Novel Protection

Enter at your own risk!

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

Author Pic

Jennifer Senhaji

Thanks for reading.


2 thoughts on “Novel Protection

  1. Contemporary romance is not my genre, but my thrillers usually have at least one sex scene. My sex scenes are based on the premise that we all know what happens between the sheets–I leave the details to the reader’s imagination, including the particulars of safe sex. “She turned out the light and fell into his arms. The next morning, blah, blah, blah.” That’s a bit oversimplified, but that’s my template for a sex scene.
    My treatment of violence is similar. No need to include a detailed anatomical and ballistic account of a bullet entering the skull and what happens inside. The victim dies. Let the reader’s imagination kick in, it’s far better than anything I could write anyway.
    Perhaps I am naive, but I hope readers out there are looking for more than sex and violence in their fiction.


    • That is a good point if you are fading to black in those scenes, but I actually give the reader some sexy details so it does seem correct to be more responsible about my characters being safe in bed. Thanks for the comment and for following.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s