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Paranormal Romance > Shapeshifters and mating in PNR

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message 1: by Jan (new)

Jan (janoda) Hello there.
Some basic warnings: I'm a non native speaker, so my english grammar/spelling, probably isn't entirely correct. I apologize.
I'd like to discuss some aspects of PNR sex, so if you're sensitive about topics like that, best to stay clear.

Werewolf and shapeshifter lore seem to have been blended in PNR, so when I talk about werewolfs in this topic, I include shapeshifters in that. And viceverca. Basically I'm talking about all humans who change into animals, by will or by external catalysators.

On with the show!

There's something in the PNR shapeshifting lore that has been bugging me for a while, and it is putting me off the genre almost entirely.
It's a slightly silly petpeeve, but it won't leave me alone.
I think it has to do with my fantasy and sci-fi background, and my love for the inner logic of worldbuilding - if a world is interesting and consistent I often overlook minor plot holes and the likes.

So when I found this thing that goes against all shapeshifting logic, it totally ruined PNR for me.

In general, shapeshifters and werewolves, when in human form, seem to be ruled more by their emotions and instincts than normal humans. They have less control, which often show in their bedside manners. This makes sense to me, since they aren't human after all (and it gives the 'waaaay too Alpha' male an excuse for being way to Alpha, and us, female romance readers, an excuse for still liking the hero, even if he's waaay too dominant/agressive/asshole - but I digress).

However, what doesn't make sense to me, and totally collides with this 'ruled by instinct/animal side' trope, is that they ALWAYS seem to revert to their human to have sex.

I mean, there's so many stories out there which have males sense out their destined mate, to become totally devoured with desire, to then find the will of mind to change back to their human form to mate?

If they are so ruled by their basal instincts, why don't they stay in their wolf form, instead of going to the trouble of changing back to the human form and then go at it doggystyle?

Not that I'd want animal on animal action all the time, it doesn't rock my boat at all, but I'd find it so much more believable if it happened sometimes at least. And it can be done in taste, like Journeys to the Heartland and Seekers at the Wulfrock, where the alpha's both mate out of desire, love and political reasons, and while not erotic at all, it was very romantic at times. (Be warned, the Wolvbes of Times series are not romance novels at all though, they are very good, but definitely not romance)

So if it can be done in a none squicky way, I really wonder why authors tend to ignore the inner logic of the shapeshifting lore.

Now don't get me wrong, it would be fairly silly if a wolf shapeshifter would mate with a vampire while in his wolf form (though I'm not a fan of interspecies romance in general anyway). But if a story involves 2 people of the same species / breed in shapeshifters, who interact while in their animal form with each other, I find always changing back to the human form to mate a little silly.

And somehow this has become a petpeeve, and now it takes a lot of raving reviews to get me started on PNR romance, because of the lack of inner logic.

Why is it almost always like this? What's your opinion on this subject? Do you know any PNR that doesn't do this? Bring it on, and feel free to laugh with my sillyness.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

There are some books mentioning that a certain shapeshifter or werewolf want to turn back to human because she or he doesn't want to hurt the other person while mating in their true form. Yeah, I know it's a lame excuse but it is what I see in most of the books. I read man to man paranormal books and Soul Mates series by Jourdan Lane do show werewolves mating in his true form with a human. That's the only one I have read about them mating in their true form so far.

message 3: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Jackson (melaniejaxn) | 18 comments The problem is a book getting labeled as having beastiality. It can get it banned from stores like Walmart-- and they are a huge part of sales. Editors won't risk it, as a rule, even if the writer was willing. You might see it some in erotica, but most mainstream romance won't risk it. Not yet.

message 4: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Yeah, and it would put off a lot of readers, besides.

message 5: by Caramelle (new)

Caramelle | 106 comments Melanie wrote: "The problem is a book getting labeled as having beastiality. It can get it banned from stores like Walmart-- and they are a huge part of sales. Editors won't risk it, as a rule, even if the writer ..."

LOL! ...Im not laughing about the topic, but how it coincides with a post I just made about recommending a werewolf/shifters series...But it being depicted as bestiality has been one of the major factors why I haven't put much interest in reading books that focus on shifters. I've read Sherrilyn Kenyon's Were-Hunter books that are part of the Dark-Hunter series, that focuses on shifters and their HEA, but they're still involved with a larger storyline. So, it didn't bother me as much.

But an entire series focused on know there'll be some kinky, animalistic qualities involved in the storyline! So, it got me thinking. If shifters mating can result for it being bestiality, then wouldn't having sex with vampires be considered as necrophilia?

With that question popping into my head, i realized im just looking WAY too far into this! I'm now willing to read a series on shifters and when a part of the book that I'm not comfortable in reading, I'll just skip it and if the book contains more skipping than reading, that series is totally not for me.

