Agatha Christi, the Grande Dame of mysteries, proclaimed that mysteries should have no sex. Her famous detective, Hercule Poirot, was a lot like the first McGarrett in that regard. In the all the many stories, he appears to have been smitten by only one woman, Countess Vera Roussakoff, but nothing appears to have developed from it.
Sex appears often in modern mysteries, sometimes gratuitous, but sometimes to a point. I happen to like characters with passion and messy lives. I like plots which are complicated by the main character's personal story. In Monday's episode, the sex was probably more gratuitous than pointed. It gave McGarrett a backstory, but didn't complicate the plot. In fact, the sex provided an easy out. When he needed a military satellite retasked for surveillance, he simply called his paramour, who conveniently works in a naval communications center. I'm hoping to see more of this particular backstory, but with some real complications.
I find sex hard to write about, so I tend to avoid the graphic. Instead, I try to inject it with some humor and then turn out the lights as in this passage from Pilikia Is My Business:
He gestured to the table set for two. “Do we really want this now?” he asked.
“I think it can wait.”
“Race you to the bedroom?”
“Okay,” I said, “but it’s the only point you’ll get for speed.”
So, as a reader, how do you feel about sex in a story? As a writer, how do you handle it?