Thursday, April 12, 2007

Feisty heroines

We've talked quite a bit about man titty, what a real Regency gentleman, warts and all might have looked like and why images of women, even in Regency fashion mags, are all tall and skinny, but we haven't talked about the kind of heroine we like to read about in our erotic historical romances.

What makes her different from the heroine in a steamy romance novel? Okay, so she's likely to have more sex but what about her, how about how she presents herself? Readers don't like TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines so do they consider erotic heroines too stupid not to have sex with the first man, or men who ask?

It's an interesting question. Should the heroine in an erotic romance be more experienced sexually? Can you still get away with a virgin heroine learning about sex? In my opinion, you can. I want to read about heroines who make deliberate choices to have sex, understand the consequences of their actions and then hopefully fall in love by the end of the book.

I think that's why readers occasionally complain that some erotic romances are all about sex and people falling into bed with each other before they've even had a proper conversation. If my heroine makes a conscious and informed choice to explore her sexuality, then I'm quite happy to believe anything can happen.

One thing I admire about all the writers here is that they don't write dumb heroines. They write about real women who enjoy sex. and what's wrong with that? Is a heroine who is comfortable with sex and willing to be adventurous, bad, loose or immoral? Not in my book.

Pet peeves or praise for erotic heroines, anyone?


Celia May Hart said...

I can't think of any specific pet peeves. I know I wouldn't like to read a heroine whose desire for sex is rivaled by a desire for a certain designer pair of shoes.

meardaba said...

I know I wouldn't like to read a heroine whose desire for sex is rivaled by a desire for a certain designer pair of shoes.

Me too!

Pet peeve in erotic fiction: when there's no explination for how the heroine started at point A and got to point X, point X being in the sack with two men for example. Considering our society, and how many social and sexual restraints are still on women, I want to see the throught process she goes through, the agonizing, the choice, and deliberation...something! A decision like that isn't easy, even if it's the right choice for you.

It's like erotica's version of the TSTL romance heroine.

PS. Sorry this is a late reply, I actually had to think about this question for a while before commenting.

meardaba said...

*THOUGHT process, not throught process.

Kate Pearce said...

Yes, I hate heroines who just jump into the sack without thinking it through-or instantly fall in love with some guy who is an arrogant jerk!

Jane Lockwood said...

Interesting topic, because I've never thought about this at all before. If anything for me it's the matter of choreography and geography, getting the heroine into a place and setting where sex would be possible. I guess I assume that the sort of heroines I like to read and write about have enough honesty and courage to grab the hero by the horns. She also might have the honesty and courage to choose otherwise.
I also like characters who are grown up enough to make stupid mistakes and live with the consequences, and arrogant enough that love knocks them sideways.