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Romance > Romance Novels Sex or No Sex

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message 1: by L.A. (last edited Apr 08, 2011 07:19AM) (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments Hello,

I was having an interesting discussion involving a heat index on books, which got me thinking. How many readers of romance, prefer sex in their books? How many readers like no sex and prefer to have a closed door policy when it comes to those scenes? I found a site on Amazon where readers are looking for clean romance. Since sex does sell, I believe there are more readers that prefer sex in their books, but I thought to ask the people on Goodreads their preferences.

So what are your thoughts?

message 2: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments Adult romance = sex

YA romance = no sex

It's the responsibility of the consumers to look for the genres that they prefer.

message 3: by Sharon (last edited Apr 08, 2011 07:46AM) (new)

Sharon (SCPennington) | 21 comments I agree with Lily in that sex scenes need not be included in YA novels. My granddaughter will be 10 in a couple weeks and still finds "stuff like that" yucky. LOL. Thank goodness. They learn about so much so fast these days. She's an avid reader and is always asking when she'll be able to read my novels. I'm saving copies for her, of course. But I won't give them to Ireland until she's in her teens, because of what I hope are well-placed (and well written) sex scenes.

Personally, I like to see a balance of both in novels. Romantic suspense is my genre, and I prefer the story be about the suspense with the romance as an added bonus. Sort of the dangling carrot.

Sharon Cupp Pennington

Hoodoo Money by Sharon C. Pennington Mangroves And Monsters by Sharon C. Pennington

message 4: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 87 comments Either, but let me know up front is something is sweet (no sex), traditional, sensual, or erotic. I HATE...passionately hate when a publisher mislabels a book.


message 5: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 87 comments I really think YA is too wide a range to qualify that simply. YA that is geared to a 10 y/o is technically a tween book and should not have sex in it. But there is YA that is geared toward 16 and 17 y/o readers, and I see no problem with traditional levels of sex in those books. The only reason they are called YA at all is that the protag/s in the books are teenaged, so the young readers can identify with them and their lives/problems. The problems is again...labeling. Make sure readers and parents know WHAT you are selling and what market you are gearing it to.


message 6: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments There are numerous YA novels that have adult characters. But were not discussing the definitions of YA in general. This is about the overall Romance genre.

If readers want to read the romance genre without any blatant sex, then don't buy that harlequin romance with the bare chested dude and chick with heaving bosoms. Its that simple.

This really comes down to personal responsibility. If there's a group of people out there complaining that romance novels have romance, and in any adult situation, sex is a given, well, frankly, and sorry if this sounds harsh, but too bad for them.

message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (SCPennington) | 21 comments LOL. Nicely put, Lily!


message 8: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments I do what I can ;)

message 9: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 87 comments I'm all for people knowing what they are buying, Lily. In fact, I'm one of the loudest screamers when I get bait and switched by publishers. If you tell me something is erotic romance, that's fine, but if you sell me erotica (which I also read), I will tell you how wrong it was to label it that way. If you tell me something is traditional romance, that's fine, but if you sell me sweet romance (which I also read), it's no longer fine. I purchase what I am in the mood to read. Mislabeling means I don't get what I reasonably expected to get. It never ceases to amaze me that publishers just don't "get" that they lose sales this way.

I really don't care (in general) if there is sex in the book or not, but if I purchase a title that is reported to have one level of sex and get another, someone at the publisher or book store end screwed up the system.

But, no. The fact is, YA is supposed to be geared to not having protags/main character more than 3 years older than the target audience. If you've seen something labeled YA with a character of more than 21 years old, someone was mislabeling. And there is actually subdivisions of YA, based on the age bracket of the readers.


message 10: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments I think that's a rather harsh way of defining YA, and very limiting. Not to mention rather narrow.

I'll give an example, The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle. Although it's categorized by the publishers and bookstores as YA Fantasy, most of the characters are older than time itself. An unicorn, a wizard, etc. I would never dream to say that no one younger than 18 should read this classic and beautiful novel. I first read it at age 11 and never did I find it was too old for me.

