How much sex do readers want in an urban fiction book?
I know, ultimately, this will differ from one reader to the next but, generally speaking, how much sex are you looking for in an urban fiction book? And how graphic can/should it be?
I tend to expect it in an urban fiction title. I can agree that this would vary from reader to reader. I consider myself to be a moderate so I like books with appropriately placed sexual interactions. I don't like books with sex scenes every other chapter. Tell me a story. Truthfully, there have been books that are so raunchy and trashy that I couldn't continue to read them. I don't rate or review those because they clearly were not written to appeal to me. I also have found others to be too pretentious when it comes to what really happened next. People have sex. Married people, single people, old people, young people. Why tiptoe around it.
Readers who are unfamiliar with urban fiction may think any graphic sex in a book should be labeled erotica. They weren't expecting it and don't want to read it. With the urban fiction genre I would compare that going to an R-rated movie and covering your eyes. You knew what to expect when you bought the ticket. I have found that one can pretty much flip through the sex anyway, but beware a tidbit may be missed in the pillow talk.
I tend to not want any, or only a little. The problem is, most sex scenes in books seem silly or disgusting to me, or both, like a clumsy attempt at Penthouse Forum writing, very clinical and not very exciting unless one genuinely enjoys reading phrases like "throbbing rod" or "swollen love balloons," or whatever-the-heck. But maybe I'm wrong, and someone can do a good job of it. For me, I'd rather sex be written/presented in a way that makes the reader uncomfortable, rather than trying to titillate. I.e., for me, literary sex is akin to literary horror. Maybe I'm just messed up. Here's my rather horrifying attempt to parody literary erotica, as it appears when I run into another clumsy attempt at it.
I like the idea about the sex purposely making the reader uncomfortable. That kinda reminds me of the sort of thing you'd get in a Donald Goines book. But I suspect the idea is not to make people feel uncomfortable because it is written badly, more so because what is happening is uncomfortable in someway within the story or for the character. This then gets the reader on edge much in the same way as a character going through other forms of peril. And in that sense, I guess it is not so much about the sex but more about the peril for the character.
With regards to more sensual types of sex, I see that it's common in other genres to have two characters for whom the reader is rooting for to get together romantically. This usually spans the course of the book and if it does come to sex then more is left to the reader's imagination than is revealed. Of course, this is more often not the case in urban fiction. Much as @tamir-shaw said, I like to see it where it's appropriate and, even better, relevant to driving the story forward.
I think the hardest thing to do is write sex well. Just in the same way that most of us wouldn't have sex with just anyone, I don't think most of us like to read sex scenes written by just about anyone. I'm conscious that the scene has to be written for the reader and not just what I want to write. That's got me thinking how important it is to get to know your readers and what they like (and not just with regards to sex).