A frequent discussion among writers addresses the need for cursing and sex in present writing. Naturally, like everything in writing, there are many viewpoints concerning this topic.
For some of these concepts, you need to take your age specific genres and leave them at the door. Middle grade and young readers are expected to remain clean and copulation free. Must protect the young’s minds.
With that elimination, let us look at the other concepts that bring this question.
I’ll start by addressing cursing. An f-bomb is a very powerful word, whether it seems like it or not in present society. Consider for a minute the value of words in a story. Every word must count. So if your character is dropping an f-bomb every five words, it’s lost its potency. Now if you hold back the expletive in question until it fits the scene, you’ve doubled the impact of the word. The same goes for the lesser curse words – the S-bomb, the B-word, even Damn.
If you feel you aren’t being true to the character by censoring their dialogue, then don’t. You’re the writer of the story. But realize your audience will react to the words you use.
Sex scenes are a different animal, so to speak.
When we consider things of this nature, we are looking at more than character. We’re also looking at plot. The story must progress with each scene. Adding that scene in the boudoir might be fun to write and titillating to boot, but if the plot doesn’t advance with the scene, its wasted space.
I know, how could plot advance with someone screwing around? It develops characterization. Does the character have multiple partners, so is unable to commit to one? Are they a minute man (or woman) or an ardent lover who takes their time? Does their lovemaking require them to hold the power position? Could any or all of these be shown in other ways that just in the bedroom?
Always consider what’s best for the story when deciding what to put in, before you start scribbling on the burning up the sheets, or dropping that bomb.
Not everyone will agree with this, I understand. That’s why I don’t claim to be the ultimate expert on any of this, I just offer my ideas.