There is a huge difference between a marketed targeted audience, and the age appropriate for reading a novel. Tweens can easily read adult novels, and many adults enjoy reading YA. Age is meaningless. To say that a novel can't be categorized as YA just because there's at least one character who's older than 21, to be brutally honest, is a form of censorship.

message 11: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 87 comments First of all, you're not reading what I wrote and are misquoting me. I didn't say "no characters over 21." I said the protag of the book...or more than one. Most YA books have characters older than the protag in them.

Beyond that, immortals and non-humans have different rules than human characters. My initial post assumed human characters in the book. If a vampire was turned at 17 and is now 180, he still might be appropriate as a YA protag, because his appearance and maybe his mentality match a teen character, even though he has more experience. That means he faces many of the same problems as a teen in whatever era he lives in. My fairies are not adult until 150 years old, so a 40 year old fairy is just entering adolescence. Since they age slower, that changes the rules for years vs. emotional/mental/sexual age.

And I never said that people can't read outside their "age appropriate audience for a book." I very much enjoy many YA books, and my kids were reading adult books at 10 or so. But there is a "market," an age group a YA is aimed at, and the publishers themselves set the limit of HUMAN protags at about 3 years above whatever age group they are marketing to. It's not me making this up, thanks. It's the rules authors live by.

Get over the censorship thing. I'm not censoring anyone. If you want to say the publishers are censoring...even that's a little outrageous. Some parents demand certain expectations of books they purchase for children at various age ranges. That's what sets the bar that publishers impose on books. Nothing more and nothing less. It's a way to keep the buying public happy.


message 12: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments This is still way off topic, I'll repeat the heading of this thread.

Romance novels sex or no sex?

And I read perfectly what you had written. I'm sad to say you don't appear to have done the same for me. You come across as far too hostile, and I don't participate in circular arguments. You have your opinions, you obviously have no interest in budging from those opinions, that is your personal choice.

As I said at the very beginning, Adult Romance novels have sex. YA Romance novels usually have no sex at all. Age of the reader or protagonists is irrelevant. It will always come down to personal responsibility until the end of time. That's it.

message 13: by Brenna (new)

Brenna Lyons (BrennaLyons) | 87 comments And I would disagree that YA novels have no sex. IF they are geared for the 16 and over crowd, they often do. If they are geared for a younger crowd, they usually don't. Check former YA EPPIE finalists/winners for a few examples.

One good example of it is WHITE ODYSSEY by Darrel Bain. The two protags are 16 or so, and yes...they do have sex...not graphically described, but they do talk about it in the book. In fact, they have their first child at about 17. Considering it's a futuristic book about the fall of society on Earth, having a child at 17 isn't nearly as shocking as fighting a war at 16 or the atrocities of that war, IMO.

Topics change during a course of a discussion. YA was brought up, and so we went there. It is up to the person that started the discussion to decide whether she finds the offshoots of interest or not, but forum discussions rarely stay on one topic for long, and there are many permutations to just about any subject.

I found your reply to me (accusing ME of censorship no less) to be highly inflammatory. Did I escalate? Yes. I have no patience today...probably the pain meds I'm on right now. Not an excuse and I do apologize to the group for giving back to you the attitude you are giving to me. They shouldn't have to deal with that.

What I have is not personal opinions. It's experience, based on what publishers I deal with will take in a YA. It's the reality many writers face in putting content out there. If the publishers are wrong, tell them.


message 14: by Lily (new)

Lily Vagabond (Lilyauthor) | 69 comments An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.

Text only, pixels on the screen, nothing more. No one gave you attitude and you still didn't read what I had written.

I sincerely hope you pain meds help you.

