Listen, I am a person who believes that if you do not like something you should stay away from it. I always go by that principle. If I don’t like a certain type of music, I don’t listen to it. If I don’t like certain types of shows, I don’t watch them. I don’t have the need to shit on something other people like. If something exists it’s because there’s a market for it.
But this one thing irks me.
I love to read but I don’t have a favorite author whose books I religiously read and I don’t consider myself an expert on writing, especially not when it comes to novels. It’s just a hobby of mine to read. My habit is to go to the library and go by my gut when looking for a book to read. I have had this phase for the longest time where I constantly read crime novels, thrillers and especially scandinavian crime novels. I love them!
I just recently read Box by Camilla Läckberg and Henrik Fexeus and I decided to interrupt my “scandinavian crimes and thrillers” phase because I felt like I read so much I could anticipate the ending aorund the first half of the book. I just wanted to take a break and I thought to myself that it would be fun to read some love story or even an erotic romance book. Something with a lot less blood and serial killers.
So I went to the library, to that section and went with my gut to find a book. I don’t know if my gut just got it wrong or wanted to make fun of me but I picked up the worst book I’ve read in a while. It was short so I went through it in one day and around page 10 I was cringing. I was laughing my ass off on parts of the book that were supposed to be sexy and erotic. It read like a script for a low budget porn movie.
I know that there is the trend with 50 shades, 365 days on Netflix and similar books and movies that depict a bad boy with a past who just like to fuck around and then a girl appears that changes his life blablabla – you know the trope. And of course, the man in question is always obscenely rich, lives in a mansion, drives expensive cars, might be a criminal or a lawyer or a businessman. We are familiar with this genre but what bothers me is the regurgitation of the same fucking tropes every damn time.
I wouldn’t have a thing against this if the stories were written in a compelling way. There is no substance in those relationships, there is no foundation on which the relationships are built. It just gives off the image that women are damsels in distress that lose their ability to think rationally when a rich man gives them attention. It’s pathetic.
I am not kidding now, in the book I read there was a scene where the two protagonists have sex for the first time on and in the car and the guy asked the girl if she liked him or his car more and then he wanted to watch her lick the steering wheel and buttons on the control panel and she did it. I am not fetish shaming, but would that be a scene in the book if the guy was driving a cheap car and not a bugatti?
I viscerally hate the way these books portray both men and women. I’ve never written a novel, I only published my poetry book Rehab (which you can buy on Amazon, if you click here) and I bet that it must be hard writing a complicated love story, dive into the mental state of the characters and everything but can we move past the 50 shades of gray trope?
And why do these books always have to include these cringy sex scenes and ludicrous euphemism for penises and vaginas? There are enough slang terms for them, use those!
I just dislike the way that these books make it seem that a woman can, and should, put this man to the right path with the power of sex and because she is just special. You will not fix someone with the power of your pussy, take that man to therapy. And why are the roles never reversed? I am asking this because I’ve been in relationships with a Bob The Builder attitude thinking “I could fix him” and I would be interested in reading a book where the roles were reversed.
I know these books serve a purpose, I know there are people who love them and I am not shaming them. I think reading books such as erotic romance books is a great way to explore your sexuality but I am tired of the “A rich man wanted me so I discovered I am into BDSM and dom&sub relationships” trope.
I mean, who am I to judge, I don’t have a NY Times bestseller (yes, the book I read was a bestseller), but I do have opinions about it. If you like these books, more power to you. You have the right to like and read whatever you want but I had to let this out of my system.
On that note, does anyone have a book to recommend in this genre? I am genuinely interested in what you have to say and suggest down in the comments because I would like to explore this genre a bit more but I obviously don’t know where to start.
Looking forward to your comments!
10 thoughts on “I have opinions”
I do not read romance novels but I decided to give Danielle Steel a chance. The House by Danielle Steel (2006) was an excellent story. I did enjoy her style of writing.
Her books are great quality I heard. Every second classmates of mine were reading hers in uni.
she is very easy to read
I am with you Luna, everyday people should be sexy too. The illusion of love comparing to the reality of love.
If you want powerful writing, marvelous twists and turns, women who step out of traditional roles, no crass creepy sex and a book long enough and good enough to take weeks to read you want any of Jane Austen’s works. None of the movies have ever done them justice.
Hi Luna – give the 2022 ‘verse fiction’ novel ‘The Poet’ by Louisa Reid a try … having read your ‘Rehab’ I think you’ll like it. All the best. Eric
I’m writing a novel to combine sci-fi, poetry, translation, romance, comedy and friendship in one, down to chapter three so far at my blog. Maybe you want to give some likes? People write scenes that sell. It’s like meat. There are carnivores and vegetarians. While being vegan, you don’t shame carnivores. That’s already great. After all, we have a whopping 7+ billion people on the planet. They don’t come out of rocks. They all come from sex. It just shows that carnivores are by far the vast majority. I’m a software developer by day. It’s just that I love so many things that I need a channel to put everything in. That’s why I chose to write my first serious novel.
At least in the movies they give it a rating and then criteria on what that means. Would this ‘romance’ be X rated or just “OMG I think my brain is about to explode”.
Oh boy your post gave me a chuckle. As a polyamorous woman with two Dominant partners myself, neither of which have a mansion, fancy cars and the like (though my husband does try extremely hard to give me the good life!), it is so relatable. My other partner wrote a whole blog post dedicated to this topic, about the archetype in these novels and that, were they Mark and Sarah the IT tech guy and the shop clerk or whatever, nobody would bat an eye. As a BDSM blogger myself I can safely tell you that we see a wave of young people now who think, when they come into the community, they will find a hot, rich Dominant who will sweep them off of their feet and give them anything they ask for in exchange for rough, kinky sex – it’s quite the wake-up call when that’s not at all how it goes! For books I highly recommend House Of Maldona by Yolanda Celbridge, it’s a favourite of mine. Happy reading! 😊
I WON’T READ THAT STUFF EITHER—BARELY GOT THROU8GH THIS POST—BUT YOU MAKE GREAT POINTS THAT MAKE A LOT OF SENSE. MORE POWER TO YA!