Friday, November 30, 2012
Romance books, birth control and disease (World AIDS Day)
AIDS is a word that you don’t come across much in romance novels. The words protection or contraceptives are not seen a lot in their plots either. In the world of romance and erotica, the introduction of birth control and protection breaks the flow of the sex scene. Or so I have been told. Their presence ruins the fantasy of unbridled, uninhibited boinking sought by readers. I suppose if the trappings are used, readers don’t want to read it. Swallowing that pill, inserting that diaphragm or rolling on that condom is too real and unromantic. For many the images of these duties have no place in romance fiction.
My characters use birth control and make it sexy, fun and not intrusive to the story line. Is it the romance industry’s job to sheath every male character’s member or pump every female character’s orifice with spermicide to insure against disease and offspring? Certainly not. Romance’s aim is not to turn off the audience or to preach. Its aim is to turn the readers on and to entertain them. Since tons of readers' real sex lives are influenced by the stories-du-jour (e. g. E. L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey series), maybe more stories involving AIDS, other STDs and/or unwanted pregnancies would satisfy a sector of the audience that needs to find something both sexy and sexually informative to read.
Honor World AIDS day on December 1st.