Romances are getting more risqué with the sexual escapades of their characters. Still, I try to keep in mind that there are some lines that readers don't want to cross. One scene could ruin a book for a reader. Thus, I carefully consider the impact when I write on the edge and I don't write scene like that simply for shock value.
In the original version of The Gift of Surrender I had a hardcore scene with Prince Armas and Queen Taraasta where she was abusing him with an inanimate object while cutting off his breathing (when I say abuse, I mean penetrating him). I thought I needed to show just how much a hold she had on Armas and how far he had fallen away from the right path. Please note, I don't disapprove of that act, per se. It was the degradation and pain inflicted during the act. I changed my mind during the editing process. I realized that I already demonstrated how far Armas had fallen when he broke the close ties he had with his brothers. I felt so bad for him over that break that I had to write a sequel to put them back together.
In the sequel, The Price of Surrender, I had to write scenes that clearly demonstrated the life of debauchery Armas was living while still with Taraasta. But how far do I go? Should I do a full blown Roman style orgy? How many orifices should be involved? I decided on frequency rather than one big event. Thus, in an early chapter, Armas has a series of maids and cooks turning up in his bed culminating with two in his bed at once. It is a risqué scene, but certainly not alarming. The scene is also very hot for that moment, but ultimately it's sad. Nothing Armas does can fill the void that leaving his family created. Having everything he wanted and the freedom to do anything he wanted could not make Armas happy. It's then he decides to grow up. That decision doesn't have nearly the impact unless the lifestyle he was leading is dramatically demonstrated.
My favorite use of necessary debauchery is the subject of today's trivia question. It is a delightfully sinful film that covers almost every kind of sex imaginable. It is set in Havana and involves a condemned woman telling her sordid tale to a young priest the night before she is to be hanged. If you can guess the film, I'll give you a free pdf of The Gift of Surrender.