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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This topic has been discussed before here several times. What we can agree on is that porn, erotica, whatever, have boundaries that stretch. And they stretch differently from individual to individual. Five years ago, reading certain types of passages in novels may have sounded like porn to some of us, but now it's tantamount to just dipping your toes in water. The more you're exposed to it, the less it bothers you and the parameters are pushed out even more.

So what's new? You and I and others may agree some things are not porn, but who's to say what another person feels about it? Maybe the OP could have been more tactful in describing what she doesn't care for but we got the gist of her post. I don't think she was being mean, just truthful to herself. Just for fun, below are the first two definitions of pornography from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Definition of PORNOGRAPHY
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

So, maybe the OP wasn't so way off-track anyway. Regardless, we know what she meant; she just used a word that some didn't like. Many of us have decided long ago that we read what we like no matter what other genre readers think. So, we need to give the same leeway here among fellow romance readers.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2498

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't take offense at the OP's wording. I've been a long-time defender of romance fiction, but that doesn't mean I can't look at it objectively. I, too, think some of the sex scenes in romance fiction are pornographic or very close to it. Further, I often sense that the author of those scenes seems to have deliberately made it so, for the intensifying diction of the graphic descriptions of the actions is obvious. I've been around a number of years. I'm not unfamiliar with sex. I'm not easily shocked or put off . Recently though, I read a romantic suspense in which the first sex scene was, in my estimation, so pornographic I ceased reading. That wasn't what I bought the book to read.
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clutterconqueror



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Location: Elmhurst, Il

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Tee. You said that much more diplomatically than I.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tee wrote:
Maybe the OP could have been more tactful in describing what she doesn't care for but we got the gist of her post. I don't think she was being mean, just truthful to herself.

I don't think she was trying to be mean, either - which is why I replied to the original post and included several recs. Obviously there are fewer choices for readers who want subtle sexuality in their romance novels, and hopefully the posts here will provide dianaiad with more options.

I do feel that discussions of the sexual content of romance novels is an area where one should tread carefully, though - I imagine most of us have come across the "porn for women" label as a way to denigrate the romance genre, and obviously I am not the only one who is uncomfortable with this description. And I think it's important to point that out, especially since dianaiad is a new poster here and may not be aware of how touchy this matter can be.
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
And I think it's important to point that out, especially since dianaiad is a new poster here and may not be aware of how touchy this matter can be.

Probably good to point out. On the other hand, we need to develop tougher hides and not let those things bother us. Some passages can be downright erotic, and to some people, probably bordering on "porn." But so what? If a book or some of the contents are not to a person's liking, they can DNF it. Nobody is forcing them to read it (at least this year Very Happy ).

When we sign on to post on any message board, we have to realize not all will be in agreement with our thoughts and sentiments. This site is actually one of the better ones because we love diversity. I agree, Yulie, that it's best to be tactful when posting. But when some are not or forget to be because of the heat of the moment, we can be tactful in kind. They'll get it or they won't. At the least we can show equally our willingness to listen to others, as well as giving our opinions. Very Happy
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clutterconqueror



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Location: Elmhurst, Il

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you again, Tee, for your words of wisdom.

I would like to apologize for my own heated words. I'm sure there was a better way to express my opinion. Next time I won't read the boards before I've completed my first cup of coffee Embarassed. And perhaps even wait a day before I respond Laughing
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, my very good friend, who I introduced to the Sookie books, loves them and is not a romance reader, but I think she liked them..partly for the romance, has gone on by herself to read and enjoy JR Ward. She calls them *vampire porn*. I didn't start defending the genre when she said that, because she is my friend and I'm happy that she is putting her toe in the romance pond. However, I do think when romance is labeled as porn on these boards, some of us..many of us, get our hackles up. It is sort of like poking fun at that beloved crazy aunt. We love her and do it in fun, but when someone we are not familiar with starts doing it, we take offense. I certainly don't want to judge the OP in that she doesn't respect the genre and I don't want to scare her off the boards. I think it is helpful to have all sorts of opinions in a discussion.
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clutterconqueror



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Location: Elmhurst, Il

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
Quote:
I do think when romance is labeled as porn on these boards, some of us..many of us, get our hackles up. It is sort of like poking fun at that beloved crazy aunt. We love her and do it in fun, but when someone we are not familiar with starts doing it, we take offense.


I think I understand your point being that it is a normal emotional response, but I believe this goes back to my original point. We say we would like people to express themselves, but when they do, we get our hackles up. For me, that is where the problem lies. Why should wet get so personally offended whenever someone hits our "hot-button issue." I've seen this happen on the boards often.

And if I can be so bold, I think this issue extends to our society as a whole (may be why my reaction was so strong). Of course, I would include my own emotional response as being "part of the problem", as well.

If any of what I just wrote makes sense.
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Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1446

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One reader's porn is another's "tasteful romance scene."

As an American, living in a society completely saturated by sexuality, I find this whole porn thing very interesting. Certainly, the word porn is disapproving, but by earlier standards, we are surrounded by "porn," from the media, mainly. I'm sure I don't need to count out the ways that people in conservative societies would see our whole society (and do) as pornographic. The word just reflects our deep-seated discomfort with sex, surprising in this day and age, especially by women. Even today, when men can admit that they like porn in most groups (male interest is so commonly known now, that I think most [?] people would laugh at any man who stoutly declared he didn't like porn*), but somehow, women still can't like it. I've never had the guts to respond to the flung disclaimer "Romances are just porn for women," with "Yeah. And that bad because. . . ?" Let me rush to say that I don't believe this accusation is true, but it reflects society's discomfort with women reading--let alone, getting excited by--sex scenes.

