Does a romance book have to have "mature content"



I am getting towards the end of my historical romance and the two main characters are getting to that special stage in their relationship. While I don’t mind putting in the mature content, I wonder if it is really necessary to have this part put into such detail.
What do you think? Will taking this out scare away potential readers?


simple answer no because sex is not romantic everything before it can be but its not


It seems that most stories I have read lately have very graphic content which I find unnecessary at times, but seems to be the trend. The romance should be the story, which is where I started arguing with myself. I wouldn’t want the loss of readers by not giving them what they want but how many really find this a necessary part of a book.


That’s the crux of it. You can either keep it out and potentially lose readers, or put it in and gain some. You can write to the market, or to what you want.

Then again, Twilight didn’t have any in the first book and people ate it up like it was candy.

People don’t read for the sex in a romance story (they’d read erotica otherwise) they read for the tension. For the “will they/won’t they”. For the moment when they come together and realize they actually love the other.

Sex is a major part of that and is like chucking fifty cherries on top of the cake. But it’s not integral. It’s not what makes the cake, the “cake”. It’s just a decoration that makes it sweeter.

If you write the tension well enough, then I’d say a smut scene isn’t needed. You could even just write a very light sex scene that isn’t graphic and just shows the emotions/sensation and be a bit purple prose with it. That way, readers see they did have sex, but you didn’t make it “mature”.


I honestly do not think that romances need mature content. I grew up reading romance books and very few of them had real sex scenes in them.

I also don’t plan on having mature content in my own. I’m sure I’ll have a sex scene, but it will focus on the emotional aspect rather than the physical one, because that’s been the focus throughout the book.

So in the end, it really all depends on the story you are telling and what you are comfortable writing. Mine is a sweet, mental and emotional connection, so R rated sex really wouldn’t make sense for mine. It really all boils down to your story and your characters.


I do also see quite a few readers who don’t want to read sex in their romance, so you win some lose some either way.


Here’s the the thing: you could still put it in (only if u want to), but put in the slow parts leading up to it, then end it there. Let the readers just imagine what happened.


I have it in some of my stories. I try to make sure the sex is it’s own chapter without important story contained inside, and put a disclaimer at the top of the chapter letting my readers know that they can skip it if they so choose with no harm to them getting the whole story.


I believe the characters and the romance can stand on their own without being to graphic. I like the idea of focusing on the emotional connection and not having such a graphic scene that I believe would take away from these two.
Thank you all so much. I think I can look at this with a new perspective now!


i’ll really say you are a little bit right about it though, i’ve written two romance book, one of them DOMINANT & SUBMISSIVE its rated “matured content” because its really really mature. then for the other one ANGELL SUMMER , its not a big deal of xxx scene in it, its just brief but readers wanted something spicy, but i decided to follow my imagination and write it my way :face_with_raised_eyebrow::thinking::neutral_face:


Nope. The short answer is: you can do whatever you want.

And the longer answer is: you’ll lose readers by not including it, and you’ll lose readers by including it. So you should really only do it if you want to. There are pros and cons with both. So do what’s best for your story and what you think is the most fun. If you like writing sex scenes, do it! If you don’t enjoy them, then don’t include them.

There’s no right or wrong in writing. (Well there is but you know what I mean)


I agree with most of the people who have replied to this thread. Some people won’t want to read “mature content” but at the same time, others will. Just write what feels right, and if you think you might lose readers, maybe you could create a seperate book for that particular content, or even a private chapter for those who do want a mature scene. However, I’m sure that whatever you do, most of your readers will stay loyal to your book!


Just gonna quickly chime in and say, that the ability to make chapters private is no longer available.


Oh shucks, thanks for letting me know!.. I suppose just a normal chapter labelled ‘mature content’ would work the same way




I guess - but then the whole discussion of “if it can easily be read without this scene, is the scene even important then?”

I’m of the opinion that the sex scenes should have some kind of relevance to the plot and push it forward just like any other scene. So I’d recommend either going all in and incorporate that scene in the book, or just leave it out.

But that’s just me though. It’s such a subjective opinion there.


Nope, not necessary at all. Romance novels all have different “heat” levels, and that’s totally okay! Some fade to black while others go the descriptive route.


i don’t think so. write what you feel is appropriate. if you’re into erotica, go right ahead, there’s a real audience for that. but i think there’s also an audience for tasteful sex scenes, or poetic ways of talking around what’s happened without looking directly at it at all, with a focus on feelings and effect. :blush:


Nope. Write what you’re okay with. Some people like it, others don’t. Just do what feels right to you.


I don’t think it’s necessary. I think everything is too sexualised these days. Choosing not to do so might actually make you stand out. You’ll certainly gain more readers than you’ll miss out on.