Now that I’ve got your attention, is it truly sex that draws us into our romances or is it something more?
I was recently part of a discussion where an author insisted that romances for women were the equivalent of what porn was to men.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t normally read my romances one-handed.
Sure the sex scenes make a story interesting, but in a way, I almost hate calling them that because for me they’re not just sex scenes. They are love scenes, expressions of the emotions that the characters feel for one another. Without the emotion, the scenes are somehow flat for me.
That’s the essential difference between women’s romances and men’s porn contrary to the assertions of some. Women get wrapped up in the development of the relationship between the hero and heroine and reading about the physical fulfillment of that love is icing on the proverbial cake. But without the love…
Is there any proof of my theory? Well, I know many romance readers who skim past the love scenes or have started young adult or inspirationals because for them it’s all about the relationship and not the physical intimacy.
Part of the proof to my theory in my mind.
What I find somewhat ironic in that “romance is porn” statement is that since the 60s feminists have been imploring that women explore their sexuality without guilt and take control of their love lives. Despite that, reading novels about empowered women who do just that is equated by some with pornography for men.
A puzzlement for sure. Here is what I know for myself: Exploring relationships of both the emotional and sexual kind in the world of romance is truly an interesting thing for me as a writer and as a woman and as a feminist. It requires really delving into the motivation of the characters and understanding their psychological wounds and needs. It’s about the romance and if there are some love scenes involved, that’s good, but if there aren’t, that’s good, too.
That’s the nice thing about romance and romance readers: They are quite an open and accepting lot of women and men.