Sex. It's what makes the world go round. This week, my fellow Book Club Thursday Bloggers and I are talking about sex in romance novels. Spicy, vanilla, mommy porn, we have heard all kinds of ways to describe the act. Bodice rippers, romantica, erotica and purple prose. How much is too much sex? Censorship. Trashy novels. Read by lonely women who need to get a life. Someone always has an opinion about the fiction read by women. I hope you join us this week for our discussion. And please don't be shy. We welcome your comments. And this page is my opinions and personal observations alone.
Erotica was invented in 2011 when E. L. James wrote Fifty Shades Of Gray. People around the planet were dying to read it and made E. L. a very rich woman. All the talk shows were talking about it, even Dr. Oz. That's when I first heard the derogatory term "mommy-porn" used. Serious writers dissed it, hating it's success. Of course, I was kidding when I said she invented erotica. But as a fan of all different romance genres, I know that sex in novels has always existed, think "Lady Chatterley's Lover" or "The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders", and there have been many authors who have written erotica for years, and have written it better than the faddish Fifty Shades and it's various imitators. A few that come to mind are Ellen Holly, Lora Leigh, and Jaid Black. Pioneers in erotica. And there are plenty more.
When I was a teen-ager, I read love stories by Harlequin. My gram bought them in bulk and passed them on to me. Romantic, but the sex was only implied. No sex before marriage. My mom was a member of Doubleday, so I had a a more grown up selection to read with sexy or spicy scenes. Today they would be very tame to a lot of readers. When my kids were small, I didn't read as many novels, I didn't have the time or energy. Years later, the kids were older and I began to read again. Boy, did things change.
Books had grown and changed on me. Heroines were no longer doormats and were smart and independent and they had a sex life before they got married. It didn't matter whether the woman was a librarian, a lawyer, or waitress, a woman could have a sex life ...and enjoy it. Things were written more graphically, a such a variety of topics. BDSM, multiple partners, vampire mind sex, dream lovers...the list goes on. Black Lace, and Ellora's Cave were pioneers in the contemporary erotic markets. E-book stores offered a new way to find a good selection. Nikita Black's "Cajun Hot" was released in 2000 and is still a favorite to this day.
For me, I like a good story to go with my erotic stories. I still want the HEA and not just sex for sex sake. I want a good plot to go with my menage. I have read some contemporary romances that were more erotic than some poorly written stories rushed to print by some erotica publishers. I also don't care for erotica written in the 1st. Person. To me, it's not sexy at all and that's just my preference and taste. Everyone has their own levels of comfort. It is a very personal thing. What I don't like are people who diss sex in books and they don't even read them. They just spout off and judge. I have also read reviews by prudish readers who labeled a couple of very popular contemporary authors who wrote gentle love scenes as obscene. Really? OMG, he touched her breast! We're all going to hell! These readers just want to complain about everything and must not be happy people. But don't ruin it for other readers. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Don't be lazy and just research a story. Read other reviews.
So now, I will share some of my favorite sexy stories. There were something about each that I have never forgotten because the scenes were steamy and left me wanting more.
So what do you think about sex in books. Please leave a comment and tell us what you like or don't like about this weeks topic. And check back with us next week. We are going to have a new Giveaway!