L.A, I hope you have a broader perspective now about the issue of sex in the romance genre. If you feel the sex is appropriate for the story, regardless of anything else, do what you know is right for your story. Good luck.

message 15: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments I actually prefer sex in my romance novels, whether they are the books I'm reading or writing. I do not like to read novels with tons of sex though, two or three scenes with the rest implied is great with me. I feel these scenes are necessary to show the growing love and trust in a relationship. I don't write YA, so that's not an issue at the moment. I was just curious if more people preferred sex to non-sex books when it comes to a romance novel. Thanks for your comments ladies, sorry the topic became heated, but we are talking about sex so maybe that should have been expected, LOL. Have a great day.

message 16: by Barbm1020 (new)

Barbm1020 A chacun son gout. There's something out there for everyone, but you have to pay attention to what you're buying.

The best books are not written to a formula or checklist of what must and what may not occur in the story. They reflect life, but do not all emphasize the same details. It may be life as filtered through the main character's attitude, or as rendered in a humorous way to make it palatable.

Good books for young adults usually deal with coming-of-age issues such as "romance leads to sex" or "sex causes babies and other consequences" or "making bad choices can get you dead" or "humans need to support each other and not be destructive" or "it's harder than you think to be independent." In the interest of honesty, there might be sex, and it may or may not be good sex. If parents want to keep their children ignorant, they must preview the books their children read.

Adults know about sex, so it should be no surprise that if there is a lot of yearning and chest-baring on the cover, there is going to be sex. (I know the formula, having worked many years in public libraries: in chapters one through nine she says "No!" In chapter ten she says "Well, maybe..." In chapter 11 she says "Yes, yes, yes!" and in chapter 12 she reminisces.) Some otherwise quite original
writers include a sex scene in each book because their characters are have adult relationships, and their readers (or editors) want that scene.

Many readers prefer stories that mostly deal with other aspects of life such as cooking, family struggles, crime and justice, outdoor adventure, and heroic rescues/battles/journeys, where any implied sex happens offstage. And some readers want stories about people who love each other but don't have sex. So, yeah, read the blurb at least if you are doubtful about the content of a book.

message 17: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments I think about sex a lot. I like to read books with sex scenes that are well-written and singe my eyebrows! I try to write the kinds of books I like to read.
I'm tired of people's eyes glazing over when I tell them I write romance, the same way they used to glaze over when they'd ask me what I "do", and I'd reply "at-home mom of 4".
As if that meant I was too boring to talk to anymore! Now the censure is because it's assumed that "real writers" write about subjects other than romance and sex. Why? When men write epic novels, there are always sex scenes in them, but for them it's okay? And they are always written from the man's point of view. Are romance novels intrinsically thought less of because they are written by women for women readers? Some men have told me they enjoy my books also.
As a writer, I follow my muse, and she's horny all the time!

message 18: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) I think that it's okay for a YA novel to involve sex, as a YA. I mean, we know what it is already. As long as it's not too over the top, it's fine.

message 19: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments Fiona, I think one should always follow their muse. I know I always do. I feel no shame in writing romance, people have sex, romance eventually leads to sex, so I see it as a no brainer. (but I know what you mean by snide comments or rude looks when you say you write romance, I've gotten those) Perhaps ask the naysayers if they have ever been in love, or if they like to have sex, maybe that will stop their criticisms. (9 times out of 10 they've never even read a romance novel, so ask them if they have and if so, which one, and why didn't they like it. Criticism usually stops then.)

I do tend to try to leave the yuck factor out of my sex scenes, although not all my readers will agree. I too am a stay at home mom, so I'm familiar with the look you were talking about. But raising children is the hardest job in the world, at least, in my opinion.

Sex sells so continue to write what you love to write and readers will follow.

