Recently my editor pointed out that I needed to address the matter of contraception in my novel. It seems the days of heroes and heroines falling down where they stand to go at it, because their passion is too overwhelming to ignore, are over. Now, in no way do I condone unprotected sex. I preach it to my kids and practice it myself, but apparently I forgot to write it into my book.
Why? It would have interrupted the sexy flow. I know. Bad author. Bad. I wouldn’t accept that excuse in real life, so why should I in the fictional love lives of my characters?
Today, the average reader expects to hear their heroines and heroes are taking precautions in that department, especially when reading contemporary romance, which is what I write. Okay. Lesson learned. Time to write the protection into my story.
However, when watching the newest episode of Downton Abbey, I also started thinking about affairs back in the day and how they protected themselves. I mean we all know they were a big no no, but they still happened.
Here’s my question: Did they just say “what the hell” and wing it, risking pregnancy, social suicide, disease, and possibly jail (depending on how long ago we are talking about) all for a roll in the hay? Talk about taking risks.
We have all seen films or read books that depict woman using some kind of tonic or old school version of birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancy, but did those things really exist?
It seems so. I did a little research, again after wondering what Lady Mary was using. Was it a reusable condom (ick) or some sort of early diaphragm-like device? Did those things actually work? When the visiting Lady calls on her old footman, James to give her a boink for old times sake, was she using some kind of protection or was she just taking the risk?
I guess I do need to be more responsible about use of protection in my romance writing. Aren’t we lucky that we have so many reliable choices to choose from nowadays.
I guess I can’t expect the reader to think couples will magically go baby and disease free after having hot monkey sex. Writing romance is a big responsibility. Safety in the bedroom and on the page. Got it.
Do you agree writers have a responsibility to write safe sex or have their characters face the repercussions? What are your thoughts on the subject?
Speaking of Downton Abbey, check out my blog for the Writing Wenches on casting your characters.
You can find me online at http://www.jennifersenhajiauthor.com
Thanks for reading.