« Global Warming: No shit, it's Real! | Main | The Green-Eyed Monstress »

July 24, 2006

In Search of Hot Sex

The Tarts welcome author Bob Morris, who has given us hours of--uhm--pleasure.  We also want his freelance job, which often requires arduous research on luxury cruise ships or trips that require him to review Caribbean restaurants. Go ahead.  Check out his website.  The beach photo is our fave:             

   Go to fullsize image

Shortly after my first novel, Bahamarama, came out, I got a call from my mother.  She'd read the book--hey, she's my mother--and so had some of her friends who live in the small, formerly rural, Florida town where I grew up. They'd all gotten together to talk about it.

"Everyone loved the book.  The setting and the characters were wonderful.  It was funny and smart," my mother said.  "But..."

"But what, Mom?"

"Well, we all agreed there just wasn't enough sex."

I can't remember exactly how I responded, but I think it involved a lot of mumbling. Then we started talking about her recipe for fried chicken and how it should always be cooked in an electric skillet not cast iron and always with Crisco from the can not Wesson oil.


You're reached a curious juncture in life when your 80-year-old mom tells you that you need more sex. It causes you to, well, reflect. And fidget. And to re-think things.

So when I sat down to write Jamaica Me Dead, I took my mother's critique to heart. I set it at an anything-goes, all-inclusive resort modeled loosely after Negril's infamous "Hedonism II," a place I had recently visisted to conduct, uh, research. Only I called the fictional resort "Libido." It boasted such features as a naked flume ride, naked volleyball, naked yoga--naked everything--and a "Bondage Night," where women led their men around on dog leashes. The hero, Zack Chasteen, has to contend with two hot-to-trot gals from Tennesseee who are intent on jumping his bones at every turn.

Yes, compared to my first book, there was more sex. Or at least, more stuff that hinted at sex. And I would get emails from readers like, " You know that part where Zack chews on the bark from a tropical tree and it gives him a 12-hour erection? How did you come up with that?"

And I could honestly answer, "Well, I just wanted to make my mom happy."

Still, most of the sex was the kind of sex that guys typically write about: the wink-wink, nudge-nudge variety. When things start to get hot and heavy, most guy writers figure it is time to cue up the next chapter, a chapter, most likely, where fights are fought and guns are fired and stuff explodes. Okay, a few guys are good at writing sex scenes. But just between you and me?  I don't trust 'em....

Still, from a mercenary marketing standpoint, I know how important it is for me to figure out a way to inject sex into my books. Women buy 70% of all books and, in this particular instance, it is abundantly clear what women want. And it ain't brilliant dialogue.

I've tried, really I have. In early drafts of Bermuda Schwartz, which comes out in February, I included some scenes where Zack Chasteen and his ladylove, Barbara Pickering, frolic in the way men and women were deisgned to frolic. I didn't actually break out in a sweat as I was writing these passages, but I thought I had done a fairly decent job. No, scratch that. I thought I had done a masterful job, combining my own astute insights into the man-woman thang and a sensitivity of endless bounds.

"Get rid of this crap," my wife said when she read it.

"Why?" I asked. "I thought the book could use a little sex."

"It can, but this isn't it."

"What's wrong with it?"

"Well, for one thing, it's kinda wham-bam, thank you ma'am.  And for another..."

"Yes," I said. "I'm listening.

"For another, I don't want people I know to read this and think that's how we do it."

"You mean, that particular technique?"

"Yes, that. Or any technique, for that matter."

"So what you're saying is..."

"What I'm saying is, maybe you ought to forget writing about sex."

But I think she needs to talk to my mom.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference In Search of Hot Sex:


First professional question out of the box already: Are you published in HARD cover?

Heh! Good one. I agree, a little hot sex can spice up a book, but sometimes it's a problem, ah, fitting it in, shall we say. It made sense in Jamaica Me Dead, because of the setting. But I find it more annoying than titillating when a character or characters who are running for their lives--tired, scared, dirty, even injured--stop to tear off a quick piece.

Men. You leave so many questions unanswered, Bob. Like, did you wear a leash on Bondage Night?? Somehow, I can't picture it.

No leash, but those butt studs were rather annoying...

LOL talk about a rock and a hard place...that pun wasn't intended but.... =)

Love the blog - Bob, you've got yourself a new reader!

JD - that always cracks me up too - especially when they're outside.

Bob - you ought to set up a nice lunch with your wife and your mom - you could sell tickets - or better yet, this sounds like it could be vintage Oprah!

Butt studs...ewwwww.

Bob - Hedonism II? I think I saw you on the dance floor - one of the few without a leash.

Nice moves.

You should come here more often.

Let's talk about fried chicken. I really want to know if the electric skillet is better than the cast iron. Because at least the cast iron pan is a relatively easy cleanup.

Also, recently I had some barbecue made with---I'm not making this up--catsup and root beer. And it was the best barbecue I can ever remember tasting. Of course, I live north of the Mason-Dixon. Bob, what's your...hm...most orgasmic barbecue recipe?

"JD - that always cracks me up too - especially when they're outside."

Yeah, I keep flashing back to Kirsty McColl's hilarious song In These Shoes?":

I once met a man with a sense of adventure
He was dressed to thrill wherever he went
He said "Let's make love on a mountain top
Under the stars on a big hard rock"
I said "In these shoes?
I don't think so..
I said Honey, let's do it here."


Nancy -- My mom swears by butt studs. Er, sorry, confusing my answers. She swears by the electric frying pan because, she says, it keeps the heat more constant.

As for bbq sauce, my wife makes the world's best. It's a secret recipe handed down through her family. It's written on a greasy old index card and she won't let me see it. A big bbq joint once asked her to share it with them so they could make it their house sauce and she told them to forget it, that her daddy had told her it had to stay secret and that was that.

Sex and barbecue. Man, it don't get no better'n this.

I love that Kirsty McColl song! A friend just introduced me to it recently.

So, in books, women want sex and not brilliant dialogue, and at home they want dialogue but not sex?

No wonder men are confused.

JD - you are on a roll today!

I'm lookin' to get that Kirsty McColl song for my iPod.

Best BBQ is the pulled pork from right outside Williamsburg, Virginia. Mmmm, mmmm.

Please, will someone explain butt studs to me? Bob's Mom? Are you out there?

Bob and Tarts,
Recently, one of my editors -- who was trying to get us to put more on-camera sex in our hardboiled series (no pun intended) -- told me that the two hottest trends in fiction right now are erotica and Christian novels. There is a punchline there somewhere but I can't write funny.

PJ - Piety and Porn, baby.

The biggest sellers since time began.

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site