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XI. Misc > is paranormal romance smut?

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message 1: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments the title says it all...what do u think? weigh in.


message 2: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments Well, there are two types of PNR: the smutty and the soapy. Some even manage to be both.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Oxford (SarahLOxford) | 11 comments Well, the black dagger brotherhood almost certainly is, but other than that my answer is rarely.
BDB is the only seriesI have read that I would consider erotic romance as well as paranormal. Mostly they are nowhere near as smutty as New Adult contemporary which generally walks the line between romance and erotica.


message 4: by Demelza (new)

Demelza Carlton (DemelzaCarlton) | 16 comments Honestly, I'd say it depends on the book and the story, Vanessa. Any story can be smutty...or not, depending on what's in it.

A reviewer described one of my PNR books as "steamy without being smutty" and I'm inclined to agree with her - I don't know how to write smut, but I seem to be able to manage paranormal romance.

That said, when I pick up a book that I feel is smutty, I tend to quit reading it a short distance in. It's just not my taste in reading material.

The soapy? I'm...getting all sorts of ideas, wondering what that is. Please, please explain that one, Francis. I'm sure some of my ideas are definitely wrong...


message 5: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments I don't think they r smutty I just want to know opinions


message 6: by Emma (new)

Emma Jaye | 116 comments Depends what you mean by smutty. My books are (hopefully) sexy and steamy rather than smutty, but they are descriptive.
Vampires, werewolves etc are passionate, dangerous creatures (in my world anyway) its part of their charm. If people want flowers and chocolates, rather than violence and high passion, then maybe they should stay away from the genre.


message 7: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments Soapy... I know it's a romance genre, but a lot of PNR sacrifices coherent plot for the sake of angsty romance. Take Twilight: the first book is reasonably well balanced, but for the life of me I can't figure out the point of the others.

Don't get me wrong - I don't dislike romance, I just dislike stories that descend into indulgent melodrama. When whole chapters pass and you learn nothing very interesting about the characters or the basic plot of the story. (Although to be fair the smut variety of PNR does this as well by having chapters of graphic sex that are entirely unnecessary.)

And I really get annoyed with illogical concepts like: s/he's hundreds of years old but has never found true love until now, or indeed done anything terribly interesting...

It's lazy, it's stupid, it's soap opera.


message 8: by Demelza (new)

Demelza Carlton (DemelzaCarlton) | 16 comments Oh good...I was hoping you meant soap opera.

So, is it possible for a paranormal romance to be neither smutty nor a soap opera?

If not, it seems my books are doomed either one way or the other.

I agree entirely that I prefer a story with a plot.

I admit I don't have an issue with a character living hundreds of years without knowing love or having an interesting life - I just assume they're a really unlovable, boring person.


message 9: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments Until suddenly they're utterly gorgeous and the hero/ine of the story?

PNR doesn't have to be smutty or soapy. There can be romance and sex without descending into either category. However, there is a huge market for smutty, soapy PNR so if you want to make a living as an author that's an attractive route... but only if that's what you actually enjoy writing.


message 10: by Demelza (new)

Demelza Carlton (DemelzaCarlton) | 16 comments Francis wrote: "Until suddenly they're utterly gorgeous and the hero/ine of the story?"

Okay, yes I do draw the line at that. To use your example of Twilight...I never understood why its hero is meant to be so captivating. I found him...unlovable and boring, but of course the heroine didn't, which is why there was a story.


message 11: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Demelza wrote: "Francis wrote: "Until suddenly they're utterly gorgeous and the hero/ine of the story?"

Okay, yes I do draw the line at that. To use your example of Twilight...I never understood why its hero is ..."


I totally agree. I gave up on reading Twilight for this reason. I actually laughed at Edward quite a bit but I didn't find him remotely interesting. When I watched the first film, I was kind of insulted by him. How an intelligent female can fall for a guy who acts like he does is beyond me. That's the part that, I agree with Francis, gets soap opera-y.

If I'm going to have a vampire live hundreds of years without love, and then find him someone, it has to be for a reason. One I'm writing right now is that he'd been terrible deformed/scarred his whole life and the girl he falls for is not exactly a blossoming flower; she's a plain, not that attractive girl with issues of her own. That is how they bond, not because of their looks.


message 12: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 137 comments I find a lot of paranormal romances fall into the cliche trap -- like the one mentioned earlier about being hundreds of years old and never finding true love until now. Cliche for the genre and really overly done. Twilight is done. It's been made into movies. Millions saw them.

Don't try to copy twilight. Be original.


message 13: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Okay for the record someone has to define smutty...ALL romances can could be labeled smutty if there's sex....so what is smut?


message 14: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Laurel wrote: "I find a lot of paranormal romances fall into the cliche trap -- like the one mentioned earlier about being hundreds of years old and never finding true love until now. Cliche for the genre and re..."

