Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sex in those Dead Bedrooms

Today I’m going to talk about one of my favourite subjects – sex.

Yep!  You read right!  Sex.

Oh, don’t be shy and prudish.  We all talk about sex.  We all have sex – or at least wishing we were having sex.  This is CafĂ© Risque for goodness sake.  But I will let you in on a little secret – we don’t all have sex the way it’s portrayed in our books.


I know!  Terrible, isn’t it?

Yesterday I was talking to one of the guys at my local supermarket about sex.  Yes, that’s right.  We talked about it.  In public.  My mother would be hyperventilating if she heard me.  The point of the story is that I made this comment:  “I remember watching a video of Where Do I Come From? when I was nine and being astonished about the mechanics of the act.  Now look at me!”

Yes.  I write romance books.  And a part of romance is sex.  Have I astonished you again?  Romance and sex?  Together?  Yes.  It is my very firm opinion that one cannot happen without the other, although the other frequently happens without the one. 

My BFF is addicted to a Reddit site called “Dead Bedrooms.”  I admit that I haven’t checked it out because I’m more into sex than the lack of it, but the idea of the site is that people are confessing (ie complaining) that they're living together in a long term relationship without having sex.  For years.

It’s sad.

But truthfully, I think it happens a lot.  And it’s not because of the sex part of the relationship, it’s the romance.  People often get bogged down in the struggle to survive day-to-day and forget to nurture the romance of their relationship.  So, for all the people who have a dead bedroom and want to change it, I have two pieces of advice for you:
1.       Turn up the romance, the sex will follow.
2.       Forget about Hollywood (and porn).

Now, I have to admit that I am not a counsellor or therapist by any stretch of the imagination, but I am an observer of life.  I’ve listened, I’ve sympathised, I’ve asked questions.  And this is simply my opinion.

So for the first point, I have to expand and talk about real life.  In real life we have real jobs.  There is stress and pressure.  There are bills and housework.  There are kids and lack of sleep due to those kids.  None of these things are romantic.  None of these things are sexy.  And if this is all that is in your life, then I bet you aren’t wanting sex.  So you need to make an effort.  Remember trying to impress your new girlfriend/boyfriend?  Remember flowers and chocolates and romantic walks along the beach?

I remember those.  Those dates were usually rounded off with some hot, sweaty sex before the night was through.  Why?  Because when you’re with someone who enjoys being with you, you want to celebrate with the physical.  You sometimes can’t wait to get home, and find an unlit part of the car park to do these celebrations.  Sometimes you would rush home and fall into bed.  The romance part of your life drives the want and need of the sex part.  Sex is the part that keeps a couple together.  Romance is the lubrication.

And as writers and readers of m/m, we all know the importance of lubrication.

Contrast this to the tired mother who finally gets her two-year-old to sleep.  She picks up the bath towels and puts them away.  She reminds herself to sign the homework folder of the older child and that the middle child needs another appointment at the eye specialist.  Those bills still haven’t been paid, the dishes are unwashed and tomorrow she desperately needs  to go to the grocery store or else her family is going to starve.  Her husband is slumped tiredly in front of the TV.  He’s worked all day, the boss is on his back and he’s conscious that if he loses his job, he may not get another one.  His car is making a clunking sound that he needs to look at on the weekend, his mother is nagging him about coming over for dinner and his unmarried best mate had just posted pictures of the brand new boat he just bought on FB.

Sexy?  No.  Romantic?  Not even close.  But don’t be afraid.  It’s not the end of the marriage or their sex life.  It’s a hump that they need to get over.  The tired husband who posts on Reddit that he hasn’t had sex since his youngest child was conceived is not thinking about his partner.  The wife who complains her husband doesn’t find her sexy is not thinking about her lover.

Which brings me to the second point – sex doesn’t always happen like the movies and books.  Get over it.

I’m a firm believer that sex should be fun – but that’s me.  I like fun things like glow-in-the-dark condoms that brighten up my life.  I think fun is more sexy than perfect.  I have a friend who’s going (at great cost) under the knife in a few weeks for some work on her boobs and tummy.  She’s not even thirty, but three kids and yo-yo dieting has left her extremely unhappy with her body.  I can vaguely understand why she feels she “needs” to do this, but it’s sad.

We don’t all have bodies like they show on the porn movies. 


I know, I know.  Lightbulb moment again.  But it’s true.  Most of us (like 99%) don’t have those beautiful bodies we see on the screen.  And you shouldn’t expect your partner to have that either.

I’ve read a lot of m/m romance, and those books which mention dick sizes, usually have character whose dick is on the normal to larger end of the scale.  So – where are all the small dick characters who must be out there to make the average average?  For every huge dick, there should (theoretically) be a small dick.  

Our fiction is not representative of real life – and that’s okay.  Because it’s fiction.

I admit to being turned on by the sight of a gorgeous guy, or a perfect bum encased in tight leather, or that worked abdomen.  But, I also love the stories where the guys are not perfect.  Receding hairlines, overweight, hairy arses?  Not necessarily sexy – but real.  Like I’m real.  And I like being reminded of myself in characters – because a romance book is romantic, and usually comes with a happy ending.

So my advice to the Dead Bedroom complainers?  Rediscover the romance.  Buy flowers.  Go on a date.  Do the goddamn dishes for your wife.  Put on a pretty dress for once.  Stop worrying about your wrinkles.  Don’t worry about that rounded stomach.  Your dick is fine.  Your boobs are fine.  Buy a romance book and pick up some ideas.

Now, this wouldn’t be a good blog without chucking in some advertising somewhere.  So I’m reminding everyone that A Taste Of Honey is coming out soon.  Nine days and counting.  I’m hoping for some not-so-perfect romantic stories in the book and I’m on the edge of my seat in anticipation.  Fourteen short stories of yummy guys who are not perfect gym bods?  Some hot sex, romantic encounters and a bit of fun?  Count me in!

Available for pre-order at Dreamspinner.


  1. I couldn't have said it better myself. Very well said, Renae, and so very true. I can't wait to read the A Taste of Honey anthology! :)

  2. Excellent post......and there's a sale at DSP until the 12th......lots of goodies to stock up on for inspiration.