Okay, so you all know you cannot at any time have sex without a condom. There are diseases you can get and there’s the whole pregnancy thing and some would say it’s not ‘nice’ dealing with sticky stuff. What? You've heard all that before? It’s not what you believe? Oh, you don’t care for the dictates of others? You’re saying you can do as your conscience sees fit and you are aware of consequences? Wow…well, okay, if you have a mind of your own that’s your choice.
Here’s the thing, stories are just that – made up fiction. An author has an idea. They write it. It may or may not be based on their beliefs. A reader buys a story and reads it. The reader has a mind of their own. They read and evaluate using their belief system. It’s a no-brainer really. When someone reads a story with vampire sex – chances are pretty slim of sleeping with a vampire - but if the question came up then the reader would make a decision based on her beliefs and not on what was written in a story. Sex with a condom or without a condom – same thing. A reader isn’t instantly going to change her sexual preferences based on whether a writer has a to semen or not to semen ethic. And writers? Hell, they’re not responsible if you get pregnant by a gargoyle just because the heroine in their story did. Gargoyle sex is a personal preference and not a decree by an author.
No writer is ever going to say in a story have sex or don’t have sex or use a condom or don’t use a condom or don’t ride a cowboy or be sucked by a vampire during sex or have gay sex, lesbian sex, man on the moon sex, clown sex…ok, I am going to draw the line at clown sex because clowns are creepy. It's no ones business what anyone else does - except for the clown thing of course. That'll send you straight to hell.
The thing is everyone is accountable for their own lives. No book or story or any piece of romantic or erotic fiction is going to make you do something you know in your heart you’re morally against. I wouldn’t expect that of anyone. I do, however, think some publishers are getting sillier by the second when they assume readers cannot make judgments for themselves and that as publishers, what makes their teeth grit, is not necessarily a moral indicator of what’s good and bad in the world. Sure, sure, they know what the trends are. They don’t want to buck the system. Buck it I say. Let the individual decide for themselves. Trends only come about when someone challenges the norm.
Years ago, when I was writing for Ellora’s Cave, and every hero had to have condoms on or else you wouldn’t get published - it’s probably still the same at EC - I had a reader email me saying she liked one of my stories but she was – SICK OF CONDOMS!!!! I CAN MAKE MY OWN DECISIONS ABOUT SEX! STOP THE CONDOMS! Yes, it was all in capitals. I’ve never forgotten it. I have it somewhere in my files. And I thought then as I do now, yep the woman is right. Readers are individuals who will read sex on their terms and make decisions based on their beliefs as to whether there is latex snapped on or not.
Just let the writer write.