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Old Prude here....
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Vol Fan



Joined: 30 Dec 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another reader here that doesn't care for the explicit sex scenes. They bore me now. I skip forward and only want to get back to the actual story. I like the build up and the tension, but good grief, when you read as much as I do, it surely does become repetitive and almost as if you read the same scene written a trillion different ways. Enough already.

It almost seems like filler to me at this point. No pun intended. LOL
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bookmark



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 322

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually a prude in real life, but not in my romances. Smile Well...there are certain types of sex scenes that I do not enjoy and will skip through. I can totally understand why some romance readers take exception to the term "pornography" in description to romance sex. I don't care for that term myself because of its implication of them being "trashy novels" that romances have underservedly been given as its bad reputation by those who don't read them. I understand that "trashy" may have been used in terms of it being fluffy, without depth, and not having to do with sex at all. I don't like pornography as it relates to the denigration of women or its portrayal of women as being sex objects.

I enjoy romances of all sexual heat, from no kissing to a whole lot more than kissing. It just depends on my mood and how good that author is about drawing me in with or without the sexual details.

Also, *shakes fist*, there's nothing wrong with being prudish, in real life or in fantasyland. * proud prude member*
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turns out that SBTB had a post on this topic a while back - those of you looking for less explicit sexual content in romances might want to check it out:

http://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/blog/bookmatcher-romance-without-sex-scenes
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 912

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a prude, but I've also become bored and frustrated by the preponderance of sex scenes in Romance novels. It's not the intensity or explicitness of scenes that bother me (I enjoy erotica and yeah porn but with them the the less story the better Razz), it's that they feel more and more like quota filling and they often destroy the pace and build up of the relationship because the sex has to happen too soon in order to fit in several more sex scenes. It usually feels rushed and anachronistic.

As a consequence the romances seem more built on lust than love let alone any meeting of minds or personalities. If you can skim a sex scene and it doesn't change or add to how you view the characters or the relationship then it really is just filler. The best sex scenes are intrinsic to the story and characterization. Some authors do this very well but alas many do not - at least not consistently and it's hard to do this for half a dozen scenes in a book.

For subtle, closed door or no sex scenes I also highly rec Traditional Regencys. In the vein of Heyer they're usually witty and light but some have darker more dramatic themes.

Some favorites: Diane Farr (The Fortune Hunter), Joan Smith (An Imprudent Lady & Reprise), Barbara Metzger (A Suspicious Affair. Lord Heartless, Lady Sparrow, A Debt To Delilah etc, Carla Kelly (Mrs Drew Plays Her Hand, Reforming Lord Ragsdale etc), Emma Jensen (Best Laid Schemes), Loretta Chase (Knave's wager, Devil's Delilah etc). Jo Beverely (Emily & the Dark Angel) Patricia Veryan (Golden Chronicles & Jewelled Men series etc), Edith Layton (The Duke's Wager), and Mary Balogh who's excellent Trads do have sex but it's character and story driven, not graphic and rarely lasts more than page or two - if that.

Belgrave House has re-released many in e-book form. They have their own site but are also available at B&N, Amazon, Fictionwise (with coupons!) etc.


Other recs:

Jude Morgan: An Accomplished Woman

Lauren Willig: It's part of a series and I've heard some of the others have sex scenes (usually just one or so though and not graphic) but her The Mischief Of The Mistletoe which can be read as a standalone is just kisses. Very witty and charming.
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JaneO



Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Posts: 798

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't object to sex scenes per se, but I want them to be part of the story, to be important for the characters' development.

This past winter I read two books that I had been looking forward to, by authors whose books I have enjoyed in the past. They were major disappointments. The characters were boring and the plots were ridiculous, made no sense and went nowhere. They seemed to be nothing but an excuse for the sex scenes. It seems to me that when that happens, you're straying into porn territory.
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bavarian



Joined: 16 Jul 2007
Posts: 175
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO: The characters were boring and the plots were ridiculous, made no sense and went nowhere. They seemed to be nothing but an excuse for the sex scenes. It seems to me that when that happens, you're straying into porn territory.

Very well spoken!
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LFL



Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 707

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Old Prude here.... Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
I do have some recs for you, though: first of all, there are Eva Ibbotson's books, especially the wonderful A Countess Below Stairs as well as Magic Flutes (republished under a different title, I forget what exactly).


I'm not sure if this has been answered or not, but Magic Flutes was recently republished under the title The Reluctant Heiress, but what is even more confusing, at least if you go by Amazon, there is also a recent edition titled Magic Flutes (and that is where you find the Kindle version).

