Friday, February 15, 2013

The Pendulum is swinging…or is it an illusion?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this subject recently. The level of erotic content in our romance novels has exploded over the past decade, and last year it seemed to hit a peak with the success of the dubious Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. However, in a market saturated with explicit content romance of every imaginable combination and activity, are we slowly becoming immune to the real value of our romance novels? I know a huge number of people who can’t read enough of the current trend in romance novels, they are giddy and sheepish at carting all those spicy novels to the counter at book stores, but these books are the new fashion.

Statistics can support almost any stance you wish to take these days. No matter what your topic is or your cause, as it were. I’ve read polls that say erotic romances are slowly falling from favour, that people have simply had enough and are looking for stories with more emotional growth and story building. I’ve read other polls that illustrate the precise opposite is the case–that the majority of romance readers want the down and dirty sex scenes, and the more the better. Anyone in this business has been aware of the erotic romance for years, but for many, this is a new discovery that’s come about by recent best-sellers and the attention they’ve garnered.

Years ago, we had romances broken into categories like Medical, Sweet, Historical, etc., now they come with a heat rating and cross all boundaries, redefining them in many cases. Is this a healthy trend? Only the readers can decide that, really. For me, I admit I’m more than a little weary of erotica in romance robes. Maybe I just delineate the whole thing differently than some other authors, but I doubt I’m alone in that. I write sensual, sexy romances for the most part. I have done erotica, and probably will again if that’s what the story calls for, but as a general rule, my heart is still with a Harlequin Romance most days, and they have become diverse lines with very passionate and sexy stories that make you smile and sigh very often when you turn the last page.

I can’t say I understand the shock-sex books that are all over the place, either, but I’m not losing sleep over my inability to love them. I’ve always believed that romance is joining of two hearts and souls as much as two bodies sharing intense connection and pleasure. So, readers, what are your thoughts?


  1. Well, I would agree with you Miss Denyse. Years ago I read historical romances and fell in love every time I read one. My favorites were always the pirates. :) I was for a brief moment into the shock sex books. However, it didn't take me long to get away from them. Now I want the romance more than the sex. Anyway, it's all I want now is the romance and a good plot!

  2. Denyse, I can tell you that fans of my online writing HAVE to be interested in the emotional growth of the relationship, because that's what I write and focus on. I am much more interested in writing about that than writing about the sexual part of it ... not to say Patricia and I don't write about that - we do - but not at the expense of the feelings behind it and the sacrifice that comes with truly loving someone.

    And suev57 ... our pirate/mermaid novel is coming together, we hope it will be ready for submission soon! I know that Denyse has a couple out herself :)

    1. Hi Aaron,
      I have read a couple of Denyse's pirate books and just loved them. I will keep a watchful eye out for your novel as well!


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