Originally Posted by HarryT
I would answer "it depends on the book". A book like "Pride and Prejudice" without love scenes (love scenes - not graphic sex) would be meaningless. Love scenes in a hard SF novel are probably irrelevant.
... I'm surprised at you! Suggesting that SF characters can't have legitimate feelings that can be impacted by others, and that a sex scene can't play a legitimate part of that! You've been in that Dalek shell too long
I've read plenty of SF that has had well-placed sex scenes that were clear parts of the characters' development (in fact, I wrote a few of them myself). I see nothing wrong with them. As an aside, I can enjoy them too, even if they aren't absolutely essential to the story. So bring 'em on, and please don't read over my shoulder unless I know you very well...