Friday, August 5, 2011

Condom Wars


I read an article recently that stated romance writers are causing women to be promiscuous and risky in their sex lives. Do I believe a single word of that? Heck no. The female psychologists reasoning? Romance writers portray unrealistic relationships.

Now, I can't speak for every romance writer, but I know I personally strive for a sense of realism when it comes to my characters relationships. There is a building of mutual lust/love/trust that happens over time, just like between normal people in the real world. However, my work is fiction, and it's read as a past time, much like watching a movie. It's meant to be somewhat of a fantasy, mine, yours, whoever happens to enjoy reading within my genres. I love being transported into my story's, into my strong heroines and often troubled heroes. I hope my readers enjoy the same. So, yes, perhaps there are moments that would never happen in real life between my protagonists, but isn't that the point?

Then she addressed her other fact: Women who read romance have risky sex. We do? *looks around* That's news to me! Her reason? Romance writers don't use condoms during sex scenes.

Okay... I am totally guilt of this, I admit! I've used condoms in some scenarios, but they don't always get used. Why? Personally, I hate condoms. And when the threat of sexually transmitted diseases was extinguished in my relationships, the condoms went to the wayside and long term birth control was used. I don't like the way they smell, or feel, or the time it takes to use one. There is nothing worse than waiting...

I do agree it's the responsible thing to do, to advocate the use of safe sex. But what if both partners know the sex is safe and pregnancy can be averted (if that's what desired) by other means besides a condom? When does it become acceptable NOT to use a condom? I know in stories that depict one-night-stands, a condom should be a give-me. However, I don't write one-night-stand story's. Mine are all between characters who've been courting each other for long enough to know whether unsafe sex would be unwise. And in instances where the sex is rather quick off (as it was in First Kiss), a condom is used. At the first opportunity it can be ditched though, I don't use it anymore. Is that wrong of me?

What's your stance on condoms in romance novels? Do they ruin the mood for you? Would prefer to see them used? Do you care one way or another?

Elaina

9 comments:

  1. This article reminds me of when James Bond became politically correct and had far less sex--I think it was with Timothy Dalton in the early 90s or the late 80s. James Bond is a fictional character, and part of the allure was that he was a ladies' man. C'mon, with names like Pussy Galore for the females, what else would he be? But then they made him sanitized for the public's protection and voila! Boring Bond. Romance novels are fiction. If they aren't and there are men out there like the ones I adore in these books, someone needs to send me the GPS details of where they are ASAP because I have a road trip to take!

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  2. In my first novel, the characters buy and use condoms. But stopping and putting one on a character is a definite break in mood for a scene. I don't write a lot of romantic material. As a reader, I tend to skip past sex scenes! So my opinion may not be too relevant.

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  3. I will admit there was something REALLY hot about James Bond actually falling in love in Casino Royale. And there was something even hotter with the tortured hero he portrayed in the second movie. However, I REALLY wanted him to get with the girl, and was sad when he never did. But, all that aside, I always find it funny when women get on a high horse about how bad romance is to read. I don't think I've heard about a woman holding out for a romance character to come knocking down her door... or that she left her husband after reading a book. *grin* I've also never heard a woman use a romance novel as an excuse not to have safe-sex.

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  4. I never actually describe the using of the condom.
    My understanding is it's enough to he grabbed one and it's assumed it get used, LOL! I don't think I could make myself describe the action of using a condom, OMG! I'm blushing just thinking about it, ahahahaa. TMI!!! Thanks for commenting, Louis!

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  5. I agree with you, Elaina. And I try to write responsible, safe sex, but a romance novel is a fantasy through and through.

    And you can never go wrong with James Bond in almost any scenario!

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  6. Poppycock. Romance writers are not responsible for my actions. We are each responsible for our own actions. Should we choose to make poor choices, we only have ourselves to blame.

    I am curious, though. Who or what is causing men "to be promiscuous and risky in their sex lives"?

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  7. Thank you, Karen, I completely agree!

    And it's not men, but women. The lady felt that writers not using condoms was reckless in our AIDS age. That it taught women that condoms weren't necessary for sex. However, any woman out there has hopefully been educated enough to know to protect herself. My fictional piece of work should not be the deciding factor in whether she chooses to protect herself or her partner... seriously.

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  8. Condoms suck each and every way = what a mood killer. I think the mention of it having to stop in the moment of passion but then in some books **BDSM** they are all tested so they dont use it.. Hmm its all fiction.. lol I like to read all the saucy bits, if I have to stop to read it then the characters must have to lol.. But advertising safe sex isnt a bad thing either. But we are in the world of fiction !! where anything can happen!!
    kat

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  9. I agree, Kat! They don't stop to show condoms in movies... and while yes, reading is a little more in-depth, it all serves the same purpose. An escape from a 'normal' world. :-) If two people know un-protected sex is okay, then let it just be okay and keep reading. *grin*

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