Tue
Dec 6 2016 8:28am

Has BDSM Romance Been Safe Worded Out of the Genre?

Geoffrey Rush as the Marquis de Sade in Quills

The Marquis de Sade was a polarizing figure in the BDSM world long before Christian Grey was, and December marks the 202nd anniversary of his death. BDSM and erotic romance has certainly had its day, but many think erotic romance is on its way out. Every few years, each subgenre has been told it's “dead”—paranormal, historical... and now erotic. However, BDSM romance as we know it today is the relative new kid on the block. Do you think it's time to safe word out of erotic romance? If not erotic romance altogether, will something spring up in BDSM's place to intrigue those same readers?

Tell me your theories down in the comments!

 

Hat tip to Megan Frampton

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10 comments
RomancePlaylist
1. ErinMickC
I just finished Lynda Aicher's "The Farther He Runs" and although it had BDSM elements in the book, the m/m romance primarily revolved around emotional intimacy. I don't see BDSM books bowing out entirely, but I do think readers are looking for books with elements of BDSM that are set away from the clubs and red rooms (like "The Farther He Runs").

I personally like reading BDSM romances that are less about the gear and the atmosphere, and more about the couple's trust, long-term viability and how BDSM can help solidify their bond.
Elizabeth Halliday
2. Ibbitts
I have a hard time keeping up with what is considered to be the current hot topic. I like to read romances. I like to read books that the author's writing style is compelling to me (I call a book like that well-written, but to be completely accurate, it's just a writing style that appeals to me.) If those books happen to be tagged "erotic" by someone else, that's okay. If they happen to have BDSM scenerios within the storyline, that's okay too.
I used to take the recommendations of others pretty seriously, but not so much now after having been disappointed so many times. Now, I read the book summary to see if it sounds like somthing I might be interested in, rather than listening to the opinions of others. That's what so great about H&H - when you write your opinions, you say why you recommend, which gives me insight into actual storylines and style of writers that I have yet to read. It's helpful.
As for trends, I don't know, but I still see a lot of "Mature", "18+" and "Adults Only" disclaimers on the book summaries I have been reading lately.
Jennifer Proffitt
3. JenniferProffitt
I love BDSM romance, in a lot of ways it's my safe place because I know what I'm getting because it's such a niche genre--though I am always looking for lighter/more fun BDSM, if anyone has any recs.

However, that being said I have been seeing less BDSM romance out there but that doesn't mean it's getting booted out the door--not by a long shot!
Teri519
4. Teri519
It is and has always been about the characters involved in BDSM or whatever the story has, not about the BDSM itself. I don't read romance for the "hot" parts. Take "50 Shades" for instance. For me, that was about the story of Christian & Anna. I could take or leave the BDSM parts, the basic romance of those two and Christians journey was the best part of the books. There will always be a reader for a good story, no matter what it is about.
Teri519
5. Lesley54
I like BDSM romance but am getting sick of how, most of them, have heroes and/or heroines who have major 'issues' to resolve and how it all has to get so intense.I am also fed up with scenes in sex clubs and long descriptions of the use of toys, equipment etc which can all become a bit mechanical, boring and sometimes 'yucky' . Not sexy at all! And, please no more over the top millionaire Doms!
For humour and feisty heroines who run rings round their Doms and a light touch, I love Riley Murphy's BDSM romances. She always has great comic scenes which often make me laugh out loud as well as having hot love scenes and strong emotional connections between the H/H.
Sometimes . yes , there are a few scenes in your dreaded , friendly neighbourhood sex club but her books are so different to most BDSM books as her sense of fun always shines through.
Jennifer Proffitt
6. JenniferProffitt
@Lesley54, I was getting tired of that too so now I tend towards authors like Sidney Bristol. She had this book called Committed and in it the heroine is a switch and at one point during a scene she laughs and the hero gets all affronted and she responds "It's called play, isn't it? It's supposed to be fun" or something to that effect, so ever since then I try to find authors more in line with that--I'll definitely check out Riley Murphy!
RomancePlaylist
7. ErinMickC
@Lesley54 and @JenniferProffitt, I'm gonna have to check out Riley Murphy and Sidney Bristol.
Wendy the Super Librarian
8. SuperWendy
The problem when any one sub genre hits it big is that the market is then flooded making it harder for the cream to rise to the top (Ha! See what I did there?).

My problem with BDSM romance is that it all reads the same. There's a sex club or some variation on the Red Room of Pain. The hero is the Dom. 98% of the time he's fabulously wealthy. The heroine is a sub who doesn't realize she's a sub but somehow the Dom hero takes one look at her and just KNOWS and he spends the next 250 pages convincing her. And Dom hero always has some massive baggage because Mommy Didn't Love Him.

Lather, rinse, repeat, yawn.

I have a hard time believing that any sub genre or trope can ever truly die. Writing is a creative endeavor after all - and authors can spin tropes any way that tickles their fancy - that includes BDSM. But yeah, the above scenario needs to be put to rest for a while. Fatique. I haz it. If authors can spin the secret baby trope, certainly they can spin BDSM?
Susan White
9. whiskeywhite
@SuperWendy, I just discovered your comment under "Most memorable comments of the Week" and I agree. Yes, yes, yes, yes is all I can say! Yawn indeed.

Is it that dom heroines don't appeal to the overwhelmingly (I assume) women readership? Or somebody thinks that?
JenniferPorter
10. JenniferPorter
I think that there is much less cookie cutter BDSM out there right now which is a good thing. I bet there will always books that fit this genre, but it being not the "IN" thing is good!!! This makes me hopeful for better BDSM romance.
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