Mon
Sep 10 2012 10:30am

Cock Fatigue Awareness: Symptoms and Treatment

Rooster image by Natesh Ramasamy via FlickrWe keep reading articles about how readers must be sick of vampires. (I'm not.)

They're switching from love for alpha males to swooning for the betas. (I like them both.)

How about we talk about a real issue for romance readers? It's time we came clean about cock fatigue.

Now, now, readers. Don’t worry. I’m not talking about performance issues by your favorite hero. Quite the contrary.

With the deluge of must-read ultra-sexy books releasing of late, it’s easy to jump from one romance to another. This should be a good thing, right?

Mostly.

The more we read back-to-back sexy, the less jaw-dropping some sex scenes become. What might have once made you dart glances across the room at your husband, now make you flip the page waiting for it to get really dirty.

More specifically, as romance readers we can reach a point where we’re sick of seeing the word cock. It loses its naughty value. Our tryst with that erotic novella feels more mundane because we’ve spent the last six books in a row seeing the word cock every few chapters.

Symptoms of cock fatigue include, but are not limited to:

  • Apathy to the word cock
  • Disinterest in aggressive hero
  • Disassociation from reading emersion during graphic sex scenes
  • Doubt at hero’s real ability to wield aforementioned penis
  • Need for main characters to “get on with it already”

However, cock fatigue comes in many forms. Perhaps you get worn out by certain words a hero utters during coitus. I’ve heard others have issues with “mine,” but it still does it for me.

Maybe you’ve exhausted by all this fictional sex on the whole. Without stopping for a breather book between the ultra sexy titles, it’s easy to get burnt out on sex scenes. If I push myself too long on the graphic romance binge, I’ll find myself thinking, “shouldn’t we be stopping the bad guy?” instead of my more common thought, “I’d be kissing that guy if the world was going to end.”

If you’re experiencing cock fatigue, you have a few options. The first, and most effective, is to sit the book down when you start to sense apathy to visceral language within sex scenes. Come back to the book the next day. Even just a scant 24 hours can be enough to stop early-onset cock fatigue.

For a Few Demons More by Kim HarrisonHowever, if you’ve been on a full sexytimes bender, you may need to switch your mind into another mode. Pick up a good non-romance book. Maybe try The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. Lovely characters, sexual tension but little of the dirty, dirty.

If you really want to be able to read another book filled with graphic sex, and can’t fathom stepping away to another genre for a book or two. The most drastic option is to ask your dear friends (or any H&Her) to recommend the most filthy of their favorite books. Not only should they be good reads, but if it gets dirty enough you will be shocked into appreciating the overwhelming cocks in your previous books.

Readers, this is a safe place, so feel free to admit your battles with cock fatigue and your best recommendations to persevere in the name of sex scene fans everywhere.

Rooster image by Natesh Ramasamy via Flickr


 

While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter — @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Individual - You will receive an alert for each comment added to this post.
Digest - You will receive an end-of-day alert for all comments added to this post.
37 comments
Shannon Bastian
1. shannonB.
Hi, my name is Shannon and I have cock fatigue. (I almost died laughing typing that.)
I have read so many romance books this year that most of the time I yawn during the sex scenes. *sigh*
To combat this I've recently been reading really gritty UF or horror where no (naked) winkies are present.
Chelsea Mueller
2. ChelseaMueller
@shannonB - Hi, Shannon. Welcome to the support group. ;)

Really gritty procedural UF can be excellent in these peen-filled times.
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
I've been reading a lot of fantasy and sci-fi to combat my cock-fatigue. Really, when you skim big chuncks of a book cause you couldn't care less about the hero's amazing schlong, it's time to seek another genre.
Chelsea Mueller
4. ChelseaMueller
@bungluna - But you still recognize that his schlong is amazing, yes? ;)
JacquiC
5. JacquiC
Ha ha! I love this. I totally know what you mean. I find that I have to mix up my more explicit reading with other kinds of reading. Fortunately, I read across a lot of genres, not only sub-genres within romance, but others as well. Mystery novels are always a great "palate-cleanser" after too much explicit stuff. Or something that is heavier on the emotional angst with minimal sexy times, or sex scenes that are totally ancillary to the rest of the story.
Carmen Pinzon
6. bungluna
Oh, I'm sure I'll be back soon to admire the amazing schlong. Sometimes a reader needs a break, that's all!
JacquiC
7. KieraPSI
My name is Kiera and I suffer from cock fatigue.

