The Sex that Didn’t Happen

by | September 30, 2017 | General | 2 comments

K D Grace

Sometimes the sexiest part of a story is the sex that doesn’t happen. Let’s face it, half the fun in novels is imagining what would happen if the villain and the heroine got together … just once, or maybe the villain and the hero, or even all three. You get the picture. It’s very difficult to read a novel, watch a television series, see a film and not do a bit of shipping or fantasize about a little slash. I figure that’s why dream sequences of the sex that doesn’t happen are so commonly used. It’s a way of giving a nod to the fans’ fantasies. I think it’s also a way of letting fans know that the writer was thinking the exact same thing.


My novel, Blindsided was just released yesterday, and it’s very much the reason I am thinking about the sex that didn’t happen. Blindsided is a steaming cauldron of the sex that didn’t happen, but gets fantasized about by both my characters and me. Oh don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of sex that does happen too, but a great deal of the plot momentum comes from the sex that doesn’t happen. That’s a part of what made the writing, and I hope the reading of it, so damn much fun.


In my early days of writing erotica, when the old ‘sex scene every 2K’ was the standard expectation from editors, my efforts were all about telling a story in spite of the sex that I knew most people were reading it for. My challenge was engaging readers beyond the one-handed read. The sex was most often simple, straightforward and graphically written. Perhaps that doesn’t get boring for the reader — especially if all she wants is a one-handed read — though I have my doubts. I guarantee it gets boring for the writer who wants to explore sex and relationship at a deeper level, who wants to tell a story that takes the reader beyond basic porn-sex.


The power of sex has always been that it is about so much more than just procreation or recreation. I’ve written multiple posts about sex as magic, sex as transcendence, sex as a creative force. But as I’ve begun work in earnest on the Medusa’s Consortium novels and stories, I’ve become more and more intrigued with the sex that doesn’t happen. Sometimes that’s the sexiest bit. Intercourse is not necessary for a relationship between characters to be sexual. And the lack thereof can serve to make their journeys even more intriguing.


There are things, experiences, moments that ‘take us there’ in far more powerful ways than getting just naked and fucking. Music, scent, spoken word, watching the way someone moves, listening to the way someone describes what matters to them, and so much more — these are the things that get us inside a person’s head. The convoluted path inside each person that leads to what turns us on at a more visceral level than just the physiology of sex is the journey of story. It’s the journey that makes the sex act a part of something greater than itself. Following the characters down that winding path makes for more than just a fascinating read. It offers a three dimensional experience for the reader/watcher, it offers a much deeper connection with the characters and their stories. When it’s done exceptionally well, the sex that doesn’t happen creates an empathetic experience that allows the reader/watcher to identify, to connect with, even to vicariously become the character.


The sexual nature of characters is intrinsic in who they are and in the way they view the world and the people they care about. It is so closely tied to their self-worth and their view of self that it’s impossible to tell their stories without in some way exposing that sexual taproot of identity. The more closely the story is tied to that view of self, the more that link is exposed, the more readers see the true nature of those characters. And when the true nature of a character is exposed, there may very well be a lot of powerful sex that doesn’t happen.


KD Grace

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, K D Grace believes Freud was right. It really IS all about sex — sex and love – and that is an absolute writer’s playground.

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening or walking. Her creativity is directly proportional to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She loves mythology, which inspires many of her stories. She enjoys time in the gym, where she’s having a mad affair with a pair of kettle bells. She loves reading and watching birds, and she loves anything that gets her outdoors.

KD’s novels and other works are published by Totally Bound, SourceBooks, Accent Press, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace, and others. She also writes romance under the name Grace Marshall.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition and Interviewing Wade are all available.


  1. Lisabet Sarai

    One of my favorite short stories, by M. Christian, consists entirely of sex that doesn’t happen. Set in a late night diner, the tale spins out the fantasies of a loner and a waitress, each one imagining the other as a lover. That tale has a poignancy that it would never achieve if the two actually hauled off to the back room and had at one another.

  2. SAm Thorne

    Please forgive the very delayed response, but I found this in my ‘flagged’ list while going through links I wanted to follow up.

    This is a fantastic article. I particularly love it because it lends authoritative credence to my hope that my non-happening fantasy flashes can raise the reader’s body temperature in terms of helping them to create ‘off-screen’ fantasies of their own. Sometimes my stories depend on these moments if the call prevents me from being too graphic.

    This was a beautifully written article. Thank you.

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