Everyone else is doing it, so I figured I’d bring up that all-consuming subject. Why? As an erotic romance writer, of course sex is the driving force in many of my plots and almost all of my character interactions – in CERTAIN stories, mind you. As a romance author first and foremost, I also write about characters who aren’t always in a state of sexual arousal.
I’ve been noticing in the romance novels I’m reading recently [not erotic romance mind you] that even though the hero and heroine don’t actually get horizontal until much later in the book, or very close to the end, they do think and talk about sex almost constantly. Nearly every scene seems to be sexually charged, sexual thoughts interrupt the characters’ actions – and while I can suspend my disbelief from the rooftops if necessary [let’s face it when you’re a fan of the vampire with a soul whose heart belongs to a vampire slayer who lives on the hell mouth, you have to accept a lot of wild ass stuff], I find I draw the line at instant, visceral sexual arousal.
Maybe I’ve been out of circulation too long. I don’t know. I mean I’ve seen hunky guys that have made my jaw drop, but I find it hard to swallow that a heroine can meet a hero under suspicious circumstances [a dark, stormy wine cellar, for example, or a demon bar, for instance] and within seconds she’s wondering what he could do to her with his...er... tongue. Conversely, the hero, who is busy saving himself and the heroine from evil vampires, bio-terrorists or an army of carpenter ants [whatever big bad is starring as the villain in the book] he’s stopping every few minutes give serious consideration to tearing off her clothes and indulging his suddenly raging desire.
No, really. I love love at first sight, and the hot steamy, sultry relationships that sizzle from the moment two people lock eyes – but I still think there are circumstance under which it’s inappropriate to be thinking about sex – specifically when you’re immediately engaged in eluding a murderous evil of some sort. During a break in the chase, getting hot and heavy is one thing, but when a hero is using one hand to dial 911 and the other to fondle the heroine, I go...give me a break, buster. Come on.
Call me old fashioned, but I think sex begins in the brain. Sure physical attraction is important, but the best relationships are cerebral – a hero and heroine need to have that rapport established. They can find each other attractive and sexually stimulating, but when they meet on page 2 and on page 3 they’re internal monologue has already turned to imagining a hot and heady encounter, I’m lost.
Is it just me, or is there a trend toward the instant sexual relationship that may be fine in erotica or even erotic romance, but are just a little too fast for the regular romance genre?