When I recognize the symptoms of early-onset cock fatigue, I reach for a Janet Evanovich novel. Preferably the Stephanie Plum series. You still have hot males to oogle (Go Ranger and Go Morelli!) but lots of laughs and not a whole lot of sex. Once I've laughed myself silly (I grew up less than a half hour from "the burg" so it all hits home far too well), I'm ready for more of the alpha male goodness!
Chelsea Mueller
8. ChelseaMueller
@KieraPSI - I love the way you think. Laugh your way out of the fatigue.

@bungluna - Just a quick break from the alphas. ;)

@JacquiC - Any particular mystery series you'd suggest?
Smash Attack Ash
9. SmashAttackAsh
I think I might have cock fatigue a lot. I prefer less cock but when it's present, I want full-on cock awesomeness, know what I'm saying? Less is way more in my book.
Chelsea Mueller
10. ChelseaMueller
@SmashAttackAsh - I love that you just used the phrase "full-on cock awesomeness." Will you be my new best friend?
JacquiC
11. Jennifer Lane
Hilarious post! The word "cock" used to shock and awe me--not so much anymore. For those who like fiction, I recommend "Gone Girl" for an intense study of an f-ed up relationship (but not much sex as I recall).
Melanie Thomas
12. missmelthomas
First off, this blog is frakkin awesome! Chelsea, you crack me up and made my horrific day a bit better.

Hello, I'm Mel and though it's rare, I do occasionally suffer from cock fatigue. Not in the same way my ex (who shall remain nameless) but cock fatigue, nonetheless. When I find myself in need of less cock (seriously did I just say that?) I will read YA or a good UF that I know has great sexual tension without the bumping of the uglies. To recommened a fantastic UF with sexual tension out the wazoo and kisses that are more hot than some full on sex scenes I've read, I suggest Kristen Painter's incredible House of Comarre series. One of these days Mal and Chrysabelle are gonna get down-and-dirty. When they do finally sex it up, it will be EPIC and cock fatigue will be the furthest thing from my pervy little mind. *grins*

Oh and @SmashAttackAsh, you get the award for best use of the word cock EVER. Full-on cock awesomeness?! You, my friend, are a mutha frakkin genius.
Lege Artis
13. LegeArtis
Chelsea, you made my day! :)
Cock Fatigue (and now I know the name of my peculiar feeling) is main reason I'm not much of paranormal romance fan and I'm more into UF.
I remember when Ward said how she wrote very hot scene of car sex in Payne's book. I read it and I still can't remember what scene was she talking about. Clearly, one od abovementioned symptoms.
This is why I adore Patty Briggs. She is very light on sex, but I still think her wolves (yes, plural, I love them all) are some of the hottest, sexiest men I read.
JacquiC
14. JacquiC
@ChelseaMueller -- I love Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series. They are quite complex and character driven and generally have no sex whatsoever, though there are romantic relationships between several of the main characters that track throughout the series.

I really like Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks books. Also Stephen Booth. And for my favourite, absolute classics that have been re-read so many times they are falling apart -- Dorothy Sayers.

