Sex is a Good Thing

I’m going to address an issue I’ve come across and some of my readers may not like this. So be forewarned I’m going to talk about sex. No, I’m not going to discuss any physical, and let me say, very human interactions. I’m going to share my opinion about allowing sexual scenes into my novels.

a young couple standing in a field
Lilly and Günter, ca. 1949

I’ve noticed that I get the occasional bad review because I’m depicting my characters in sexual scenes. I’m not talking pornographic, but just some soft sensual human interaction between a man and woman. Apparently, mentioning such interaction is offensive to some readers. They call it unnecessary.

Well, I beg to differ. One of the things I’m particularly proud of in my approach to writing fiction is my lifelike way of describing my characters and getting my readers involved into my stories. Life, my friends, includes many things, messy and cruel things, love and hate. And there is that thing called sex we humans engage in. We start in puberty and we don’t stop until we die. Sex is part of life, part of our humanity. We procreate having sex. We have sex because it’s healthy and it makes us happy.

In my recent novel, Surviving the Fatherland, which by the way is a bestseller on Amazon, a boy and a girl come of age amidst the worst conditions imaginable, the bombed and shredded Third Reich. In its aftermath, these two people meet, both scarred, both looking for a better life, a way out of that horrible past. They fall in love and you guessed it, they have sex. There are two more small scenes when my father takes off to forget his past, so maybe a total of five pages out of 360.

a young woman sitting in the grass
Lilly during a camping trip, ca. 1949

I’m not saying they weren’t difficult scenes to write. After all, these are my parents and nobody wants to imagine their parents without clothes, let alone doing things with each other. But I had to. Because it was part of their story and it needed to be said. It wasn’t just a normal thing to do, it was a way to escape their wretched lives, if just for a moment. It was natural. It was also part of the fabric of the youth at that time. Going a little crazy. Drinking too much. And yes, having sex.

And let’s face it. Our youth today is no different. The sixties and seventies were no different. We’re human and we are born with the instinct to connect with another through physical contact. I apologize for offending anybody’s sensibilities, but I don’t apologize for including what makes my characters human. Thankfully, my parents had sex because that allowed me to enter the world and become a novelist.