Sex and the Single Romance

“Show me the money!” screams Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the film Jerry Maguire.  In porn parlance, it’s called “the money shot.” Yes, romance novels are often associated with sex—an image promoted by torrid covers of shirtless men clutching panting heroines in the throes of passion.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, of course not. It’s all good fun; escapism had for less than the price of a movie ticket. I used to gobble up bodice-rippers when I was a hormonal teen. White lines would appear on the spine of the paperbacks where the particularly juicy scenes could be found. Sometimes, with historical romances, I would actually learn something other than intimate details of procreation.

In this topsy-turvy world, writing romance novels without “money shots” has actually become controversial.  Unless the book specifies it’s Amish or Christian, some people expect a little friction between the sheets.  Even if the story is categorized as Young Adult, readers often look for the spice…and get annoyed when it fails to materialize.

In traditional Regency romance (romance set during the British Regency from 1811-1820), no explicit sex occurs. The last few years have seen the rise of a more modern Regency romance; romances of a non-traditional sensual variety (ie: more “marketable”).

So why on Earth would an author swim against the tide of filthy lucre (money) and write what might be termed “clean” or “sweet” romance…especially considering reader expectations?  Call me crazy, but personally I think readers should have choices. I don’t think novels and stories without explicit sex scenes need be antiseptic or anemic.  In my romances, for example, my characters have sexual feelings and thoughts. For me, the money shot is the kiss!  I also tend to put  exciting adventure in my stories…fisticuffs, sword fights, and escapes from death.

If you’re looking for a good time that doesn’t involve *ahem* “biology,” check out Clean Indie Reads. The blog features “flinch-free” fiction in a variety of genres.  Clean Reads (slogan All Story. No Guilt) is a publisher specializing in sweet romance and fiction in various genres.

I guess you could say “clean” fiction is now edgy.  And I guess I can call myself a maverick. ~ S.G. Rogers





14 thoughts on “Sex and the Single Romance”

  1. Yes, I agree. Sex scenes have pretty much taken over romance novels. Strangely enough, hollywood has apparently redefined the word, romance, as well. Just this morning I was watching good morning america. They were talking about a “new” movie coming out for Valentine’s Day. Actually it was a remake, but the actor said the difference was, “it was way raunchier, so it would be more relatable.” I thought his comments were just sad and creepy if that is really what romance is now all about.


  2. It’s sad more people don’t think about romance writing in terms of being sexy without the sex. If we can call ourselves mavericks for writing clean and sweet romance, I’m all for taking that title. Great post!


  3. I’m delighted to be with Astraea Press and it gives me a feeling of comfort to know I can discuss not only my novels but those of my AP colleagues … with my friends at church.


  4. In addition to being able to share with people at church, I’m happy to be able to share my writing with my kids and grandkids. I don’t have to tell them not to tell their friends what I write. I might not make as much money as some erotica writers, but I don’t have to keep it a secret.


  5. There must still be a market for romantic adventures and ‘love’ stories that do not become explicit. It seems to be drowned out at present, which is a shame because there should be choice for all. I choose to write love, adventure and mystery 🙂


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