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Romance > Romance Novels Sex or No Sex

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message 51: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments You go, girl! Part of it is that I've gotten negative flack from husband's family...SIL won't read my books because they have too much sex, and she claims she feels "dirty", like she's been watching her brother and me in the bedroom. Sheesh! Can you say, imagination and fantasy?
MIL is too devout to read my stuff.
And I sub in high schools, so I can't talk about what I write to any of the folks I know from there!
And I live in a heavily-evangelical town. What's a smut author to do?


message 52: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Fiona wrote: "You go, girl! Part of it is that I've gotten negative flack from husband's family...SIL won't read my books because they have too much sex, and she claims she feels "dirty", like she's been watchi..."

Join Goodreads and let us all read your stuff!! ;)


message 53: by Keryl (new)

Keryl Raist (Kerylraist) | 55 comments Precisely.

All my buddies are looking at my husband in a new light after reading my book.


message 54: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments I am a Goodreads author...I also joined kindlesmut, since I have a kindle, but I work too many hours to have much time to read...especially when a new group of characters is demanding that I write their story! Then I'm lucky to just get my emails read, before I have to start writing again...like now!


message 55: by Leia (new)

Leia Shaw (LeiaShaw) | 12 comments I think every book has an audience; from mild language and everything insinuated behind closed doors, to wild and kinky and graphic. There's room in this genre for everything.

Though I think there are more people who like at least some sexual content (you're right, sex does sell), there are plenty of tamer readers as well.

Personally, I like well-written sex scenes without crude language, with lots of emotion, but also a little wild ;)

Leia Shaw
http://www.leiashaw.com


message 56: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments I just did 3 mini-reviews on my blog about the books I read over my vacation. I think part of the problem is that people think if you throw some hot sex scenes into a plot about something else, it becomes a romance. Do you agree? I'd love if you read my reviews then comment.
www.fionamcgier.com


message 57: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Watts | 3 comments In my opinion, the romance genre creates an image of love and emotion. If there are sexual references they tend not to be too graphic. The erotica genre, however, creates images of sex and lust. The two genres can be completely separate or they can be linked together, just as in real life. This creates issues as the two genres can be confused.


message 58: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments I hope I do write realistic sex scenes...they play out in my head all of the time! I'm one of those people who thinks about sex a lot! So it's only natural that I write about it, and I love to read about it!


message 59: by InkDulcet (new)

InkDulcet | 2 comments Personally I have been reading books that were both for my intended age and for an older intended age ever since I can remember. This belief I have always remains the same:

Pointless sex scenes included in non "Erotic" books, just for the sake of having them are just that. Pointless.

Now I am also a firm believer in "to each his own" so if you enjoy erotica then be my guest I'm not stopping you--and I'm certainly not stopping anyone from writing it either. I don't believe that you are any less of a writer--or that you are less of a person for reading it.

But if I'm reading an apocalyptic thriller where the Heroin is hell bent on surviving but midway she just jumps some dudes bones for the hell of it (completely not giving a crap about being pregnant--which in that genre is an issue) then I do get a bit miffed.

If it is unecessary to the plot, then one of the only reasons to include it would be this whole "sex sells" deal. And this upsets me mainly because if the content of the book is good enough--I believe it could sell without forcing the story to become unrealistic or push the characters into doing something "out of character".

Also I really can't stand the idea that including sex in young adult writing is a-okay because the it gives the idea that every kid that hits puberty automatically is sexually active or can relate to a character their age who recklessly engages in sexual activity. It's like assuming every 16 year old girl likes shopping, wears pink and has a crush on the football team captain and then making every character in your story think, act and dress like her.

So to basically sum up my feelings:
Sex happens, but if you aren't writing Erotica it isn't necessary to go into graphic detail about what is going on. There are sophisticated ways to let the reader know it happened and not only keep your characters "in character" but also let your story be the reason people are reading your book. Because I'm assuming if you write there is one you want to tell, what ever it is.


message 60: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Caramelo wrote: "Personally I have been reading books that were both for my intended age and for an older intended age ever since I can remember. This belief I have always remains the same:

Pointless sex scenes in..."


