Sexual Content in Romance Novels

When did the romance genre become synonymous with erotica?  I ask this after reading three "contemporary romance" novels as of late.  It seems as though kissing and passionate embraces are not enough, anymore.  The books I read were explicitly sexual and aimed squarely at women.

Now, I am not dissing women for wanting sexy writing but I suppose I just didn't anticipate romance novels being the same thing as trashy ones.  They used to be different, I thought.  Not so much, anymore.

When did this happen?  I am not a prude by any stretch and am quite liberal in my thinking but I just couldn't understand the switch.  There was less "tender kissing/holding" and a whole lot more "graphic bedroom play-by-play".

There isn't even enough character development between sex scenes for me to even care if these couples stay together or not.  I understand sex is part of the equation but it is not the only addition and it sure shouldn't be the end product.  Each novel had at least three scenes in it.  I guess three scenes minimum is the new unwritten rule of fluttery hearts.

Before you ask, yes I read novels with sex in them but I don't enjoy it when it is the highlighted goal of the book.  Romance is supposed to be about surviving trials and learning to accept pasts and differences while growing together, not about the world's record for steamy scenes.

Heck, maybe I'm a prude after all.


  1. ***This post was brought to you by my new Alphasmart 2000. I can now type lying down and I love it!

  2. I think there's been a big increase in erotic fiction in the last few years and some of the non-erotic writers feel a need to compete. I actually prefer sweet romance, but they are getting hard to find.

  3. I guess I don't really read romance or erotica so I can't comment on this. But I definitely see this in movies and TV as well... oh boy.

  4. Romance is not my normal thing to read but I do find it disturbing that "romance" is somewhat lacking with these things.