Wed
Dec 5 2012 8:14am

Stop the Slut-Shaming: Heroines with Sexual Pasts

It's okay if a hero has a sexual past. Encouraged, even. But for heroines, having a sexually active past is not always all right, even in contemporaries (in a real-life example, Eminem's daughter recently tweeted that Taylor Swift should “stop whoring around with every guy you see.” Nice.)

What romance novels feature heroines whose sexual pasts are not an issue in the book?

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7 comments
Dani481
1. Dani481
I don't read a lot of romance novels but now that you mention it I don't think I've ever come across one where the heroine wasn't virginal or near virginal. I am reading City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte and heroine seems to be very sexually active and so far it’s not an issue. When describing the book and character to a friend I did use the term slut (I said something like ‘She’s a slut. I need to read more books with sluts’). There is something refreshing about reading a book where the chicks get some action too. I mean this is the 90’s. I mean 2000’s. 2010’s? Anyway, you get my point. In books we need more heroines that are closer to reality and in reality everyone needs to live and let live. And I should probably come up with a better term than slut to describe the sexually active.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@Dani481: I think in other genres but romance it's more accepting for a woman to have a past. And YES we need a different word than slut--however lovingly uttered!--but the female version of man-whore is just whore.
If you want recs for more books featuring experienced women, you've come to the right place. What level of heat are you looking for?
Dani481
3. Isabel C.
Damn straight.

I mostly read historicals, which makes things trickier because of Society, but I'd love to get recommendations there.
Mara Gillott
4. MaraGillott
What baffles me is that so many people follow Eminem's Daughter on twitter....

Anyways, I personally, don't care either way. I don't feel the like a heroine is any better or worse if they have a sexual past. And even if they do, it doens't make them a "slut".

I just finished The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski and the heroines sexual past was not an issue at all.
Dani481
5. Amber Belldene
I really love the dynamic between Claire and Jamie in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander--he is a virgin, and she is a modern, sexually experienced woman. And it's hot.

I get why female virgins are fun to read and write--there is something about the drama of firsts that makes a great story. But I wholeheartedly agree more of the other would be welcome, too.

My first novel kicks off with the heroine in bed with the wrong guy, and I still remember how one editor HATED that. Still, I wanted to write Zoey as a sexualy assertive and sexually active character who used sex in lieu of intimacy. It was a lot of fun, and I found a publisher who thought so too.
Lana Baker
6. lanalucy
I'm 47, so I haven't been a virgin, or anywhere near it, for a very long time. I'll admit to enjoying a well-written first time for a woman with a more experienced man, but what's hotter is a first time or near it with the woman being the more experienced partner. When it's written right, that is seriously steamy. I even had one of those once in real life and good gods, it was hot, even though he was fairly clueless. :D What *are* we supposed to call those women who enjoy an active sex life? Happy? lol
Dani481
7. Jax Garren
lanalucy: "What *are* we supposed to call those women who enjoy an active sex life? Happy? lol"

LOVE this! Yes! That's exactly what we should call them. :)
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