Books aren’t meant to be a true depiction of real life. Rather, romance novels aren’t meant to be a true depiction. We’d all love it if they they were, if we were all to find our very own alpha who would walk through fire and hell for us, but it’s not a foregone conclusion.
The fiction that we read is an escape from our lives, from the hussle and bussle of mundane routines that tend to fill our days.
Yet, so many readers note unrealistic moments in our novels as negatives. It depends on the genre, of course, as to how far from the straight and narrow you can roam, but there has to be some element of the fantastic or else the story just wouldn’t hold our interest.
Which leads me to sex, bit of a jump? Need more explanation? Yeah, probably, ok… whether our main couple have a long term relationship, a history, or are new acquaintences, there has to be some sex in our romantic fiction. But does it have to be realistic?
Gone are the days of one foot on the floor at all times. Readers want explicit, they want details, and they want those moments to stick in their memories. So there has to be some tension, some teasing, a few hints, and more than a little flirtation, then we have the act itself.
But with so many books out there now trying to achieve success, the intimate scenes become more and more outrageous until we know not where we can go next.
In books, our h always achieves orgasm, often several times, and our male is always dedicated to her pleasure. Bear in mind, I am talking about the “romance” genre here and not so much erotica, where the rules can be much different. Though in saying that, the line between the two genres blurs frequently, so I perhaps shouldn’t talk in absolutes.
My next book has less of the physical act than the previous two in the series, but it’s still in there. We see more of our main characters connecting and the intimacy that has built between them beyond the physical.
But is it enough? Readers have come to expect a certain thing of romance books. I have been marked up and down stars by reviewers in the range of my books based on sexual content alone. The balance is becoming increasingly difficult to get right.
The sex doesn’t have to be realistic, apparently, few have issues with whether or not a sexual connection can be made early, although we know that instalove is a big no-no. I speculate on the future of romance novels and wonder if exploring emotional intimacy will be accepted by readers in the future or whether there will be even more emphasis on the physical aspects of our characters relationship.
Will we ever return to a time when an “I love you” on the final page will be satisfying enough? I doubt it.
But our books have evolved and they’ll keep evolving as the writers and readers progress and tastes through society change. There is one thing we know for sure, as long as females remain the number one purchaser of romance novels the coveted climax will remain front and centre 😉
Good luck on your adventures,