Lets set the scene – runaway hero and heroine have settled down in a prairie for the night. The moon’s full, casting a silken shadow on the heroine’s pale skin. It’s romantic, it’s hot. They proceed to have sex. And then they fall asleep wrapped in each other’s arms and the warm glow of the moonlight.
At 15, I thought, aww how sweet.
But now… ick. Just the thought of falling asleep immediately after sex makes my skin crawl. Whatever happened to keeping oneself clean? In reality, she would be running to the nearest body of water to wash herself out to avoid getting pregnant (or an STD or a UTI). Also, ladies, I’d like you to imagine what it would be like to fall asleep next to your partner whilst both your bodies are covered in thick, icky droplets of sweat (and god knows what else). Think about the joys of waking up in the morning literally stuck to your partner. No, no. Not for me, I’m afraid.
I have to admit though, that contemporary authors have added a little more reality in their writing. Authors like Cherise Sinclair actually make their heroes tidy up their heroines after the act. Sweet? Maybe. But it’s most importantly hygienic.
2. Sex in Nature.
I’ve always wondered why outdoor sex scenes are always written quite poetically. It’s always as though the characters are getting it on in the garden of Eden where everything is beautifully green and luscious. Sometimes I feel as though if the female protagonist starts humming a tune, the little woodland animals would join her in a medley.
Honestly, though, outdoor sex is messy – wherever you’re having it. Think about it. If you’re in a forest/woods/clearing and busy bopping around on the grass, some patches of it is bound to come off. And when grass comes off, the soil gets everywhere and an earthworm wriggles into your hair. The whole process isn’t a sensuous love making as romance novels portray it to be, but more often that not it becomes a challenge to keep your ass from edging out of the corner of the fallen shirt cum blanket.
3. Virginity? What Virginity?
I’m hoping most of us ladies could relate to this. Doesn’t it irk you when a heroine (as a virgin) can both a) get used to the pain of her ‘first time’ immediately and b) have an orgasm the next minute?
It’s not realistic. And for young girls like me who grew up reading stories like these, the reality really becomes a downer. Because even though we know all the facts and are advised that it will hurt, we still secretly wish it would be as magical for us as it was for Ms. Magical Vagina.
4. Great sex all the time.
Or a better way to put this would be – leaving out the bad sex. If you’ve read a number of classic romance novels, you’ll soon come to realize that heroines are always ready. They’re always weeping, drenched or worse, sopping. Its just a little unfair that these ladies can turn it on and let it remain on whilst the rest of us actually have to work for it, especially in a long term situation.
I would really respect an author if they could write about occasional not so great sex in a great relationship. Don’t scoff – we’ve all been there.
5. Overused words.
We see these words everywhere. Almost every romance novelist has used them once or twice in their books. But these are my personal giggle bits.
- Love Canal (Do I hear an echo?)
- Clenched in a vice-like grip (Penises are unwelcome here.)
- Juices running down her inner thighs (Did someone install a fountain up there?)
- Her fingers could not close around him (Who is she sleeping with? A centaur?)
- He couldn’t tell where he ended and she began (Numbness setting in, maybe?)
These are just a few things I believe authors should take note of but they in no way affect the enjoyability rating of a novel. I mean, every one of us sneaking a romance novel into our busy day deserves a little adventure. Just don’t let romance-land ruin your perspective of reality.