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Poll

Dear Author

Poll: Do You Skim/Skip Sex Scenes

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There is an issue that was prompted by a review of Charlotte Featherstone’s Sinful written by our newest addition to Dear Author, John.   (He already had the J name).

A couple of readers confessed that they are skimming or skipping the sex scenes.   hapaz says

I can't speak for every one, but I usually skip explicit sex scenes because I almost always find them  badly done.

By which I mean they don't resonate with my own experiences, they seem to be trying too hard to be "hot", the language doesn't match the activity, and frequently I suspect them to be physically impossible.

nutmeg agrees:

I'm with hapax on this one. I don't find sex scenes to be anything near what I have experienced(and yes, some seem physically impossible too), so I just end up laughing or rolling my eyes. I skim them, or read them if I'm in the mood for a laugh, but I rarely find them necessary to a plot line. I guess that's why I don't read a lot of erotica.

Ridley says she skips sex scenes if they are boring or don’t further the plot/character development:

I skim the sex sometimes as well. "Insert Tab A into Slot B" is boring, and so is sex that doesn't further the plot or character development. But I skim anything like that – shameless sequel baiting, fan moments with previous books' characters, bizarre "suspense" plots in straight contemporaries – so it's not a sex-specific thing, it's a writing thing for me.

Mina Kelly points out that once you start skimming sex scenes, it can be habitual:

When I can finish a 900 page book in under two hours because I'm skimming the sex scenes, that's too many sex scenes. I mean, I read the first six or seven, but the plot hadn't even kicked off- It took a while before I could read sex scenes in other books after that, since my now Pavlovian reaction was to skim automatically. Enough bad sex scenes, or an expectation of bad sex scenes, tends to put a person off.

I really enjoy a good erotic romance and a good sex scene, but I   have found myself skipping/skimming sex scenes often.   What about you? Do you skip/skim?   Why?   What would make you stop?   What are you looking for in a good sex scene? What are some good or bad examples?

Dear Author

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide & Poll

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Do you buy books as gifts? There’s something wonderful about sharing one’s love for reading with another, particularly kids.   Here’s my last minute holiday book gift guide.   Share yours!

Pre K to 1st grade:   Nora Gaydos “Now I’m Reading” series.   I like the collection of 10 books which help your child build her phonics skills.   The books are to be read by the child and upon finishing the book, the child can place a sticker on the front.   There are forty stickers, four for each book.   The end of the book contains exercises to aid in reading comprehension such as questions about the content, rearranging sentences, and filling in the blanks.

I also love the Letter Bingo game by Gaydos.   The kit contains four tab slide Bingo cards and an Alphabet spinner.   It’s fun for adults to play with the kids.

Slightly Older Child:   The books by Grace Lin are simply wonderful.   Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a take on a fantasy story where one girl goes on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon to change her family’s fortune.   The Year of the Rat and The Year of the Dog are two semi autobiographical books about a young girl named Grace and her middle school experiences being a Chinese American.   The lessons that Grace learns about being confident in herself and being kind to others regardless of their appearance is one for kids of all races.

Teenage Girl:   Forget the Twilight books.   Not only have those girls probably already read those but there are really good stories out there that are more female positive. Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games and Chasing Fire as well as books by Justina Chen Headley or Sarah Dessen.

Adults:   Last Night I Dreamed of Peace is the diary of a North Vietnamese female doctor, her encounters with enemy troops, and her dream of peace.   Her diary was found by an American soldier who was charged with clean up.   He read the diary and could not destroy it and instead violating military regulations, sent it to a friend.   Thuy, the doctor, passionately believed in the North Vietnamese cause and has many an unkind thing to say against the American soldier, but it’s a poignant story about war and the cost that it inflicts on both sides.   I’m not a big war book reader but I was captivated by this story.

If your friend likes fiction, I’ve been hearing awesome things about Stieg Larsson’s series starting with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.   I have this book set aside as part of my holiday reading.

Stay safe with your family!