In many of the writing loops and groups I belong to, authors who don't write or read romance, especially gay romance, often immediately equate it with erotic romance or even erotica. Without any evidence to support their claims, they assume if it's romance it doesn't have a plot or a storyline; it is simply sex scene after sex scene with a bit of a story.
I've never disliked writing sex scenes, but I'm not talking about inserting tab A into slot B. I mean the emotion of the words, the feelings generated by the characters that make that particular time necessary and important to the development of those characters. I love writing the first kiss or the first time a couple makes love. It makes for highly emotional writing.
I've noticed as I've grown in my writing, I've also come to write my love scenes with more heat. It isn't that I write more sex scenes, it is that the sex is more intense and highly charged between the couple. And I'm kind of liking it, I have to admit. I don't for a second believe that a romance needs explicit sex or even any sex scenes in it to be a real romance. Georgette Heyer wrote some of the best romances without sex scenes, after all. But for me, I enjoy experimenting with differing levels of heat in my stories.
As women learn to embrace sexuality, feeling freer than ever to read erotic romance and gay romance and embrace watching gay porn, we have matured, and have animated discussions about sex on line with other women and men. Personally, these conversations make up some of my most favorite interactions on line.
It's funny to me because I believed my last book, Learning to Love was my highest heat level book; others have told me it was more emotional than sexual. That may be true. Gideon and Jonah have a unique connection; they are two halves of a whole, with sex being a very important part of their relationship.