Romantic Fiction in the Age of Trump
In the wake of #MeToo and Time’s Up, how do authors write a good sex scene? How ‘bad’ should the bad boy be?
This is a very interesting and thought-provoking piece on the romance genre. It gave me cause to go back to when I started pinching my Mum’s Mills and Boon to read under the blankets. I would have been about 14. I really loved those books, and have thought about trying to track down some titles from that era to read again. I never have, because I think is would spoil those teenage memories, as I’d probably dislike them now. I looked at some old book covers. These three are quite tame but still reflect what we would now consider a very disturbing feature of the story. The heroines are NOT having fun. On the first she is clearly scared, on the second she looks like she’s in pain (is he spanking her? a play on the word ‘tenderkiss’ ?) and on the third she’s holding a knife to her throat!
Having come back to reading romance this past year, I’m staggered at the breadth of sub-genres there are, and at the very dramatic change in covers. I wonder if in years to come there’ll be a newspaper article about naked/semi-naked men on books covers?
I can honestly say that I cannot think of anything that isn’t covered. Erotica and BDSM coverage didn’t surprise me, I was a bit surprised at the amount of shape-shifter romance, but amusingly surprised at the Artificial Intelligence, ‘million dollar man’ style of romance. I can honestly say that romance and sex with what is tantamount to a robot, is not my genre. If it’s yours, that’s great – whatever rocks your boat!
More to the point though, this article raises some very interesting points about the leading men in the novels we read, and the leading ladies who dally with them. Read it and see what you think, and let me know – I’m interested in other people’s opinions.
Read it here.