I'm so disturbed by the fact that everyone seems to think that sex only belongs in erotica and erotica is the only genre where sex lives. This is untrue. If the author felt propelled to write a sex scene with their characters than who am I to question that?
Secondly - everyone likes to confuse romance and erotica partly because there is a growing genre that wraps the two of them up together but when your story is propelled by sex, when that is the lesson of the story, when sex comes first and foremost before all other plots and storylines this is erotica wether it ends happily or not is irrelevant. If their is a relationship and the sex is another level of that relationship it's a romance.
I feel like people want to be too constricting with where writers put their sex scenes and that's too bad. I generally have a pretty good idea when I pick up a book what the sexual content is going to be like and I feel like I would know how to avoid it if for whatever reason I wanted to do so, so I suppose what I'm trying to say is ... Don't critize the author over sex (unless the sex was bad {lol})...Don't assume that because it's sex it authomatically makes it erotica...and lastly if you don't like it ... don't read it.


message 61: by InkDulcet (new)

InkDulcet | 2 comments Kelli wrote: "Don't critize the author over sex (unless the sex was bad {lol})...Don't assume that because it's sex it automatically makes it erotica...and lastly if you don't like it ... don't read it. "

First I would like to point out that I said pointless sex scenes are pointless. Secondly I also want to make clear that I'm not naive enough to believe that just because a book has a sex scene in it that it automatically makes that book erotica. (and if we really want to get finicky about genres--well lets just say literary vernacular is just jumbled up these days...the idea of a romance solely dealing with relationships...is just technically not right.)
I also have developed a pretty good sense over how intense a book will get and when I don't like it well...I don't read it.

But for the books I do like (and read), where the plot line is very well developed but then out of no where the author pulls some scene that is just out of place and completely unrealistic--almost if it is just there to be there... then I do find it annoying.

It's basically the same idea of picking up a Biography on Mark Twain --getting really interested and glad to find great references in it--then halfway through it jumps into a mystery thriller...because that's what the writer felt should happen. Yes. I would question that, and maybe perhaps even criticize the author...because that is not a biography (although it would sound pretty cool for a fictional biography).


message 62: by mlady_rebecca (new)

mlady_rebecca If it fits the plot, I like sex in both my romance books and my romantic books (like romantic suspense). I'm usually annoyed with fade to black sex scenes. Even short and non-explicit, is better than seeing the door swing closed.

The only time sex scenes really annoy me is when they come too soon plot wise. Or it feels like the plot was made to fit the sex, rather than the sex fitting the plot.


message 63: by Freya (new)

Freya Duquesne (FreyaDuquesne) | 7 comments Sex or no sex in romance novels:

My preference is for sex! But only if it's not crass or degrading to anyone. I do like it hot, but also beautiful and elegant. And as I just posted in another thread, I prefer there to be a reason for it and emotional tension/character development--even in erotica.

I don't care for the very sweet or inspirational romances where there is often zero sexual tension. What makes romance fun for me to read is the sexual tension and the chemistry between the characters. In regular romance, that tension is created by keeping them apart for as long as possible. Sex actually decreases that tension, which is why it often comes later in the story.

In erotica and erotic romance, I've heard it said that since the characters generally have sex quite early in the story, you can't rely on keeping them apart to generate that tension. You have to find it elsewhere. I think that may be why so many of you find sex scenes in erotica to be superfluous--there isn't enough emotional tension being carried through the scene to give it that spark. A lot of it becomes merely "choreography"--and that isn't so interesting.


message 64: by [deleted user] (new)

Freya wrote: "What makes romance fun for me to read is the sexual tension and the chemistry between the characters."

