Tuesday, 4 August 2009

He did what to her on page one?

I was blog hopping – checking out who was thinking what about various things. One blog, that I hadn’t read for a very long time made me think one thing straight away – and that was huh? The writer, who is a writer, was complaining about erotic romance books and how these books always have the hero and heroine having sex in the first couple of pages. Hmmm…while I’m a great believer on having an opinion, why would you set out to read an erotic romance knowing there’s a bloody good chance that sex is going to happen in the book and more that likely, from the erotica books I have read, in the first chapter or in some cases the first sentence?

This blogger then went on to criticize the fact that romance cannot come from sex, that these books were unrealistic, that the words authors use were ‘inappropriate’ and she would never read any of them again. First up, that’s absolutely her choice to not read erotica again. I respect that. But I gotta’ say that the whole thing about romance books, whether they are mainstream or erotica, is that they’re first and foremost romantic fantasy. That’s what people want to read. A book allows you a couple of hours to kickback and not think about all the crap going in your life or has the laundry been done or can I serve up cereal again tonight for dinner or do I pay the bill on the reminder notice or can I push it ‘til the final demand? Reading is a break from real life. Most readers recognize that. While they would like a hero, maybe wearing a kilt, to kick open a door, storm in, snatch them up in his arms and take them to some wildly exotic place and shag their brains out giving them repetitive mind blowing orgasms, I gotta tell ya’ it’s a pretty fair bet it ain’t gonna’ happen in real life. It’s fantasy. Readers know that.

As for the romance not evolving from sex, well here’s the thing, it can and it does and if it’s never happened to you then don’t declare it can’t happen. How do you know? Inappropriate language….really, what is inappropriate anymore? ‘Fuck’ is used constantly as is ‘cock’ and ‘pussy’ and ‘arse’ etc not only in books but on TV, music, film and in the street. If you find those words offensive then you have every right not to read an erotic romance. Those words, and much worse, are going to be in there and I would have assumed a writer, in the romance writing business, would understand how different genres work.

Yes, I respect her opinion. No, I don’t agree with her dismissal of an entire genre. That’s dismissing the readers who love it.
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