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Cat Johnson Braves Doll Lil’s Word Association Challenge!

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Month of Love Special Edition: Historical Romances… A Few Things We Would Prefer Not To Read

Submitted by on February 10, 2011 – 4:00 am2 Comments
*This post includes adult themes so … 
go away if you aren’t allowed to read historical romances*

Confession time: I wasn’t planning on writing the following article for Month of Love. I was going to try and do something romantic – about how love conquers all, or love of books or…well, it was going to be epic.
But then my sister bless her, asked me one day: “Remember your three parter on Historical Romances? You said you would write something about the sex scenes. You never wrote anything about the sex scenes!”  Freudian slip on my part? Maybe. But since I now have the opportunity to correct the mistake…

The Kvetch Fest continues - Lets talk about sex baby!
*Warning – this post has so many puns and double entendres that I just had to stop saying pun intended- roll eyes at your leisure*

It has been described like something out of a visit to a planetarium; stars bursting, universes exploding, suns, moons, black holes… ok, maybe I was just hoping a black hole would come save me from the big bang.

Then there are the music aficionados – it was like an orchestra landed in her vagina and started playing Beethoven’s 9th… Or the nature lovers – it was like spring came together with summer – the birds, the flowers… a hurricane, a tornado…a tropical storm named Norm…

Yeah, don’t think this needs a caption

As for the men – gushing rivers, bursting dams, explosions of flames and cascades of lava… It just keeps on coming.

*psst, I told you there would be puns!*

The many ways of letting the reader know that both the hero and heroine just had a jolly good time, one like no other before the hero met the heroine. Yay.

I get it, I do – in order to make sure that the reader realizes just what a life changing experience sex has been for our heroine, and to a lesser degree, the hero, we need to endure paragraphs and sometimes pages of superlatives that basically say: The guy is an uber expert in the bedroom, the woman had the best sex of her life, man realizes sex with this woman is different from any other sex he ever had, man now lusts (if not loves) woman, woman now realizes how amazing man truly is, and will usually end up crying tears of joy.

This will help promote the plot for the next few chapters as he will try to explain that love=lust and she will usually see lust=intimacy=love and they will fight over it. This creates that essential tension needed so that hero can convince himself love doesn’t exist while heroine can wonder how she will ever be able to tell him of her feelings for him. In some cases they will also have repeated bouts of mind blowing sex, on every available space in the very large estate belonging to the hero – many times off page, in order to prove to themselves (or the other) that what they believe is true.

Hey, sometimes this is done beautifully, usually without involving the cosmos. I love it when the intimacy shines through simply by having the two talk during these scenes, by having them show us and tell us – but not like a teenager would tell it, rather how someone capable of stringing together rational sentences would do it. Yes, most people aren’t rational at these moments, but thankfully – the author is (or, should be).

Touched for very first time?

As for the hero who always finds sex with a virgin to be better than sex with any of the many mistresses/concubines/married adulteresses/significant others he ‘had’ in the past… Are you frakin kidding me? And if I need to read about how ‘tight’ the heroine was one more time….

Dude! you aren’t delivering a pizza and there is no boom-chici-bom music in the background. Get over yourself. The hero’s “moves” always remind me of that episode in ‘Friends’ –  she states there are seven moves/points to reach before hitting the O-button. Well the thing is, I don’t want a 7-point plan. I want feelings and emotion. And I don’t really care that the hero has ‘never had a virgin’.

This is not erotica, this is historical romance. That genre is lovely, and has wonderful authors with extremely enthusiastic and creative plots where you can feel free to explain how tight the heroine was. But in this genre – why the heck does it matter?

We get it, she’s all white and clean and precious and virginal and pure – unlike the previous evil women who totally forced you to have hot sex with them. Seriously? As a woman I am offended by the fact that women are writing this. Why is it the promiscuous women always end up being evil? I believe I mentioned how much I dislike the fact that the hero is a bed-hopper in previous posts, but add that to a young virginal heroine who blushes at every touch and you get a farce.

It seems odd to me that heroines are usually virgins or women who have sexual experiences but never enjoyed them. How many times have we read scenes in which the hero is amazed that the heroine’s first husband only did his duty by her, usually without any foreplay, or even taking any clothes off. Is it only ok for a woman to have sex with someone other than the hero if she suffers? Is it not possible for a woman to enjoy sex with one man then enjoy it with another more or differently?

Maybe this is why I enjoy reading stories where authors choose to have a less experienced hero, or even a virgin. Eloisa James has done it, Anna Campbell and Mary Balogh have done it – and in each case the result was a romantic, realistic but beautifully portrayed scene that is often more emotional than its “she saw stars” competition.

I feel so emotional! Must be love!