I feel exactly the same way. Once the main characters have actually had sex, a lot of the driving force of a plot can fade away so it's important that it doesn't happen too soon or if it does, there's a plausible reason for them to be kept apart again to rebuild the tension.

Of course, some great love stories have no sex in them at all because they feature unrequited love or obstacles the characters can't get past, but in general I think it's important to have sex in romance. It can reveal important things about the dynamic between the characters so leaving it out is almost like the writer is losing an opportunity to show you something about their relationship.

At the same time, like anything that happens in a good book, it should only be there if it serves a purpose. If it's gratuitous then it's not romance, it's erotica.


message 65: by Freya (new)

Freya Duquesne (FreyaDuquesne) | 7 comments Emma wrote: At the same time, like anything that happens in a good book, it should only be there if it serves a purpose. If it's gratuitous then it's not romance, it's erotica.

Hmm...I'm not sure if it's quite that simple. As someone stated up-thread, some of the lines between erotica and romance are quite blurry. That blurring happens across a lot of genre lines.

I have a theory--I think it's quite possible to have an erotica book that ALSO has a strong plot, characters, and a story-related reason for each and every sex scene in the book. That's what I am aiming for in my own writing, but it does seem to be a bit more rare for the genre.

But even in romance novels that only have 1-2 sex scenes, I've read books where the scene felt forced or obligatory. I know a lot of romance authors actually don't really enjoy writing sex scenes. That shows in the way the scene comes across. I think if an author can't write it with enthusiasm and skill, they should leave it out.


message 66: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments Freya wrote: "Emma wrote: At the same time, like anything that happens in a good book, it should only be there if it serves a purpose. If it's gratuitous then it's not romance, it's erotica.

Hmm...I'm not sure..."


I agree with pretty much everything you've said. I'm not a fan of sex scenes that seem trite and forced and obligatory. I love writing a sex scene and when I get to it I'm usually more than ready to write it. I have though come across books where the author obviously didn't feel the same way I did.
When it comes down to it it's all whatever the reader is comfortable with and there will be books that cater to wherever you fall in the sex spectrum.
I do though definitely see a blurring line between mainstream romance and erotica. Some of my favorite authors I feel flirt quite heavily with this line and I am more than happy about it. It's really what writers have been doing since all of time - pushing the envelope. It's why still today there are books on the Banned Book List...


message 67: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments I agree that the author has to be comfortable with sex (enjoying it is even better! ;-D) in order to write good scenes. I try to infuse my sex scenes with joy and passion, but I don't dwell on details, because sometimes that gets so darned clinical that it starts to sound like a gynecological exam!
The only scene I have labored over because it was hard to write was the menage scene in my latest book, Undercover Lovers, which debuts Sept. 15. The hero is not one to be a party to a three-some, but the "other man" is, and the heroine might be...so how to include the scene that the readers will probably demand? I hope I did a good job of making it believable.

And Kelli, the books on the Banned Books List have little to do with sex, and more to do with the thin sensibilities of those who don't want to read something, but even more, don't want ANYONE ELSE to be able to read it either! People need to learn that they can make rules for themselves, but that they have no right to deny someone else the ability to make that choice.


message 68: by [deleted user] (new)

Freya wrote: "Hmm...I'm not sure if it's quite that simple. As someone stated up-thread, some of the lines between erotica and romance are quite blurry. That blurring happens across a lot of genre lines."