So, it all depends on what the target audience the author wants for the series. Some may be into those scenes and if they are, that's who they'll sell towards. They're location of sales may be severely limited than other PNR series, but if people are willing to read them, authors will write.

message 6: by Desperado (new)

Desperado (lethallovely) | 453 comments Hey! Some people love beastiality in there romance. Lora Leigh makes a killing with her Breeds series & the heroes have freaking knots & barbs in their penises!!!!! I can't do it!

message 7: by Jan (new)

Jan (janoda) Mmmmm.
I've never thought about it being considered bestiality, since I'd figure that the only way this would work is if both were of the same breed, which would result in normal animal copulating I presume.
And indeed, if shifting sex would be considered bestiality, then vampire sex would definitely be necrophilia. But frankly I think both notions are silly.

So kinks in erotic preferences aside, I think we all agree that sex can have both an emotional and an erotic impact, and it doesn't necessarily has to be both imo.

With all the packminds and telepatic shifters out there, I'd think sex in animal form would be more mental than fysical nearness/hotness, so it could be comparable with the Na'vi sex.

So if you leave the notion that the sex scenes have to turn you on behind, what's the problem with them having sex in their animal form?

(Sidenote Caramelle: So far, but I'm not that avid a PNR reader, the more kinky with animalistic qualities books I've read weren't with shifters at all, but contemporary, and the more agressive stories I've read were with vampires. So I'd say there's no reason to keep you from trying some shifting romance.)

message 8: by Ann aka Iftcan (new)

Ann aka Iftcan (iftcan) | 2659 comments Mod
Jan--I think that part of the reason for going to human form is the whole "we might get banned if we do it any other way thing." Especially in certain parts of the country (yeah, the Bible Belt people wouldn't be willing to actually BUY it from a store where they might be SEEN and censured, but on-line sure hides a lot of "sins".) But I think that the other part of it might be--the shifters are ORIGINALLY human, and sex is, especially for females, a very MENTAL occupation. Since many of these books have the male being the shape-shifter, he will go back to human so that he can make sure he "gets his rocks off" as it were. I mean, probably 90% of the (human) female population isn't really going to be happy with beastiality FOR THEMSELVES. Hey, I'm willing to read about a lot of things I'm sure as shooting NOT willing to do myself. So I think that might be part of the reason for it. I also think that with the originally human part, well, they just go back to what they were "born" to. Altho I don't understand why when BOTH are shifters, they don't indulge in both shapes. But then again, who really wants to read about a couple of wolves (eagles, bears etc) getting it on?

In some worlds (World of the Lupi is a prime example) only MALES can be shifters. In others its both, but usually its harder for a female to survive the attack (Mercy Thompson, Women of the Otherworld) so that the males are pretty much forced to go with human mates/sexual partners. And, while I might be willing to put up with my husband/boyfriend/S.O. turning furry a couple nights a month, I don't really think I'd like it if he tried doing it in bed with ME. Especially if there's any chance he might be tempted to view me as a midnight snack while furry.

And that brings me to my last possible reason why the writers don't have them getting it on when furry. Would anyone else really want to risk becoming a midnight snack? Or would the furry partner want to risk that he/she might wake up and go "Opps, sorry about that hun" to the mauled and munched on remains of their loved one?

Oh geeze--I just realized how much thought I'd put into this answer. Er, maybe I'm reading way to many UF, PNR, and fantasy books right now. Maybe I should go back to reading mysteries and sci fi for a few months. :oP Of course, then I'd be thinking about how to kill people or how to build a better rocketship in my backyard.

message 9: by Jan (new)

Jan (janoda) Ann! Thank you for your lengthy answer! There is no such thing as putting too much thought into something!

I'm from Belgium, so I tend to buy all my english books in ebook form. Because most romance/PNR readers are now are digital converts also, I tend to forget that not all readers read digital, and thus have to buy in public. Plus, here there isn't such a thing as buying books in supermarkets.

However, it's not like the covers of books would scream that they feature animal on animal scenes. So I have to admit I don't find the shame factor enough reason.

As for being banned, I see menage novels everywhere, and I'm assuming that's as much a taboo as what I'm talking about.

Again, about the bestiality, I don't think it falls under that, because I'm not referring to sex between a human/shifter in human form and an animal/shifter in animal form; but about 2 shifters in their animal form. For bestiality there's only 1 player human.

And there is definitely PNR out there where the shifters change partially, if I recall right the Breeds series by Lora Leigh (which I've recently discovered and are on my TBR list) feature male bodyparts having animal characteristics during mating. And I'm referring to the important bodyparts. I definitely have read werewolf erotica where the male changes a bit during sex.

