“It is a fine line—the one between a literary novel where eroticism is richly imbued throughout and the more explicitly sexual prose of erotica.” – Roxane Gay
I’m one of those writers that likes when characters have sexual relations in my stories. I believe I do it mainly to humanize the stories and give more depth to characters. However, I’m always scared of crossing that divide between tasteful sexual innuendoes and full on ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.
I recently read this article by Roxane Gay (who by the way wrote the recommended short story ‘I Am A Knife’), where she talks about the different ways to imbue sensuality in your work by presenting an anthology of both erotica and fiction where eroticism is saturated within the story.
When I started sharing my work with people, I was always scared of how they would perceive the sexual tensions in the stories. I like this article because I feel like it gives me permission to continue striving to recreate human experiences using sex/ sexual tension as a medium in fiction. If you are interested in adding sex to your stories but might be worried of crossing that tasteful line I encourage you put aside your fear and just try it. There can be a good balance!
In the end, I think the bigger question while telling your story is ‘what am I trying to relay in telling this story and will imbuing sexual tensions help convey this objective?’