Not just “Mommy Porn”

I currently edit only a little Romance, but I have a coaching client who writes nothing but romance and he (yes, he) finds himself a little squeamish about “the sexy bits.” But the fact is, not all commercial Romance is “hot.” While spicy romance is high-profile and big-selling, there have always been—and always will be—categories of mainstream Romance which are not graphically detailed with respect to sex. These are broadly categorized as “sweet” romance and entire sub-genres of sweet sell in the millions of copies in the US and elsewhere every year.

There’s a silly idea running around among some non-Romance fiction readers that this genre is mostly soft- to hardcore porn for middle aged heterosexual women. It’s not. Romance covers a lot of ground, and a lot of romance is pretty mild in the bedroom department. I’m also pleased as punch that the Diversity movement is opening up more room for Romances that center on wider relationship options than ever before. While there have always been books about same-sex relationships, older and second-time-around romances, “sweet” Christian romance, Amish romance, Westerns, and YA romances (just to name a few), now there’s not only room for more, but room for damn-near everything.

If you’re reading or writing any story with relationships (and that’s all pretty much every story to some degree) you now have a lot more options for your characters to engage in ways that aren’t either “hot sexy times” or chaste kissing and a quickly closed bedroom door.