Back when I was in grad school, I spent just over a year working as a page at the downtown library in Gainesville. We had monthly sectional assignments that dictated in which area we needed to be straightening, shelving, and reading for order. Over the course of my year there, I worked 13 different sections, and I can tell you, WITHOUT even a shred of hyperbole, Romance was the most CRAZY-GO-NUTS of all. It was easily the most popular section of the library for browsing, which meant I would get things straightened only to come back from pulling the book drop or shelving DVDs to find materials strewn about all willy-nilly. During the summer, I’d have to step over the pre-teens who would hide in the stacks, skimming for the dirtiest scenes.
I have to admit, I’ve never really been into romance novels. I think it’s the euphemisms (mound? member? SRSLY?) that completely turn me off and leave me giggling. I know there are tons of sub-genres and all that, so maybe some day I’ll find the time to delve in and find something I could actually enjoy. I prefer when the romance is a sub-plot in a much bigger story. I’d rather read a book about something interesting with a few smoldering sex scenes than read a book of sex scenes in which nothing else interesting happens. That’s what internet erotica is for, no? (NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW. I’VE JUST HEARD SO STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT.)
That 200 word intro there is my long-winded way of saying: I have no idea how to answer this question! If I were in a romance novel, my story would involve NO mention of the phrase “pouty nether lips”, no huge-muscled, long-haired Fabio on the cover, and absolutely no “damsel in distress” scenarios. (In fact, I think I’ll be the one doing the rescuing, thank you very much.)
It would take place in some futuristic dystopian society that has figured out how to circumvent sex completely. No longer needed to maintain the population, it would be seen as something animalistic and below us as humans. As a librarian and scholar, I would come across a cache of old books, hidden safely decades ago by a librarian who couldn’t bring himself to destroy them as instructed, and learn all about the ancient practice of sex. I’d be too scared to bring it up to my husband (families are still formed on the basis of raising children, after all, but people are paired up by the government based on a whole lot of forms and evaluations and genetics and BAD EVIL GOVERNMENT reasoning). Instead, I’d run away and seek out other people like me, having some pretty crazy, first time, no clue what the hell we’re doing sex, until I finally find My People and am completely indoctrinated into their SUPER HOT lifestyle, wherein we must hide from the authorities or risk certain death. (I mentioned being sneaky in my turn-ons post, and YEAH. It would appear I meant it.) Eventually we’d decide humanity can’t go on any longer without the sex, so we’d set about seducing government officials and The Man until eventually the whole world exploded from the hotness.
Uh. That got a little weird, no? Sort of turned into “If you were a character in a dystopian novel, what would your story be” post instead. HAHA! A technicality!
So. What would YOUR (deep breath) romance-story-in-a-genre-other-than-romance-because-you’ve-never-read-romance-but-are-a-big-dork-about-other-types-of-stories be?