Expectations In Romance
As anyone who reads romance knows, there is always a happy ending. The heroes or heroines never die, and they never break up. Sure, they may never marry, but as a reader you know they will be together forever.
But I’ve noticed over the last several years there are other trends in particular of romance.
Back in the seventies through the nineties, the couple would wait until three quarters of the way through the book before having sex. Of course, there were exceptions, but then they often didn’t do it again until toward the end when all misunderstandings were cleared up.
Then in the new millennium, they started having sex in the middle of the book. GASP! I remember I could open some books directly in the middle, and there would be the love scene. It was so funny, not the love scene, usually pretty hot, but that I could find it so easily.
Even now I can read a mainstream (traditionally published) romance, and it will go like this: sexual tension, kissing, petting, almost a home-run but there’s an interruption by an external force or by a realization (She’s a virgin! She’s my brother’s fiancée! He’s the wrong brother! He’s a rake!) and maybe happens more than once. Eeek! So again, it would take until halfway through the book to have sex.
I so hate that. Sure they can’t go like bunnies all the time in a romantic suspense, (otherwise, that would be erotica), they do need to run and worry about something other than the hero being able to get it up. The horror! So with their clothes on, most of the time – I’ve been known for making my heroes go without – they need to have other types of action happening around them and to them.
There are other trends that I’ve seen romance writers do. Heroines are wetting their underwear/thongs a lot. Surprised the girl doesn’t have an infection. Heroes have that bead of moisture on the end of their penises. Not every man has that happen, every time. Then again, I haven’t been with every man.
I know why these trends happen. One writer will read another writer’s book who mentioned a bodily function or reaction the other hadn’t thought of before. So in her next book, she mentions it and then the race is on! Everyone is wetting panties and having beads everywhere.
So writers. If you read it in one, two, or three books, does it make it true or necessary? Please make your book’s a little different. Mix it up. Think about your own experiences and expand.
And if you’re a virgin and writing about women who have a great sex life, kudos to you! You’ve got a great imagination, but you might be surprised that it is a whole lot different than you believe. Actually, usually a whole lot better, though a lot messier. And a woman doesn’t multi-climax every single time.
If you do, you’re unique and I hate you. (HA!)
Of course, it is fiction that we write.