In the UK, A Countess Below Stairs is now called The Secret Countess, I"m pretty sure. These are both excellent books with no sex scenes whatsoever.
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Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1693

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the one who likes at least some heat in my romance reading (Mary Balogh is normally as tame as I'd go). However, I'm not after explicitness per se (I almost never read erotica). Rather, I'm looking for passion and sexual tension and denouement in the form of the love scenes. If there's no tension the most graphical scenes only bore me. In a good book, sex usually contributes to plot and character development. For example, an author could show how lust and simple attractions becomes something more through more emotions. I have a few favorite I can't imagine without sex in them (To Have and to Hold comes to mind). Or the more recent A Lady Awakened.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natalie wrote:
I'm the one who likes at least some heat in my romance reading (Mary Balogh is normally as tame as I'd go). .



Funny you should say this. I like a little heat , and Mary Balogh is my range too. Love her love scenes, they are short but sweet, and to the point. I can go higher, much higher, and I do appreciate the well written love scene that contributes to the story and moves the relationship onward.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, how tastes differ - so many cited The Countess Below Stairs as a great read but for me it is in my bottom 5 of over 100 romance books I've read so far - for me it read like a children's book, no depth of characterization at all (esp. the hero's fiancee). I am definitely not going to try another book by Ibbotson again.

For me everything is in the writing, so I equally enjoy Georgette Heyer (esp. Venetia and Sylvester), trad regencies like The Duke's Wager by Edith Layton and Baloghs as well as Passion by Lisa Valdez.

What I'd like to add to recommendations is a couple of contemporaries - both by Kristan Higgins - that I loved, Catch of the Day (Kisses only) and My One and Only (one love scene, about two paragraphs and very subtle).
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:
Funny, how tastes differ - so many cited The Countess Below Stairs as a great read but for me it is in my bottom 5 of over 100 romance books I've read so far - for me it read like a children's book, no depth of characterization at all (esp. the hero's fiancee). I am definitely not going to try another book by Ibbotson again.

).


That's because it was a children's book in 1980. the cover has changed for at least...YA. *shrug* marketing.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xina: so that explains it. I think it would have worked for me if I read it in my teens but now it was a total failure.
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it interesting that most posters in this thread say they would prefer to read fewer and less explicit sex scenes. The conventional wisdom is that sex sells - other things being equal, books with an AAR sensuality rating of Hot would generally sell better than those rated Kisses or Subtle. Moreover, while this is only anecdotal evidence, I've heard stories of authors being "encouraged" by their editors to make their sex scenes longer/hotter.

There's an interesting paradox. Today's romance novels are on average more explicit than those produce 15 or 20 years ago, although the trend seems to have leveled off recently. At the same time, most individual authors seem to be write shorter and less detailed sex scenes than they did previously. This may be because they have switched genres (typically from contemporary or historical romance to romantic suspense or women's fiction), or perhaps because they simply feel tired of writing the same old same old.

Response to love scenes or erotica is an intensely personal matter. For example, Lisa Valdez's have never worked for me, although they clearly appeal to many other readers. I have also noticed that the ability to write good sex scenes is not very well correlated with the ability to write well (irrespective of the level of sensuality). Some of my favorite writers are meh in terms of writing about sex, while other writers whose work I don't particularly enjoy are good at it. In general, however, sex scenes, however well written, never make up for bad writing elsewhere.
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Islandgirl2



Joined: 14 Nov 2010
Posts: 282

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the OP dianaiad:

Thank you I know what you mean I didn't take the "porn" term to heart.

I simply do sense that romance books (Not all of course there are variety) but the majority are lately leaving out a lot of plot/character layers/stronger story in order to fit in pages of love scenes/erotica whatever the case is. I've actually had my turn going to Georgette Heyer to get a break from it. lol When I simply want to get back to a story and not pages of sex sex sex.

Which is why a lot of times when I find a great romance writer that has what I'm looking for at the moment I tend to try and collect any other works she's done. It really is hard to find a whole package author that just does it all for my tastes. My faves have either passed or retired or changed genres it seems.

And more and more if you visit sites they seem to be pushing erotica at you. I want a good romance with ok can have a nice love scene that's fine but please don't use up many chapters for them. And at times yeah I don't need the explicit scenes in detailed words telling me what's going on. That's just not memorable for me anyway.

The books I can remember most that are amoung my faves probably hardly had any love scenes or just a tame one or two. It's like yeah I get the point I don't need an outline of what they did thanks. Don't mind the humor or sexyness thrown in but yeah if I want more details I'll read erotica basically.

I'm sure it does have a lot to do with what again the "Publishers" think majority want to read. But I just think many don't take the time to decide on a book over how many love scenes will be in it when picking up a typical romance. In that case they'd probably have to decribe the sex scene in the back of the book description instead of the characters and it's plot.
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Jane A



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 767
Location: So Cal

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I'm going veer even more off track with this thread, but in reading through it I am left thinking that it's not only the excessive sex scenes that have been boring me, it's the constant lusting that has made many recent books wallbangers for me. If I read about the hero of one more book causing erect titties and wet panties - within the first few pages - I am going to scream.
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