* In an effort not to offend people, let me say that I think porn especially appeals to all men, but that many men disapprove of it. I "disapprove" of many things that I am attracted to. (Mainly brownies).
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Tee



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 4223
Location: Detroit Metro

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clutterconqueror wrote:
Next time I won't read the boards before I've completed my first cup of coffee Embarassed. And perhaps even wait a day before I respond Laughing

Ah--that first cup of coffee. I can taste it already. Very Happy But you don't need to wait a day to post, clutterconqueror. That's too long. Have to get those ideas out there before they're too watered down. And, remember, you can always edit. Very Happy

xina wrote:
I do think when romance is labeled as porn on these boards, some of us..many of us, get our hackles up. It is sort of like poking fun at that beloved crazy aunt. We love her and do it in fun, but when someone we are not familiar with starts doing it, we take offense. I certainly don't want to judge the OP in that she doesn't respect the genre and I don't want to scare her off the boards. I think it is helpful to have all sorts of opinions in a discussion.

I agree with both points, xina. We poke fun at ourselves here and that's okay. Coming from other genre readers, we can get a bit touchy; but that's what we have to work on--thicker skin and all that. We like what we like and it shouldn't be a concern to others. About having all sorts of opinions, that's one I agree with also. This site would be no fun at all if we were all of the same opinions. I visit and interact here to find out the differing views too. If we remember that, this site will remain a good one in which to participate.
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clutterconqueror



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Location: Elmhurst, Il

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And let's not forget today's "hot button issue" is porn v. romance, but tomorrow's might be the alpha male: overbearing neanderthal or hot-sexy hunk? (That's suppose to be a joke Laughing)
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MissRubyJones



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to get into the fray, Wink, but if I understand what OP's saying, and I may not, so if I'm putting words into your mouth OP, feel free to let me know, the problem is sex scenes for the sake of sex scenes -- they seem to be there just to fill a page count, rather than to further the story along. That gets on my nerves, too. I enjoy a love scene (big difference, yes), that either develops the characters or somehow furthers the plot, but sometimes, I find that sex scenes actually pull me away from the story.

Here are a few more recommendations, OP. They are all historical, I realized after listing them, because that's what I read most:

Poetic Justice - Alicia Rasley (free at amazon right now, btw, and does not go into much detail)

Suspicious Hearts - Julie Tetel Andresen (just a couple of love scenes that are very short and PG)

Rogue's Honor - Brenda Hiatt (again, just one or maybe two PG love scenes)

Most of Gayle Wilson's historicals and Carla Kelly's regencies have sparse or very PG love scenes, as well. In Gayle Wilson's "His Secret Duchess," for instance, the book opens with a love scene, but it's not gratuitous, and it's integrated into the plot so well that it seems perfectly natural.

I may be misremembering - and if I am, someone please correct me! - but I don't recall blushing or skipping pages, lol, in either "Flowers From the Storm" or "My Sweet Folly" by Laura Kinsale.

I'll second the Sheila Simonson rec, too - her books are closer to Georgette Heyer territory than most contemporary Regencies.
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clutterconqueror



Joined: 15 Apr 2008
Posts: 100
Location: Elmhurst, Il

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, right, the original topic. I would suggest Sophie Kinsella and Katie Fforde, both English contemporary. I guess these would be described as "chick lit" but I found the romances satisfying.
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Kristie(J)



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1122
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clutterconqueror wrote:
Really Kristie(J) and Yulie, you felt the need to call the OP out on her use of the word porn in conjunction with romance. I love the hypocrisy that we posters on the AAR forums have. In one breath we say how we appreciate having a non-judgemental discussion of romance on the forums, but as soon as someone pushes one of our hot buttons we're all over it.

I didn't see anything in the original post that made me thing the OP was making a value judgement of people who enjoy many love scenes in their books. And even if in her personal view, she actually considers love scenes to be porn, so what, isn't she entitled to her opinion.

Yet, I've seen it time and time again that someone on the boards says something that someone disagrees with and that person feels the need to "educate" them on how offensive their comment is. Get over it!


Whoa there!! I cry foul at being called a hypocrite. I believe I stated quite clearly, that for a length of time I preferred my romance to be kisses only. And I applaud the fact that inspirational romance is one of the fastest growing sub-genres. If I sounded judgmental at all in regards to what I said in my earlier post, believe me it was unintentional. So I can fully understand the OPís search for non-explicit, kisses only romance, I truly do. I pass absolutely no judgment on the OP preference Ė for a long time it was mine too. What I objected to was calling those books with more explicitness, porn. I may be wrong and it could be just me and a few others, but for me, porn has a very negative connotation. Porn is sex with no love. Porn is just a sex act without any kind of emotion or closeness. Porn can be very ugly. I find it, though basically the same act, the antithesis of many of the love scenes in the romance genre. So to call love scenes porn, is objectionable to me. But it was the only word in her whole request that I didnít find favour with.

So please, do not call me a hypocrite. Iím the most inclusive of people when it comes to romance readers, from one end of the spectrum to the other.
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Fenwick



Joined: 25 Jun 2011
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My reading tastes have changed through the years. I started out with Georgette Heyer and went to Signet then into the Avon Ladies etc. When Ellora's Cave started I bought weekly. Now I have gone back to my Heyers, Baloghs, Kellys, Chases, Hunters, Robbs and Signets. I think I wanted and needed different books for different stages of my life.

A few years ago I noticed a listing for Woman's Books for sale. The man stated his wife had left him and he was selling her "sex" books. What he listed were 4 ordinary Harlequin books and 2 Georgette Heyer titles. It was mean of me but I sympathized with his ex wife.
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