Christian fiction sometimes has a reputation for being prudish or stuffy. And I suppose it can be. But it can also be passionate, moving, and yes . . . even sexy.
This blog sees occasional spikes in traffic as posts particularly resonate with readers, but most posts fade into anonymity pretty quickly. Except for one. The 2011 post I wrote about sex in Christian fiction STILL gets hits EVERY week.
Which leads me to believe folks are interested in the subject. I was inspired to write the original post after reading a scene in Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz. Here it is:
“He took his time, his mouth moving along the damp wisps of her hairline to her ear. Breathless, she freed his hair of its leather tie till it spilled like a black waterfall onto the thin fabric of her nightshift. Oh, but she’d forgotten how sweet he could be . . . how unerringly gentle, even gallant. She felt like a bride again and shut her eyes, remembering how he’d held her that very first time, beside all that rushing water. Only now, with time against them, it was sweeter still.”
This is a passionate scene between two people who are deeply in love, who long for one another, who are . . . married. And frankly, the fact that they’re married makes this scene even sexier in my opinion.
So how do you incorporate romantic sex while still staying true to expectations for Christian fiction?
- First, it should be appropriate. As I mentioned, the couple in Laura’s passage is married, which means sex is part of the arrangement. God designed physical intimacy to be a blessing to married couples—let’s celebrate that!
- Second, all Frantz gives us is kissing, unbound hair, and a thin nightshift. There’s no mention of specific, sex-related body parts or acts. Instead, she hints at what’s happening and leaves readers to fill in details as they choose.
- And finally, the scene focuses on the mind and the emotions stirred more than the physical act. “How sweet he could be . . . even gallant . . . she felt like a bride again . . . how he’d held her that very first time . . . sweeter still.” Sigh.
I don’t know about you, but I find this MUCH sexier than descriptions of body parts and the actual mechanics of the sex act. There’s nothing scandalous, nothing titillating. Nothing like the romance novels I used to sneak when I was in high school. And I vastly prefer Frantz’s love scenes to those much more explicit ones.
Is there sex in Christian fiction? Absolutely. Just like there’s sex in Christian marriages. Our jobs as writers is to work to return God’s precious gift of physical intimacy to its rightful, holy and blessed place.
And if you need inspiration, read the Song of Songs.