I don't know much about YA, but teens do have sex so as long as it is not over the top like you said, Colberta, I agree.

message 20: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Now that 2 of mine are in college, and a third will be next year, I've been working multiple p/t jobs for many years, trying to get back into full-time work of ANY kind. Everyone bleats about how important raising kids is, but just try to get respect while you are doing it, or a real career-type job once you are done. Forget that! You are left on the curb with the trash. I've had so many minimum wage jobs in the past 10 years I'm ready to scream. I have a B.A. in English, I've had multiple careers over my lifetime.
When I sub in high schools I warn the girls not to ever stay home with their kids unless they are prepared to be there forever.
I do have 4 intelligent, erudite, well-spoken young adults, who may or may not have turned out like that if I had gone back to work. But I made my choice years ago. I just wish I didn't have to regret it so much.

message 21: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Sorry for hi-jacking the site. Now let's get back to the regularly-scheduled discussion topic. I say tastefully-written sex enhances all kinds of books, but particularly romance books.
As for YA, honestly, with the way parents "helicopter" around their teens these days, trying to pretend they have never had a sexual thought? I'd be too scared to put any kind of relationship in a YA book, unless it was to show that "off-camera" sex results in unwanted pregnancy and early death of the girl. That would teach them to learn to control themselves AND their boyfriends! Cause girls aren't allowed to have urges of any kind.

message 22: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Paige (authorlindsaypaige) | 2 comments I don't mind if there's sex in what I read or not. It doesn't affect how much I like or dislike a book or whether I'll read it. The issue I seem to have is there being sex for no reason except for there to be sex. That really bugs me.

If it fits with the characters and what's going on in the story, YA or adult, then I'm fine with there being sex. As long as it fits.

Sometimes I do seek a book that I know will have sex just because I want to read a steamy hot romance. But I can't say I actually prefer it in every romance. Like I said, it has to fit in with what is happening with the characters.

message 23: by Barbm1020 (new)

Barbm1020 Fiona, I can relate to your job frustration. I have a B.S. Ed. with a major in English and also worked part-time while my kids were growing up so I could be there for them as much as possible. When it was time, I took some courses to update my job skills and found decent-paying, full-time work even in a floundering economy. I just had to decide what kind of work I wanted, and prepare for it, and use a resume that advertised my skills and experience. The degree is great to have, and it enriches your life outside of work, but current skills are what employers look at. Good luck to you, and don't give up!

message 24: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Laine (aimee_laine) | 2 comments I will read both with sex and without sex. If with sex, I have my own crazy standard that the two main characters have to be in a relationship that will for-sure put them together (no sex with others that results in meeting the 'right one'.

That's the key for me.

However, I have found myself skipping over sex scenes if, after the first one, it's there for no purpose other than to BE sex. Those are obvious and it really shows (IMO).

And I agree with others on YA ... or at least it needs to be off-camera.

Great topic!

message 25: by Heidi (last edited May 26, 2011 09:55PM) (new)

Heidi Hall (Heid_Hall) | 4 comments I'm another vote for either. I agree that it can get tedious to have long, drawn out sex scenes. Too much description can also have me skimming, but I don't mind that because I may be more in the mood for one the next time I pick the book up. How's that for wishy-washy? LOL.

A Dose of Reality by Heidi Hall An Unexpected Obsession by Heidi Hall

message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol Cassada (CarolCassada) | 27 comments Either is fine with me. Although sometimes it's nice to read a sex scene, other times I'd prefer a behind closed policy to leave it for the reader's imagination.

message 27: by Lois (new)

Lois (OV_099) I read plenty of both and fine with it. If a particular story is just fine without it, go for it. If a story is better written with sex, go for it. It all comes down to the story for me.

message 28: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) I want to say something about sex in YA books. It's fine if it's there for a reason, and if it's not overdone. There shouldn't be sex all the tim, but it's okay for a couple of scenes. What I'm saying is that we aren't learning about sex from books. We learn it from being around other teens, and watching movies, and listening to music, and watching TV. We're surrounded by it. A book featuring a sex scene isn't going to corrupt us. The simple fact is that teens know what sex is.

message 29: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Thank-you Colby, "out of the mouths of babes" comes some common sense. Unfortunately, many adults forget what it was like to be a teen, or they remember and want to be sure that no one else gets away with what they did! No generation "invented" sex, though we all think we did when we are young. It is a vital part of our humanity, and as natural as breathing and eating/drinking. Why some insist on surrounding it with so many taboos as if it is "unclean" is beyond me. Maybe they haven't ever had good sex, so they don't want anyone else to either? (grin)

message 30: by Colby (new)

