How much is too much? How much is too little? How much is just right?
In fiction, I mean.
A recent discussion on our Message Board got me thinking.
One reader wrote: HAD A BIG LET DOWN READING VALENTINES DAY IN BAY CITY.I WAS EXPECTING SOME ROMANCE,PASSION,MAYBE EVEN A SEX SCENE OR TWO.... WHERE WAS GRANT? WHY WASN'T HE ROMANCING HIS LADY, HE DOES PASSION SO WELL.DOES ANYONE REMEMBER HIS UP AGAINST THE WALL SCENES.... LETS GET THINGS ROLLING HERE PLEASE I DONT WANT TO CHANGE THE CHANNEL. O YEAH DID I MENTION MORE SEXXXXXX!
While another countered with: Sorry, I disagree. Do not need to hear or read about people breeding. Way too much indiscriminate breeding everywhere we look nowadays.. But was greatful to read about real love.
So, which should it be?
I wrote romance novels before coming to soaps, so I'm pretty comfortable with sex scenes. But, I always came at it from the point of view that the action should suit the characters.
In my first contemporary romance, Annie's Wild Ride, the characters had a lot of sex, in a lot of different ways, in a lot of different places. (I still get fan mail about the Ferris Wheel.) But, that was who they were.
In my second, When a Man Loves a Woman, the scenes were fewer, but they were more sensual. Again, because that's who this particular couple was.
Same thing with Another World Today. I went PG-13 for one sequence, because the occasion called for it. Doing it indiscriminately, without cause seems a bit pornographic to me. Not to mention... hacky. But, this project was launched from the start to be fan directed, so I will yield to popular opinion. More sex scenes? Less? You tell me, and I'll do it.
And that question applies to all soaps in general. Mainstream media believes soaps are nothing more than bare chests and heaving bosoms 24/7 (see this TIME article from 1976 or this one from PEOPLE 1982). But, what do the true fans think? Is there too much sex on soaps? Too little? A Goldilocks-worthy just right?
Matthew Grant has written an entire book on the subject. Check out Sex on the Soaps below:
And if you're turned on by his academic work, he also has a novel out, exploring the theme further. ;)
Maury Povitch put in his two cents in 1989. (Featured are quotes from Jill Farren Phelps and Douglas Marland).
Now tell us what you think!