Today I decided to blog about sex. How much is too much sex? Is that even possible? Based on the genre, the answer is both yes and no.
I write very blistering menages under the pen name of Eve Adams. It isn't unusual for sex to happen within the first two chapters. If it doesn't, the characters are at least imagining it happening. Are the first couple of chapters too soon to have your characters engage in sexual congress? No way. When a reader picks up a menage, they know they are going to get sex more than M/F, and they know they are going to get a lot of it. Have you ever read a tame menage? I didn't think so.
In Under the Covers, my heroine works in a "gentlemen's club" as a courtesan. My alpha hero is an undercover agent working the nightclub scene to seek out a killer. He sees her and BAM! He has to have her. They don't have sex right away, but they are definitely... ahem... hands on by chapter two. When the beta hero makes his appearance, the three of them really crank up the heat. None of them knew each other before meeting in the club, so I didn't want them just jumping into the sack. However, she is working as a courtesan and there is an expectation that she will perform. Believe you me, she doesn't disappoint. Over. And over. And over.
Riding Double takes a different approach. The heroine already knows both her heroes. She's a wildcat who loves to raise hell. The very first scene she starts a bar fight with the hero, just to turn her on. What results is HOT sex up against a...well, you get the idea. This is all by the end of chapter two. By the time they make it back to the ranch, where the other hero awaits, she's ready to pick another fight, just to turn her on again, and pull hero #2 into her wild game. Together, the two cowboys teach her how to ride double. Lots of sex, from start to finish.
I also write sizzling romantic suspense as Allie K. Adams. Although the sex isn't any less hot than my menages, it is strictly between a man and woman, and the story builds up to the actual deed.
In At Any Cost, the heroine is a rookie agent desperate to prove to her idol that she has what it takes to be part of the elite team. Her idol is a seasoned agent who not only thinks she'd be better off working at McDonalds, he doesn't trust her any further than he can throw her. The only problem is, he also thinks she's the funniest, sexiest agent he's ever seen and can't help but fall in love with her. It makes for great tension the entire story watching these two deny their feelings while at the same time saving the world. They save the actual act until midway through the book. There four sex scenes in the entire book because it isn't the focus of the book.
Seek and Destroy is the second in the series. The hero and heroine still must save the world (it is, after all, romantic suspense), but instead of them working for the same agency as the agents did in the first book, they work for rivaling agencies that form an unlikely alliance to catch a madman before he strikes again. The agents try to out do each other the entire book. It also makes for great tension watching them work through their issues. These two agents end up in the sack sooner than later, and keep the heat going throughout the entire book. Still, sex isn't the focus of the book.
That's what really sets stories apart. Is it sex for the sake of sex? Romantica? Menage? You expect to read graphic, explicit sex scenes when you read erotica. You don't when you read mainstream. If you picked up a mainstream story and it was sex, sex, and more sex, you'd probably be disappointed. Same goes for erotica. If you pick up an erotica story and there were maybe two sex scenes in the entire book, you'd probably throw the damn thing across the room.
When you pick up a book by Allie K. Adams, you know it is going to be a hot romantic suspense between a man and a woman. It is more mainstream, less sex, but not at all light on the sexual tension. When you read Eve Adams, you are assured the menage stories will be hot, will have multiple partners, and will be full of sex.
It's all about the genre.