In my last post I posed the question as to whether or not we read romance novels for the sex or the story. Myself, I enjoy a good story. I find fulfillment whether or not the romance has sex, as long as I can connect with the characters and their story. But I would be lying if I didn't admit that the sex has left a mark on me. It altered my perception of reality and what I should really have expected, outside the romance novel.
I was a naive, impressionable, virginal teenager when I began my foray into the romance genre. I kissed my first boy at the age of twelve and hadn't had my first sexual experience until I was eighteen. Somewhere in-between those years, after reading countless romance novels, I had given myself a false expectation of sex. Lesson learnt; virgins with over active imaginations shouldn't read romance novels.
What was I to think? with my innocent self. None of the heroines I have read about ever complained about the sex. Bad sex doesn't exist in romance land. Even when the hero was a virgin he magically seemed to know what to do to take the heroine to the heights of ecstasy. So forgive my naiveté for believing that sex was always good. No, not good, Tony the Tiger, grrrrrreat.
I can't say I was disappointed when I finally took my nose out of the books. Just a little disillusioned. I thought after so much studying I would have been an A+ student. I thought my sex life would be like a romance novel, intense, fiery and a little dirty, but instead I found myself stiff and self-conscious. It was a rocky road for me getting comfortable in my own skin. How do you go from being a virgin on one page to a freak in the sheets on another? After more than a decade I'm still not there yet.
Although I've never had bad sex, I've never had sex on the level of a really good romance novel either. Now am I talking about the physical bed play or the emotional connection that make for great sex. Does either even exist?
And am I setting up any future partner I'm with to fall short of my overly romanticized expectations? If he's not a strong, powerful man who's a force of nature in bed will he not measure up in my mind? Am I going to have something good, but still want for just a little bit more?
One more thing, have you ever noticed how in every novel fifteen minutes after they're done, the lovers are at it again. Is that even possible?
And that's my naughty thoughts on sex outside the romance novels.
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