It's The Topic That Never Ends

Excellent discussions ’round the internets today on sex in romances.

I started with Jaynie, who led me to Alison, who led me to Lydia and then Julie and back to AAR where Karen Scott put up a great post a few days back regarding the Blaze “is not a romance” debacle from the RITAs.

And there’s this comment – which first makes this statement about Karen’s post – “I think we can safely say that the column is nothing more than a flagrant attempt at garnering attention and fanning a flame war.” Like the very mention of someone caling a HARLEQUIN romance “not a romance” because it has sex in it is blasphemous or something.

Anon then goes on to make the point about these thin lipped anti sex people perfectly. You see here, she conflates porn with erotic romance several times. She makes sweeping generalizations about sex at the expense of plot (and then says she “understands the appeal” but the books wouldn’t be her first choice). My question is – if she doesn’t read the genre, how the fuck does she know what’s in or not in the books?

Look, I read a lot of romance and there are shitty books that lack plot across the genre. Just because there’s no sex doesn’t mean there’s a plot, by the way. So why assume that because there is sex it’s at the “expense” of plot?

This is precisely why there needs to be an erotic category in the RITAs. That way no one has to sully their minds by reading my smutty, pornographic books which lack plot, or Alison’s (and her Blazes rank among my very favorites ever), or anyone elses.

But I’d like to say that anyone who believes sex isn’t romantic is missing out on some really great sex. Even when my characters have down and dirty sex, it’s romantic and connected. Because sex a great medium for connection and romance.

And what matters most is not what anon thinks, but that the genre is read by many, many readers and it’s insulting to them more than to me or any other author – to constantly refer to them as porn hounds who care about nothing more than pink parts touching.

If you don’t like it, don’t read it! It’s that simple. It really is.

3 comments to “It's The Topic That Never Ends”

  1. Jorrie Spencer
    May 18th, 2006 at 10:24 am · Link

    Thanks for the roundup Lauren. I think that’s quite a silly letter at AAR. And whoever was talking about the fact that heat and sex sells, is right. I think people are threatened by this but, you know, the market is the market.

    I have read books where I felt that the sex got in the way of the plot. I’ve also read books where the suspense got in the way. Or the worldbuilding. Or whatever. But I think suspense and worldbuilding are a little less personal in the end. Maybe that’s part of why this is such a hot button issue. Or maybe not.

  2. Jaynie R
    May 18th, 2006 at 4:31 pm · Link

    Yeah that anon dude just sucked the big hairy one. I hate it when people talk out a hole in their ass when they don’t know anything about what they’re talking about.

  3. Mechele Armstrong
    May 19th, 2006 at 11:31 am · Link

    I’m just amazed at people’s attitudes. Just cause you don’t like it, doesn’t make it porn. *shakes head*.