk I take as an author.
I’m keenly aware of how sensitive this topic is in the land of romance and erotica. It seems to come up once or twice a year, especially if a book is reviewed by one of the bigger romance sites and it includes a whoopsie pregnancy.
So what’s your take? Is safer sex just as sexy? Or do you want the fantasy of old-fashioned lovin’ without consequence?