Romance Erotica Contains (Gasp!) Sex

Romance Erotica - funny book coverIt seems to be the news story that just won’t go away: romance novels for women contain increasingly explicit sex. Shock! Horror! Something must be done!

For weeks now I’ve been seeing the same article syndicated or rewritten in different news outlets. Perhaps I should just list a few of them here:

Mainstream publishers bring erotica to the masses (Chicago Tribune, syndicated by AAP).
Romance, Writ Large (Washington Post)
Reading between the sheets (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)


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There’s also the breathless and frowny report from CBS: Romance novels or softcore porn?

All these reports seem to combine statistics from publishers eager to promote their new saucy romance range with an interview with your “typical” romantica writer.

Seems she’s always a “suburban mother of 2” who combines all that boring motherhood stuff with a luscious writing career of fantasy, filth and Fabio.

The oft-quoted Tina Engler of Ellora’s Cave says “Erotica legitimizes the female sexual experience. Women read these books and it makes them feel normal about their own fantasies.”

Even so, the general tone of these news stories seems to be one of amazement that women would even want to read about sex, combined with disapproval. Indeed, there always seems to be a shocked husband lurking in this news story somewhere, demanding to know why his nice, prim wife should be reading about throbbing members sliding into gushing clefts (or cocks sliding into cunts, depending upon your publisher).

I actually blogged about this topic a couple of months ago: Erotic romance novels for women are huge (and used the word cleft) so I wasn’t going to revisit the topic, but these stories keep popping up in Google news and I felt the need to give it another passing nod.

Yes. Women want to read about sex. Yes, they like indulging in all the salacious details. It’s not that surprising, people.

The pic I’ve used on this post is from the hilarious collection of Photoshopped real-life covers at Longmire Does Romance Novels. It was a toss up between His Wonton Soup and Defending Dildo Manor. I went for the former coz I liked the near-naked guy on that cover.