Tuesday, January 11, 2011

...but some people are lactose intolerant!

Sex is like ice cream...but some people are lactose intolerant!

And when I say intolerant, I mean intolerant.  Close-minded. Small minded.

I have an alter ego who is a member of RWA - Romance Writers of America.  And she (we? I? Pronoun confusion. LOL.) has seen the intolerance erupt in huge waves from time to time.

Romance writers have spent many years desperately struggling for respect.  The genre has been referred to as "porn" for a long time. Needless to say, it's NOT porn, never has been, never will be. Romance novels offer so much more than "just sex."

But now, the hotter and hotter material, erotic romance, is taking off like a rocket ship - has been for a while now, actually.  Ellora's Cave was the first to offer the hotter stuff, and because they filled a niche, they've found great success where other epublishers who started at the same time, didn't. (It helped that women who wanted this type of material no longer had to face a pimply-faced, smirking clerk at the bookstore to purchase it.)

In an interesting juxtaposition, at the same time we've seen a huge rise in Inspirational Romance -- where you will find no sex on the pages whatsoever, and likely the characters will not engage in sex even off the pages.

But with the huge surge in popularity of the "hot stuff," there's also been a huge surge in intolerance towards the material, and towards the writers who create it.  Interesting enough, many romance writers who are angry at being looked down as "smut writers," as being "less than" in the fiction arena, have no problem at all in looking down at erotic romance writers.  I'm sure they justify it thusly:  "Yeah, but they really DO write smut."

Look, my flavor-of-choice (chocolate, rocky road, mint chocolate chip) may not be YOUR flavor-of-choice. (Vanilla.)  But that doesn't mean you should denigrate me for my choice.

Good erotic romance (and erotica) is hard to write! (No pun intended -- that time.) Bad erotic romance or erotica is painful...sometimes horribly painful...just like any bad attempt at a romance novel is painful.  Can you not give your fellow writer the benefit of the doubt? Treat him/her with the same respect you want?

We're all writers here.  Can't we all just get along? Support one another?

Stop looking down your nose at your fellow writer. Stop being intolerant of what they write. (Unless it's just really bad craft -- and even that is open to interpretation/subjectivity to a certain extent.)

They make pills to combat lactose intolerance.  Unfortunately battling the type of intolerance I'm talking about is a lot harder.


  1. Great article and, yes, very true. However, I bet the writers on the opposite side of erotica also receive their fair share of scorn. It no longer seems like just romance is sneered at, but particular genres seem to give people the "right" to slam your work. Which is NOT acceptable. There's a difference between not liking a particular genre and blasting it because you have a dim view of it. Just like a song you don't like on the radio, just don't read it. But give us the respect we deserve for our hard work, regardless of genre.

  2. Took the words out of my (naughty) mouth. ;) Thanks for an excellent post!

  3. Great Post. And something that's on many minds these days I'm sure. Right on!