The truth is, sound and music are all too often not part of the erotic reading experience, at least on the page. But perhaps that’s understandable. If an author writes that the hero puts on slow jazz for a scene, and a particular reader (like myself) doesn’t like slow jazz or finds it particularly barf-worthy, then the reader can be drawn right out of the scene.
But sound can enhance an erotic tale too. Whispers, sighs, groans, and moans are all part of just about every book I write. And of course there’s the sound of the Dominant giving orders, either quietly or loudly, to his sub.
For a scene in my book Deep In the Woods I went the other way. I had the Dominant, Dave, and his friend Ryan, plug the heroine’s ears so she couldn’t hear them as they trailed her in an erotic game of cat and mouse out in the forest. In a way, NOT hearing sound can be as arousing as basking in it. In Sophie’s case, anyway, it heightened her senses and made the game seem that much more intense. Later, the boom of thunder triggers deeper memories and a mystery she’s been trying to untangle. Sounds can sometimes internalize themselves with us, with certain sounds always calling to mind the same pleasant–or unpleasant–memories.
In my book Caressa’s Knees, sound and music played a huge part in the entire novel. Caressa’s Knees is about a tortured concert cellist and her personal assistant/bodyguard, Kyle, who tries to help her make peace with the music that drives her and sometimes seems on the verge of destroying her. Sound brings the hero and heroine together, since Kyle falls for her the first time after hearing her practice her cello. Sound is what Caressa lives for, but what also seems to be taking over her life. Even their lovemaking, for her, seems put to music in her mind. In the end, she must come to terms with music’s role in her life, and her own self-image and worth aside from that of concert cellist.
I’ve always enjoyed playing with sound in my novels. The sense of sight is often engaged as we learn about how they look and as we observe what they do, but the sense of sound can add another layer, making the connection even deeper. Music can be so emotional. And isn’t that what good romance is all about?
In closing, I’m curious what type of music do you enjoy or find romantic? If you wrote a love scene in a book, whether BDSM or vanilla, what would be playing in the background?