In the questions, one person mentioned a dislike for all of the “thiny veiled romance” because they “really don’t care to read about someone having teh hawt sexxorz”
Bre and I, being the Saucy Wenches that we are, have had long discussions on the Romance and Fantasy genres.
Now, I don’t know what books exactly that the commenter was talking about. When someone says “Urban Fantasy” paired with “too much sex” I always think of Laurell K. Hamilton.
Don’t get me wrong. My shelves are full of her work. This is not an LKH bash post.
However, I would have to say that to ME, the LKH books are not romance.
They have sex. That doesn’t make them a romance.
They have large focus on the main female character and her many emotional and physical attachments to men. That doesn’t make them a romance.
I’ll be the first to admit that the line between fantasy and romance blurs when you reach Paranormal Romance – or Romantic Fantasy, if you prefer.
However, I really wish I could take a ceremonial knife and slice right through the equal sign in sex = romance.
The Romance genre encompasses so much more than a bit of the horizontal tango. As a matter of fact, there are a large number of romance novels that don’t have sex at all. (Granted, fewer these days than in the past).
A Romance is the story of the emotional journey of two souls to each other. It’s a story of bonding, and love – a union. Celebrating that union physically is as old as time itself, but the key is what that physical act is celebrating. Happily Ever After, as many people put it. I finish a romance novel and sigh happily, certain that these two souls have made such a union as will pass the test of time.
A book may have romantic elements without being a romance. Most books, regardless of genre, have romantic elements. Boy meets Girl, it’s the oldest story in the book. Genesis, the bible. The Odyssey. Hard to call those romances, but goodness gracious, there’s love and relationships and the inappropriate grinding of hips in those as well.
My whole argument here is simply one of semantics – word choice. The Romance genre suffers enough of the slings and arrows of public opinion. It may deserve some of them, but at the end of the day, it’s about so much more than just mattress dancing.
Back to the REAL Point
On the subject of “why, exactly, do the majority of the Urban Fantasy books I find ooze sex scenes like a zombie left out overnight?*” I can sympathize with the commenter completely. I’m not one to toss a book down because of it, but it had best be done as a believable and integral part of the story rather than because “everyone is doing it”.
In the end, I think that original commenter said it best – “I just wish books were better labeled.”
Amen. Whether you’re deliberately seeking the heat, or trying to avoid it entirely, it would be awfully nice to know what you were getting into.
It’s like putting calorie counts on menu items. The people who care really need to know, and the people who don’t care can just ignore it.
P.S. Don’t neglect your pap smears, if you’re female. If you’re male, feel free to neglect them. (This is a reference to Stacia Kane’s excellent and heart-rending post on the necessity)
*I know, I know. Gruesome. But it’s ZOMBIES. Zombies make everything better. It’s science.