My twin sister texted me the other day.
Jen the Twin: I’m intrigued with the title Waiting for Tom Hanks.
Me: I just finished reading it. It was good. Funny with shrewd insights on romantic comedies.
Jen the Twin: I will have to get it
Me: My only gripe was the closed door love scene. So annoying.
Jen the Twin: Closed door as in no details or as in hot sex against a closed door
Why would I complain about hot sex? It’s like my twin sister doesn’t even know me.
What is a closed door love scene?
A closed door love scene is when the sex between characters happens behind closed doors. Don’t worry about explicit or euphemistic details. There are no details of any kind given to the reader.
This type of love scene is also known as a fade out scene or a fade to black (think of classic movies when the screen would go dark). I’ve also heard it called an off-the-page love scene (once again, in classic movies when the camera would suddenly focus on the flames in the fireplace or the crashing ocean waves.)
Which romances include behind closed door love scenes?
You might think these scenes are only found in wholesome romances. In fact, you will never find a love scene – open or closed door – in a wholesome romance. While there is attraction, tension and intimacy in a wholesome romance, the sensual level will not go past hugs and kisses.
Romances that range from sweet to scorching hot might have the door closed on a love scene.
Why shut the door?
Have you ever watched an action flick and felt as though you just saw a fight scene and this one is slowing down the movie? Or perhaps you wished they skipped this death-defying stunt because it doesn’t add to the story? Maybe your attention drifted during a chase scene because it offered no emotional turning point for the characters.
The same could be said with a love scene.
The romance might be blazing hot but the author “closes the bedroom door” on the next love scene because it will slow the pacing of the story. Perhaps the author wants to show that the hero and heroine are enjoying a sexual relationship but the scene won’t offer an emotional turning point for the characters. Then the writer will indicate that the hero and heroine are about to fall into bed together and end the scene before they get to the bedroom.
Then why are you annoyed with closed door love scenes?
I’m not always annoyed by them. If closing the door means tightening the story, then by all means kick it shut and barricade it. But I still want to know how the hero and heroine interacted. Was the playboy hero nervous? Did the former enemies bicker the entire time? How did this moment impact the characters and the relationship?
I want more details than, “Reader, I had the best sex ever.”