I totally agree Laurel. The problem is that a lot of people were only introduced to the vampire genre with Twilight. I've had a vampire novel published, nothing at all like Twilight and I still get comments in reviews comparing the two. It gets a little frustrating because I know and they know that it's nothing like Twilight, so why do they continue to say - If you liked Twilight you'll like this?


message 15: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Because Twilight is their only point of reference and one everyone knows deals with vampires


message 16: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 137 comments Elaine wrote: "Laurel wrote: "I find a lot of paranormal romances fall into the cliche trap -- like the one mentioned earlier about being hundreds of years old and never finding true love until now. Cliche for t..."

I have some paranormal romance in my books -- but no vampires, werewolves, etc -- helped by the medieval setting.

Instead of those twilight elements, in my first book (Great Succession Crisis) I have a sort of Arthurian knight whose father is one of Beinan's most skilled knights and mother is a high ranked priestess. The combination of that makes Lord Knight Corann very gifted supernaturally; he's a sort of telepath.

Corann falls in love with Queen Isabelle's daughter -- a girl who also happens to be the maternal grand daughter of Beinan's high priestess -- only Anlei thinks religion is stupid and has no conscious awareness of her supernatural abilities.

I hope this is not cliche in any way. There's supernatural stuff happening; it's a coming of age story where Anlei has to learn to embrace her heritage. But it's not TWIGHT kind of supernatural.

Am I making any sense? No coffee yet this morning *yawns*.


message 17: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments I'm tired of people introducing their new book by saying, 'The ultimate antidote Twilight! No sparkling vampires!' or something similar.

Nothing wrong with sparkling vampires:
http://alinameridon.wordpress.com/201...

Anyway, back on topic... What is smut?

Smut is where the hero/ine and hero/ine(s) fall into bed at the end of Chapter 4 and don't get out again until the beginning of Chapter 8 - just in time for the Epilogue.


message 18: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 583 comments Vanessa wrote: "the title says it all...what do u think? weigh in."

Why would one automatically be the other? Some people like their romance novels "squeaky clean" (meaning nothing mentioned but a kiss); others like a little more heat. Some people like a lot of heat.

FWIW, there is room for all of these things in the world of writing.


message 19: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 583 comments Arabella wrote: "Okay for the record someone has to define smutty...ALL romances can could be labeled smutty if there's sex....so what is smut?"

"I can't define it, but I know it when I see it." /Potter Stewart


message 20: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Rockefeller (laurelarockefeller) | 137 comments Francis wrote: "I'm tired of people introducing their new book by saying, 'The ultimate antidote Twilight! No sparkling vampires!' or something similar.

Nothing wrong with sparkling vampires:
http://alinameridon...."


Smut seems to be to be when the sex extends beyond its ability to move the plot forward.

So I think if you have, for example, a rape scene where the villain attacks (to whatever degree of success) a main character which in turn leads to some sort of intervention or heroism by another character -- that scene would not be smut. It's driving the plot.

But if it's there just to be there, to add steam or whatever -- yeah -- to me that is smut. It's not driving the plot or adding to our understanding of particular characters in meaningful ways.


message 21: by Demelza (new)

Demelza Carlton (DemelzaCarlton) | 16 comments I'd define smut as making me want to wash my head out with soap after I've read it...but that's just my response. I'm sure others define it differently.


message 22: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Laurel wrote: "Elaine wrote: "Laurel wrote: "I find a lot of paranormal romances fall into the cliche trap -- like the one mentioned earlier about being hundreds of years old and never finding true love until now..."

No Laurel, I totally get it. In fact, it sounds great. In my vampire series, one of the main characters in book 1 is a witch from a magical island. It's very Camelot and features more in book 2, so I understand how it can work when done right.


message 23: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Francis wrote: "I'm tired of people introducing their new book by saying, 'The ultimate antidote Twilight! No sparkling vampires!' or something similar.

Nothing wrong with sparkling vampires:
http://alinameridon...."


Yup, Smut is definitely the unnecessary inclusion of highly detailed sex scenes that add nothing to the story or character development. It is usually where there is a beginning of the story, then sex, sex and the end, or no story at all. AKA. The characters main objective is to have sex with the other character and that's it.

I'd say any genre can be smut; there's no reason that paranormal romance has to be alone in that. I read Christine Feehan's Dark/Carpathian series and although there is a lot of sex, it's usually about progression of character/plot. It's not just for the sake of it. Whereas I've read some stories, non paranormal that are basically just two folk continually going at it. AKA Smut.


message 24: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 68 comments The question isn't "is paranormal romance smut", it is "Is romance smut?"