Because in these cases we aren’t just reading about a sexual encounter – we are reading about an intimate one. A scene where the hero “plays” the heroine like a “violin”? I prefer a scene where the hero and heroine try and find each other’s…instruments and how to play them together.

And what happened to humor? Must sex always be serious? *Start * They look into each other’s eyes with serious intent, with dramatic pause, with… ok, someone please change the tune to because right now I need a giggle.

If sex is a way to show intimacy in a novel – can’t we have those intimate moments of private jokes, tickles and giggles and just  - prepare yourself for incredibly girly expression-  cuddling (or Kitt’s favorite giggle maker – Spooning)?

By now you all realize that I love this genre, I enjoy the various plots even when they are cheesy and overdone, and as much as I complain (because kvetching is fun!), there is nothing that I like to do more than sit down with a good yarn about Happily Ever After. We all need that in our lives – BUT for goodness sake, stop with the bursting planets and rainbows!

Dearest readers, I wish you all a happy holiday of love – may you share it with someone you can laugh with, cry with and kvetch with … even if that person is not a significant other ;)

Now it’s your turn – any sexy-steamy scenes that you will always remember for good/bad in books? Comment!

Happy reading!

Noa first fell in love with books when she discovered 100 acre wood and its inhabitants. To this day, the last pages of “The House at Pooh Corner” make her cry. In a good way. From“Calvin and Hobbes” to “The Iliad and the Odyssey” and lets not forget “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”. Biographies, mysteries, history books and romances all have a place on her bookshelves. Who needs furniture? This 29 year old singleton’s dream is to invent the zero-calorie chocolate. But until that day arrives, she tries to create sweet confections with whatever chocolate she can find. An MA in conflict studies (need a mediator?) means Noa loves a good debate, especially when she wins. If she were in charge, books would be free for everyone.
Doll Noa
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  • Soo said…

    Noa! I loved this article….

    with every fiber of my being.

    *cough* *choke* *gag* *wheeze* *grin*
    February 10, 2011 4:25 AM
    L.A. Colvin said…

    Oh Oh Don’t forget that before the BIG moment, the hero has given the precious lily fragile virgin MANY episodes of pleasure and not taken any for himself. Right. Whatever. I know he has not gone back home from the stables/guard house/inn and not relieved himself for weeks. Or found a willing maid. Lol . Great post.
    February 10, 2011 6:05 AM
    Cait London said…

    Loved this post and the fiery lava burst. :)
    February 10, 2011 6:12 AM
    Believer9200 said…

    <3 it!
    February 10, 2011 6:15 AM
    Deborah said…

    Wipes tears from eyes – glad I had set the coffee aside while I read your article or my laptop would be fried. Thank you for a lovely way to start the day. The lava pic was perfect.
    February 10, 2011 6:54 AM
    Sharon S. said…

    any scene with Barrons is a good one ;)
    February 10, 2011 7:49 AM
    Noa said…


    Thank you all! I’m just glad you all *get* me ;)

    L.A. – So true! The guy must have taken the opposite of viagra to be able to hold off so long!

    I did try and find the perfect lava burst …so important
    February 10, 2011 8:27 AM
    KittNLuv said…

    *still laughing* Noa, you need more of these. Doesn’t have to be on historical romances, but kvetching none-the-less!

    Deborah, you brought a song to mind..
    “The best part of waking up is Noa in your cup.”
    February 10, 2011 9:21 AM
    Noa said…

    Noa in your cup? Dirty mind just went wild with that one! ;)

    I am blushing over here!

    Kitt- you just give me a reason…I’ll kvetch away!
    February 10, 2011 9:26 AM
    BLHmistress said…

    Thank you, I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. Next book I pick up I am gonna think of this post and probably ‘giggle thru the sex scenes.
    February 10, 2011 10:23 AM
    Day said…

    *snort* I am always amazed at your wisdom;)
    February 10, 2011 1:50 PM
    Bamafever said…

    Noa so funny! ;) I have to agree the lava picture was the icing on the cake. snorts
    February 11, 2011 9:56 PM

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  • Salsta says:

    I’ve started a thread based on this gripe elsewhere, so thank you very much for addressing it here.

    On her web site, Diana Gabaldon says “a sex-scene-ideally, at least-is really about the exchange of emotion, not bodily fluids. It’s a specialized sort of a dialogue scene, with small physical cues-but the physical action is really not the point; it’s what’s happening between the people involved.”

    Her approach seems to work for me.

    One excellent one I remember from her books is from Voyager where Jamie and Claire have been at sea with no privacy or space for weeks and he’s telling her his plans for when he “has room enough to serve ye”. It is not crudely explicit and it’s all conversation, with no sex involved but I find it very very evocative.

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