Recently, a friend asked me if a sex scene is necessary for the plot of a story. Among his circle of friends, a number of people said, yes. But, for me the answer was no.
But, really doesn’t it depend. What genre? Romance? Horror? Mainstream fiction? Erotica? Well, the last one is a given, but honestly when does sex enhance the story?
For me, sex is used to bring the characters together. To demonstrate the closeness or distance between my hero and heroine. To show character’s growth. And for so many others, too.
I have a short story that doesn’t have a fully consummated sex scene, but it does have a sweet tender sensual moment between my main characters. I believe the moment is just as powerful, if not more, than a full-blown sex scene. It tells a lot about the love between the two characters. It demonstrates one character’s growth because she has had a hard time showing love.
In inspirationals, I believe as much passion is shown with a kiss or the touch of a hand.
So, I don’t know if I believe a sex scene is required for any plot, but I know that I enjoy reading them, but sometimes the mystery of what might happen can be just as tantalizing ;-)