Colby (Colbz) Haha, Fiona, your comment made me laugh. I do think that in a YA novel, if there is sex, it shouldn't be overdone. I'm reading a Chris Crutcher book right now, and the sex scene I just read wasn't lingered on at all. That's how it should be in YA if you ask me.

message 31: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 88 comments Agreed in a YA novel, I don't expect hot and heavy. In a romance novel, well it is open to interpitation.

message 32: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments I love sex scenes in books!!! But I know PLENTY of people who don't.
I do know though that historically writers have been envelope pushers. I feel that's part of the job to test the boundaries of society and stretch them. Whether that's done with sex or just by simply challenging readers to view the other, less accepted, side of the coin.

message 33: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments I agree with Heidi. I guess it all depends on the mood you are in, but I do tend to hate entire chapters dedicated to sex, they tend to go on and on with every layer of clothing, which makes me skim the text if it goes on too long. But then I don't want to read romance novel without sex either. :)

message 34: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Personally I want reality in my sex scenes also. I don't want to scratch my head, trying to imagine where all of the "parts" are, and wonder, "Is that even humanly possible?" That completely ruins the mood for me!

message 35: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments I agree, Fiona, reality is key, which is why I think such scenes are beneficial in romance. I know what you mean by "humanly possible," I've read books like that.

message 36: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Kumar (Lisa_Kumar) | 15 comments For romances, I definitely think the trend is toward more sex, as a whole. But there are sweet romances and even some sweet publishers out there like Astraea Press. Romance has many subgenres and niches, so there's truly something for everyone. Of course, some sell better than others, lol. Menage and interracial ebooks are selling like hotcakes.

Personally, I'll read anything from sweet to smoking hot. I write romance over the heat spectrum--from sweet to erotic romance--but my preference is to have a medium level of heat when possible. However, certain publishers or lines (and their readers) have expectations that should be followed if you're submitting. Lol, no sending a sweet romance to Loose ID.

message 37: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Olguin (keriokie) | 15 comments I like to read about the romance, sex is optional and must have a purpose. I don't actively seek out erotica/erotika/Romantica stories.

What urks me about Amazon is the influx of erotica/erotika/Romantica, usually short stories where the publisher/writer does not specify the sub-genre in the description.

Romance Writers of America provided the deffinitions this way:

Romance: is story about a relationship, with/without sex.

Romantica: is a story about sex, that ends in a relationship.

The story is what is important to me and I hate when the description gives the wrong impression. Lately, I've been seeking out Regency romances. So refreshing to have a hero turned on by the show of an ankle and the heroine getting hot because he kissed her wrist.

So maybe I should add to the discussion on Amazon. I'm one whose hoping the over the top, "mighty wang of power" type sex will come to an end soon.

message 38: by Lisa (last edited Aug 02, 2011 06:09PM) (new)

Lisa Kumar (Lisa_Kumar) | 15 comments Hi, Carrie! So glad to see you here!

I totally agree with you. Usually, erotic romance doesn't appeal that much to me, though there are some good ones out there.

Seriously, I can read anything from sweet to spicy, as long as the storyline doesn't revolve around bedroom capers. A happy medium, as with anything, is ideal.

If I don't care about the characters or storyline, all the sex in the world won't make me like the story any better.

message 39: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Personally, I find regencies boring as hell. The idea that a female has to stay virginal until married is a load of bull. Then all of a sudden, she's married and on her wedding night we are supposed to believe that her new husband (barely more experienced than her) will make fireworks explode over her head? Yeah...right. So totally unrealistic. It's easier to believe in vampires and shape-shifters.

