6 Reasons Why Every Girl Might Want to Try A Romance Novel
I’m a fan of the romance genre, but let us be clear: this doesn’t mean I’m a fan of every book in it. I expand on this at length here .
So, how might a romance novel improve your GirlGame?
1) It’s all about the love, baby.
The romance genre can also be called “chick porn”. I initially found this very offensive. I still think it’s an overt simplification some men use in order to understand things from a sexually-driven worldview. Porn, to me, implies real-life actors engaging in real-life cheap acts with no refinement, build up or meaning. Basically, making a comparison to porn is a totally different ballgame to me. Porn is about sex and nothing else. Do women really read romance novels, as a whole, solely for instant and obvious sexual excitement?
After having many dialogues about this, I understand the context for making the comparison better. An essential and prominent component of female sexuality is the social dynamic between a man and a woman, especially when initially forming their relationship. There is frustration, rejection and a great amount of emotion: all elements that feed women’s sexual desires. These elements do this without explicit sexual content. You engage with the man you’re with: you have drama, external or internal. You obsess about him and he becomes the centre of your existence. You love him. You sleep with him. These become inseparable in romance novels: love and sex are tied together, they happen together whether the characters themselves know it or not.
What a romance novel teaches you again and again is that love and adoration is what best gets you off in ways that’re the best sexually and also beyond sexual; this is what you should want to have and demonstrate to the person you’re with.
2) She’s like a virgin.
Invariably, the heroines are, in fact, virgins. If not, their hero is their first good sexual experience. I don’t think this is something only men find appealing; I think the importance of first and only appeals to women as well despite the difficulties in applying this, practically. Every woman is aware, or should be aware, of three things:
- her standards climb after each man she is with.
- the inconceivability of breaking a relationship off also decreases each time it happens.
- the pool of men who will accept her for herself and be unthreatened by it in a longer relationship may grow smaller with the accumulation of experience.
Regardless, sexual attraction, and acting on it, is tied to love — don’t cheapen it and don’t make it harder for yourself by slutting it up.
3) Tingles without the steeples.
Explicit sexual content in these novels does vary. You have to go into romantica realm a lot of the time for content that isn’t boring in its nature. Although I will confess to tingling from romance novels and the hero/heroine exchanges (or just by virtue of the hero himself), its not unusual for me to skip or skim a sex scene itself depending on the writing.
In any case, it’s a good outlet for sexual exploration for the average woman in safety without the requirement for an actual male. You start getting an idea of what you like, an idea of what to do (I found out you can bite, lick, suck, nibble, have a pattern).
The problem with little sexual experience is that you’re competing in a market where there is overall a lot of it. Although passion and enthusiasm are required to form the real magic ingredients, you need to find little ways to compensate your lack of experience.
4) He’s like a… blank.
What particular exchanges or pairings attract you? What kind of man are you into? These novels allow light exploration and confirmation of this without going through endless ranks of different men.
5) It sends out subtler signals.
I like being professional and traditional, especially in university or work settings. However, I don’t bother hiding what I’m reading around my peers. I’ve had male friends give me reconsidering looks and comments about this. It seems to generate just the right mix of signals, if you want to retain your modesty, but somehow say (without saying) that you’re not a frigid careerist prude. It’s certainly not my intention to invoke this reaction; it’s just what I’ve observed in many settings. Amidst your discussion, you may throw in how sappy you are. This presents the fait accompli if his normal impression of you is that you’re unapproachable, which would ordinarily prevent him thinking about you in that way.
6) You learn what not to do.
The people in a romance novel can be the most frustrating you’ve met, particularly the heroine. If you’re looking at it with the right frame — that is, what unnecessary idiotic actions delayed the happy ending here — then you can learn a lot about what not do. An example to illustrate might be my review on Josie Litton’s Come Back to Me.
1) False expectations about your man, the relationship and true love.
No, he does not like it when you’re being “feisty” (the true definition of “feisty” rhymes with witch). No, he cannot guarantee a vaginal O and both of you coming at the same time, every time. Yes, there will be morning breath. Yes, you do have to work to make it last. No, he will not always, always fall in love with you if you sleep with him. No, you do not know within five seconds whether you’re in love; you only know whether or not he repulses you.
2)You have to extrapolate what happens off the page.
You do not often get told how it works out after the romance, when there’s baby vomit, unpaid bills, the controlling mother-in-law or his drunk Uncle Harry telling you how lovely your eyes are.
3) Tingles reaching volcanic levels.
It often doesn’t ease your frustration about love and sex (although possibly giving the illusion short-term), it increases and fuels your desire for it. Thus, the religious view of “reading for sexual pleasure as sinful” is justifiable, I might add.
This is mostly a disadvantage if you’re trying to stay chaste. Otherwise, I’ve often heard women talk about the fun side effects for their partners.
- Here’s a link to Harlequin’s free e-books; a not inconsiderable portion are not exactly the gems of the genre (Aside: Baby Bobanza and its cover are just laugh out loud hilarious. God, the writers must hate Harlequin’s marketing department).
- Favourite authors of mine (who I’m hopelessly behind on):
- Victoria Dahl who is hot no matter what century she’s writing about.
- Meljean Brook who writes with intelligence and emotion that spans millenia.
- Nalini Singh who writes powerful characters that are all about the teamwork; one interesting construction in her world which recurs in fantasies and paranormals is a contrast between uncontrolled, primitive emotion and overtly repressed emotion.
- The “romance” (I’m assuming it ends happily, haven’t read the last book) that is dominating the public consciousness is Twilight. I like this comment on it showing how romance novels can elevate your game if read correctly. Hilariously, most of the mentions and obsessions about it have been the overanalyses in this corner of the blogosphere by men. I’m thinking this is valueless: at this point in its popularity, the movie itself is operating on preselection and can prove nothing. Secondly, the popularity of Twilight is indeed part of a fascination with the paranormal that seems to be intensifying. This isn’t unprecedented: a parallel can be drawn to the popularity of the Gothic genre, parodied in Austen’s Northanger Abbey who seemed to be repressively rolling her eyes at the trend.