Because paranormal romance might add in some zombies, ghosts, and vampires, but it is just like most other romance novels. Guy meets girl, they have a bunch of stuff happen then keeps them apart, then they get together for some steamy sex/love.

Some romances sub genres do not contain sex, but they are marketed for that market (notably Christian or Amish romances). Everything else... thinly veiled smut if they are doing it right ;)


message 25: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments to define smut..it is in the eye of the beholder. for the record I like pnr I was simply posting this thread in response to the thread by Feliks "paranormal romance". I do not judge pnr or romance in general
I am simply challenging the connotation that ALL forms of romance sometimes carries
does that make sense?


message 26: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments You are clear on that Vanessa. I tend to think and hope people avoid thinking smut...that is such An archaic term for sex/love scenes in novels....I'd like to think we've moved on beyond that. I mean smut makes me think of cheap paperbacks in a dusty corner of an old dark liqueur store, usually bought by men!


message 27: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 68 comments Nothing wrong with cheap dime novel smut from the dusty corner. We women buy them too, we just don't admit it as openly.

Take 50 Shades of Grey... has lots of kinky sex. Bought mainly by women.

There is even a porn market specifically directed at women, usually involving more sensual, and gentler sexual activity. But there are a lot of us with kinky streaks too.

I have no problem with people thinking of my romance novels as smut. If they enjoy the book, come back for more, and use it as inspiration for their private moments that's all good.

Women are ALLOWED to enjoy sex, smut, porn, toys, fetishes,and anything else that goes with it. It isn't a bad thing. It isn't "just for men".


message 28: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments amen Chrissy!


message 29: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments I responded to the term smut because I haven't heard that applied to writing in a long time! I'm glad the boundaries are wide open...to even include FSOG


message 30: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments off topic but I must say I didn't like fsog. I dont think it's smut or anything but I didn't like it. jmo


message 31: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Ohhhhhh neither did I an insane waste of paper and so poorly conceived.......well I can go on. But yes I'm one of those firmly in the waste of time corner. What has me confused is its been said its based on Twilight fan fiction? who did she imagine in the Twilight universe was like these characters?.


message 32: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Ohhhhhh neither did I an insane waste of paper and so poorly conceived.......well I can go on. But yes I'm one of those firmly in the waste of time corner. What has me confused is its been said its based on Twilight fan fiction? who did she imagine in the Twilight universe was like these characters?.


message 33: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Catacalos (goodreadscompatricia_catacalos) | 4 comments Several years ago I read a quote in MORE magazine. Since I write romance novels and novellas I kept the quote. Unfortunately, I do not remember the author's name...only that she was a college professor who wrote under a pen name and was a very popular author. "...romances aren't pornography, nor are they just about sex. The only consistency one can find in the genre is a passionate wish that the central characters enjoy an intelligent, kindly and sensual relationship....let us move beyond the knee-jerk denigration of a genre that does nothing more heinous than speak to the dreams many of us hold."


message 34: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments girl idk I never read twilight
it never appealed to me. oh.and bared to you sucks.aswell..jmo


message 35: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments oooohhhh...nice Patricia


message 36: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Yes Patricia...a great sensible quote..I d like to find out who said that!

And Vanessa...I had to read Twilight.I live out here in Phoenix and the newspaper did an article on how this local housewife had gotten a750 k contract to write about teenaged vampires. Well, dang I had to know what she wrote was worth 750k! It did take me another five years to read the second one.They got better for me as they went along....


message 37: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments I wondered and have been tempted to read it. I won't knock it until I tried it.


message 38: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 68 comments I like that quote Patricia.

FSOG really isn't written well. But I didn't think Twilight was good either. The fact that Bella was a sniveling waste of space that crawled in a corner and ignored life because some guy walked away... ya, no thanks.

But, it apparently appeals to enough people to make it a mass market paperback. No idea why.


message 39: by E.B. (new)

E.B. Brown (EBBrown) | 71 comments Patricia wrote: "Several years ago I read a quote in MORE magazine. Since I write romance novels and novellas I kept the quote. Unfortunately, I do not remember the author's name...only that she was a college pro..."

Great quote.

I like romance, and I'll say it loud and proud. Call it whatever, if people say it's smut, I'll still read it. Calling Playboy porn never stopped men from reading it, why should the label "smut" bother me? It's what I enjoy, and to each his own. It's not the only genre I read, but it's my favorite escape. To me, reading is about giving my mind a little vacation. My favorite vacation fantasies involve romance. And sex. Sometimes lots of sex.
Bring the smut on!


message 40: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 121 comments Francis wrote: "Soapy... I know it's a romance genre, but a lot of PNR sacrifices coherent plot for the sake of angsty romance. Take Twilight: the first book is reasonably well balanced, but for the life of me I c..."