I have the first book by a new author on my Kindle at the moment -- C.J. Box. Apparently, this is a series set in Wyoming and some good family friends whose literary taste I tend to trust and who have recently been to Wyoming recommended these books. I haven't started the first one yet, so don't know whether I will like them or not.
Lana Baker
15. lanalucy
This is definitely a hilarious topic. As yet, I have yet to be stricken with cock fatigue, but perhaps this is because I read a lot of different types of books and there has most assuredly been a woeful dearth of full-on cock awesomeness (C SmashAttackAsh) in real life. :D
Chelsea Mueller
16. ChelseaMueller
@Jennifer Lane & LegeArtis - Thanks, ladies! I had a blast bringing this serious condition to light.

@lanalucy - The key is definitely reading multiple genres.
JacquiC
17. Fiona Marsden
This is hilarious. Because it's true. I keep a stack of vintage romance on hand to combat c*ck fatigue. Not a c*ck in sight, though I admit the reluctant heroine's may see the odd one behind closed doors but they aren't saying, or at least only in the subtext.
Jordan R
18. jrojrojro
Hi, name is Jordan and I *occasionally* suffer from cock fatigue.

I like to go to something sweet (Meg Cabot YA stuff is like crack) or to something high fantasy/sci fi. I've found that Juliet Marillier is a great author palate cleanser. She writes more traditional fantasy with crazy-awesome story and worldbuilding that is suppletmented by a suble romantic back-plot. Seriously. The next time someone needs such a book, go read Daughter of the Forest. Red is still one of my top 5 favorite male leads ever and there's not even any "on screen" sexy times in the whole book.
JacquiC
20. SassyT
Like other readers have said, I read YA to cleanse the pallet. There is sometimes some romance but no sex (or on the rare occasion the sex implied but not shown). All very chaste and PG (okay, a little PG-13). It also makes me a better reader of the adult stuff because then I pay attention to the story more instead of just focusing on the sex. I have also added some sci-fi/fantasy/horror to my mix. Nothing like a good scare to make me appreciate the sex.
Lindsay Beeson
21. lindsayb
I've been working my way through Maya Bank's "sweet" series, which is pretty sexy stuff.. between books I've read the newest Kelley Armstrong "otherworld" book "Thirteen". The Otherworld series is probably my favorite urban fantasy series, aside from the Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance. I've also been reading my way through the John Sandford "Prey" series, which I've read several of the newer books, but not the older books. His Virgil Flowers books are set in the Davenport world, but focus on Flowers instead.. and I looove the Virgil Flowers character. I think you can safely read the Flowers books without having read the Davenport/Prey books, even though Flowers is a recurring character in the Davenport books. Robin Cooks series featuring medical examiner Laurie Montgomery and eventual husband, medical examiner Jack Stapleton are also excellent books, if you like a medical thriller with a love interest thrown in.
Cristina P
22. krissapl
To combat this, I just skip or quickly skim through those scenes. I mostly read the dialogue, because I get really tired of all the description. There are exceptions, of course.
Ginny Doremus
23. FaeRhi
I, Ginny, also have Cock Fatigue.
I have it to the point where, as I read until I fall asleep, I will actually become sleepy and tune out those scenes... it begins and I feel tired so I close the book/nook and try to sleep. There is literal fatigue in play.

I do jump around though and Kim Harrison is a favorite author of mine, though I'm picky and single so I get just as sexually frustrated as the characters.. therefore, I completely switch to something like "Patient Zero" by Johnathan Mayberry or an autobiography of a favorite celebrity (Diane Keaton, Cherie Currie or Jane Lynch).
Then I can go back and fully appreciate the nasty!
rachel sternberg
24. rae70
LOL, I have the same syndrome as well. It also doesn't help that "cock" is one of the words I hate to see spelled out. I do tend to skim over graphic sex scenes, many times I am just trying to figure out how in the heck the characters are contorting themselves into positions.. i.e. Anita Blake..

