Let’s Discuss: Safe Sex

Posted 1 September, 2013 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Discussion Posts / 56 Comments

Let's Discuss - (un)Conventional BookviewsLet’s Discuss is a weekly post hosted by The Fiction Conniption and oh, Chrys. The discussion posts are supposed to have something to do with books, but you can pretty much choose your own topic. You can link up to your discussion post at both blogs, and also visit other posts and participate in the discussions they are having. When you link up, it should be to a post made in the past seven days, even if The Fiction Conniption and Oh, Chrys both post theirs every Thursday. You don’t have to post weekly discussion posts, and you can participate when you feel like it.

Let’s Discuss: Safe Sex

When I read a book where sex happens, it makes me really happy to read something like ‘and he reached out for a condom before…’ and then the actual action between the characters continues. I think safe sex in my books is very sexy, and also extremely important. It should be just as natural for the fictional characters in books as it should be for us real people out here in the real world. I also like it if the characters for some reason ‘forget’ the condom in the heat of the moment, there is some kind of consequence for that – at least that it makes them think about what could happen because of it.

There are quite a few examples of books I have read that integrate safe sex in a truly great way! Making him Sweat, Shine, and Just one Day come to mind without having to think too much. I’m sure there are lots of others I have already read, but this is a starting point.

What do you think about safe sex in your reads? Do you think it’s sexy too?

Thanks for stopping by, and for participating in the discussion. Do you think I should change the name of my discussion posts from Let’s Discuss to Sexy Sundays? LOL I don’t know why, but I keep writing about sex, I’ll see what I come up with for next time…

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Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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56 responses to “Let’s Discuss: Safe Sex

    • I already have the Sinners and Sole Regret series to my TBR, and now I’ll move them up to read sooner, just because the characters practice safe sex! I think it helps people when the characters they read about naturally reach for a condom. Then it becomes normal, and not awkward anymore.

      Thanks for stopping by Traci.

    • LOL, yes now, it totally ruins the moment for me if I read about a sexual encounter and there’s no condom!

      Thanks for stopping by Laura πŸ™‚

  1. C

    If condoms aren’t mentioned, it actually takes me out of the story – at a totally inconvenient time I might add πŸ˜‰
    I also like when in PNR series they make it a point to explain how X creature can’t transmit any diseases to humans so no protection is needed.

    • I agree, C, if it’s a PNR and it is explained that this or that species can’t transmit any diseases, it’s all good, but it shouldn’t be the norm, and as you said, it’s important that it’s explained.

      LOL, it does take me out of the story as well, because I’m shaking my head at the characters, thinking oh no, no condom? How can you do this? And then, as they say, the moment is ruined πŸ˜€

      Thanks for stopping by C πŸ™‚ I hope your weekend is good! *hugs*

  2. Jackie

    Same here, Lexxie, I absolutely agree with your position. I even think it is more important esp for YA books or those NA romances where characters just reached College age etc. I actually notice when they do not use some protection and wonder if the female is maybe on the pill or something. A very good example of not using something in the heat of the moment that was followed by consequences is “Before Now” by Cheryl McIntyre. I think no matter how steamy a book gets the proceeding of safe sex should always be part of it! Makes the characters not only responsible but also sexy πŸ˜‰

    • Yes, Jackie, both responsible and very sexy. And it shows a level of respect for the other character as well – because it shows that even if it might be casual, they want to be safe, and also that they want their partner to be safe.

      If it’s a long term relationship, I’m OK with thinking maybe a female character is on the pill, but if it’s not a real relationship, a condom is needed!

      Thanks for stopping by, Jackie πŸ™‚ Have a great Sunday! *hugs*

  3. I think showing safe sex is definitely important in books, especially YA books. When things start happening and there is no mention of protection I actually get a little distracted wondering why they aren’t worried about pregnancy or STDs. It just seems really unrealistic for the characters not to be concerned about those, even in the moment. If there’s been some sort of explanation, especially in fantasy or sci-fi books, then okay, I’ll take it. But in contemporary YA novels it feels irresponsible to me for an author not to talk about protection and safety and I won’t support a book that does that. Great discussion, Lexxie!

    • LOL, yes, and it’s really not the right moment for us readers to get distracted… when the heat goes up, we’re supposed to be flipping the pages and fanning ourselves, not wonder what will happen with STDs πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the discussion, Lori.

  4. Lexxie, I think you have to make Sexy Sundays a feature on your blog. Weee! For me, your posts about sex equate to Sex education. πŸ˜€

    Incorporating safe sex on books is definitely a plus for me. As what you’ve said, it’s absolutely sexy. It also gives me a tingling and amused feeling whenever I read an intimate scene and the male lead is desperately fumbling for the rubber. And the wench heroine would be laughing and at the same time, frustrated because she’s so desperate for him to be inside her.

    And may I add that incorporating sex is also a reminder for everyone to always practice safe sex whenever they do the tango. Safe sex is even more important if we’re talking about Y/A novels here. I always want to send a practical and sensible message to our youth that they just don’t blindly engage with the thing without the right knowledge. πŸ˜€ For me, regrets would always be regrets. And it would always be hard to pick the pieces again.