I appreciate that things are not always black and white but, out of interest, could you give me some examples of romance and/or erotica books that you think blur the line to the point where you couldn't say whether they are one or the other? Perhaps I've just not read as thoroughly in the area...


message 69: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments Personally I prefer sex in a romance novel, which is why I don't typically read YA. I don't want a book filled with meaningless "filler sex". I want a good story, strong characters, sexual tension and a build up to a fantastic love scene. I don't want "and then he carried her off to the bedroom", I want to know what happened in the bedroom! I think if done correctly a good book can also have good sex. Just like a good movie can have good sex and not necessarily be porn. But a movie with nothing but sex and a weak plot... well that is porn. I don't want a weak book with no real story and nothing but sex. But when I find an author who can write a good story and work in hot sexy scenes that are appropriate to the story, then I've found an author I will continue to read.


message 70: by Eryn (new)

Eryn Lockhart (ErynLockhart) | 20 comments I expect there to be sex in a romance marketed to adults (or at least extensive foreplay). Why? Because physical intimacy is part of every romantic relationship in real life---it's simply not believable to me if that sense of chemistry, of growing attraction, and the power of allowing those feelings to be unleashed is missing. It knocks the book down from romance to some other type of fiction--which isn't necessarily a problem, unless I was expecting a different type of story.

I feel a lot of empathy for you Fiona. More than half of my own family gives me grief over my writing choice. Two of my sisters act as though what I do is disgusting, stupid, or simply incomprehensible...but they've never bothered to read my work, or any other romance for that matter--they'll just flip through until they find a sex scene, point it out, and say I read or write porn. My brother is even worse.

My dad used to be my most vocal adversary. Smut, porn, trash, ect...if it was a derogatory, inflammatory remark, he'd find a way to say it and make his opinions of my 'filthy habit' known. That all changed when my mom and I actually had him read what I wrote. Now, he's one of my staunchest supporters---though he admits reading the love scenes knowing that his little girl wrote them was a bit uncomfortable. The two people who have always been in my corner are my mom & middle sister, and I'm forever grateful for their support.


message 71: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Eryn, how lucky you are to have family members who read and enjoy your books! We should all be so lucky, huh?


message 72: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments I use my mom and several friends as my "test readers" of manuscripts. My latest story included oral sex. Mom said to leave it out, that it went to far. A friend said if I did take it out then she requested a copy of the original manuscript for her own personal copy :). So I ask you... is oral sex going too far?


message 73: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments I'm loving everyones comments on this topic. Tracey, I think you should leave the oral sex in if it goes with your sex scene. My characters perform oral sex in my stories, it's intimate and it shows a bond of closeness between your characters. I believe you should take your friend's advice over a family members, only because sex scenes can often make family members say ew. From reading the comments on this thread, it seems many family members have problems with the romance novel and what we write, and yet at some point, all of our parents fell in love and had sex, it's only odd to them because their kid wrote it. In the end listen to your fans. Great conversation.


message 74: by Larry (last edited Sep 12, 2011 06:38AM) (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Just stumbled on this thread. I'm confused, based on L.A.'s description is this "romance" or soft porn. Romance never used to have explicit sexual acts, it was about, well, romance. I'd not a prude, but am confused by the parameters mentioned here.

I used to handle public relations for Harlequin Books back in the 1980s and there was never anything explicit in any of their books, much less licentious. The same was true for other romance authors with which I worked. Is this carrying women's lib to the Nth degree?

Any clarification you can provide will be appreciated.

Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz


message 75: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments There are a wide range of sexual description in romance novels these days. From "and he carried her into the bedroom and shut the door" to very detailed accounts of what happened behind the closed door. I have read many popular authors who are very detailed in their descriptions, which I personally prefer. I do not consider it porn if it fits well with the story. My argument is you can have a good movie, with a good plot, good characters and good steamy sex scenes and it's not porn. If you have a movie that is nothing but sex scenes without any real plot and poor acting, well that is porn. Same is true with books. If the story is strong, the characters are developed, the plot is good and there is a build-up to a big sex scene, I want it hot and steamy. But if a book is full of "filler sex", with a weak plot and nothing but one sex scene after another, then I'll pass. Harlequin in my opinion often has very weak plots. I usually don't read those.


message 76: by Larry (last edited Sep 12, 2011 08:42AM) (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Tracey, an interesting interpretation. I always thought the definition of porn hinged on the explicitness of sex scenes. No?

