In the animal kingdom and the human race sex and reproduction, as well as food, are considered primal urges. When I read food was considered an urge, I had to look up the definition to clarify the meaning in my mind. This is what I discovered: urges are described as an instinctive motive, impulse, a strong restless desire or an itch, if you will, that needs scratching.
Hmmm… I thought food was essential for our existence. But then I discovered that in reality so is sex and reproduction. Without food a body wastes away. Without sex and reproduction an entire race can be eliminated. And none of us want that to happen.
But more importantly sex is healthy. Yes, you heard me right. Did you know that Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade? Its findings were that men who reported a high frequency of orgasms enjoyed a death rate half that of those who didn’t.
Other studies have proved that sex a few times a week improves sense of smell, reduces risk of heart disease, reduces depression and stress, and can be used as a pain reliever because it increases the hormone oxytocin by five times its normal level. Increased endorphins alleviate the pain of arthritis, headaches, and even migraines. In women, sex increases estrogen that can reduce the pain of PMS.
And sex improves weight loss.
It’s true! A vigorous bout burns some 200 calories. An aroused person’s pulse rate rises from about 70 beats per minute to 150, which is the same as an athlete putting forth maximum effort. And leave it up to the British to determine that six Big Macs can be worked off by having sex three times a week for a year.
For men, sex boosts testosterone, which leads to stronger bones and muscles. Men’s Health magazine calls the bed the single greatest piece of exercise equipment ever invented. And I have to agree.
So it’s a proven fact that sex is essential for our well-being and existence.
But does sex sell books? Should you start writing or reading erotic romance? I say, why not.
Throughout history, sex has been used as a selling tool. Prostitution, for example, is one of the oldest professions and to this day is still alive and well. So it’s no wonder that for over 100 years advertising has tapped upon our pre-programmed disposition to respond to sexual imagery. A great example is the Super Bowl. Have you noticed that their ads get sexier and sexier each year?
Sex in advertising isn’t just skin and erotic behavior. It is a subtle promise to the buyer that either implicitly or explicitly the product, or in our case books, offers sexual benefits. Jacque Lambiase did research on sexual ads and she discovered three things that these types of ads subconsciously promise.
- Sexual attractiveness
- Engagement in sexual behavior
- Feelings of being sexy or sensual
It’s hard to argue that most of us would love to look or feel sexier. And if a better, enhanced sexual experience is being offered, wouldn’t most of us fight to be first in line? LOL
My dear husband is one of the biggest supporters of my occupation. He pimps my books out to the men at work. One reason is he gets the biggest charge from his coworkers asking if I created my heroes with him in mind. Another reason is the comments he receives. For example: “You must have a great sex life.” “That was the best sex I’ve had in a while.” “No need for foreplay anymore.” “Let me know when your wife’s next book is available.”
One could say that my writing is doing mankind a service by keeping people not only entertained, but healthy and happy. LOL
But it’s not only what is between the pages that intrigues a reader. Recently, I read an article about several popular men’s magazines that experimented with their cover art. A cover with a sexy, semi-naked woman versus a male star, even one that the male population wants to hear about, overwhelmingly, produced higher sales. It isn’t news that men respond to sexual images, but what about women?
Invariably, when my covers contain images of half-dressed men with rock hard abs, the book sells more. My grandson once said, “It’s sad that the cover makes a difference, but it does.” He was twelve at the time and even he knew at that tender age that sex sells. So bare chests, six-packs, and bulging biceps apparently appeal to women and entice them to buy.
And to substantiate this claim, I’ll draw your attention to the increased demand for male/male romances throughout not only the United States, but the world. In the last seven years, I’ve watched this genre grow in acceptance. It isn’t a genre I thought I’d find interesting, but I have to admit that the few authors I’ve read have done a fantastic job with the h/h’s relationships. So it isn’t only men who respond to sexual imagery, because a lot of heterosexual women enjoy reading about two strong males locked in a heated embrace.
But it’s not just about the sex; it’s the story behind the relationship that makes not only M/M books intriguing to read, but a bevy of other erotic romances. Whether they are contemporary, paranormal, historical, etc., sex is only an element of the story that enhances or, believe it or not, decreases likability. What defines that line is different for everyone. Some people don’t mind the explicit sex, but despise cursing. Some don’t mind the sex or cursing, but prefer not to hear body parts called specific names. Whatever your preference, there is something out there for everyone. But be forewarned. If the models on the cover are partially undressed, in a suggestive embrace, there’s a good chance the book may be a little racy.
And if it’s one of my books you can count on it.
Mackenzie McKade’s Bio
A taste of the erotic, a measure of daring and a hint of laughter describe Mackenzie McKade’s novels. She sizzles the pages with scorching sex, fantasy and deep emotion that will touch you and keep you immersed until the end. Whether her stories are contemporaries, futuristics or fantasies, this Arizona native thrives on giving you the ultimate erotic adventure.
When not traveling through her vivid imagination, she’s spending time with three beautiful daughters, three devilishly handsome grandsons and the man of her dreams. She loves to write, enjoys reading and can’t wait ’til summer. Boating and jet skiing are top on her list of activities. Add to that laughter and if mischief is in order—Mackenzie’s your gal!
To learn more about Mackenzie, please visit www.mackenziemckade.com. Send an email to Mackenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch her on her Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MackenzieMcKade) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/MackenzieMcKade) sites. You might want to stop by the Wicked Writers’ Facebook site (http://www.facebook.com/TheWickedWriters) and join in the fun with other readers and authors as well as Mackenzie.
BOLD: Whispering Cove, Book 5
She’s more spice than sugar…and he has a taste for heat.
Tabatha Taylor has mooned over her brother’s best friend since childhood. For years she’s been chipping away at his cool façade, using the generous, all-grown-up assets God gave her to her advantage.
Finally she has a chance to work close to him on a project for the Fall Festival. Going nose to nose with him will prove her ideas have merit, even if she doesn’t have a degree. But she learns the cost to her heart could be bigger than she anticipated.
Tabby’s dark beauty definitely sets architect Reece McGrath’s pulse racing, but she’s an itch better left unscratched. The attraction that flares between them is hot and undeniable, but getting close means risking a friendship he values and a lifestyle he cherishes. Crossing that boundary isn’t worth the price he’d have to pay.
With one of the grandfathers of Whispering Cove pinpointing them in another matchmaking scheme, though, they find themselves inching closer to that line. And closer…
Read an excerpt