I do like reading more YA only because they push the romance more heavily than the actual deed. But I do love Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong as well..
JacquiC
25. WickedGirl
Color me as suffering from the syndrome as well. I recently dumped all romance books in favor of adventures with kick - ass women and men. I just read almost everything by James Rollins and I am a long time fan of Clive Cussler. No sex in these at all. Just straight up adventure and suspense. I will probably be ready to return to romance in about another month.
Janis Clark
26. maliamartin
Cock fatigue - too funny! I move between contemporary romance, romantic suspense and erotic. Occassionally I'll throw in chick lit. Just read Emily Giffin's new one - Where We Belong. That gives me the break I need before I'm ready to hit the "hard" stuff again.
Candice Burnett
27. SleepyVamp
Laurell K. Hamilton (especially the Merry Gentry series) gave me severe cock fatigue. When I started to skip the orgy scenes to get to the actual plot, I realized there wasn't much there keeping it together except a collection of fine looking cocks, and really, how much cock does one book need? A book cannot succeed on cock alone. :)
JacquiC
28. Noel50
Yep, I've had that. HOWEVER...I was reading Love Unscripted by Tina Reber today (which got off to a slow start, but now I'm enjoying it quite a bit). When she got to the first love/sex scene, there was no 'cock.' I felt cheated. So I'm inhabiting some grey zone between fatigue and saturation. Does THAT have a name as well?
Katherine Fortenbacher
30. katherinebacher
It's like alpha-cock-ics anonymous in here! Hello, my name is Katherine and I have suffered from cock-fatigue.

Like others in here, I have combatted this issue in two ways: 1) Read YA novels, 2) Read 1 non-romance inbetween fatigue stages, and 3) I read Katie MacAlister's Dark Ones novels. Her steamy scenes are also equally hilarous which breaks up the "shock value."
JacquiC
32. AutumnM
I'm Autumn M, and I have cock fatigue.

I got so tired of MonsterCock and what has to be the CaveVag that I read very little straight up romance anymore. It just gets so unbelievable! I second the commenter who said she starts trying to figure out the positions instead of getting hot and bothered. Plus all the jabbereing! PLEASE! If you can talk that much, you ain't doing it right. ;) Give me a plot that I can love & people I can believe exist first, THEN bring on the schmexin'.
Jack
33. JDeGroot
Not a problem. I go to my TBR pile and and sort through for something to take my mind off "the end game," something with a nice, long build up. Sometimes I reach for an all-time favorite that I know ratchets up the anticipation. Perfect, or Paradise by Judith McNaught often work well. I just finished reading the anthology 12 Shades of Surrender this week and having just about incinerated my eyes, I've picked up an old Danielle Steel to settle me down, A Perfect Stranger. Nice . . . slow . . . seductive. As a plus, I get to fantasize about Robert Ulrich who starred in the movie version.
JacquiC
34. TangelB
I have not fallen completely into cock fatigue, but I've felt the edge of it. (And really, I've tried to word that so many ways & there's no way to avoid the snickers!) When I start to notice the early symptoms I too go to a Regency where there's more tension than action or a romantic suspense (heavy on the suspense) or a paranormal with a quest. I'm sorry but I just can't go outside the romance genre - so here's my own 12 step admission - My name is Tena, and I'm an HEA addict. I need the end of each story and it must be happy! :)
JacquiC
36. virginiallorca
He expressed to her his wish that she might
somehow interact with his naked winky.
mandy troxel
37. mandytroxel@gmail.com
im not really into cock books, always thought they would be a little cheesy, but after reading this and many of the comments i think i am going to add this to my normal reading. i usually only read true stories or paranormal type books, time for a lille change! thanks ladies!
Rhonda Conklin
38. rrc74
I didn't even know that I suffered from this condition until I read this post but....I sometimes suffer from cock fatigue. Sometimes I even skip pages. (YES, I know, what a sad thing to admit) When I need a break from all the steamy stories I turn to YA or mysteries. One of my favorite mystery series is the Goldy Catering Series by Diane Motts Davidson. Usually makes me laugh and try to figure out who done it.
Post a comment