Being eternally curious, I decided to look up the dictionary definition for porn. Here's what Merriam-Webster had to say:

Definition of PORNOGRAPHY
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement."


message 77: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments I've watched R-rated movies with explicit sex scenes. In reading and movies I think the defining line is how good the story is and how appropriate the sex is to the story line.


message 78: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments If you don't want to read about sex don't read romance novels


message 79: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments The main theme a romance novel has to have is a happy ending. Everything else is open to interpretation. Some are "sweet", meaning no sex, or only referred to obliquely with doors kept closed. Some are sensual, with descriptions of how they characters are feeling, ie, "She felt herself being filled by him in a way she had never imagined, and the pure pleasure was almost too intense to bear", but no real descriptions of the actions being taken by any of the participants. And some are explicit.
I'm with Tracey, in that if there is no plot, and the whole point is titillation, then we are talking porn, or what authors call "one-handed reads". Ie, "Pizza delivery, and (audible zipper sound) here's your pepperoni!" If that's the extent of the character development, then it is porn, or in more female terms, erotica, whose sole purpose is to explore sexuality.

A romance must have a happy ending, and these days it can involve one man/one woman, or two men, or two women, or a menage grouping of multiple people of either or only one sex. As long as the participants are committed to each other and to their love, that is defined as a romance.

And I'm also with Tracey in that I stopped reading Harlequins years ago, because the plots were cookie-cutter boring, and there was no sex to redeem the boredom.


message 80: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Oh yeah, and Tracey, leave the oral sex in. Your mother is showing her age-bias. Remember when President Clinton said he did not have sex with that woman, and the media were outraged to find that to the younger readers, oral sex was not "having sex", because there was no actual penetration. Definitions can be actual dictionary definitions,(denotations), or they can be what most people think of,(connotations) and that's where there are generational differences.


message 81: by Eryn (new)

Eryn Lockhart (ErynLockhart) | 20 comments I'm also joining the "leave it in" team, Tracey. I fail to see anything about oral sex in and of itself that would somehow make it 'going too far'--especially if it's something the characters would believably do. Oral sex, like any other sex in romance, is about intimacy. How your characters explore that intimacy and each other is up to you (or perhaps where you feel the characters lead you).


message 82: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments Thanks for the support guys! I felt really bad when I started trying to re-write and "tame down" that particular love scene. Didn't feel it was as good.


message 83: by Larry (last edited Sep 12, 2011 01:33PM) (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Tracey wrote: "If you don't want to read about sex don't read romance novels"

Sorry, I don't, but I've been in various aspects of the publishing business for 45 years, so I have a professional interest. And, from my perspective, that's not "romance" which is defined as: "Ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love."

It's pornography trying to sell itself as acceptable. If that's the end result of the women's lib movement, it's pretty pathetic. Amateur writers, sheesh.

Self-Promotion for Authors by Larry Moniz Murder in the Pinelands (Inside Story) by Larry Moniz Molly's Revenge by Larry Moniz


message 84: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Ahem. Larry, if you want to vent vitriol please go somewhere else. We were having a polite discussion here between authors. You are welcome to your opinions, but not to use them to denigrate other people who were treating you with respect. Romance, in all of its various manifestations, is the single largest-selling genre in eBooks. Someone must be buying and reading what we write. Obviously not you. So be it.


message 85: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Fiona wrote: "Ahem. Larry, if you want to vent vitriol please go somewhere else. We were having a polite discussion here between authors. You are welcome to your opinions, but not to use them to denigrate oth..."

Fiona wrote: "Ahem. Larry, if you want to vent vitriol please go somewhere else. We were having a polite discussion here between authors. You are welcome to your opinions, but not to use them to denigrate oth..."

I've been polite. I've made some points and, as a professional writer for 45 years, I think I have as much right as anyone else to express my feelings. Thinking otherwise is endeavoring to censor that which you don't advocate.

