Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Why Some Erotic Elements Thrown Into Romance Can Never Be My Cup of Tea

Okay when it boils down to it, it really doesn't matter what I think compared to others likes and dislikes, at least to other people. But sometimes I feel the need to get stuff off my chest. That's why I'm glad I have a blog, which may or may not be read by others. I was reading a review that someone posted by a prominent and very well liked author of (erotic) romance. I found the subject matter in the book rather disgusting and disturbing.

From what I could discern, the plot centers on a man who insists that the woman in love with him accept a menage relationship with him and his brothers. He claims he loves her, but basically forces sex with him and his brothers on her. She is a virgin and goes from being a virgin to being involved sexually with more than one man at a time (oral, anal, you name it). How is that love?

Maybe I am just not open-minded enough, but I do believe in 1 Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast of itself, it is not selfish, it's patient, kind, it protects. How is this so-called hero protecting and loving this woman who has given him her heart? I don't think that this book is a romance, and I don't think this should be offered up as a loving relationship. Okay, let me first say I am not trying to judge other people's lifestyles. Do what you want. If you're a consenting adult and you have another consenting adult in this relationship with you, go for. It has nothing to do with me. Additionally, I am not telling anyone what they should read, and if I go to a seller of erotic romance, read this blurb, and buy this book, I deserve what I get. But on a fundamental level, I feel offense that this is included with books that are about romantic, loving relationships between a man and a woman. This man sounds like a selfish jerk who found a young, accepting heroine who loved him enough to put up with this treatment. He didn't find a mature, sexually-experienced and explorative woman to get involved in this relationship with. So going in, I think that this couple is unequally yoked.

It's funny. Some readers won't read books that have a hero who is a so-called rapist. To each their own. That line is very thin at times. I would never condone rape, but I have read book where the hero has 'raped' the heroine. It's no right, but it's there. Maybe I sound judgemental to make a distinction here. Maybe it's the anal and the more than one guy thing that makes this too hard to swallow. I can only take so much in a so-called romance novel before I have to redesignate this is fiction and not romance. Again, I haven't read this book, but from the description in a person's very enlightening review, I would classify this hero as a rapist. He has taken this woman's choice away with emotional blackmail. And because she has orgasms during these sex acts, I surmise we're supposed to be okay with this. My question is how does she feel in the aftermath? What is the emotional state of this young woman after years of this? Will she convince herself she enjoys this lifestyle to have a man she loves deeply but clearly doesn't love her the way she deserves to be loved. (Again, my definition of love is affecting how I see this scenario). I don't even know if the author goes into this. I made a choice not to read this author a while ago, and this review really fortified me in this choice. She is clearly working out some issues that she has or maybe she just wants to push the envelope. Either way, not my cup of tea. I am glad that those who like to explore boundaries can read this type of material, but all I feel is disgusted and yucked out. I feel very sorry for this heroine, and I can't say I would go away from reading this book with the positive, almost euphoric feeling that a good romance novel gives me.

I realize that some romance readers want reality, and I mean stone-cold reality. To each their own. I like to see angst and conflict in romances, but some conflict is a bit much for a romance novel. When I read a romance novel, I want to know I'm reading a romance novel, not a fiction book that happens to have romance in it. Not erotica with a monogamous happy romantic ending. I don't want to read about adultery, children dying, menage, anal sex or any sex act involving that area, or other activites having anything that has to do with bodily functions no associated with the sex organs in a romance novel. I can't handle much bondage or any of that either, and call me a prude, but keep the sex toys to a minimum. It's just yuck to me. Again, to each their own.

The great thing is that some of these types of books are kept safe far away from mainstream romance. However they can bleed over into the mainstream. This same author that I won't name can be bought at Walmart, on the shelves next to authors that write very tame romances that the most prudish family member of your choice can read. There is no warning on the cover that says, this book has anal sex in it. Nope, the poor reader buys this book because it has a hot Navy SEAL hero, and next thing they know, they are reading about backdoor sex. Sorry, but to me that's wrong. It's like buying a movie, thinking it's a fairly tame action movie, and seeing people's heads explode and having their guts ripped out. Except movies come with a content warning.

If you are reading this blog and are thinking I need to open my mind, I can't change your opinion. I like to read romance that can be anywhere from no sex to strongly sexual but vanilla sex. Two people relationships. I will even occasionally read m/m romance stories (if the anal stuff is not a heavy part of it). But I don't read romance to explore my sexual boundaries.There is an open mind, and there is self-abuse. Reading something that involves subject matter that is offensive to me is self-abuse in my opinion. Going back to why I read romance, escapism and enjoyment, this violates my first commandment of escapist pleasure reading. I am not enjoying the experience if I read something along those lines. Anyway, I feel a little better but at the same time pretty icked out right now. But, oh well.


Evy said...

Hey friend! That was some deep thoughts you had on blog. I do agree with you though. If a man loves a woman but forces her to have sex with him and his brothers then that should not be classified as romance. That is abuse. That should probably be rated R since it is fiction. Our HPs we talk about now sometimes there is a fine line with the whole "rape" issue but there is never other ppl involved in the sex. In the book I mentioned on yahoo, the Hero started to have sex with the Heroine who was a virgin and when he found out, he stopped immediately as he didn't want to hurt her. Read it when you get a chance and tell me what you think. I can send you the copy I have if you like. Let me know.

Arch said...

The hero didn't love the heorine. He was in lust with her and she was blind to believe that he loved her and for her to prove to him that she loved him, she had to participate in sex with more than one person. That's not love.

The hero didn't love himself, neither did the heroine loved herself. I can't leave out the other parties. They didn't love themselves either.

The hero, the heroine and the other parties were nasty. Yes, I have said nasty. I know someone might not want to hear that, but it's true.

Love doesn't share. Sex doesn't even equal love.

In the light, it's easy for someone that participate in this kind of behavior to smile and put on a happy face, but what about in the dark. Do you hear the water running? Surely the water is running.

I don't care for erotic books. I don't find them to be romance books.

Danielle said...

I think I should get the book in the mail since I have a subscription. I'll definitely be reading it, Evy. I was just disgusted and had to get it out. Blogs are very therapeutic that way.

Danielle said...

Yeah I can't classify this relationship in that book as a love relationship. It sounds like it was a selfish sexual relationship biased towards the men. I don't know how this woman would put up with that. I have a feeling she has some trauma that she is suppressing.

DeSeRt RoSe said...

I would not classify it as a romance at all.. it's just plain erotica! So I would be bothered to have it classified as a romance because that should be something between 2 individuals..
I can't say if I would read it or not knowing what the idea is about.. but if I was in the mood for erotica I might consider reading it, but still I usually prefer the 2 individual part better! more realistic :)
Thanks for the enlightning post :)

Danielle said...

Thanks for reading it, Desert Rose. I am not trying to judge what others read. It just disturbed me because I don't feel peace about what this heroine is being put through. I have always tended to take things to heart to much.