Yesterday, I blogged about one of my main frustrations with romance novels – the unrealistic expectations they foster about who men are supposed to be once they fall in love. My second huge problem with romance novels – and one of the reasons I stopped reading them – is the unrealistic expectations they set up about sex.
Disclaimer: Some folks are going to be uncomfortable with the discussion that follows because it’s about sex – and I’m talking about it in public (though I don’t think it’s quite as scandalous as the Fifty Shades of Grey discussion). If you have slightly more puritanical sensibilities, I recommend you skip this blog and read this one by my friend Rebecca instead.
Let’s talk about Sex, baby
I’m not going to get into a whole theology lesson on how these romance novels fail to uphold our Catholic understanding of sex as a sacramental experience of grace that reflects and imitates the Divine Love of the Trinity when it is expressed within the context of a marriage and is free, total, fruitful, and faithful.
No, my big beef with the sex in these novels isn’t that it often takes place outside the marriage bed and with contraception making an often intrusive appearance. No, my beef is that as soon as the male lead falls for his lady, the sex becomes incredibly unrealistic.
Suddenly they are having marathons in bed with multiple orgasms on everyone’s part and never a single question about physical needs (food, shower, sleep) or even stamina. The man will never, EVER think about reaching his physical peak before she has – at least 2 or 3 times – and she will never, EVER think about turning him away if he indicates he’s interested.
Let’s not forget THE moment.
The woman’s physical peak (which again, comes 2 or 3 times every time) is described with some of the following phrases:
- dizzying explosion of feeling
- erupted in dazzling undulations
- frenzied explosion of exquisite sensation
- frenzy of simultaneous explosions
- glorious waves of splendor
- riding on a wave of frenzy
- wave after wave of rapture