Yes, yes, there is s-e-x in the novel!
There. Okay. So have I gotten your attention?😉
Presumably, intimacy in a story revolving mostly around 20-somethings is not going to induce reader fainting spells. In one scene in particular, what is going on is obvious. But it is not portrayed in a manner I would consider gratuitous; I believe it is well-contextualized and suits the tale.
That said, little is tougher than producing a novel like this, which weaves fact into the fiction …. and, uh, your wife reading it. And if your wife is English (as mine is), she has a particular way of asking questions coolly when text catches her …. attention:
“So I play the heroine who meets you her hero and her dress falls off? As in Hollywood?”
Wife: “Where did you get that scene from?”
“Yes, an American man we met in the Empire State Building…. In the line he wanted to know if I was there to meet my future husband. That must be him, he said….”
Wife: “Fiction, huh? Who’s she based on?”
“Oh, yes, I was the French au pair. Other friends had Swedish, Dutch or Irish. But I was the Frrrrrrench one.”
Wife: “Have you known a French au pair?”
“I promise when they come for to arrest me, I will say you have changed my mind! I shall tell them, ‘I love Bill Clinton!’”
Wife: “Care to explain more about her?”
“The breathless, brainless nitwit in Europe sort… You know the type. ‘Gosh, Daddy…. it’s not like back home in Oregon. Golly, you know these Italians painted amazing stuff. I can speak Italian now! Buongiorno! Come stai? Ciao!’”
Wife: “That English girl’s invented?”
Me: “Absolutely. Well, uh, mostly.”
Wife: “Knew it. And that American student in Italy she’s making fun of? It’s pretty obvious who that girl’s supposed to be.”
Me: “That American girl is a personal editorial statement of mine.”
Wife: “Fine. That you’re allowed.”
So if you ever pen a book like this, prepare yourself for…. the inquisition.