Would you prefer I put my comments in a Letter to the Editor at the New York Times, Washington Post and Publiser's Weekly?


message 86: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Smith | 107 comments Larry you certainly have a right to your opinion, as readers/writers of romance novels we simply disagree. I don't see what any of this has to do with "women's lib". And have you read a Harlequin recently? They are full of sex! As most readers expect from the cover art with half naked men and women. Again, if this is not a genre you prefer to read, then don't.


message 87: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) I don't read them. I'm just worried, as are a number of other professional authors I know, including the romance genre, that such graphic prose demeans everyone in the business.

I had a cousin who's wife was a devout romance reader who devours two or three a week, back when it was romantic love described. She was never embarrassed about leaving them out where one of her young children could read them. I rather doubt that could be said today.


message 88: by Mary (new)

Mary Findley | 0 comments Some detail to the intimacy for married couples without explicitness is the mantra I follow. I am a strong believer in the need to show that "chemistry" is not just for the unmarried. Also, if there is rape or attempts at sex without content, it needs to be brief, minimally described, and for a very good reason. I write for a Christian audience, but I still believe this is the way it is done in the best books I have read.


message 89: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) I stopped by here only because of a discussion I was following in another forum. Again, I'm about to ask a question that will likely be perceived as biased by some, but it's based on my own experiences. I know a woman who was raped. The attacker is serving a 35 year sentence. I'm also a veteran crime reporter. Rape isn't about sex and it's certainly NOT about love. It's about subjugating the victim. It's about brutality and a sadistic need to dominate. Why is it necessary to even cover the topic in a novel? Is it about boosting sales? Doesn't that often just glamorize the attack?

Just my thoughts and views.


message 90: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Mary wrote: "Some detail to the intimacy for married couples without explicitness is the mantra I follow. I am a strong believer in the need to show that "chemistry" is not just for the unmarried. Also, if ther..."

My personal view is that it has nothing to do about being Christian, or Muslim, Jew or Buddhist, it's about writing ethics and morality. Historically writers have molded and shaped public viewpoints. Have we lost that responsibility along the way?


message 91: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Hilden (Lahilden) | 106 comments Larry, I find it hard to see how you can judge romance novels when you claim to never read them. What a backward way of thinkinng.


message 92: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) L.A. wrote: "Larry, I find it hard to see how you can judge romance novels when you claim to never read them. What a backward way of thinkinng."

That's a distorted and specious argument. I don't read what passes as romance TODAY. It's about as romantic as a romp in the sack with a hooker. I've never killed anyone, yet I'm opposed to genocide. I made my current conclusions based on what several of you said in this column.

Let me share with you the opinion of some friends of mine who are also professional authors. The male said in another Goodreads forum: "I caught some of the "erotica" published by Amazon via KDP. None of it was actually erotic, because it was too poorly written, and most of it would only a few years ago have qualified as pornography, plain and simple."

The female author said: "The line between erotica and romance has been erased. Unfortunately, a reader is told 'skip the scenes or read Christian Lit.'

The heroines are 'quivering bunnies' who are fixated on the 'sniffing dog' hero - to the point where there is no plot, just two people obsessed with getting laid. Then for some unknown reason inspite of the fact they hated each on site - they are now in deeply love."

I commented in the same forum: "I find it personally offensive that a wannabee passes of smut as writing ability. It's the EBook equivalent of 'Deep Throat'."

That pretty much expresses my viewpoint after 45 years as a journalist, author and book publicist. My final observation: I'd be mortified to have my grandchildren see my name on anything as explicit as you've described here. It's an embarrassment to all authors who strive to maintain quality standards.

I know I won't change any minds and that's why I'm now out of here.


message 93: by Eryn (new)

Eryn Lockhart (ErynLockhart) | 20 comments Good Riddance.

I will never understand why some individuals will pick a few (poorly executed) examples from an entire genre, and then use their distorted sampling as a justification for lambasting every other work that falls within the category. No matter what you read in literature, there will always be stories that fall short of the mark, but that's true of every genre, not just romance.