    Excellent post, Lexxie!

    Charlotte recently posted: Stacking the Shelves
    • I don’t know that I’m the right person to come to for sex ed πŸ˜€ but thank you, Charlotte!

      I’m glad you agree about condoms being sexy, and I love how you described the heroine waiting impatiently for things to get going πŸ˜€

      Thanks for stopping by today! You’ve brought up some really good points πŸ™‚

    • I know what you mean! And my non-PNR contemporary reads should seem like they’re real, in my opinion.

      Thanks for stopping by Allie πŸ™‚

  5. Oh my gosh, someone I know just went on and on about a wild night where she didn’t use a condom with a complete stranger. I could barely hear another word she said because my brain overloaded. It’s the same way with fiction. And as a writer I feel a certain responsibility to portray sex truthfully even with the PNR vamp/shifter loopholes. I like how Simone Elkeles writes her sex scenes in her Perfect Chemistry series. Condom scenes offer a wonderful opportunity to bring your characters closer. Great discussion post, Lexxie!!

    Robyn Jones recently posted: Sidekick Saturday [28] Law Enforcement!!!
    • That’s awful, Robyn! I had a friend do something similar once, and she was all ‘I can’t get pregnant, I’m on the pill’ like it didn’t really matter. I looked at her with huge eyes and said ‘oh, I had no idea the pill protected you from STDs’… Then it was her turn to be wide-eyed!

      Yes, Simone Elkeles writes her sex scenes really well, and it’s also true that having a discussion about condoms show that the characters are responsible, and that they have thought about things before having sex.

      Thanks for stopping by Robyn.

  6. Sometimes it’s difficult to integrate condoms into a sexy scene but. if it’s done nicely, it gives out a good message to the reader plus it’s that much closer to reality.

    • I understand that it can be difficult to include condoms and still have a sexy scene… but I think it’s still sexier to have them than to leave them out of the equation completely πŸ™‚ And as you said, leaving in a touch of reality is pretty good.

      Thanks for stopping by, Samina!

  7. I absolutely agree that safe sex is sexy, Lexxie! *grins* I rhymed! LOL I recently finished Stay With Me, and I’m happy to say that safe sex was incorporated into the story. The characters even stopped to talk about having been tested, whether Hailey was on the pill and I was thinking…oh, they’re going to forego the condom…but they didn’t. And that made me happy! I definitely want safe sex as a part of my sexy reads and those my teens might read…good messages and all. πŸ™‚ Being responsible can be very sexy!!

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: **Winners of the Multi-Blog Giveaway Extravaganza**
    • Yes! being responsible is sexy πŸ™‚ I need to add Stay With Me to my TBR πŸ™‚ I don’t want my sexy reads to be preachy or anything, but to just have a mention of being safe is a good thing for me.

      Thanks for stopping by, Brandee πŸ™‚

  8. As much as I disliked Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike, it does encourage safe sex. I think a lot of books just use sex to evoke the feels, and not to promote a better understanding of it. I think this has to do with the myth that putting on a condom is a dealbreaker with sex, that it makes it awkward, that it slows things down. Condoms are absent from every New Adult book I have read as well, which I feel is quite stereotypical, but I digress. I enjoy reading about condoms and safe sex!

    Christine @ Oh, Chrys! recently posted: Guest Post from Gwenda Bond, author of The Woken Gods
    • I have read some NA books where condoms are mentioned, and it made me very happy. (I need to make a note of those, I guess) And evne if putting on a condom slows things down, it can still be sexy and exiting. And it shows a lot of respect for the partner as well.

      Thanks for stopping by, Christine!

    • I think I first noticed this in ‘Making him Sweat’ because the way the condom was introduced was so well done, and I loved the hero for it! Then, I started kind of looking for it, I guess.

      Thanks for stopping by Aloi πŸ™‚

  9. Jackie

    I definitely agree on the part with the PNR characters and I think those authors make it quite easy for themselves when saying that only because it’s an otherworldly species no deceases etc. could be transmitted. Still I think it should always be explained because the other character (normally the female) wouldn’t know 1st that her love interest is from outer space and 2nd he couldn’t transmit anything…
    I also absolutely agree on the Simone Elkeles books… I love how she writes, not only her teenage sex scenes

    • Yeah, the PNR characters should have some kind of discussion about it, especially if they’re not both paranormal. And then, even if there are no problem with STDs, I guess pregnancy could still happen at least in some cases.

      Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts, Jackie πŸ™‚ Have a great week.

  10. Depends how it was written! Some feel stunted or disruptive, or like it’s a big deal. But most of the time, I don’t really care. I just continue reading, unless it becomes a big deal in the book. I am more bothered about this in regency romance because I know it’s more an issue back then. Although now that you point it out, most of the books I

    • That’s true, Goldie – but at the same time, it kind of is a big deal. And if the story would really be disrupted, maybe rather afterwards there could be something about him disposing of the condom… Just something to show that the characters are responsible, and that they want to stay healthy and safe πŸ™‚

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