On Sex and Violence

I’ve been participating in a few online discussions lately on the use of sex in romance novels. One discussion had to do with something like, “What has happened to romance? Why all the porno?”

I’ll admit it. I think my paranormal, urban fantasy novels are quite romantic but man, do they contain some juicy scenes! Isn’t that the fun of a good romantic relationship? That when you share your heart and soul with your beloved you two get to enjoy one another? And no, I do not consider my sex scenes pornographic. As far as I’m concerned it’s all just good juicy fun between consenting adults.

Urban Fantasy by Calinda BSo I got to thinking….we allow violence in our media on a regular basis. Some of my favorite shows involve murder and mayhem and the solving of such crimes. Some of my favorite reads are detective novels, full of crime and suspense. I can’t say I’ve ever read a discussion about crime novels containing too much crime. I’ve never received hate mail asking me to cut that violent scene out of my book. I have pushed a few buttons with the sex scenes, though.

Just for fun, ask yourself this….when you think about your favorite paranormal romance novel, what parts do you remember? Have you read Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series? I know there was a great deal of violence, magic and mayhem in the books….something about MacKayla’s sister being murdered and MacKayla trotting off to Ireland to find the Sinsar Dubh and deal with the realm of the Fea, be pursued by assassins and stuff like that.  But one of the parts that just sticks with me…that makes my breath quicken and my eyes dilate….is thinking about the scene when MacKayla is in bed with Jericho Barrons…for a long, long, time until she snapped out of whatever state she was in. Good God, what a scene! And each time I remember that scene I experience a delicious pleasure rolling through my body and I am so glad I have an amazing guy with whom to share my delight. But even if I didn’t….have the guy that is…I’m sure I’d still manage to have some fun. And what the hell is wrong with that?

We’re an odd culture. Love sex, hate sex, think sex is wrong, think sex is right….but here’s the common thread. Whether we love it or hate it, we think about it. And I’ll bet we think about it more than we think about violence. One oft-repeated estimate says men think about it every 7 seconds. Estimates for women vary. I say let’s celebrate our sexuality and get over all the fuss for goodness sake.