Deciding just how provocative to make the juicy parts

Deciding just how provocative to make the juicy parts

by Lori Beasley Bradley

I am beginning a new project I am calling The Soiled Dove Sagas, about two young women who find themselves taking up prostitution as a way to make a living in the 1870s.

It will be a three-book series set, first, on a Mississippi riverboat and then in St. Louis before the girls finally set up shop in Abilene, Kansas. Book 2 will take them to Fort Dodge (Dodge City), and by Book 3, they will have moved on to Prescott, Arizona. I originally thought I was going to write this as erotic historical fiction, but have subsequently decided soiled doveto write it as woman’s historical fiction.

My quandary is how graphic my sex scenes should be. The language will be crude, as was common for the period and the rough men in the cattle and mining trades. The books are about prostitutes and their adventures in the Wild West, but precisely how descriptive should my sex scenes be?

I am struggling with whether to opt for NC17 or R. I don’t want the stories to come off as porn, but I do want my readers to be in there with my characters. And it’s important to remember that these are not romance novels. I want to give an accurate portrayal of the lives of women in the sex trade at that time. These were the rough, wild men and women who existed in rough-and-tumble times.

I am the point in my story where the sex scenes are going to come into play. What are your thoughts? Please share your suggestions in the comment section – both as readers and writers!

________________Lori Beasley Bradley

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2 Responses to Deciding just how provocative to make the juicy parts

  1. Liz Marshall says:

    This is a tough question, I struggled with it too, and my book isn’t very sexy. My advice would be to decide what the book is about (not just the girls, but is it a period piece, which would be written more delicately, like books from that time, is it about triumph over the odds, or the horrors of prostitution? Is it humorous or horrifying?) Be true to the story you want to write, and be consistent, and you’ll have a good book. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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