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There was a rather interesting column up at Romancing The Blog, (I know, I too was shocked, interesting RTB columns only seem to happen about once every six months) when this comment caught my eye:

“The trouble is the borders, subjective borders, between romance and erotica. Personally I would call anything that has graphic sex scenes in it erotica rather than romance – for me Romance “closes the bedroom door” when it comes to The Act itself.”

The column itself was talking about too much sex in romance books, erm or something like that (yes I know we’ve been here before). The columnist was careful to point out that she was talking about traditional romance (does anybody know what traditional romance is these days btw?), not erotica. (g)

What bothered me most about the above comment was the implication that books which keep the bedroom door open, aren’t true romance. Now I know this is obviously her opinion, but my opinion is that that’s the most absurd thing I’ve read for at least a week (Hey this is Blogland, there is no shortage of stupid comments around these parts).

I think the columnist herself made a pretty good point about overblown (heheh) sex in books, but I’m thinking this does depend on the writer.

There are some books that I’ve read where the book was essentially made up of one sex scene after the other, (not that that’s always a bad thing mind, depends on the mood I guess) and very little plot. These are the books that annoy me no end, but on the other hand, Valdez’s Passion, started off with a sex scene (erm, not the penetrative kind, mind, I think it was more groping, than anything else) and let’s face it, there was enough sex in the rest of the book, to defrost even Anne Coulter, but for me, the key to the sexiness, was the writing itself. Passion was very much a character-driven story, which makes all the difference in the world.

Bad sex can spoil a romance book for me, but no sex, basically guarantees that that romance book wont ever get the chance to piss me off, cuz I aint buying it. Myopic much? Probably.

This is why me and inspirational romances could never be.

Hmmm… Does this mean I’m a sex-obsessed freak? *g*

12 Comments »


  • Tara Marie
    August 22
    7:21 pm

    I blogged about this column today too. I did notice the same commentor went on to say…

    But in a book generally, I don’t mind the sex scenes as LONG as they progress the plot and are not there for sex sake. Some writers don’t seem to be able to make this distinction… We can assume that (especially in a newbie affair) the protags are doing it like bunnies at every available opportunity but there needs to be plot, and we don’t need to see it.

    I must be missing these romance novels (not erotic romance novels) that are using sex as the plot. If they’re complaining about ER I get it but regular run of the mill romances. I need examples please.

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  • Shannon Stacey
    August 22
    9:16 pm

    Hey, I have to draft one of those RTB posts in the next day or so. Any requests? Not that I’m desperate for fodder or anything. (Okay, I am.) *g*

    I guess the erotic romances I’ve written illustrate where I stand on this topic. 🙂

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  • Eve Vaughn
    August 22
    10:46 pm

    I think this person is certainly entitled to their opinion, however what’s the definition of “closed-door sex” Regardless of how graphic a sex scene is, whether the body parts are explained with flowery euphemisms or with graphic language its still a sex scene. I’ve read some pretty steamy scenes in Harlequin category romances that weren’t Blaze or Spice. So does that make those books any less romanctic? I think this is the old Erotic Romance not being Romance debate, but worded differently.

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  • Kat O+
    August 23
    12:54 am

    I think I’m now so used to reading bedroom scenes that, in general, if they were removed, I’d feel a bit ripped off. It’s not so much that I expect graphic scenes, but I do think that sex–and particularly sex early in a relationship–tells you a lot about the person you’re with. So for an author to leave that out tells me … what? That the couple had sex but it didn’t mean anything, didn’t change anything, didn’t reveal anything important about themselves? I don’t believe that the heros/heroines I want to read about would have that kind of sex because if they did, why would they bother coming back for more? (And why would I?)

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  • Dee
    August 23
    3:50 am

    Kat, that’s so true. The sex should be as meaningful as the story because it’s part of the story. Fulmination of the attraction. To close the door means it’s just an average experience and the reader is reading the romance for more than an average experience.

    I say this being a person who isn’t particularly fond of sweet romances. I like me some grit.

    Dee

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  • Lori
    August 23
    4:30 am

    Something can defrost Ann Coulter?

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  • Heather (errantdreams)
    August 23
    7:53 am

    I love erotic romance. But hey, I’m married to an awesome guy, so to me sex and romance go hand-in-hand. It’s tough for me to get terribly interested in one without the other.

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  • Dawn
    August 23
    10:58 am

    Well, I must be a complete slapper than, ‘cos I don’t know the last time I read a romance without sex (have I EVER read a romance without sex? Oh yeah – one time I read a Barbara Cartland because the company my Mum worked for did the typesetting for it. Ugh!).

    I want sex in my books – great sex.

    I just finished The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe and the sex scenes weren’t explicit, but they sure has hell had me squirming (and in a good way). Fab book BTW, Karen. Ta for the recommendation!

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  • Dawn
    August 23
    11:32 am

    Meant to say, that your fave, Carol Lynne has another book out “Sex with Lex”. Bet that has lots of sex in it! *sniggering*

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  • Angela
    August 23
    11:20 pm

    These days I can take or leave sex in romance novels because 8 times out of 10, I don’t care enough about the characters to care about their sex life. Plus, I rarely find books with such sexual tension(not lust-thoughts and furtive gropings in between “I-Hate-Yous”) before the first time and after it that I can’t wait to get to a sex scene between the h/h. I don’t read romance novels for the sex. Because of the genre’s conventions of course I’d feel gypped if the bedroom door slammed closed, but as I stated, I don’t care enough about the majority of the characters I’ve read from new releases in the past two years to want to read sex scenes.

    It’s because of this issue that I’ve turned more and more to non-romance fiction where there’s a greater chance the development of the characters outside of setting up their romantic relationship is as important as the romance, if not more important, and I don’t go into the novel expecting to predict the plot twists.

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  • Teddy Pig
    August 24
    11:05 pm

    Carol Lynne has another book out “Sex with Lex”.

    Yeah, and the tighty whities are actually clean this time. Maybe the writing is getting better.

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  • Teddy Pig
    August 24
    11:09 pm

    I vote the president of the Carol Lynne fan club, Mrs. Giggles, reads it first.

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