I agree that for those who were born as a human and became shifters later, shifting back to human form is entirely natural, because they would always identify themselves as humans.

I also agree that having one partner change to animal form and one being human might be dangerous in the snack departement, although the same can be said about all human/vampire interactions.

So I'll have to refine my question.

Why don't shifter pairs that were both born as shifters and are the same species, don't have animal form sex?

As for why I'd want to read about that... As ANN said, sex is a very mental occupation, so I think the mental connection/evolution of a pair if they have animal form sex could greatly add to the story/plot, without it having to be erotic. I'm a very logical person, and I read PNR to escape reality for a while, but since I've noticed this illogical behaviour, I always snap out it.

And I think the main reason it isn't written about isn't shame or fear of beastiality accussations, but the idea that all sex has to be erotic, and animals having sex isn't erotic so it isn't written about.

message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Sage (stephaniesage) | 1 comments Caramelle wrote: "Melanie wrote: "The problem is a book getting labeled as having beastiality. It can get it banned from stores like Walmart-- and they are a huge part of sales. Editors won't risk it, as a rule, eve..."

Check out the 'Women of the Underworld' Series, by Kelley Armstrong. The first book is 'Bitten'.

message 11: by MsBeaglely (new)

MsBeaglely | 118 comments I've only ran accross one book that has dealth with beastiality (or what I would consider beastiality) and that was the first of the Wolves Tales series. A co-worker gave it to me & I only skimmed it, but that was enough for me. I guess the male character was half-man & half wolf and the author made a point of stating that his penis was like a dog's penis. Anyhow, he had sex with the female character with this "dog penis." That was way too over the top for me & I gave it back to my friend.

message 12: by Caramelle (new)

Caramelle | 106 comments Stephanie wrote: "Check out the 'Women of the Underworld' Series, by Kelley Armstrong. The first book is 'Bitten'. "

Thanks! That is one of the series I plan on reading. It's currently a toss up between Kelley Armstrong's 'WOTU' series or Patricia Briggs's 'Mercedes Thompson' series. I've heard great reviews and have been recommended both.

message 13: by Keri (new)

Keri | 50 comments Jan - I agree that there aren't many books (if any) that have (for example) wolf on wolf sex or tiger on tiger sex. I just recently read a book that mentioned sex in wolf form but it didn't go into details and I can't remember which series it was. It was just a mention in the book. I think the reason for it is because the author really can't go into detail when describing wolf on wolf sex. I wouldn't mind it happening in the story but I don't think too many people want specifics on the act. Imagine reading a detail account of two dogs mating - while it is natural it wouldn't be sexy. Most PNR romance readers LIKE the sex detail in a book and wouldn't be able to have that if the wolves were doing it "doggie style". But when humans have sex then it is acceptable to give lots of body part details.

I know that some of the later Anita Blake books have Anita having sex with some of "her guys" while they are in half man/half beast form. That didn't bother me at all. To me if you're going to "be involved" in the shape shifting world you need to be okay with the animal instincts that goes along with it. It drives me crazy when a heroine gets upset because a shape shifter does something that is animalistic (for lack of a better term) HELLO they are part animal!!!!

Overall - I agree. If a male and female wolf are out running through the forest together why not allow them to have at it right there in wolf form. It doen't have to have lots of detail but can still feel like an act of love. It feels like love when two wolves rub their faces together so why not sex.

message 14: by EowynRN (new)

EowynRN | 121 comments I love the Lora Leigh series, because it's more realistic that way in that nobody changes. That being said, I'm into bestiality, and I'm not really into the knot/barb things - but I enjoy the books so much anyway. I just finished the last one in the series (I've read 3 this months alone and need to figure how to get them into my sept challenge.)

I just know I personally would not find it hot/sexy/fun to read a book about a dog f*ing a chick. So I prefer the books as they are in the less realistic, but sexier versions.

Stacia (the 2010 club) (stacia_r) It doesn't seem like beastiality if both people are in the "form" (wolf, bear, cat, etc.).

Now, if it was a human and animal, that's just disturbing.

But if it was two humans shifting into two animals together, I don't see what would be unnatural or disgusting about it. Especially if there was a way to convey that the two in shifter form had some sort of sense that they were "mating" with their "mate."

If two people share the same ability to become animals, and mating is natural to animals, it would make sense if two animals mated while in animal form.

message 16: by EowynRN (new)

EowynRN | 121 comments Eh, I dunno. It's still two animals having sex IMO. That's not something I want to see a youtube video about, or read in a book.

message 17: by Rossy (new)

Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 13 comments Ah Jan, i love you for starting this topic. You expressed my thoughts exactly. I'm loving the comments and laughing hard while reading them. LOL!

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