I've never understood the idea that a vampire could live hundreds of years without learning anything, changing or maturing beyond the point where they were when they lived as mortals. I see this in some PNR books and shake my head in amazement. I also don't understand the idea that all vampires have the same personality when they were born human beings who are unique individuals.

I don't understand werewolves who don't behave like wolves in their wolf forms, but like some Hollywood caricatures of wolves based on prejudice against wolves. Since I love wolves, this upsets me more than the unrealistic vampires.

I have no problem with romance. I have no problem with sex. I just want paranormal romance authors to think about vampires, werewolves, witches or whatever else they're portraying so that they make sense. Some authors do that, but very few.


message 41: by Arabella (new)

Arabella Thorne (arabella_thornejunocom) | 354 comments Francis---hear! hear!
exactly--after a couple of centuries--why haven't they learn and grown as personalities? They are locked forever in their moment when they were changed into vampires or werewolves.
I would like to think that a vampire is actually a very wise and humorous soul (unless very evil )They've been around the block a zillion times--surely they are more than just really awesome killing machines or sex machines for that matter....
There's got to me more to vampires than just teeth and lust..same for wolves


message 42: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 68 comments I think they'd have various personalities just like people. they might get depressed, board, annoyed with life. Some would just be tired, or looking for something interesting. A few would just be stunned by all the advances going on around them.

Vampires come from humans, so I wouldn't expect them to change too drastically.

Patricia Briggs interpretation of werewolves was awesome. They are very much like wolves in their wolf form.


message 43: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White I actually did this with my own characters. I saw how ill-fitting they were in other books and movies and decided to make them more realistic and adaptive. The vampires in my first novel are tormented by the past, have grown and learned from it, they've adapted over time to either feel more or be colder. They're not about sex or violence, but about trying to successfully survive for centuries in a world that threatens to destroy them.

Also, Crissy, I've adapted my wolves too. When in wolf form, all my wolves live and act and behave as wolves. The only exception is the ability for one girl (an oracle) to use telepathy to tap into the mind of her mate and those she's connected with. But other than her, the wolves 'talk' in wolf speak, not in their heads. I wanted them to be as carnal and as wolf-like as possible because wolves are not exactly docile creatures.


message 44: by Lana (new)

Lana Bradstream (lanabradstream) | 145 comments I have a beef with paranormal romances - for one there are waaaaayyy too many! They inundate everything around me! Make it stop!
Second - it is rare that a good one is written. They are all so cheesy. Almost every time you open a cover, it's like diving into a vat of moldy cheddar.
Third - almost all of the plots are exactly the same! The differences - locations, characters, creatures. But the plot is essentially the same - human falls for supernatural being. Supernatural being realizes that it's destiny and falls too. Human (most often a Mary Sue character, which are incredibly annoying) then is in danger because of relationship with supernatural being. Supernatural being must defend human at all costs, after which they can boink to their hearts content.


message 45: by Vanessa Eden (new)

Vanessa  Eden Patton (VanessaEden) | 509 comments lmfao Lana u nailed it on the head.


message 46: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments What do you mean 'after'? Since when did they ever wait?


message 47: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Lana wrote: "I have a beef with paranormal romances - for one there are waaaaayyy too many! They inundate everything around me! Make it stop!
Second - it is rare that a good one is written. They are all so chee..."


Lana, can I suggest you take a read at my book - Runaway Girl (The Secrets of Avelina Chronicles, #1) by Elaine White as none of the above issues you have with paranormal romance are contained in my novel. I write paranormal romance more than anything else, though I do write about crime, new adult romance and YA romance. None my stories (told to me by my readers) are cheesy, similar to other novels, with the Mary Sue characters. Usually my characters are deeply flawed and fall for the deeply flawed characters.Nor do the 'boink to their hearts content'. In fact, in most of my novels there is very infrequent and non explicit mentions of sex.

Not that I'm insulted by your views. I respect them and can agree based on SOME paranormal romances I've read. However, I wouldn't load every book in the genre into the same basket and assume they're all the same.


message 48: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments Elaine wrote: "In fact, in most of my novels there is very infrequent and non explicit mentions of sex."

Unlike mine where there is frequent and explicit mentions of sex... but I doubt it would qualify as smut.


message 49: by Elaine (new)

Elaine White Francis wrote: "Elaine wrote: "In fact, in most of my novels there is very infrequent and non explicit mentions of sex."

Unlike mine where there is frequent and explicit mentions of sex... but I doubt it would qu..."


LOL. True. Nothing I've read of yours is smut. Quite classy and old school sometimes, but definitely not smut. :)


message 50: by Francis (new)

Francis Franklin (FrancisJamesFranklin) | 43 comments Heh :-) Thanks. I like that description...


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