Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Loud Sex; Gays Arrested for Kiss; Noah Berlatsky on Romance

Loud Sex

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wassily_kandinsky,_testardo,_1929.JPG


When I saw this article titled Do Not Apologize for Having Loud Sex, I earmarked it for a blog post because it's interesting, and because in many ways it contains a few teachable theories that can be applied to anyone who reads or writes erotic romance of any kind. In other words, you don't have to apologize for reading or writing about loud sex either.

Of course this article talks about actually having loud sex. But I think it applies to romantic fiction, too.

Because if adults can’t have noisy sex in their own homes, with the doors and windows shut, then where can noisy sex occur? Galanes and Yoffe both recommend the sex-havers simply cease to be noisy — but this strikes me as a horrible injustice. The whole point of being a wage-earning, home-owning (or -renting) adult is that you can do whatever you want to do in the privacy of your home. And noisy sex is fun.

Exactly. It is fun. Dirty talk is fun sometimes, too. And if anyone tries to tell you otherwise they don't know much about sex...or they don't get it very often.

I can't tell you how much I love it when I find an article like this because I often add little comments to fiction during sex scenes that the characters are both consenting adults who are either married or in a long term relationship and they say and do things during sex that people who have been together for a long time know well. They've reached that point where nothing is unapproachable, for the most part, and when I write sex scenes with dialogue I take that into consideration.

And yet I've had people who aren't familiar with long term relationships comment on this kind of loud sex...or sex talk...in reviews and I never quite get it. But I think most people "get" it. They might not admit it. But they get it.

In any event, you can read more here.

Gays Arrested for Kiss

A gay couple was arrested for kissing in public. It happened in La Paz, Mexico, on April 20th.

The couple claims an officer approached them, called them a homophobic slur, and ordered them to come with him to a police station.

When they refused, the policeman allegedly ‘violently’ forced them into a van and held them at the station for a few hours.

You can read more here. I would bet this kind of thing happens more often than not and most don't talk about it in public. And not just in Mexico, everywhere.

Noah Berlatsky on Romance

Someone named Noah Berlatsky who thinks it's a novelty that men enjoy reading romance novels wrote another one of those highly subjective pieces for Salon that the rest of us are supposed to take seriously. I know it's an op-ed piece and I respect that, but I also think it's important to comment on some things...just for fun and games.

But it always seemed to me that books in the vein of “Pride and Prejudice” had to be out there somewhere, written by somebody less dead than Jane or Anthony.

He loves Jane Austen books. That's fine. Many people do. But some of us who love romance as a genre find Jane Austen boring and we can't relate to her novels. That doesn't make us any less intelligent, educated, or sophisticated. Most of us who don't like Jane have gone to good universities and we know where the bread plate is located at a formal dinner party.

Jane Austen showed up consistently, as did “Gone With the Wind,” but there was nothing that gave me a sense that certain books were clearly central, or respected, or worth reading. The genre is so culturally maligned that there has been no concerted effort to codify it. There is, in short, no romance canon.

Not all of us are Gone With the Wind fans either, which could be why there is no canon. I know that might sound blasphemous to some people, but I prefer cutting, sharp abstract art hanging in my home instead of fluffy melodramatic landscapes. Lace doilies make me gag. I prefer sleek minimalist sofas instead of shabby chic chipped drek with lace and frills. And I prefer my modern romance books to be *designed* the same way. Simple, thought provoking, sexy minimalist love stories with happy endings written by romance authors who know the meaning of word economy. The genre isn't culturally maligned. People who say that are culturally maligned.

As I say, I was at a loss for years — but, eventually, I ended up doing what I think most romance readers do. I got some recommendations. Janine Ballard, who writes for dearauthor.com, in particular, has led me to Cecilia Grant, Judith Ivory, Laura Kinsale and a bunch of other wonderful authors.

He does make a valid point here. Recommendations are important. However, it's also important to understand the source from which those recommendations came. In other words, if you're looking for romance novels with the kind of narrative and laughable dialogue (he mumbled, grumbled and stumbled...or better, "She barked at him") don't trust the sources Noah named above. I doubt Noah or his sources would know Kandinsky from Loeb if their lives depended on it.

You can read the entire piece here.





No comments: