Yes, Grandma, I write about sex. I write detailed descriptions of people having sex.
No, I can't and won't simply "fade to black."
Why, you ask, must I write that smut?
#1) Because it's plot-relevant. What happens between the sheets changes what happens on the streets, and vice versa. If the sex doesn't forward the story, I don't write it (nor do I want to read it).
#2) Because sex is integral to the developing relationship between the hero and heroine. Intercourse of all kinds is a power game (especially in a new relationship). Intimate details about who is on top and how he or she got there let us see (once again) how power games in the public arenas of our characters' lives will play out.
#3) Because sex is fun. Unlike, say, golf or shuffleboard, almost everybody does it, sooner or later. People read for pleasure. Sex is (or should be) pleasure. Eating, for the same reason, is also featured in most books. Put the two together? That's a recipe for sex-cess!
#4) Because nobody talks about sex. Sure, we read the how-to books. We joke with our friends. We even might confide in a doctor or girlfriend if we think something is wrong. Unlike with eating, however, "good" people aren't allowed to go look up new and different recipes. Except--we want to. And we do. And just as a learning a new spice opens up a whole new approach to the same old bread and cheese, reading about a new approach to lovemaking can (and does) spice up our sex lives.
What do I call pornography? Any sexual activity in which the participants are unwilling or unable to make a rational choice to participate (rape, as opposed to dominance; pedophilia). Those things, Grandma, you won't see celebrated in any books I write, nor those on my shelves.
But down-and-dirty, sheet-soaking, wall-crawling, primal-screaming sex?
Sigh. Yes, you can borrow a book. Just let me leave the room first.
(BTW--the title of this post came from an e-mail I got this morning about Pilates).