Try talking to some older women, like in their 70s and 80s now, the ones who were getting married back when that was the norm. Ask them what kind of sex life they had with their husbands.

message 40: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Fiona wrote: "Personally, I find regencies boring as hell. The idea that a female has to stay virginal until married is a load of bull. Then all of a sudden, she's married and on her wedding night we are suppo..."

how many regencies have you read? I can recomend some that will set you on fire! lol And I don't know when it was ever the "norm" to be a virgin on your wedding night but I don't think you'll find that in the 80's or 70's or even in the 20's and 30's people had sex before marriage throughout all the ages we just talk about it now. & while it might have been expected that the woman stay virginal the same standard I don't believe has ever been held up for a man.

message 41: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments What I meant was talk to women who are in their 70s and 80s now, which means they grew up when there was no birth-control pills, and only rarely did anyone use a condom. Up until the late 1960s, ALL women were expected to keep their legs crossed or they'd never be able to get married. So most women kept themselves "pure" for their wedding night, only to be massively disappointed.
My Mom passed away in December, and I spent a whole lot of time for the 4 years she lived there, talking to the other women who lived in her assisted living place. Many would "spill" to me when they found out what kind of books I write. Some wanted to read my books because they felt they had been "cheated", since they never really enjoyed the sex they had.

Personally I find the whole idea of sex without birth control to be scary. Don't get me wrong, I have 4 kids that I love dearly. But I got to CHOOSE when we had them. So husband and I had a firm foundation of a good relationship before we added the stress of caring for babies to our love-affair.

I guess it goes back to my previous statement, that I like the romance and the sex in the books I write (and read) to be realistic...even though it's fiction.

message 42: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Olguin (keriokie) | 15 comments I agree realistic sex is important not matter the sub-genre. I get your point about a virgin having several orgasms her first time - but that's part of the fantasy of romance. If she didn't like it, she'd never have a reason to do it again. We are talking about fiction?

And I agree there are some regency novels that are boring because there's no conflict and the plot is thin. (Which for me is the biggest problem with erotika).

As for the older generation of women in my family, uh, well even if it was expected for them to be virgins when they married doesn't mean they were (they just didn't advertise their activities). And they enjoy sex, some of them still enjoy it today. Viva Viagra!

There are women today who don't enjoy sex and there are women today who believe in staying virginal until marriage (yeah, have those in my family, too.)

My point with regencies is that I'm pretty certain I'm going to read about two people overcoming the odds to fall in love. Some of the stories do have sex scenes, but it's delayed gratification.

I also love Highlander stories but I think I've read the best of the lot...

I write romantic science fantasy (the women have built in birth control) and I include sex because it's part of the human condition, changes the intimacy level, and stirs up deep feelings.

message 43: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (Kerylraist) | 55 comments I love sex in a romance, but I also like the sex to make sense in reference to time and place.

Take Corelli's Mandolin (which I know isn't strictly a romance, but it makes the point...) It's set in 1943-45. There's a very real discussion between the girl and her father about how even though she loves Corelli, she really shouldn't be sleeping with him. She doesn't know if he's got an STD, and if she gets pregnant it'll be just about the end of the world for her. It's during the war, condoms are thin on the ground, so they don't have sex.

Even though I love a hot sex scene, I do not for one minute mind there isn't one in that book. It's perfectly in character and in time to be chaste.

I do find it off putting when I see a book where the Heroine is throwing off her clothing with abandon and it's 1889 London. Unless she's married, and likely not even then, oh no she isn't. If you've ever read the sexual history of the Victorians, the medical text books, the "hygine" regimens, you know that wanton abandon is entirely out of character for any "well brought up" lady of the age.

Meanwhile, if it's 1775 and we're in Paris, I'm perfectly fine with sexual mores as jaded and open as today's.

The other thing I often find off putting in the sexual mores of romance novels is how common it is for modern authors to completely disregard the impact of religion in the world that came before us. And while there are times and places that were bawdy and treated their religion like a t-shirt, to be slipped off whenever unnecessary, there are times and places where that is completely untrue as well.

message 44: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Kumar (Lisa_Kumar) | 15 comments Very true. Time and location of setting is important when considering sex. Not to say there won't be any, but the manner in which sex comes about may be different than what we see in contempories, given the social and religious mores of the day.