To take a romance novel, and dissect it so that the only things you care to examine are the sex/love scenes, is an extremely myopic and tunnel-visioned approach. Romances are about developing a relationship between characters, and exploring their physical relationship is simply ONE aspect of it. It's tragic that some people can read a book, and that's all they'll take away; in cases like that, I think it says far more about the reader's deficiencies than the book, the writing style, or the author's abilities.

Also, I don't understand what's so wrong, shameful, or mortifying about exploring human intimacy, or the ways in which people in love can physically demonstrate that. Even wedding vows pulled from the Bible contain the lines "With my body, I thee worship.", and the Song of Solomon is a real-eye opener for anyone who thinks that sexual repression is a Biblical concept. It is ludicrous to claim that sex scenes are somehow an embarrassment to all authors who strive to maintain quality standards, or to tacitly imply that all Authors who DO write them are somehow sub-par.

Romance is about exploring the dynamics of human relationships, the developing fascination and attraction between characters, the heady experience of falling in love--and yes, it's also often about expressing that love physically with the person you're in love with. It's NOT just about sex, and while not every romance will be to your taste, it's impossible for any genre to be filled with books that are entirely 100% in line with your personal preference.

On the other hand, Erotica is all about exploring human sexuality. Characters, story, plot--all of that is secondary. I can understand how some more conservative or reserved readers would be uncomfortable with the genre, because it's purpose IS to incite arousal, and to some degree, it IS literary porn...but even Erotica has it's place in literature. Therefore, if vivid, blunt, and explicit descriptions or depictions of human sexual behaviors are not what you want to read, it would be best to give the genre a wide berth.

Regardless, nothing diminishes the fact that both Romance and Erotica provide an important function: Entertaining readers. Nothing erases the fact that readers have the ultimate control over what they do and do not read. If you are not entertained, if you are not enjoying yourself, if a book is getting too explicit for your taste, you can skip ahead a few pages, or stop reading. If a genre doesn't interest you, you can avoid it. Readers can personally censor books at anytime before reading or during, as they choose.

After 45 years literary fields, I'd be ashamed of myself if I'd reached the point where I no longer acknowledged the possibility that a different point of view is valid, that different literary tastes have merit, or that it might be best to actually have an informed opinion on the genre I criticized.

I can respect people's preference (and avoidance) of different types of literature, but I pity the ones who's own narrow view of the world precludes them from ever enjoying something new...and I roll my eyes over the ones whose ignorance isn't a deterrent to sermonizing.


message 94: by Larry (last edited Sep 12, 2011 08:33PM) (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) ROTFLMAO. Thou doth protest to much. As previously stated, people on this forum described what they write as porn. Your mutual admiration society is rather like porn peddlers of the 1960s protesting they were misunderstood.

I also enjoyed your playing the bible card. The new testament was written starting almost 100 years after Jesus Christ walked the earth. Other than epistle puff pieces written to influence congregations the entire new testament could easily be a fictional fabrication. Can anyone really prove otherwise? I seriously doubt it.


message 95: by Eryn (last edited Sep 12, 2011 08:34PM) (new)

Eryn Lockhart (ErynLockhart) | 20 comments The Song of Solomon is from the Old Testament, Larry. Thank you for yet again proving the point that you're neither as well-read, nor as informed, as you'd like to think.


message 96: by Larry (last edited Sep 12, 2011 09:54PM) (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) I read enough fiction. Many historical scholars question whether the New Testament has any basis in fact. The old testament is a Jewish document supporting their beliefs. While I don't question it, as a non-Jew, I have no obligation to know it. Holding up any religious work as a method of justifying would be considered a blasphemy in most religions, but the pious pornographers here aren't concerned about others' sensitivities, just promoting their salacious wannabee efforts. As a strong believer in the Bill of Rights, I'd die to defend your collective rights to speaking freely, but I condemn the hypocrisy involved and the lowest-common denominator writing you spew.


