As Muslims there is a line between what we can say and what we can't say about sex. Or is there? Where are the hadiths, fatwas, Qur'an, about what can be said?
I'm a Romance writer (also sci-fi/fantasy but lets not go there with now). I've been reading romance lit since i was 12 and inherited my g-ma's collection. I've read some simple books where sex scenes are not included and left to the readers imagination (not always leaving the reader satisfied), other books that are so descriptive that I'm left in actual shock. Where did the author think of doing things like that? I've researched medical sexual books to understand things and learn thing better. I've tried to read far and wide for what people and the industry think is moderate sex scenes relating to the plot. The results differ wildly. Some writers write the scene poetically other writers are basically writing smut. But I have a very unique and worrisome position as a MUSLIM WRITER.
If I write a sex scene in my romance novels for sure there will be hundreds of angry Muslims writing me saying how could you blah blah blah. Maybe banning my books from their country (when it's the arab and western countries I want to write for mainly) and holding anti-Brandy A. Chase protests. Or I can remove the sex scenes and let the readers use their imaginations but that is not satisfactory for me. I want women to read my books and know they have the power to have pleasure in their married lives. I want men to read my books and know they are SUPPOSED to be giving their wives pleasure and not jumping their women like animals. (which is a hadith). But the part where people may think it's haram for me to write sex scenes is A) they think I'm basing it off my personal life which I'm not.... B) they think that I'm encouraging people to have sex outside of marriage, which is a good question C) I'm encouraging people with my words to masturbate because they might not have a halal outlet for their excitement and rising feelings, another good question D) a hundred other reasons I can't even think of but someone will be sure to point out.
I'll give an example. In the beginning of one of my books entitled thus far as "Veiled Attraction", the american atheist playboy-type is enthralled with women and has sexual encounters often at college. I want to show his loose morals and careless attitude. When he's thrust into a middle east country and falls in love with a niqabi muslimah he has to follow her dictates about what will take place based upon Islamic Laws and her powerful father. Then he has to choose to either embrace Islam and thus getting a chance at winning the father over for the girl (you'll never know the end til you read the book) or keeping himself in disbelief and she despises him.
So are the sex scenes needed? Maybe in this book you say yes but what about this book:
Titled thus far "Crescent Rider", an arab man in historical arabia raids caravans and is unmasked by his future bride. He has to keep her silence by wedding her and they fight a lot and obviously sex scenes are not crucial but would add more dynamics and certainly more drama.
This last example is where I cannot write the book without sex scenes I feel they are crucial to the story and no one would read it if there wasn't sex scenes in it. "The 4th Wife" obviously about a (fictional) woman who is the convert fourth wife and has to learn the ropes of not only islam but Poly as well and I'm going to write it in third POV so that the husband's actions can be seen with each wife.
So where is the line I should be drawing in the sand? I'm really nervous about this topic because some of my friends have already condemned my books to haram and other people are encouraging me. So I am just ripped apart and what has that led to? Me not writing dedicated to any of these right now until I figure this out. Remember my goal of wanting to start the publishing process on a book by the end of 2008? How can I do that if by sending out my book i will be doing something Haram and the money I earn from it will be haram and then using that money for food will be haram and so on and so forth. I do want to be a good muslimah but I have over 40 books waiting to be written all stuck in various aspect of plot in my head and sometimes it gets a little crowded up there you know.
So I really really really really need the reader's advice on this one. It's very important to my life that as many of you chime in as possible. Please tell me your opinions and if and where you can back them up with islamic knowledge. If you don't know any knowledge about it then just still tell me your opinions. Would you pick up any of these books on the shelf and read it as a romance book and then see my hijabed pic or autobiography on the back cover and be shocked I'm a muslim writing this. Bring it on...bring the comments and debate/discussion on.