I also think sex can enhance the relationship, but the scenes need be there for a valid reason. The whole story can't be just about the sex, even if much of the stoy occurs in bed, lol. I still want to see a deepening of the relationship, of emotions.

message 45: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments There are some very interesting observations being made here...who says that women who write/read romance novels are empty-headed? Only someone who does neither, I guess. (And people have said that to me when they find out what I write...)
I feel that romance novels without sex are like pornography without a plot. You might enjoy it for a while, but ultimately it gets boring and your mind starts to wander. In my case, I begin to imagine the sex scenes that aren't there, then I toss the book and rush to my laptop to start writing! ;-D

message 46: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Fiona wrote: "There are some very interesting observations being made here...who says that women who write/read romance novels are empty-headed? Only someone who does neither, I guess. (And people have said tha..."

"romance novels without sex are like pornography without a plot. You might enjoy it for a while, but ultimately it gets boring"
Amen Girl! I totally agree. I don't mind reading them occasionally but I really prefer my with sex and lots of it! lol

message 47: by Lisa (last edited Aug 03, 2011 08:08PM) (new)

Lisa Kumar (Lisa_Kumar) | 15 comments Kelli wrote: "Fiona wrote: "There are some very interesting observations being made here...who says that women who write/read romance novels are empty-headed? Only someone who does neither, I guess. (And people..."

Romance authors are some of the smartest people I know. It's hard to write! Characterization, plot, etc, all have to be woven together seamlessly. I'll never understand how others think these books just write themselves mysteriously while the author sleeps.

I also think it's great there's so many niches out there for romance. No matter our preferences, we're sure to find plenty of reads.

Lol, getting back to the orginal question I guess the answer would be: sex sells in romance (and in practically everything else I can think of), but there seems to be a niche for any kind of romance you can think up.

message 48: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (Kerylraist) | 55 comments Lisa wrote: "Kelli wrote: "Fiona wrote: "There are some very interesting observations being made here...who says that women who write/read romance novels are empty-headed? Only someone who does neither, I guess.

Romance authors are some of the smartest people I know. It's hard to write! Characterization, plot, etc, all have to be woven together seamlessly. I'll never understand how others think these books just write themselves mysteriously while the author sleeps."

I think it has something to do with how often you run into stupid characters in romance novels. I've noticed a lot of people have a hard time understanding the author is not the main character. And I've found a lot of stupid/silly main characters in romance novels. (After all, this is the genre that spawned the Too Stupid To Live description of the MC.)

Between that and the ubiquitous happy ending, people think romance writers have to be light weights. After all, if you write something fun and easy to read, you must be a twit right? Guys like Thomas Mann write real literature, and guys like that are so deep and dark they have a tendency to drop over dead from their seriousness. (eye roll.)

(Don't get me started on the people who think you're an idiot if you prefer stories with clear moral choices and plot...)

message 49: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Keryl wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Kelli wrote: "Fiona wrote: "There are some very interesting observations being made here...who says that women who write/read romance novels are empty-headed? Only someone who does ne..."

I also found that it matters how I say it to people. I used to be embarrassed to say that I write romance because of the way people generally respond, almost like writing romance isn't really writing. so I would inwardly cringe whenever I was asked and say it with trepidation but now I look them straight in the eye and I tell them that I write Romance novels and I'm proud that's what I do and they can sense that and while they may still be thinking the same thing at least they don't say it to me anymore.

message 50: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (Kerylraist) | 55 comments I write fantasy for adults, so I get some of the same looks. Mostly people are pretty cool with it. But every now and again I get the, "Oh, you aren't really a writer" look.

I find this especially amusing when I get it from academic-types who couldn't write a paragraph of decent prose, let alone a whole book of it, if their lives depended on it.

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