Sweet erotic romances, or “vanilla erotic romance,” have been MIA lately. These are romances that are erotic, but don't have BDSM, or extremely kinky stuff. Like pony play. Or...artichokes as sex toys. (I've never read the latter, thankfully, but, you get my point.)
I'm worn out by what we are seeing in erotic romance. It seems all we see now are BDSM novels. There was BDSM erotic romance well before Fifty Shades of Grey—but with that book's success, newer releases have been cookie cutter versions of FSOG.
What happened to the love stories, the plots, and the emotions of erotic romance? BDSM is hot now, and a few years ago, it was menages; but if you try to force the story, it doesn't work, no matter what kink you're putting in there.
Erotic romance doesn't have to be super kinky, or extreme, or out there. Not that there shouldn't be those books, it just feels as though it's in every book. And some authors seem uncomfortable writing it, or that's how it comes across.
There are a number of authors who write erotic romances extremely well and write very hot scenes, and there isn't necessarily BDSM involved. Sure, some of their books have it. Sometimes, that's what fits for the relationship and the characters. A great example is Lauren Dane. She writes characters who have smoking-hot chemistry, but unless the character's personality, or that specific coming together works with chains and gags or such, she won't write it just to have it. And a number of her heroines are not at all submissive. So there aren't any dominant/submissive aspects in the romance. For some of her stories, the heroine loves being collared. And it's hot. For others, if the hero tried, I'm pretty sure the heroine would punch him in the junk.
Beth Kery's serials definitely have BDSM, but her One Night of Passion series doesn't so much. Both are equally hot. And that's fabulous. We don't always need whips and pain and paddling for a hot book. I'm not saying we shouldn't ever; just that it shouldn't be written just for the sake of being popular.
Stories with BDSM or elements of BDSM should make sense within the book, fit with the characters, their personality, the relationship. Opal Carew's writing fits that bill, as does Jasmine Haynes's. (And both also write, or at least have written “sweet erotic romances.”)
What's my point?
Write hot books. I'm all for that. Experiment some. Light bondage, role play, all good. My gripe is, write what fits, and make it reasonable. You have the heroine who is “super fair and delicate” and even grabbing her in excitement bruises her. Well, she won't be doing a major BDSM session and want to go ride a horse the next hour, after she's been paddled or striped so much she's got welts. I think that's also why I dislike it. That stuff hurts. Yet in romance, characters experience pain and injuries that set them back—bring tears, possible hospitalization—and within a few hours, or the next day, they're up and at 'em like an Olympic athlete.
Bring back the soft and sweet sexytimes. By that, I mean get wild in the sack. Have your characters go crazy. But why do you have to throw the hedgehog in? There is a lot of sexy, erotic stuff that people can do without props, toys, or strange elements.
Discussing a book with a friend, where the hero enjoyed oral sex, plus vaginal insertion, I mentioned “it was like her cooch was more a candy dispenser than a vagina.” There's a line when it becomes overkill. Don't cross it. When something becomes weird, disturbing, or confusing, you've probably gone too far.
Do you miss the super hot, sexy erotic romances, when the focus was on the characters and their steamy relationships, instead of how “out there” and “kinky” authors could write the story? Or do you think the kinkier the better?
http://limecello.wordpress.com/ - A Little Bit Tart, A Little Bit Sweet