Update 3/19/2012: This is the disclaimer I wrote for Her Twisted Pleasures. Let me know what you think and if I should change or add anything. Thanks!
I write fiction. I give my readers the benefit of the doubt and assume they know erotic fiction sex is fantasy sex, and in fantasies, we’re allowed to break the rules. I believe in practicing safe sex, but my characters do not use condoms because this is a fantasy, an escape from the harsh realities of everyday life. My readers are smart enough to know the difference.
The issue of condoms in romance novel sex scenes has come up recently, and to tell you the truth, I haven’t given it much thought as a writer. I rarely read a love scene where a condom is used, but then I typically read historical romance. I write contemporary romance/erotica. I published two novels and more than a dozen short stories and none of my characters have ever used a condom.
Is that irresponsible? Probably, but keep this in mind: I write fiction. I give my readers the benefit of the doubt and assume they know romance novel sex is fantasy sex, and in fantasies, we’re allowed to break the rules. No one needs a lecture from me about the dangers of unprotected sex.
Escape. That’s why I write fiction. Getting away from the harsh realities of everyday life. That’s why people read fiction. Who wants their fantasy getaway interrupted by practical details? Do contemporary romance novels include scenes dealing with morning breath, bathroom breaks, paying bills, or doing laundry? Not that I know of. (Although I did read one historical romance where the hero got out of bed for his “morning piss.” It was a little disconcerting and it’s the only thing I remember from that book.)
I don’t use condoms in my sex scenes because I don’t want reality spoiling my fantasy. I don’t intend to use them unless it furthers the plot or character development. I read and write romance for fun. Don’t make me be responsible.
How do you feel about condoms, or lack of them, in sex scenes? Are they an interruption or a necessity?