message 97: by Fiona (new)

Fiona McGier | 69 comments Message number 96-"I know I won't change any minds and that's why I'm now out of here."
????


message 98: by Eryn (new)

Eryn Lockhart (ErynLockhart) | 20 comments I'm also a strong believer in the Bill of Rights, including the Right to freedom of Speech, which you choose to exercise by spewing venom, scorn, and contempt over readers and authors of works you've never read. Frankly, I find that kind of hypocrisy detestable.

As far as the New and Old Testaments are concerned, I'm not justifying anything--merely stating the fact that the physical expression of love is mentioned, described, and present in the religous texts of two of the world's major faiths. It's not blasphemous, it's fact.

In my opinion, your relentless posts on this thread despite the fact you neither read the genre in its present form, enjoy it, respect it, or respect the right of others to hold view points different than yourself, and refuse to leave after stating to do so, reveal you to be a common internet troll.

Everyone has the right to voice their opinion, no matter how prejudicial, un-informed, and distasteful, but your sweeping condemnation of something you admittedly know next to nothing about is as comical as it is tragic. By all means, continue reading the type of books you enjoy, and I'll do the same--no one is forcing you to post or read what you don't want.


message 99: by Kelli (new)

Kelli (Kelli4321) | 27 comments There has been great points brought up in this discussion. I for one love romance books and not just because of sex.
I know that I have plenty of Harlequin's from the 80's (lol - I know) and there was sex in there definitely. Sex scenes have grown over the last few decades and in my opinion have only gotten better because they've only gotten more honest. If we're looking at it in terms of women's rights than I say it's wonderful. It's about time women stopped being ashamed of their sexuality and started talking about what it is we want and what it is that is ACTUALLY going on behind those closed doors.
But that's not what it's about for me. Why I feel it's necessary to write sex (not that my opinon matters because I'm not published yet...right Larry ;) because I'm a "wannabee"...) is simply because it's such a huge part of a romantic relationship. Love and Lust are very different things but for romantic love there has to be -again in my opinion- some degree of lust.
Even beyond that I feel like a well written sex scene can show the reader aspects of their relationship that I would not be able to demonstrate otherwise.
As a reader I want to see it. I want to read. I want to know what's going on behind that closed door. Plus aren't they talking? Do our characters just shut their mouths when they shut the door. That's highly unlikely. I'm sure they're talking, some probably more than others, but I want to know what they're saying. Are they saying sweet words, are they falling in love? Are they making love or just having sex? Does he take good care of her or is he only concerned with pleasing himself? Are they compatible in bed? I need to know, so I can more effectively root for their relationship.
If that offends you, knowing that their love making was so emotionally intense she cries, or that he held off his own orgasm to make sure she enjoyed herself first than sweet romances are more your pace and there is nothing wrong with that. Lots of people read them, lots of people write them. What I'm not such a fan of is people who look down their noses at romance and call it porn without ever having picked up a novel and experiencing it for themselves. Romance is a HUGE genre and has an equally enormous loyal following. I'm proud to say that's what I write.


message 100: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (LarryMoniz) Eryn wrote: "I'm also a strong believer in the Bill of Rights, including the Right to freedom of Speech, which you choose to exercise by spewing venom, scorn, and contempt over readers and authors of works you'..."

No, you are a closed-mind mutual admiration society of like-minded wannabees. If the truth is venom, tough. Yes, scorn and contempt for people who pervert the craft to which they profess to belong. I'm not looking down my nose at romance. But when you talk about oral sex and menage a trois as being romance, you're only fooling yourself and trying to justify a licentious lifestyle. For those who want to write smut, at least be honest and call in that, rather than trying to pass it off as romance writing or anything legitimate. Several of these women even said their entire families find it objectionable. LISTEN for a change.


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